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Draisaitl has 'good showing' in Oilers scrimmage

by Staff

By all indications, Leon Draisaitl's bid to make the Edmonton Oilers got off to a good start Friday.

Draisaitl, who made history in June as the highest-drafted German-born player when the Oilers selected him with the third pick, skated on a line between David Perron and Benoit Pouliot.


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After the scrimmage, coach Dallas Eakins had praise for the way Draisaitl looked.

"We know he's going to be an Oiler," Eakins said. "Whether that's this year, we're not sure, but he had a good showing today."

Draisaitl turns 19 on Oct. 27. He's spent the past two seasons playing for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, but is now bidding to join Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012) as recent Oilers first-round picks to make the jump right to the NHL.

"I felt really good out there," he said. "Obviously my two linemates helped me a lot. They're established NHL players and both really skilled guys. I think we had a little bit of chemistry already."

The Oilers open their preseason schedule Sunday when they play a pair of split-squad games against the Calgary Flames. They begin the regular season at home against the Flames on Oct. 9.

"Now it really begins," Draisaitl said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the actual competition and to the [preseason] games."

Defenseman Jeff Petry left the scrimmage after absorbing a hard hit, but Eakins wasn't overly concerned.

"He tweaked his shoulder," he said. "We don't think it's anything huge. He'll be day-to-day."

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