EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers are in an evaluation period from now until the end of the season, and there's perhaps no better player to spend time evaluating than Ethan Bear. The promising young blueline prospect has now played in two NHL games, and he's already feeling better about his game.
"(The second game) was a little more comfortable for myself," he said. "The nerves were a little less, I was able to calm down and focus on the game, not thinking too much about what I'm going to do or anything, just play."
Perhaps the first aspect of Bear's game to translate to this level has been his passing, which is something Head Coach Todd McLellan has spoken about. His teammates are also starting to realize there's some potential with the 20-year-old.
"Very mobile, good skater," said fellow defenceman Oscar Klefbom. "I like playing with him. He's going to be a very good defenceman. Obviously, it takes a while to get into the League and know what it's all about. I remember when I came into the League and played an easy game and built that confidence to do something good with the puck. He's definitely off to a good start here."
Bear is a right-shot, offensively inclined defenceman, which is something the Oilers would like to add to their special teams arsenal. Bear got some power-play time against the Rangers and that side of his game is still growing at this level, although it's off to a good start.
"We worked on it a little bit, and I was just kind of moving (the puck) quick and trying to take the shot once I got a lane, don't miss that opportunity," said Bear. "I thought everyone was moving it well."