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BLOG: Draisaitl still working to 'round out' all-around game

"I think I can still round out my all-around game, whether it's penalty kill, defensive-zone faceoffs, or faceoffs in general... I feel there's a lot of room for improvement," the German said

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Admittedly for Leon Draisaitl, his ability to drive, chip and putt doesn't stack up to his on-ice prowess.

"Very, very inconsistent," Draisaitl said, speaking to his golf game from the Edmonton Oilers Charity Golf Tournament on Monday.

"I can hit a ball by now, but don't necessarily know where it's going half the time."

Luckily for the German, his innate sense for connecting rubber to mesh on the ice resulted in his first 50-goal and 100-point year in the NHL at the tender age of 23 to finish fourth in League scoring (105 points) and one goal off Alexander Ovechkin in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

"It's obviously very exciting. It's something that I'm proud of," he said. "I think scoring goals in the NHL is one of the hardest things to do, and it makes me really appreciate what guys like Ovechkin do. They do that every single year over and over again, and that's pretty impressive. Hopefully, I can get close to that again and get better as a hockey player all around."

Video: RAW | Leon Draisaitl 09.09.19

While he'll always be called upon for offence, Draisaitl is putting more focus on developing into a more versatile player so Head Coach Dave Tippett can use him in different situations and satisfy his own drive to improve.

I think I can still round out my all-around game, whether it's penalty kill, defensive-zone faceoffs, or faceoffs in general," he said. "Whatever it is, I feel there's a lot of room for improvement. I'm looking forward to doing that this season."

Self-reflection is easier in the off-season after the career year Draisaitl put together in '18-19, but thoughts turned back to his hopes of being one piece of a greater puzzle for the Oilers in their bid to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs next season.

"You have a lot of time to do that in the summer, and I think I said it many times that I was fine with my own season and happy with how I played, but this is a team sport and we missed the playoffs again," he said. "It gets old after a while. Sorry to say, but it sucks. I think we made the right changes and we added some good pieces to our group."

Draisaitl lauded the moves made in the off-season by Oilers General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Ken Holland, believing an extra injection of competition in all areas of the lineup can help foster a winning culture this campaign.

"Obviously you always have to take into consideration the cap room that we have or that's available. It looks like he's done a very good job of that in my opinion," Draisaitl said. "I think we've created a lot of competition all over the lineup and especially in the bottom six. I think that was very important for us, and like I said the guys all look good. They all seem like great guys and I'm excited to see the competition in camp and pre-season.

"It's always hard in (captain) skates to get a look on guys, but they move well, they all came back in great shape, and to me all look really good. Hopefully they can transfer that into the games and we can get some competition."

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