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Oilers' Fedun perseveres to reach NHL debut

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- A little more than two years after sustaining a nasty leg injury in a preseason game, defenseman Taylor Fedun will make his NHL debut when the Edmonton Oilers face the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Fedun, who sat out the entire 2011-12 season after sustaining a broken right femur against the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 30, 2011, was called up Monday from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

"From that moment on, this was what I've been looking toward for the last couple of years now," Fedun said after the Oilers' morning skate. "It's a pretty special feeling to finally be here. The nerves are definitely going to be present, but quite frankly I'd be a little more worried if they weren't present. I think that'll be a good thing. Just get out there and just play the game. I'm excited."

Fedun, who originally signed with the Oilers in 2011 after a four-year career at Princeton University, was recalled because of injuries to defensemen Justin Schultz (groin) and Anton Belov (knee).

Fedun is expected to be paired with Nick Schultz against the Panthers.

"The kid's got a ton of nerves today," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I just went over to him and told him, you've got one job tonight and that's to defend. The other stuff will look after itself. That's what we're looking for from all of our defense. We want them to defend, and defend well."

Fedun arrived in South Florida about 11 p.m. Monday night after flying in from Oklahoma City with a stop in Atlanta. He said he got the call about his promotion while on his way home from the grocery store.

"I just filled up my fridge with groceries," Fedun said. "Hopefully they're spoiled by the time I'm back."

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