Tom Gilbert poses with this week's class at Oilers Hockey School at Servus Place in St. Albert (photo: Andy Devlin / EOHC).
The Edmonton Oilers Hockey School wrapped up its first week of camp at Servus Place in St. Albert on Saturday. Hundreds of kids spent the week participating in comprehensive on-ice sessions, the newest off-ice training techniques, core strength exercises, and seminars ranging from motivation to nutrition. A major highlight of camp always comes with player visits, and this week was no exception. Following Colin Fraser’s visit on Tuesday, the camp participants were surprised with a second guest appearance on Friday by Oilers Tom Gilbert.
“Growing up, you could always find me at a hockey camp during the summer, so this is very familiar territory. It’s great to come out and spend some time with these young players and I’m so proud to be a role model for them,” said Oilers Tom Gilbert. From learning and improving basic skills to meeting their NHL heroes, the week was packed with high-caliber instruction and game development.
“It’s such an amazing week for the kids,” said Darren Richards, father of a camp participant.
“This camp provides them with a chance to upgrade their skills in a very fun and positive environment, and it’s always great to see their role models come out to meet and inspire them.” The next session begins August 1 and will once again feature drills, games, off-ice sessions and more player appearances all the while receiving NHL caliber training. As for what the upcoming season holds for the Oilers, Gilbert commented, “It’s pretty exciting to look forward to next season with [Tom Renney] behind the bench. He’s proven himself to be a great head coach.”
With a team comprised mainly of young new talent, Gilbert notes it will be key to have players such as Kurtis Foster, Jim Vandermeer and Steve MacIntyre to hold down the fort so to speak and provide these players with confidence to hit the ice at full force.
“It’s always good to have the elements playing on your team. We’ve seen Steve do his best work on players and these guys coming in are big strong tough guys and you always need that kind of intimidation when you’re on the ice,” said Gilbert.