The Oilers claimed Matt Fraser off of waivers from Boston on Monday morning. Oilers winger Luke Gazdic is very familiar with Fraser, having played with him in the American Hockey League for Dallas’ farm club.
“We were next door neighbours there for a bit so we have a good relationship. He’s a good kid and an even better hockey player,” Gazdic said.
Gazdic thinks Frazer is a player the Oilers will surely welcome to the roster.
“He’s got a heck of a shot,” Gazdic said. “I think that’s the tool that has helped him the most. He scored 40 goals in the minors one of the years I played with him. He can score from anywhere, he’s lethal. He does it all, he finishes his checks, he’s not afraid to mix it up and he does a lot of things that can be useful for any team, especially ours.”
Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson had the challenge of coaching against Fraser in the AHL. Fraser scored 11 goals in 19 regular season games against the Oklahoma City Barons.
“He’s a guy that can shoot the puck,” Nelson said. “I’ve seen it first hand when we used to play against Texas and he’s scored his fair share of goals against us. I’ve seen it up close. Plus, I think I worked with him at the All Star Game one year. He’s a hardworking guy that can find the back of the net. That was based on my experience a couple of years ago when we played against Texas, but he always had good games against us.”
Gazdic added, “Nelly is pretty familiar with both of us. We had some good battles with OKC down there and I’m sure he’s glad to have Fraser on his side of the bench now rather than have to play against him because he’s a lethal scorer. He can put the puck in from anywhere and he torched OKC down there a couple of times.”