Oklahoma City Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson got a small glimpse at what Greg Chase can bring to the table last year. After coaching the Oilers prospect in the 2013 Young Stars Tournament and after guiding him through five AHL games at the end of last season, Nelson knows the young man well.
Nelson sees much improvement in Chase, who posted career numbers last season in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen (35-50-85 in 70 games).
Nelson was asked today if Chase was ready to make the jump to the AHL this season, considering the progress he’s made in a year.
“I’ll tell you what, he’s a lot closer now than he was last year at this time,” Nelson said.
“Last year, I thought his conditioning was suspect. He put a tremendous summer in, he really leaned out, his testing was excellent and you can see he is quicker on the ice. I saw improvement when he came to OKC at the end of the year. Maybe it was just a matter of getting into better shape and playing minutes. But he sacrificed this summer, he worked really hard and you have to give him credit.”
The Oilers signed Chase to a three-year entry-level contract this morning.
“It’s something I grew up always wanting to do; play for the Edmonton Oilers,” Chase said. “Now that I’m one step closer by signing with the team. It’s extremely exciting for myself and my family.”
Chase was taken in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.