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Khaira scores first goal of career

Jujhar Khaira notched the first goal of his NHL career against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday

by Paul Gazzola /

He can't pinpoint the age but like most young Canadians, Jujhar Khaira used to imagine scoring his first National Hockey League goal while playing street hockey on solid concrete.

Video: ARI@EDM: Khaira deflects puck in for first NHL goal

Only 17 games into his NHL career, that fantasy has become reality. Khaira notched his first career marker against the Arizona Coyotes in the Oilers 3-1 victory Monday night.

"Growing up as a kid, playing street hockey and all that, you just always picture it in your head while you're playing," Khaira said post-game. "It's a reality now and it feels good."

The tally put the Oilers up by two and was prompted by some hard work in the offensive zone.

"[Zack] Kassian got down on the forecheck and created a turnover and hit [Mark] Letestu in the slot," Khaira said. "I just opened up and presented my stick and Letestu gave it on a silver platter to me."

The 22-year-old had nothing but praise for the teammates that helped set the play up.

"Kudos to those guys."

Prior to being called up, Khaira's game had been evolving in Bakersfield with the Condors. Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan commented on his development after the game.

"His graduation from, for lack of a better term, from grade to grade or class to class has been just fine for his development," he said. "He has size, he has a pretty good mind, he can play centre or wing, he gets around the ice surface pretty good and we know he has an element of toughness as well. There's a lot of attributes that he brings to the table and if he keeps developing them he has an opportunity at a future."

In 8:39 of ice-time, Khaira had two shots on goal, one hit and finished a plus-one to go along with the goal.

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