Jujhar Khaira continues to get his chance to show the coaching staff what he’s all about. On Thursday night against San Jose, the 21-year-old forward recorded his second career NHL assist and displayed his toughness with his first NHL fight.
Khaira crushes Justin Braun with a clean, hard hit behind the net and then answered the bell by dropping the gloves with Brenden Dillon.
“I was just trying to be hard to play against,” said Khaira. “Behind the net, I had the opportunity to hit someone and I did. Like any good teammate, he’s going to stick up for his guy 100 percent of the time. I feel that anybody on our team would do the same. I thought the fight went well, it was fun. A couple bumps and bruises, but it was good.”
Khaira is just six games into his NHL career, but he has shown off size and physicality and has been able to play in a top-six role the last few contests. What the Oilers want now is to see just a little bit more and they want the young forward to believe in his own abilities, because the club believes in him.
“I like his physicality, his size, and I think there’s more there,” said Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I think he has to get his confidence up. We’re playing him like we really believe in him and he’s got to believe in himself a little bit more because I think there’s more there. He’ll learn situations a little bit better, but his size offset a little bit of their size tonight.”
Khaira’s assist was a nice pass out in front on Jordan Eberle’s game-tying goal at 8:21 of the third.