Oilers winger Teddy Purcell shouldn’t be a surprising player to see skating next to Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid. He’s played that role before on a different team. In Tampa Bay, Purcell put up good point totals skating with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.
“I like to consider myself a complementary player,” said Purcell. “They’re obviously very tough to play with because they’re very demanding. But at the same time, if you keep it simple and make the right play it usually works out. I learned a lot from ‘Stammer’ and ‘Marty’ and (Vincent Lecavalier) that sometimes you try to force it a lot and that’s not the right play too. If you play the right way, usually it opens up. When the guys are that skilled, eventually it goes in.”
Hall and McDavid are two extremely skilled forwards who are expected to lead the way offensively for the Oilers. Both are first-overall picks.
“It’s nice for your confidence that the coach has that trust in you to try you out with those guys,” said Purcell. “Going to take it day by day and build off day one.”
In 2010-11, Purcell recorded 51 points in 81 games for the Lightning. He followed it up with a 65-point season in 2011-12. He’s shown he can be a good fit on top lines.
Keeping up with the speed and skill of Hall and McDavid might still take some getting used to.
“My groins are a little tight,” Purcell joked. “But I worked enough this summer that, once you get the groove and get to game speed, I think I’ll be fine.”