For Mark Arcobello, an experience of a lifetime comes to a close where it all began.
Rewind to where he's come from.
The 25 year-old American forward from Milford, CT was a four-year player at Yale University. From there, he went on to play for the Stockton Thunder in the ECHL.
After registering 20 points (7-13-20) in 33 games for the Thunder, Arcobello was re-called by the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League where he has spent the past three seasons.
While with OKC, he has posted solid numbers and served as an offensive catalyst for the farm club of the Edmonton Oilers. He earned AHL All-Star honours last season for his 22 goals and 46 assists in 74 games for OKC, also scoring 12 goals and eight assists in 17 playoff games.
He earned a one-game call up with the Oilers before being sent back down to the Barons. He wasn't ready yet, but he finds himself in a better situation.
"I'm excited and happy to still be here," said Arcobello. "Hopefully I will continue to keep playing well and stick around longer."
The centre has spent the entirety of this off-season battling for a spot on the Oilers roster out of training camp. Originally locked in a three-horse race, between himself, Will Acton and Anton Lander, for a fourth-line centre role, Arcobello now finds himself with a new opportunity.
With injuries to the Oilers top two centres, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner, Arcobello is a safe bet to make the Edmonton roster.
Arcobello's first training camp with Edmonton is coming to a close. It has been a surreal experience for the forward. It gets even more surreal when he will suit up in the Oilers final pre-season game tomorrow night in Oklahoma City. Back where it started, back where he first got his chance to show his skills for the Oilers brass.
"It's pretty cool coming back here for the last pre-season game. Obviously, my goal is to stay in the NHL. I definitely miss this place, I like this place."
The Centre has gotten stronger as camp has gone on, taking the time to learn the speed of the game and then translating that to his own play.
His pass to David Perron in Tuesday's 5-3 win over the New York Rangers was a thing of beauty.
"I think every game and every shift I'm getting a little more confident. I'm getting a little bit more used to the speed of play and they style of the NHL. I think with more games and more time I will keep getting more confident and more comfortable.
"I feel good especially in the last couple of games I've felt like I've made a few good plays but I've still got a lot of work to do. Hopefully I can stick on the roster."
The other players on the roster have taken notice, applauding his performance so far in the pre-season.
"He's doing unbelievable," said Justin Schultz who played with Arcobello in OKC during the NHL work stoppage last season. "If you look at where he's come from, he's playing unreal out there. He's been one of our best players every night. That's good to see and if he keeps playing like that he's going to have a great year here."