Between the boards at Millennium Place, Colten Teubert
was a brash, physically imposing rearguard at Oilers Development Camp. In the locker room and away from the rink altogether, he took on a role as team captain, helping the camp's youngsters feel at home in a challenging environment.
Oilers prospects participated in six, two-hour sessions in Sherwood Park. When the gear was stashed away for the evening, all 31 players got together to have fun, bond and bask in the team atmosphere that's building across the board in Edmonton.
Teubert, 21, has two full seasons of pro hockey under his belt. Although he wasn't the oldest to attend, on-ice camp sessions were supported by the extensive knowledge he was eagerly willing to pass on.
"I don't think I felt like I needed to [take on a leadership role]," Teubert said. "That's my personality. I was who I was, we got to know each other and I think everybody is ready to go home. We took a lot out of this camp."
Intentional or not, his teammates were appreciative. In interviews and off-the-record conversations, players raved about Teubert's colourful personality. It was an attitude that helped lighten the mood whenever needed, but also to support the on-ice drills that garnered the prospects' undivided attention.
Teubert was always willing to help, and it didn't seem to matter where or in what capacity. There were times when he carefully explained drills in more detail, and others when he simply wanted to reward a teammate with a tap on the pads. No matter what the occasion, he was there, leading the way through thick and thin like a seasoned veteran.
All 31 prospects arrived as individuals. Six days later, they've become teammates–Edmonton Oilers.
"They're a great bunch of guys," Teubert remarked. "There's a bunch of young guys here. They were a little nervous, but I think everybody really settled in as the week went on.
"There was lots of good team camaraderie around here. It was exciting to get to know everybody."
In addition to the grueling on-ice sessions, the prospects also embarked on a number of team-building exercises. One evening, Lux Steakhouse and Bar took centre stage as the players challenged each other in a head-to-head cooking competition.
No one was burned and the expensive dishware remained intact. Captain Colten directed one team, while fellow Baron Tanner House
took charge on the other. Laughs were shared, good times were had and the prospects quickly became good buddies.
It was also the venue where he unveiled a special word: Beauty. It's not an uncommon phrase to hear in a locker room, but Teubert is an especially big fan. It generally means that someone is an all-around good guy, but the rugged defenceman has a more succinct description.
. That's the definition of a beauty," he laughed. "That's all I've got."
Teubert's outgoing personality seemed to have created waves. He was acquired in February's Dustin Penner trade, but had yet to play a game in Edmonton. This was a new opportunity to show Oil Country what he was all about.
"Hopefully the fans like me," he said. "When it really comes down to it, if my teammates like me and I'm a good guy in the dressing room, I'll be happy."
All things considered, he's had an impressive debut. Teubert took full advantage, working closely with Skating and Skills Coach Steve Serdachny to hone his technique and work on anything else in need.
"Sharpening stuff up at this time of the season [is important]," he explained. "We still have two months until camp, so it gives everyone an opportunity to take this stuff back home and work on it and be really, full-speed at main camp."
Heading into September, Teubert understands that it will be a grind to crack the roster. He's not concerned, mind you. It's all part of being a pro.
"I've got two months here and I'm really going to work hard, try to gain some weight; really come into camp strong and do what I can with it.
"If I feel like I'm NHL-ready when camp time comes, I've got an opportunity."Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com