The hockey news is finally starting to roll, after a summer that had explosions in June and early July and then fell into a deep slumber. For Edmonton Oilers fans, the last 24 hours have been full of interesting items, and let’s get to them.
- Craig MacTavish discussing Leon Draisaitl: “In my mind, Leon’s going to make a very strong case in camp for making our team. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t a strong case. If this decision is easy, he’s staying (rather than go back to junior in Prince Albert). But like I said, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make a strong case. He’s stayed here this summer, worked out, but we’ll have to make sure we can protect him in games in some match-ups.” Source
I have Draisaitl making the team and scoring about .5 points-per-game in the RE series, and that falls in line with the quote above. In our look at Leon this summer, it’s fairly obvious the numbers suggest he is a strong candidate for immediate employment in the NHL. The Oilers have fallen hard for him, and while I love the boxcars, it’s still unwise to leave the train station with the current depth chart. Leon Draisaitl isn’t going to fold like a cheap suit, or it’s unlikely, but an injury to Nuge or Gordon could send this team into the elevator shaft. Or worse, cause Eakins-MacT to return to their favorite lost cause, the winger-to-center experiment. Sweet Jesus, I can see it from a mile away. Book it.
- Philippe Boucher on Marco Roy’s status with the Quebec Remparts: “Roy and Burke soon participate in pro camps and, if they remain there (AHL), we will not have a decision to make.” Source
The quote comes from the Remparts having four 20-year old kids (too many) who can play junior this coming season. This is the first time it’s been mentioned anywhere I’ve seen, and it’s doubtful (imo) Roy makes the jump. Edmonton certainly has room on the 50-man list, but it’s unlike the Oilers to leave this kind of signing to training camp. Roy has performed in two games, grabbing an assists and going 20 for 40 in the faceoff circle. Source.
- Keven Bouchard’s boxcars are behind tiny Etienne Monpetit in pre-season. Source
Bouchard’s numbers are close to his 2013-14 season (his SP is .889 in 90 minutes), but this Monpetit (who IS petit, at 5.10, 147) has the early lead and you never know with goaltenders. Something to follow.
- Jackson Houck is getting playing time with phenom Tyler Benson early in training camp. Source
The big story there is the Vancouver Giants have a new coach, Troy Ward. That’s probably good for Houck, a young man who has put himself in a position for a pro contract. He scored 9 power-play goals among his total of 34 last season, he’ll need plenty of playing time at EVs and PP to post a better number this year.
- Ben Betker and his Everett Silvertips won their pre-season opener. Source
Betker rang a shot off the post in the opener, and he’ll once again be a fun player to follow this season. Betker had a good year in 2013-14, and will need another one. The 2013 draft was a load, and Edmonton is unlikely to sign all of these kids. Betker seems to be on track for a contract.
- Greg Chase scored two goals in the pre-season opener for the Hitmen. Source
Of course he did! This is a fine prospect, and if the new Calgary coach gives him full lash on the power play then Greg Chase could pop 40 (he had 35 last season, 10 on the power play). We’ll get a good look at this young man in TC, suspect a pro contract arrives for Chase before Roy, Houck, Betker and the rest get a tap on the back.