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BLOG: Haas heading overseas

Swiss centre Gaëtan Haas is looking to provide the Oilers with support down the middle in the 2019-20 season

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - After 10 seasons in the Swiss National League, Gaëtan Haas is heading overseas.

The Oilers free agent signing played his entire professional hockey career in Switzerland, spending the last two campaigns with Bern SC where he compiled 30 goals and 79 points in 97 games with the club.

In August, Haas will make the move to Edmonton in an attempt to get to know his potential teammates, the Oilers organization and city itself after finalizing a deal with Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Ken Holland on Tuesday.

"I'm going to come in the middle of August," Haas told 630 CHED's Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer on Friday. 

"A couple days before the camp or training starts so I know the city and the guys working for the team. I'm going to come a little bit earlier to see how it works with the Oilers."

Haas is a right-shooting centre that typifies as a two-way player, possessing elements of speed and urgency in his game. 

"I can play offence and play defence," Haas said. "I'm a two-way centre… I play fast, skate fast. That's a little bit of my strengths."

The 27-year-old is also looking to provide some support in the faceoff dot, an area of his game under constant construction.

"I think I improved in my faceoffs the last couple of years," Haas, who had 15 goals and 38 points in the '18-19 season, said. "I was not the best faceoff player but I try to work on it every day and now it's getting better and better. Maybe I'm not the best faceoff player but I feel good now."

The Swiss centre has competed for his nation internationally many times, scoring 13 goals and 25 points total in 63 international matches, and finds he elevates his performance when going head-to-head against difficult opposition.

"I like to have high competition," Haas added. "I like to play against good players. When we play against Italy and some other teams, those were not my best games. But when the level gets high, it's exciting to play. 

"I like to play when it's hard."

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