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WEEKLY RECAP: July 30-August 5

Don't miss out on any of the content from the off-season with our Weekly Recap

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers Hockey School continued on with a very special guest and The Great One, as well as some current Oilers, visited the Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON.

Here's the rundown of what happened on this week.

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FEATURE: Strome excited to help Oilers win

Trade acquisition Ryan Strome is excited to join a promising Oilers club and ready to help them rack up the wins

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - A short, four-word phrase defines Ryan Strome's goals in Edmonton.

"I want to win."

In his quest for both personal resurgence and team success, Strome believes the Oilers organization provides the perfect avenue to achieve those goals.

Video: RAW | Ryan Strome

"I'm just excited to come to a team that I think is really close to winning," said Strome.

"It doesn't seem too long ago that I was watching the playoffs. I was sitting up until two in the morning with my buddies watching the game like, 'Wow, these guys are quite the team.'"

Thanks to a trade on June 22, Strome is a part of that team.

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GAME CHANGER: McDavid's opener

Connor McDavid was a game changer with his three-point night, which helped open Rogers Place with a win

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

It was a near perfect way to launch a new era.

The Oilers new captain, charged with leading the franchise to success, led the way on the ice as Edmonton cruised past their provincial rivals in their first regular season game in their new arena.

Video: McDavid lifts Oilers by Flames on opening night, 7-4

Edmonton opened Rogers Place on October 12, 2016 with a 7-4 win over the Calgary Flames, and Connor McDavid scored two goals and added an assist in the victory.

Submit your own favourite game-changing performance or moment

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GAME CHANGER: Klefbom's equalizer

Oscar Klefbom provided a game-changing moment in 2016-17 with his equalizer against San Jose in the playoffs

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

David Desharnais said it best following Game 5 of the opening round series between the Edmonton Oilers and the San Jose Sharks.

"Anyone can be a hero - it just takes one shot."

Submit your own favourite game-changing performance or moment

Desharnais was speaking, of course, about his game-winning goal in overtime, which lifted the Oil to a 4-3 victory and 3-2 series lead. But there was another game-changing moment that came before that memorable goal.

Desharnais happened to be the man to set up this moment as well.

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BLOG: Kailer Yamamoto at Summer Showcase

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Beginning July 28, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, MI, the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase will take place. A total of 42 U.S. players will take part in practices and games against Canada, Finland and Sweden.

Oilers 2017 22nd-overall pick Kailer Yamamoto is participating in the event for Team USA.

The event is an audition for players seeking to make their federation team that will compete in the 2018 World Junior Championship. That tournament will take place December 26-January 5.

Yamamoto, a native of Spokane, WA, had 99 points (42-57-99) in 65 games last season for the Westen Hockey League's (WHL) Spokane Chiefs. 

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Wednesday Oilers coverage

View all the content from Todd McLellan's media availability and Cam Talbot at Oilers Hockey School

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan attended the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton, while Cam Talbot visited with the kids at Oilers Hockey School in St. Albert. Click the links below for all the content from the day.

Video: RAW | Todd McLellan

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BLOG: McLellan on Strome

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers can't wait to get Ryan Strome to camp, and the fans and media can't wait to see just where he'll line up. The 24-year-old forward was acquired via trade with the New York Islanders on June 22, and he has the ability to man the wing or play up the middle.

"He's a utility player," Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said. "He has the ability to play centre and has in the past. He's been able to win faceoffs and he's also comfortable on the wings. We have the luxury of moving players around. As the fans here know, we like to do that. We like to have utility players that can move in and out from line to line."

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli has said in the past that he sees Strome as a "natural centre" but the club will have to see just where he fits in. One thing the Oilers are sure of is they're getting a motivated Strome who is looking to bounce back with a new team.

"I think we're going to have a very motivated Ryan Strome," said McLellan. "I think he's focused on coming back and having a very strong year. He's excited about becoming an Oiler and we can't wait to get him to training camp."

