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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers, Flames rookies set for Saturday showdown

It’s game day, folks.

For the first time, we’re seeing some Oilers hockey since the team’s season finale April 6th when they beat the Flames 3-1.

Game time

It’s coming shortly with puck drop set for 7 p.m. and it can be streamed on YouTube.

Lineups

630 CHED’s Reid Wilkins has the Oilers lineup, while Sportsnet Fan 960’s Pat Steinberg has the Flames lineup.

Steinberg also says Artyom Zagidulin will start for the Flames in net, and is expected to go the whole way.

What to expect

The rookie games are always fun to watch, because you have this group of young guys fighting to show everything their worth to their respective organizations.

We see a bit of familiarity in the Oilers lineup right off the bat. Cooper Marody will centre Tyler Benson and Cameron Hebig — a trio that spent last season with the Bakersfield Condors. This is the line I would be watching closest, as both Benson and Marody are expected to compete for roster spots on the Oilers this season.

Benson has a chance to slot in on the Oilers second line alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal. Marody, meanwhile, is fighting for a bottom-six role.

On the backend, keep an eye on the pairing of Dimitri Samorukov and Evan Bouchard. Samorukov has been developing very nicely as he skyrockets to what could be a solid NHL career. Bouchard, on the other hand, is a player who could step into the Oilers lineup this fall and see some big minutes.

There’s a good chance we see him on a potential second pairing with Oscar Klefbom, a partner that I think would be perfect for him as a rookie.

In net, Dylan Wells and Stuart Skinner will split time against the Flames. Both are vying for more AHL time.

No Kailer Yamamoto for the Oilers, who continues to recover from a wrist injury.

For the Flames, keep an eye on Dillon Dube who finished last season with the club playing 25 games.

Kick back, relax, and enjoy some Saturday afternoon hockey, folks. The game occurs in Red Deer this afternoon, while the pair are set for a rematch Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

On Twitter: @zjlaing