The Oilers 188th overall pick this past June is drawing some praise at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C.
Forward prospect Gregory Chase’s agitator playing style is what every team wants and every team hates to play against.
“It’s always good when your teammates love to have you on your team and hate playing against you,” said Chase after this morning’s pre-game skate.
“I played a lot against some of (the Oilers prospects) before I came here, they didn’t like me. Now that we’re here together, it’s a little bit different. We all like each other and it’s a great group of guys. Anything I can do to help this team win is what I’m going to do.”
Chase says his ‘in your face’ physical game has drawn comparisons to similar NHL players such as Boston’s Brad Marchand and the Chicago’s Andrew Shaw.
“I play an in your face style game and it gets teams off their game. Whatever I can do to help our team, I am going to try to do.”
“(Thursday) was the first time I saw him play and I liked that he had that swagger about himself and how he carried himself, how he was acting toward the other team,” said Oilers Young Stars coach Todd Nelson. “It was a first time indicator for me that he’s a player that’s tough to play against.”
Chase had his best season of his WHL career in 2012-13 with the Calgary Hitmen. He tallied career highs in every statistical category. In 69 games, he scored 49 points (17-32-49) and 10 points in the playoffs (3-7-10). He really came into his own offensively.
Although he knows he will be asked to play that antagonistic physical role, Chase says there’s much more to his game.
“Yeah I think I can bring that (physical game) and I can also bring an offensive side of my game if need be. I’m just here to bring whatever this team wants and that’s how I ‘m going to play.”
The experience of playing at the Young Stars Classic and participating in his first pro camp has been enlightening for the Sherwood Park native. He’s just trying to take it all in and prove himself to the Oilers brass.
“I just want to enjoy the experience. Obviously I know I am not going to make the NHL this year and play with the Oilers but I am going to try and show the coaches why they picked me and why this organization should trust me and hopefully down the road, play well this season, sign a contract and play in Oklahoma City.”
Comparisons to Marchand and Shaw are big compliments for an 18 year-old, seventh-round pick. While he appreciates the thought, he wants to eventually leave his own mark on professional hockey.
“I think I want to be my own player and play how I play and make young players want to play like me.”
Chase gets another opportunity to make good impressions in tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets Rookies at 8:30 p.m. MST.