One year ago, the Edmonton Oilers delivered an incredible Orientation camp to the city of Edmonton. Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl and a cast of dozens were on hand and Oilers fans were out in full force. This year? It all happens in Jasper.
It all starts tomorrow and culminates in a scrimmage on July 6—a 4-on-4 tournament for the Billy Moores Cup. Moores, as you may know, was an outstanding coach for the Golden Bears and at the NHL level (plus Japan, WHL, the resume is outstanding).
- Zach Nagelvoort: He is a 2014 Oilers pick who has not progressed. ISS (scouting resource) talked about a quick glove—he needs a strong 2016-17 to establish himself as a signable prospect.
- Nick Ellis: He had a strong year with Providence (NCAA) and the Oilers won a small signing war (not Ty Conklin level, but there were suitors). Interesting prospect, a .936SP should get your attention.
Miroslav Svoboda: He had a good year. He was struggling with one Czech team—got traded to another—and then had
a strong run through the end of the season and through the playoffs.
- Dylan Wells: A 2016 pick from the OHL who did not have a good year. Scouting reports were solid and the verbal suggests he is a bona fide prospect. Unusual to see a gap this wide on a draft pick (verbal versus performance.
- Tomas Kral. Czech goalie (like Svoboda) he is a little older (23) and this should be an interesting player to watch this week.
William Lagesson: Impressed Oilers fans at the world juniors, and looks like his
defensive skills are the greatest part of his game. He attended a year ago.
- Caleb Jones: Speed and size are his calling card and he posted some impressive boxcars last year. WheatnOil took a look at Jones and Bear recently.
- Markus Niemelainen: A big, mobile defender with two-way ability, he was just drafted and will be an easy player to spot—he is 6.05.
Matthew Cairns: Big defender (6.02, 202) is a two-way type
based on the scouting reports I have read. Good speed, can make a solid
first pass and has a plus shot. Played in OJHL last season.
- Shane Hanna: He is a 22-year old college man, and has completed three seasons with Michigan Tech in the NCAA. Undersized, can move the puck.
- Mark Auk. Another Michigan Tech LHD, he is 21.
- Ethan Bear: A strong year but no contract. He has been working with Oilers on his skating, so we can hope he signs soon. A tremendous draft +1 season.
- John Marino: Another member of that 2015 draft that produced some impressive D prospects. He has a range of skills and is coming off a strong year. Like Bear and Jones, he was at this camp last year.
- Filip Berglund: Drafted last week, he has size and skill. I am looking forward to seeing what he can bring offensively.
Vincent Desharnais: College man, not a lot of information on him. Steve Kournianos: Very big, skates awkward but makes good first
pass. Not physical, no way on the PP. Best thing he does is stand people
up, use long stick to jar puck loose during board play. Doesn’t have
- Jason Fram: Offensive defenseman and graduating junior from Spokane. Boxcars look good, he is 21.
- Nick DeSimone. Another college player (Union College), he is a little bigger (6.01, 190) than the other college invites.
- Tyler Vesel: Two-way college center returns, less impressive in 2015-16 than he was in previous seasons (USHL and NCAA).
- Aapeli Rasanen: Impressive resume for a later pick in 2016, creative center with speed.
- Zach Aston-Reese: Playmaking center has been in NCAA (Northeastern) for three years, 21.
- John Stevens: Bigger center from Northeastern, he is 6.02 and was close to a point-per-game.
- Tomas Soustal. One of the most talented invites, he is 19 and has two-way skills. 6.03, RHC.
Drake Caggiula: One of the more famous prospects at this camp. Flyers GM Ron Hextall: “He’s got speed, he plays
hard, he has a lot of good attributes. He’s got a shot at being a top
six (player) based on his ability. He’s not the biggest player, but he
- Joey Benik: He is 5.10, 175 and a pretty solid college scorer. Scored like a demon at St. Cloud State and is on an AHL contract.
- Scott Allen Big winger who played in Norfolk last year, will be in Bakersfield in the fall.
- Tyler Benson: Early second round pick in 2016, if he is healthy this will be a player to watch at camp.
- Jake Lucchini Impossibly small winger from Michigan Tech.
- Brandon Biro Fabulous resume from Spruce Grove Saint, on his way to Penn State fall 2017. Offensive player.
- Peter Zhong: Small scoring winger with speed and hands, he played at lower levels last year.
- Jesse Puljujarvi: No. 3 overall pick, still a little uncertain how the heck he fell to Edmonton. Big, strong, fast.
- Aidan Muir: Now 20, he lost playing time in college last year. Still big and strong, so we hope, but he needs to have a better year at Western Michigan.
- Patrick Russell: Like Cagguila and Ellis, college signing of some note. A bit older, he should stand out at this camp.
- Jaedon Descheneau St. Louis Blues (unsigned) pick in 2014, he finishes a fine junior career with the Kootenay Ice. Small and skilled.
- Josh Melnick Playmaking forward from Miami of Ohio, he totaled 48 assists in his final USHL season.
- Dominik Shine Scoring college winger for Northern Michigan, he is one of the older prospects at the camp (23).
- Luke Esposito. His uncle is Mark Messier, Esposito is a Harvard man and he was at the same camp one year ago
Esposito explained the purpose of the camp a year ago:
Esposito:“The thing that they preach from the beginning of this camp is that
you’re not going to earn a contract and you’re not going to lose a
contract. It’s a development camp in the very sense of
the word. They have us here to teach us things. We’ve been doing some
systems stuff and some off-ice training. You obviously want to make a
good impression on the organization, but it’s really just to learn from
the experience and take everything out of it that you can.” Source