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FUTURE WATCH | Jordan Oesterle

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers

The NHL can often be a revolving door of call-ups and assignments.  Injuries, lulls in performance or development, are just a few reasons to move players into different roles at different levels of an organization.

The Oilers have had some challenges this year, having to work around injuries to the likes of Taylor Hall, Anton Lander, Jeff Petry and Nail Yakupov to name a few.

As unfortunate as those short hiatuses are, it allows the opportunity for younger prospects to get NHL experience under their belt, the most recent being Jordan Oesterle, who was recalled from Oklahoma City on February 20. 

“Gerry (Fleming) gave me a call, it was after practice,” Oesterle said. “He told me I was going to Edmonton Friday morning. He just said it's well deserved and best of luck.”

Seemingly calm and collected when telling the story, but immediately following up with, “I think I actually started sweating. I got a little nervous, but I settled down after like an hour. It was definitely exciting.”

No doubt it would have been sensational to hear, because it wasn’t just Oesterle’s first call-up of the season, it was his first of his career.

Photo by Andy Devlin | Edmonton Oilers

So with nothing to do but pack, wait and travel, the defenceman just focused on wrapping his head around the moment and staying calm while on route to Edmonton.


“I was just trying to prepare, waiting to see if I was playing or not. I didn't know. So I was just heading in as if I was going to play,” Oesterle said. “The flight there was kind of nerve-racking, I didn't have much of a layover and I wasn’t able to get much food in me, but it was exciting.”

As it would turnout the 22-year-old would end up having some time to settle in, as he was not on the card for Friday night’s game against the Wild. But the very next day the lefty was paired with Captain Andrew Ference in Saturday’s matchup with the Ducks.

“I think having Friday off and then just going out for warmups (on Saturday) I was able to just kind of take a knee, stretch, take a look around and soak it all in,” Oesterle reflected.

“It was definitely intimidating. I got out there right away and my legs felt a little heavy. But I just had to move my feet as fast as I could. (My first shift) was a pretty simple shift, I think I just went up and down the ice and got off.”



For someone who thought they’d played with heavy legs or felt lethargic, it certainly didn’t translate to anyone who was watching or playing alongside of him.

“Really, really good,” Ference said of his defensive partner’s debut. “He had great composure, fantastic skating ability, he was so calm. I still remember my first game when I didn’t want to touch the puck and he’s handling it and skating up the ice real well, making great plays. Very impressive.”

Oesterle weighted in on the new paring as well, “He knows what it takes to play the NHL obviously. He (Ference) made my game simple. He communicates very well and he just made the game pretty easy for me that night.”

Oesterle impressed more than the Stanley Cup champion, his coach was happy with his debut as well.

“He was excellent,” Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “I thought for a guy coming in for his first hockey game in the National Hockey League he was really good. He moved his feet, he made some really good decisions with the puck, and he handled himself fine in the corners. I think for a first game for a young defenceman, that was a nice game for him.”

In total, Oesterle saw 16:49 in ice time with over 20 shifts. He tallied two shots, one of which came booming from the point in the third and right on goal, but John Gibson was there to make the stop.

“Yeah I felt like I played the game that I wanted to come in there and play,” Oesterle said, “ I'm not getting too nervous anymore because it's just an opportunity. Like I said in training camp, I wasn't nervous because it was just a great opportunity to try and show what I can do. I felt like I had a lot of confidence.”

Photo by Steven Christy | OKC Barons

Working in the favour of the Oilers 2014 free agent signing was the fact that he had familiarity with the man behind the bench.

Oesterle played four games in the post season for the Barons last year and has appeared in 49 throughout the 2014-15 campaign, which is his first full AHL season.

“Yeah I definitely think that was part of the transition that give me a lot of confidence (having Nelson around). He was confident in my play down in the American League so that gave me a little bit of a boost.  He told me before the game just to play my game, don't stray from it. I think I did that."

Prior to playing in the AHL the lefty d-man spent three seasons with Western Michigan University, where he won a CCHA title, but more importantly where he was under the tutelage of Andy Murray.

Murray, who was a Jack Adams finalist in 2009, has spent the better part of his life coaching. From assisting on the Calder Cup winning Hersey Bear’s team in 1988, to shaping young talent at the prestigious Shattuck- St. Mary’s, to being the head guy for the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues.

