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BLOG: Kailer Yamamoto at Summer Showcase

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Beginning July 28, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, MI, the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase will take place. A total of 42 U.S. players will take part in practices and games against Canada, Finland and Sweden.

Oilers 2017 22nd-overall pick Kailer Yamamoto is participating in the event for Team USA.

The event is an audition for players seeking to make their federation team that will compete in the 2018 World Junior Championship. That tournament will take place December 26-January 5.

Yamamoto, a native of Spokane, WA, had 99 points (42-57-99) in 65 games last season for the Westen Hockey League's (WHL) Spokane Chiefs. 

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FEATURE: First Edmonton summer

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot and his family decided to make Edmonton home this off-season, giving the Talbot clan a feel for their first Edmonton summer

by Paul Gazzola /

Cam Talbot might need navigation systems to help him find his destination sometimes, but that hasn't deterred the Oilers goaltender and his family from calling Edmonton home this off-season.

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BLOG: Talbot talks off-season moves

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot was on hand at Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert and spoke on the Oilers roster for the upcoming season

by Paul Gazzola /

This off-season, the Oilers roster didn't see many drastic changes.

Video: 1-ON-1 | Cam Talbot

Jordan Eberle was traded for Ryan Strome and a handful of players were signed to return including Zack Kassian, Eric Gryba, Iiro Pakarinen, Jujhar Khaira and Kris Russell. The team also added free-agents Jussi Jokinen and Yohann Auvitu in an effort to add some depth to both the forward and defence groups.

Goaltender Cam Talbot was on the ice at Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert on Wednesday and commented on how the team will look very reminiscent of last season.

"There haven't been too many changes this off-season; we have a pretty good foundation from what we've been able to do the past two summers," Talbot said. 

"You hate to see a guy like Ebs (Jordan Eberle) go. He's been around for so long and been part of this organization for a long time but we wish him well and hopefully, Ryan (Strome) can step in and fill his spot on the wing."

On the blueline, however, the Oilers will be without Andrej Sekera to begin the season. The rearguard was injured in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Losing Reggie on the back end is going to be a tough one for us," Talbot said. "The minutes he eats up are tough minutes. He puts his body on the line night in and night out, and it's tough to replace that kind of guy.

"It's going to take a team effort on the back end and I think we got the guys to do that."

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BLOG: Talbot reflects on his 2016-17 season

The netminder posted 42 wins, a .919 save percentage, seven shutouts and became the franchise leader in regular season wins

by Paul Gazzola /

Goaltender Cam Talbot was a workhorse in the 2016-17 campaign, helping launch the Oilers into the playoffs with 42 wins in 73 games. The netminder also posted a .919 save percentage and 2.39 goals-against average to go along with seven shutouts.

Video: 1-ON-1 | Cam Talbot

At the Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert on Wednesday, the keeper reflected on the campaign he had.

"I felt pretty good being able to handle that kind of workload," Talbot said. "I had never been given that opportunity before and I thought I was able to manage it pretty well."

Talbot made it known that the Oilers coaching staff did their part in providing the necessary means for him to perform his best every night.

"The coaching staff does such a great job of managing that: managing the workload, practices and what not," the 30-year-old said. "They do a good job and give us all the tools we need to do the best when I'm in there. 

"I just went in there and tried to give us a chance to win anytime I got a chance."

In reflecting on the campaign, there is plenty for Talbot to be proud of but he maintains the end goal has not yet been achieved.

"Looking back and getting to do a few things I never thought I'd be able to do and break one of Grant (Fuhr's) records (most regular season wins by an Oilers goalie) was pretty special," Talbot said. 

"Anytime you get a chance to do that, you can call it a pretty good season but obviously we fell short in the playoffs so we got some work left to do."

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Wednesday Oilers coverage

View all the content from Todd McLellan's media availability and Cam Talbot at Oilers Hockey School

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan attended the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton, while Cam Talbot visited with the kids at Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert. Click the links below for all the content from the day.

Video: RAW | Todd McLellan

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BLOG: McLellan on Strome

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers can't wait to get Ryan Strome to camp, and the fans and media can't wait to see just where he'll line up. The 24-year-old forward was acquired via trade with the New York Islanders on June 22, and he has the ability to man the wing or play up the middle.

"He's a utility player," Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said. "He has the ability to play centre and has in the past. He's been able to win faceoffs and he's also comfortable on the wings. We have the luxury of moving players around. As the fans here know, we like to do that. We like to have utility players that can move in and out from line to line."

