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76 Days Until The Season Begins

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Zach Laing
10 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.
There are 76 days to go, so let’s continue the countdown with the only Oilers player to wear the number in a game — Bryan Young.

A June 28, 2004 article from the Edmonton Journal details who they selected in that year’s NHL entry draft over the two days prior.

PLAYER COUNTDOWN PRESENTED BY BETWAY


In terms of obscure Oilers who didn’t play much, Bryan Young is right up there with a lot of them. And for Young, his time in town was short and sweet seeing him play in just 17 NHL games.
Drafted by the team in the fifth round of the 2004 draft, he just finished up his first season of hockey with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes. He drew in for 60 games chipping in eight assists while racking up 63 penalty minutes. In case you couldn’t tell, offence wasn’t his strong suit.
But for the Oilers, his archetype was something teams always coveted as a  “tough, stay-at-home type,” the Edmonton Journal described him as.
Young hadn’t been the only player who fit that mold from this draft. After using their two first round picks to take goaltender Devan Dubnyk 14th overall and offensive wiz Rob Schremp 25th overall, the team took defenceman Roman Teslyuk 44th overall.
Others selected that year? Left-wingers Geoff Paukovich and Liam Reddox 57th and 112th overall, defenceman Max Gordichuk — Teslyuk’s defensive partner in junior — 177th overall, center’s Stephane Goulet and Tyler Spurgeon 208th and 242nd overall, as well as netminder Bjorn Bjurling.
“I thought we addressed all our needs with this draft,” then-vice-president Kevin Pendergast said after the draft. “We got some goal scoring in (Rob) Schremp and Reddox. Goulet’s a wild card. He was a first-round draft in the Quebec midget draft, a six-foot-three centreman.
“We got grit in Geoff Paukovich, who was playing for the Americans and up against Pittsburgh’s No. 1 (Evgeny) Malkin, banging on him every shift at the world junior. Young and Teslyuk are tough defencemen.”
Back to Young, however, who had returned back to Peterborough and ended up playing there through 2005-06. When it was all said and done, he played 186 games over four years scoring one goal, 29 points and notching 220 PIM. Tough guy indeed.
He inked his entry-level contract in June 2006 and spend the first 49 games of his pro career in the minor leagues. He would play 17 games for the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, and 32 AHL games between the Milwaukee Admirals and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
That 2006-07 season, however, was a tough one for the Oilers. They were a year removed from their Stanley Cup run, and the team just didn’t have the same juice. At the trade deadline, the move that sparked the eventual berth of Oilersnation.com happened with Ryan Smyth being moved to the New York Islanders.
A week later, the Oilers called up Bryan Young and gave him his first look of NHL action with the blueline filling up the infirmary. At the time, the Oilers already had 10 players out that including defencemen Tom Gilbert (concussion), Mathieu Roy (concussion) and Dan Tjarnqvist (inflamed pubic bone) and during a 3-1 loss on March 7th against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steve Staios hurt his left knee, and Jan Hejda hurt his left shoulder.
In his first game on March 9th, the Oilers dressed just five defencemen: captain Jason Smith, Matt Greene, Ladislav Smid, Danny Syvret and Young. The sixth defenceman? Forward-turned-rearguard Toby Peterson.
“I feel pretty comfortable out there. As games have worn on in past seasons I’ve found myself back there creating some offence,” Peterson said of playing a new position. “I’d never put myself as a defenceman on a personal information sheet but I’ve played some D quite a bit in the past.”
That night, Anaheim Ducks tough guy George Parros took a run at Young dropping him to the open ice, and Oilers teammate Zack Stortini stepped in to defend him.

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Young, meanwhile, would appear in 15 games after the deadline for the Oilers playing 10:06 a night.
The following year would see Young start in the AHL again, but got called up for a two game stint in November. He, however, would play just six shifts in two games: five on November 5, 2007 and a single, 38-second shift two days later.
“Desperate times,” said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish after the Nov. 7 game.
Young ended up playing 74 games in the AHL that year with the Springfield Falcons scoring seven assists, and never would play an NHL game again. After his entry-level deal expired after the 2008-09 season, the Oilers didn’t qualify him nor sign him to another NHL deal. He spent the 2009-10 season playing seven AHL games and another 45 in the ECHL, but took his talents overseas.
He would go on to play 10 years overseason in South Korea’s Asia League appearing in 353 games scoring 42 goals and 207 points while racking up 608 PIM. In the 2011-12 season, he would be named the league’s best offensive defenceman following a season that saw him score 46 points in 36 games, and would go on to appear in 35 international games for South Korea winning a silver medal in the 2016-17 D1A world championships.

How many days are left until the Edmonton Oilers start the 2023-24 season? 76!

Can you guess who will be featured in tomorrow’s countdown?

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