He got his hands on Oesterle for two years and made an impact.

“He was good.” Oesterle said about Murray.  “He really taught me what it's going to take to become a National League player. He really stressed the keys. I need to be strong in the d-zone and on the boards. I'm not going to crash people over, but I need to use my strength to win those battles.”

Photo by Wetern Michigan Athletics

Majoring in finance and averaging a 3.55 GPA is a testament to the level of intelligence that Oesterle brings to the ice. Although it’s one of his strengths, the young prospect has become more well known for his speed and smoothness on the ice.

“My dad put me in skating school since I can remember, Oesterle said. “In the summer I was going to my skating instructor at six in the morning for two hours every morning.”

Oesterle makes his movements look effortless, and it was a skill that was intentionally nurtured.

“I put a lot of time in my skating. I kind of figured I wasn't going to be a big guy. I didn't grow really until high school, but I figured even growing up in midgets I had to rely on my skating so that really pushed me to continue (working on it) in the summer.”

In his first 49 games with the Barons, Oesterle has 21 points, good for ninth on the team, and although a healthy scratch from the Oilers 2-1 road win against Minnesota this past Tuesday, you can expect to see more from the defensive prospect during his time in the organization.

Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12
Stats Updated as of Wednesday, February 25, 2015  | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 8 0 1 1 -6 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 39 3 5 8 +8 28
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 49 2 3 5 -16 73
MATT FORD* F 30 46 14 21 35 +1 20
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 43 0 7 7 +2 30
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 23 47 11 15 26 0 25
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 32 15 14 29 +11 6
BRAD HUNT D 26 39 13 24 37 +3 8
CONNOR JONES*
F 24 23 2 2 4 -2 10
KELLEN JONES*
F 24 26 4 6 10 +1 6
KALE KESSY
F 21 17 3 3 6 -7 61
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 48 3 6 9 -7 52
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 29 9 22 31 +8 20
KELLAN LAIN F 25 2 0 0 0 0 4
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 13 1 2 3 -1 24
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 23 27 0 7 7 -4 20
ANDREW MILLER F 26 49 20 24 44 +13 10
MITCH MOROZ F 20 43 2 3 5 -7 78
DAVID MUSIL D 21 46 1 7 8 +2 27
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 49 6 15 21 +5 6
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 39 17 11 28 +17 20
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 21 1 10 11 +4 76
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 14 3 6 9 +2 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 48 2 9 11 +4 8
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 50 17 23 40 -2 24
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 48 7 12 19 +7 16
JOSH WINQUIST*
F 21 24 4 4 8 +2 9
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 43 4 5 9 +3 47
CONNOR JONES* F 24 27 10 16 26 +3 29
KELLEN JONES* F 24 27 7 18 25 +3 12
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 22 1 10 11 -7 15
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 18 5 18 23 -6 11
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 54 5 20 25 +22 43 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 20 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
34 15 21 36 +3 25 victoria (whl)
LEON DRAISAITL
f 19 20 11 23 34 +10 16 KELOWNA (WHL)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 54 19 26 45 0 69 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 20 33 9 22 31 +12 56 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 55 27 43 70 +11 34 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 50 23 19 42 +4 39 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 30 9 13 22 +3 27 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 53 20 40 60 0 31 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 35 1 12 13 +11 75 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 29 11 20 31 +12 35 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 27 3 7 10 -6 26 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 29 6 8 14 +9 4 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 30 7 12 19 +10 0 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 53 18 13 31 -3 24 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 25 56 6 19 25 -22 34 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 58 15 10 25 0 12 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 41 7 6 13 -4 87 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 9 0 0 0 -1 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
39 4 5 9 -11 22 HK SAROV (VHL)
2015 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
DARNELL NURSE
D 19 7 0 1 1 +8 6 CANADA
WILLIAM LAGESSON
D 18 7 0 1 1 +1 8 SWEDEN
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 22 14 4 3   3 2.30 .921 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 30 10 12 5   1 4.15 .861 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 31 17 10 2   1 2.52 .918 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 17 6 10 1   2 2.97 .890 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 20 10 8 0   1 2.65 .908 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 25 8 11 3   1 3.20 .889 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 29 11 12 3   0 3.10 .882 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)

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