58 Days Until The Regular Season

Zach Laing
11 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane.
With 58 days to go until the regular season, let’s look back at the first Edmonton Oiler to wear the jersey: Johan Motin.

A June 22, 2008 edition of the Edmonton Journal details the Edmonton Oilers’ 2008 draft class.


Much like other Oilers we’ve looked at in the countdown, Motin’s time in Edmonton was short and sweet. Drafted by the Oilers in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, Motin ended up playing just one game for the team.
But back to the 2008 draft, as it was a big one for the Oilers. They used their first-round pick to draft Jordan Eberle and we all know his saga well.
For the Oilers, however, they wouldn’t pick again until the fourth round. It was there they selected Motin — a then 6’1, 202 lb. right-shot rearguard.
“A big strong kid. Plays as simple as it gets,” then Oilers vice-president of hockey operations Kevin Prendergast told the Edmonton Journal. “He doesn’t handle the puck a lot but he moves it. He’ll probably be on the Swedish junior team. We just like what he can bring to the table. He doesn’t get into trouble.”
Motin would spend another year in Sweden before he made the trek to North America, where he would kick off the 2009-10 season playing with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He would finish the season having played 55 games scoring one goal and six points.
But in March, he would get the call to the NHL.
The struggling Oilers were in a bad spot in that 2009-10 season struggling well into the new year. It promoted then GM Steve Tambellini to sell off at the deadline. Denis Grebeshkov went to Nashville for a 2nd round pick later used to select Curtis Hamilton, and on March 3rd, the deadline day, it was Steve Staios who was sent to Calgary for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd round pick later used to select Travis Ewanyk. Another deal saw Lubomir Vishnovsky sent to the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Whitney and a 2010 6th round pick used to select Brandon Davidson.
With the incoming defenceman unable to make it to Chicago for game time, the club had recalled Motin and another defenceman in Dean Arsene — the latter of whom arrived in the second period and still played 10 minutes taking tripping and roughing calls in the second.
For Motin, he would play 14:08 that night in his NHL debut finding himself on the ice for one goal against. There’s only so much you can do going up against the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks, who beat the Oilers 5-2 outshooting them 47-14.
“I was nervous. I was nervous all day,” Motin said after the game. “But it was a nice first game. That’s a great team with great players.”
Motin would come to Oilers training camp in Sept. 2010, but would end up being one of the earlier cuts of camp. He’d split that season between the AHL and ECHL, and the following year wouldn’t make the Oilers again.
He would head to the Oklahoma City Barons for the 2011-12 season, but would play just 10 games. They would loan Motin to the Timra Red Eagles of the Swedish Elite League on Nov. 15, 2011, and it would mark the end of his time with the Edmonton Oilers organization.
Motin would finish the year there, then sign to play with Orebro HK’s organization. He played 2012-13 in the Swedish second league, then play four with the SHL team. Since 2017, Motin has played in the Finnish Elite League, where he’s had the most success of his career.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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