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli has said in the past that he sees Strome as a "natural centre" but the club will have to see just where he fits in. One thing the Oilers are sure of is they're getting a motivated Strome who is looking to bounce back with a new team.

"I think we're going to have a very motivated Ryan Strome," said McLellan. "I think he's focused on coming back and having a very strong year. He's excited about becoming an Oiler and we can't wait to get him to training camp."

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BLOG: Klefbom-Larsson pairing to continue, ideally

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

If the Oilers had their way, they wouldn't break up a good thing. That good thing happens to be the Swedish duo manning the blueline: Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom. The two were paired together for the majority of 2016-17 and Head Coach Todd McLellan liked what they had going.

"In an ideal world, we'll keep them together," McLellan said Wednesday, speaking at the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton.

"I thought they really grew up as a pair throughout the regular season and could be counted on in a number of different situations, whether it was the need for offence or a shutdown situation."

Klefbom was a busy player last season, logging a team-high 22:22 TOI per game. He also led all Oilers defencemen in goals (12) and points (38) - both career highs.

Larsson also logged some heavy minutes, playing 20:08 TOI per game. The first-year Oiler also finished third on the team in blocked shots (160) and first on the team in hits (253), providing a steady and physical presence.

But with defenceman Andrej Sekera out with an injury, the Oilers staff needs to have a plan for the back end. That plan hopes to include Larsson and Klefbom as a pair, but also relies on other young players stepping up.

"We're expecting the group to come back and pick up where they left off," McLellan said of the defence. "It's not like it's a new group that has to learn the systems, the ways, the language, or even learn each other really, if that makes any sense. We're hoping they can pick up where they left off and we also want some of our younger players to come in and push and challenge. The minute you get that happening - the internal competition - I think your team is beginning to get set up for a good future."

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BLOG: Expectations are raised and task is tougher

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

With the Edmonton Oilers breaking through the drought and making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, expectations have been raised.

That's the narrative with the 2017-18 Oilers. The fans know it, the players know it, the rest of the League knows it, and so do the coaches.

Head Coach Todd McLellan spoke to the media at the Mark Spector Golf Classic on Wednesday and discussed the challenge ahead of the Oil this season.

"'Expectations' will be a word we'll be hearing a lot of heading into training camp and throughout training camp," said McLellan. "Expectations make it a little harder on a hockey club mentally and physically. We haven't experienced that as a group yet and that's why I still consider our team a growth team. We've got to go through that now. Teams will be ready for the Oilers. They'll be prepared to play against us night in and night out, and people expect us - our fans in particular - to win on a more regular basis than we have in the past. Our task just gets tougher."

Experience will help McLellan and his staff gauge what adjustments need to be made to their coaching style, given the higher expectations and the pressures of the season.

"In year three we have a much better idea of how our players are going to react to different types of coaching and motivational tools, whether that's a push or a shove or a hug or whatever that might be," said McLellan. "We should have a good idea of what buttons to push with most players. We have a better idea this year of their ceiling and how close they are to it individually, but it's the collective part of it that concerns our staff coming in. We have to come to camp with a very focused and direct approach. We can't get casual, we can't get relaxed and that's where we'll have to step in as a coaching staff. Some of us on that staff have the experience of going through that in the past so we'll have to help them as much as we can."

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BLOG: McLellan on McDavid's ceiling

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Connor McDavid had a stellar sophomore season, and there's no doubt he has yet to even come close to his ceiling. But what exactly is his ceiling? The 2015 first-overall pick is a generational talent and came into his own as a captain last season, also leading the NHL in scoring with 100 points (30-70-100). Is the sky the limit?

"I don't know if anybody knows what Connor or any player's limitations are. They've got to continue to develop," said Head Coach Todd McLellan, speaking at the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton.

"One thing about him is he's very motivated. He wants to get better in many different ways; mentally and physically. He takes the time to study the game, he asks great questions and certainly, he's our leader. We knew that when we awarded him the captaincy, but he proved us right throughout the regular season. His teammates respected him and we're excited about having him around for many, many years to come."

McDavid was the winner of the 2017 Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award and Art Ross Trophy in 2017. He enters his third NHL season with 148 points in 127 games.

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Oilers swap out hockey sticks for golf clubs for charity

Oilers, alumni and celebrities participate in 2nd annual Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON

by Jessica Kent /

Current Oilers players, alumni and other celebrities will lace up their golf shoes for the second annual Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON. The championship will kick off the Edmonton leg of the Mackenzie Tour PGA TOUR Canada.

Video: COMMUNITY | Oil Country Championship

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