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BLOG: Klefbom-Larsson pairing to continue, ideally

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

If the Oilers had their way, they wouldn't break up a good thing. That good thing happens to be the Swedish duo manning the blueline: Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom. The two were paired together for the majority of 2016-17 and Head Coach Todd McLellan liked what they had going.

"In an ideal world, we'll keep them together," McLellan said Wednesday, speaking at the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton.

"I thought they really grew up as a pair throughout the regular season and could be counted on in a number of different situations, whether it was the need for offence or a shutdown situation."

Klefbom was a busy player last season, logging a team-high 22:22 TOI per game. He also led all Oilers defencemen in goals (12) and points (38) - both career highs.

Larsson also logged some heavy minutes, playing 20:08 TOI per game. The first-year Oiler also finished third on the team in blocked shots (160) and first on the team in hits (253), providing a steady and physical presence.

But with defenceman Andrej Sekera out with an injury, the Oilers staff needs to have a plan for the back end. That plan hopes to include Larsson and Klefbom as a pair, but also relies on other young players stepping up.

"We're expecting the group to come back and pick up where they left off," McLellan said of the defence. "It's not like it's a new group that has to learn the systems, the ways, the language, or even learn each other really, if that makes any sense. We're hoping they can pick up where they left off and we also want some of our younger players to come in and push and challenge. The minute you get that happening - the internal competition - I think your team is beginning to get set up for a good future."

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BLOG: Expectations are raised and task is tougher

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

With the Edmonton Oilers breaking through the drought and making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, expectations have been raised.

That's the narrative with the 2017-18 Oilers. The fans know it, the players know it, the rest of the League knows it, and so do the coaches.

Head Coach Todd McLellan spoke to the media at the Mark Spector Golf Classic on Wednesday and discussed the challenge ahead of the Oil this season.

"'Expectations' will be a word we'll be hearing a lot of heading into training camp and throughout training camp," said McLellan. "Expectations make it a little harder on a hockey club mentally and physically. We haven't experienced that as a group yet and that's why I still consider our team a growth team. We've got to go through that now. Teams will be ready for the Oilers. They'll be prepared to play against us night in and night out, and people expect us - our fans in particular - to win on a more regular basis than we have in the past. Our task just gets tougher."

Experience will help McLellan and his staff gauge what adjustments need to be made to their coaching style, given the higher expectations and the pressures of the season.

"In year three we have a much better idea of how our players are going to react to different types of coaching and motivational tools, whether that's a push or a shove or a hug or whatever that might be," said McLellan. "We should have a good idea of what buttons to push with most players. We have a better idea this year of their ceiling and how close they are to it individually, but it's the collective part of it that concerns our staff coming in. We have to come to camp with a very focused and direct approach. We can't get casual, we can't get relaxed and that's where we'll have to step in as a coaching staff. Some of us on that staff have the experience of going through that in the past so we'll have to help them as much as we can."

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BLOG: McLellan on McDavid's ceiling

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Connor McDavid had a stellar sophomore season, and there's no doubt he has yet to even come close to his ceiling. But what exactly is his ceiling? The 2015 first-overall pick is a generational talent and came into his own as a captain last season, also leading the NHL in scoring with 100 points (30-70-100). Is the sky the limit?

"I don't know if anybody knows what Connor or any player's limitations are. They've got to continue to develop," said Head Coach Todd McLellan, speaking at the Mark Spector Golf Classic in Edmonton.

"One thing about him is he's very motivated. He wants to get better in many different ways; mentally and physically. He takes the time to study the game, he asks great questions and certainly, he's our leader. We knew that when we awarded him the captaincy, but he proved us right throughout the regular season. His teammates respected him and we're excited about having him around for many, many years to come."

McDavid was the winner of the 2017 Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award and Art Ross Trophy in 2017. He enters his third NHL season with 148 points in 127 games.

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