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Caggiula's Camp experience

by Meg Tilley @MegsTilley /

It was a little, nagging injury that removed Oilers forward prospect Drake Caggiula from the pre-season game against the Winnipeg Jets, Thursday.

While shorthanded, Caggiula drew a penalty shot on a rush with less than 10 minutes remaining in the second period. 

"I could tell before the penalty shot that something wasn't right," he said. "Then, just trying to go in the face off there, as soon as the puck dropped, I started skating and just didn't feel right. I wasn't comfortable skating. 

Caggiula eventually headed to the Oilers locker room, presumably as a result of being hauled down prior to the penalty shot. The forward would not return to the contest.

"It was a preseason game, they pulled me out and just said, 'Try and get healthy as quick as you can,' and I'm starting to feel a lot better now." 

The college free-agent signing's experience at camp has been a game changer. Having played most of his post-secondary career on the left wing with the University of North Dakota, Caggiula found himself playing as a centreman for much of camp.

"Switching to centre was a big thing," he said. "Just [adjusting and] understanding how to play in the [defensive] zone as a centreman and how to read the ice as a centreman…when you're playing left wing you get to do a lot more just up and down skating and playing along the walls. As a centreman, you're kind of free-wheeling all over the ice. You've got a lot more responsibility. Just trying to pick that up again was a bit of an adjustment but I thought it went pretty well." 

Overall, the rookie feels confident in what he was able to produce at Main Camp. 

"I was just trying to improve every single day throughout the camp," said Caggiula. "I thought I was pretty consistent and getting better and doing the little things right throughout the entire camp and I just felt pretty comfortable as the days went on…I felt like I got better every single day and am just getting anxious to see what's going to happen next." 

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