The Edmonton Oilers may have finished at the bottom of the NHL standings in 2010-11, but their prospects made an impression at the Young Stars Tournament in 2010 finishing atop the standings. The Oilers beat the Canucks 4-1 and Flames 5-3 before their winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Sharks, 4-3.
Edmonton’s big three lived up to their billing throughout the tournament as forwards Magnus Paajarvi, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle combined for eight points (5-3-8) and a plus-3 rating, while only appearing in a pair of games. Highly touted defenceman Alex Plante also chipped in offensively with two goals in three games to round out an explosive offensive push of 12 goals; the defence certainly held its own as well allowing a tournament-low eight goals.
It would predictably be more of the same from the Oilers if they were sending more of the same players to the Peach City. Paajarvi, Hall, Eberle and Plante will be replaced with returning forwards Travis Ewanyk, Tyler Pitlick and some guy named Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – apparently he’s good?
Fourteen of 29 players are returning from a year ago for Edmonton, including nine of 17 up front, but if Nugent-Hopkins gets into a groove, his offense will be offensive to anyone not sporting an orange, blue and white jersey.
You want to be in Penticton to check out the Oilers, but: A – you don't want to lose the parking spot in front of your house, B – your psychic warned you about going out, C – the XFL is holding open tryouts or D – you're locked into a Three's Company marathon on Deja View; well don’t sweat it. Again. Like last year, Canucks.com has your back.
All eight games of the Young Stars Tournament will be available live on Canucks.com beginning September 11th. Full details on the Young Stars Tournament can be found at canucks.com/youngstars.
F - Drafted 1st round, 1st overall, in 2011 – The Burnaby product, who became the highest BC native ever taken in the NHL draft a few months ago, can do it all with the puck, as his 106 points (13-75-106) last season for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels proved. All eyes will be on him as he plays meaningful games for the first time with the Oilers prospects; expect to see a man playing with boys at times.
D - Drafted 1st round, 13th overall, in 2008 by the LA Kings – His name is intimidating in itself and Teubert brings a 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame to back it up. His experience is also big as the 21-year-old has 85 pro games under his belt, 83 more than the next closes Oilers defenceman on the roster for Pentiction. FYI - Regina mayor Pat Fiacco proclaimed January 8, 2010 as "Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert Day" in Regina. Neat.
F - Drafted 2nd round, 31st overall, in 2010 – The right-handed centre is one of nine returning forwards; he’ll be looking to build on his two goals, including a game-winner, from Young Stars a year ago. His hands are solid, as is his vision as he dished out 35 helpers and had 62 points last season in just 56 games with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.
F - Drafted 2nd round, 48th overall, in 2010 – Hockey flows in the Hamilton blood as the Saskatoon Blades forward is the son of Bruce Hamilton, a former Blades forward from the late 1970s, who is currently the owner and GM of the Kelowna Rockets. Dad made the NHL and son is trying to follow in his footsteps. Hamilton's power-forward frame and smarts will go a long way to help him achieve that. Last season he had 26 goals and 56 assists for 82 points in 62 games.
F - Drafted 5th round, 133rd overall, in 2008 – Steady progression has been the name of this winger’s game. He climbed the ranks of the QMJHL and after four years made the jump to the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons finding the back of the net seven times in his rookie season. He’s played 60 pro games to date and was on the roster last Young Stars, so he could be a feature contributor this time around.