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BLOG: Oilers ‘Big Three’ ready to compete in Penticton

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

When you look at the Oilers Rookie roster for their Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. the first three names that stick out are Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl. All three come with the stardom associated with being a high first-round pick and the potential to be key contributors to the Oilers very soon.

For McDavid, this will be his first Young Stars Tournament, having been taken first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft at the end of June.

“I’ve heard it’s a very fun tournament,” said McDavid. “It’s always a good time, it’s very competitive and, obviously, it’s a nice part of Canada. It will be good to spend some time out there as well.”

As a seasoned Penticton veteran, having played in the tournament in 2013 and 2014, Nurse is looking forward to the increase in tempo from his off-season training.

“It’s always good to get out there,” said Nurse. “Obviously, you don’t play many games in the summer that have high tempos. It will be good to go out there and get my legs under me. I look forward to playing with these guys.”

Draisaitl wasn’t surprised to see his name on the roster this season. After being selected third overall in 2013, the big German centre got a taste of NHL hockey with the Oilers but finished his season in junior. Draisaitl is eager for the experience this tournament gives him and looks to not only compete but to win.

“We all go there to win the tournament,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about. Guys want to make the team and guys want to impress, but at the same time we’re still a team. We want to win and we want to win every game. I think we’re all going in with that mindset.”

All three Oilers games in Penticton will be broadcast live on edmontonoilers.com.

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