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Photo Credit: Simon Hastegård/Bildbyrån

News and notes: The boys are coming home, the world juniors and deep sleepers

G’day, Nation!

A few interesting news and notes circling around the Edmonton Oilers, so I thought I’d wrap them all up in a nice little bow and slide them under your Christmas tree. While you’re here, make sure you check out the new Nation Gear shirt available for sale. We’re offering up a unique chance to help support the local hospitality industry and need your help!

Broberg back to Sweden

Edmonton Oilers prospect Phillip Broberg will be playing for Sweden in the World Juniors where he’s expected to play a big role with the Tre Koner. But after the juniors end, it appears he will be heading right back to Sweden instead of sticking around Edmonton Oilers camp.

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Postmedia’s Jim Matheson reported Wednesday that he spoke with Oilers GM Ken Holland who made note of that. This news shouldn’t come as a major surprise as Broberg is under contract through this year with Skellefteå AIK in the SHL.

He’s had a great start to the season there scoring two goals and eight points in 23 games reaching his point total from last year in 22 less games.

It’s going to be great to see how he performs in the juniors this year and I will be watching him close where I expect a breakout performance.

Boys are coming home

It looks like several Edmonton Oilers players and prospects will be making their way back to the City of Champions soon.

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According to Bob Stauffer, however, a number of players will remain overseas.

Got to say I’m a fan of all of these moves. While all players who would be playing for the Bakersfield Condors, this allows them to keep cruising somewhere they’re already familiar.

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Maksimov has split time between the KHL and VHL having much more successes in the lower VHL league. There, he’s scored five goals and 10 points in 11 games, totalling only two points in 11 KHL games.

Also in Russia is Samorukov playing for CSKA Moskova. There, he’s scored two goals and eight points in 34 games. Not huge numbers, but solid production from the 21-year-old.

Lavoie meanwhile is red hot playing in HockeyAllsvenskan scoring 11 goals and 17 points in 25 games. Some solid offensive output from him to say the least.

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In 11 games in the SHL, Berglund has scored a goal and two points, while Kemp has only played in five games so far scoring one assist.

Rodrigue has appeared in 15 games, meanwhile, posting a .896 save percentage and a 3.64 GAA.

You can see how all the Oilers are doing in the system here.

Deep sleepers?

Is Caleb Jones due for a big breakout year? I’m about as big of a fan of his game as anyone around here and I thought he was very impressive in a super limited role last year. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him take a major step forward in his game this year.

Jack Michaels had tweeted he could see Jones earning top-four minutes, close to 20 minutes a night, and scoring up to seven goals and 27 points. I would be hard-pressed to see him hit that in a 56 game season, but over an 82-game year he might be able to get close.

His season, in my eyes, could mimic that of what Ethan Bear did last year. Bear scored five goals and 21 points in 71 games last year and played 22 minutes a night.

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Both defencemen posted 5v5 CF% around 49%, with Jones posting a goals for rate of 52 percent, while Bears was 47.76 percent. I could see both of these players taking a big step forward next year.

The Nation Gives Back!

As I mentioned above, we’re firing up a new offer this holiday season to help take care of some of the local bars and restaurants that have been hit hard by the pandemic. With the recent lockdown, these places are relying more now on our help than ever.

In turn, we’ve drummed up a way for Edmontonians to rally around these businesses. If you head over to nationgear.ca you can find an incredibly limited edition t-shirt featuring the OilersNation logo on a black shirt. Instead of it being the big print we’d usually do on centered on the shirt, we’ve tucked it up nice and tight into the left chest.

So how does this help Edmonton businesses?

Glad you asked! When you purchase one of these shirts you’ll be gifted a $20 gift card to a local pub, restaurant or hospitality business of your choice in Edmonton and area. The place has to have a gift card option available.

Delivery on the shirts and gift cards, which will be emailed where possible, will come in January 2021.

On Twitter: @zjlaing