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MAIN CAMP: Lowe leaning on veteran status to earn more NHL opportunity

"It's just about pushing the pace all the time. I've been around a little bit and a few camps, and you're always trying to work towards that end goal," defenceman Keegan Lowe said

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - Defenceman Keegan Lowe arrived at Oilers Main Camp a veteran, but as most of the attendees were, the 26-year-old was a rookie to the systems and approach being preached by Head Coach Dave Tippett.

The blueliner was the leader for a young Bakersfield Condors side in '18-19 by donning the 'C' and skates alongside most of the same players he shared the ice in the AHL with last season as an individual keen to impress a new general manager and head coach for a spot with the Oilers on opening night.

Video: MAIN CAMP | Keegan Lowe 09.18.19

"It's been good so far," Lowe, speaking with on Wednesday, said. "It's been fast-paced the first couple of days, then we settled into a bit more systems stuff working on carrying the puck, the possession game, and getting into the offensive zone with possession of the puck. So we're learning new systems and it's been good. Everybody's fresh and excited."

Lowe and the rest of his defensive counterparts have gravitated in previous sessions towards Assistant Coach Jim Playfair's sphere of influence as they become more and more familiar with a new voice leading the back end.

"He's a really personable guy and easy to talk to," Lowe said. "I think he's going to be really good for the defencemen just having that ear and shoulder to lean on, little pointers here and there. I think he preaches confidence with the puck just listening to him and reading a few things. It's good for defencemen to have confidence with the puck and the confidence to make plays to get it into the hands of speedy forwards."

Lowe knows the camp experience as a veteran of the group entering his seventh professional season, working with the hope of adding more NHL experience to his resume having only suited up for four NHL games split between the Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes.

 Video: MAIN CAMP | Burdasov's Arrival 09.18.19

"It's just about pushing the pace all the time," Lowe said. "I've been around a little bit and a few camps, and you're always trying to work towards that end goal. At the same time, you're pushing everyone around you and it's going to make the whole organization better.

"Whatever it's going to do, there's lots of guys vying for spots up here in a couple young and promising prospects, some guys coming over from Europe, but all you can do is show your best and work as hard as you can. It's going to make the organization better top to down."

Through two pre-season games, Lowe has yet to suit up for the Blue & Orange but looks forward to the opportunity to turn practice into execution in competitive play.

"Like Tippett's been saying to the guys - there's only so much you can teach and at certain times you just need to play and have your habits check in," Lowe said.

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