Player News - Oilers

Date: Team: Pos:

The Edmonton Oilers could have trouble placing Darnell Nurse in their lineup.

The 21-year-old blueliner was asked to do too much too soon, with the Oilers last season and ended up playing too many minutes in his 69 NHL games. Nurse is going to be a good one but the Oilers can`t risk losing him by playing him in situations that can hurt his development. "I look at Darnell as a five-tool D-man. His skating ability is exceptional. He’s got a bite and a tenacity to him and there’s more offensively there," said coach Todd McLellan. "We have to let him feel good about that, and defensively, he’ll improve. We have an all-around defenceman who can play any which way. Rugged. Or a skill guy. He has the tools for that. Physically, he’s bigger and stronger, but that’s Mother Nature helping out. In Darnell’s case, it’s not about his strength, it’s about reading and reacting (as a D-man). I think he can have a big year for us." Nurse could be a top pairing defenseman this season but it`s better for his development to be one peg down from there.
Sep 25 - 7:07 AM

Despite the rumors that Nail Yakupov might be dealt over the summer, in the end he has started training camp with Edmonton.

"I’m happy to be wearing this orange T-shirt and a practice sweater tomorrow. I like the city, this is my fifth year," said Yakupov. It will be interesting to see where Yakupov fits into the Oilers' lineup. He skated alongside Patrick Maroon and Anton Lander on Friday, but it's hard to read too much into that, especially given that some of Edmonton's key forwards were absent due to the World Cup. Yakupov was limited to just nine goals and 23 points in 60 contests in 2015-16. More was obviously expected from him when he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, but at this point it's hard to feel good about his chances of having a meaningful rebound.
Sep 24 - 6:12 AM

For Milan Lucic, his task is not just performing on the ice, but also assisting in Edmonton's culture change.

Edmonton has endured a brutal decade with season-after-season where they've been unable to even make the playoffs. Meanwhile, Lucic has been a veteran of 101 playoff games and won the Stanley Cup. "You have to build some consistency within the season and it starts with building an identity," Lucic said. "This is a team that hasn’t really had an identity over the last couple of years and I think that’s the first thing we need to establish. You have the right coach, you have the right GM and you have the right superstar to lead the way. It’s just about everyone having the right attitude and mindset in order for that all to come together."
Sep 23 - 10:50 AM

With Taylor Hall traded, Jordan Eberle is the Edmonton Oilers' longest serving active player at 425 games and seven seasons with the squad.

"It is funny to think of that (senior citizen), going back to my first training camp when Taylor (Hall) and I were there," said Eberle. "You always talk about the opening night lineup and by the second game it changes…stuff changes quickly around here. If we’re winning maybe it won’t." Eberle is expected to play alongside Connor McDavid and Milan Lucic on the first line this season. That certainly has the potential to be a superb trio and could help Eberle rebound in a big way from his 47-point 2015-16 campaign.
Sep 23 - 10:46 AM

Oscar Klefbom is completely over the foot infection that plagued him last season.

Klefbom was limited to 30 games last season and hasn't played since Dec. 11. When he was healthy he had four goals and 12 points.
Sep 23 - 10:42 AM

Eric Gryba will attend Edmonton's training camp on a professional tryout.

He recorded six points and 75 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Oilers last season. Gryba has been unable to find a team as an unrestricted free agent.
Sep 20 - 11:38 AM

Jesse Puljujarvi had three assists in Edmonton's 4-1 win against Winnipeg in a prospects game on Monday.

Edmonton got the Young Stars Classic title by posting a perfect 3-0 record in the tournament. Meanwhile Leon Draisaitl is having an encouraging showing with Team Europe in the World Cup and Team North America's Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are having a good tournament so far. For years now Edmonton has looked like an exciting team on paper in September, but it never works out during the regular season. Maybe 2016-17 will be more of the same, but certainly Edmonton isn't hurting for offensive talent.
Sep 20 - 8:19 AM

Leon Draisaitl netted the game-winning goal in overtime for Team Europe against the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon.

Mats Zuccarello registered a goal and an assist in the contest to help the European squad post a second straight victory at the World Cup of Hockey. Zdeno Chara had the other marker in the game.
Sep 19 - 5:49 PM

Prized rookie free agent Drake Caggiula said he needs to hone his game if he wants to play for the Oilers this season.

Caggiula was the top undrafted free agent this off-season as he had 51 points in 39 games leading the University of North Dakota to the NCAA championships. "I have to sharpen up some of my game, make sure I’m firing on all cylinders," Cagguila said. I'm just trying to make sure I prepare myself as much as I can heading into main camp. This is the first step. Once this is done, you hop into the main camp where all the big time guys are, and that will be another adjustment, getting used to that pace." It's a big jump from the NCAA to the NHL so do not be surprised if Cagguila begins his professional career in the AHL.
Sep 19 - 7:32 AM

Leon Draisaitl just can't seem to stop scoring goals in the World Cup of Hockey.

Granted, all his previous goals were in the "pre"-tournament warm-up. Today's tally, which was sprung by Tobias Rieder's nice defensive work, was a well-orchestrated and finished two-on-none with Nino Niederreiter early in the second period. The goal made it 2-0 as Europe went on to win 3-0 over USA.
Sep 17 - 6:29 PM

Tyler Benson missed the Oilers first rookie tournament game on Friday.

Benson was being rested after he suffered a shoulder injury in junior training camp. The 18-year-old was the 32nd overall pick in last June's NHL Entry Draft. He fell a little further than some anticipated because of his injury history. The Oilers still don't know if he'll be able to suit up during this rookie tournament.
Sep 17 - 3:02 PM

Jesse Puljujarvi scored two goals in Friday's rookie tournament game against the Vancouver Canucks.

He also added an assist on an empty net goal. The rookie scored a beautiful goal off a wrist shot from in close, which you could see by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. "One period wasn’t so good, but after that I’m feeling better," Puljujarvi said, per the Edmonton Sun. "Not bad, but I’ll get better every time." If he continues to impress, there's a good chance he'll be back to stick with the Oilers this season.
Sep 17 - 2:59 PM

Although Andrew Ference hasn't officially retired, it certainly sounds like he's moved on because of his hip injury.

"What is the terminology? I have a career-ending injury," said Ference. "That’s the way I’m looking at it. I got 16 years. I don’t feel I missed out. The people close to me walk on egg-shells until I tell them it’s OK. I told my wife it’s like graduating from high school. You go to high school, have a blast, have all these great parties but by the time you get to the end of high school, you say, ‘All right, I’m ready for the next step.’ You have fond memories. If I hadn’t won a Stanley Cup (2011 in Boston), that would be tough to swallow now." With one season left on his contract, it's expected that Ference will be placed on the long-term injured reserve list by the Edmonton Oilers. If this is the end of his career, he'll finish with 43 goals and 225 points in 907 career games. As he noted he won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with Boston and also participated in the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 when his Calgary Flames fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sep 16 - 10:58 PM

Nikita Nikitin has signed with the KHL's Avangard Omsk.

Nikitin had an assist in 11 games with Edmonton last season. He also spent part of the campaign in the AHL where he recorded 14 points in 30 contests. This is a homecoming for him as Nikitin is from Omsk and played with the squad from 2003-10.
Source: Hawk.ru
Sep 16 - 5:12 PM

Jesse Puljujarvi (knee) is feeling 100 percent going into Edmonton's rookie camp.

Puljujarvi had knee surgery and didn't skate during the Oilers' development camp back in July as a result. After being taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, there's a good chance of him making the opening game roster.
Sep 15 - 4:50 PM


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