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Oilers will name captain during training camp

by Staff / Edmonton Oilers

After playing last season without a captain, the Oilers will name one during training camp next month, coach Todd McLellan confirmed Monday.

The Oilers open camp September 22.

"We'll select a captain at some point throughout training camp," McLellan said. "We'll pick a captain when we're all around and together as a group."

The Oilers had four alternate captains last season: forwards Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle , and defenceman Andrew Ference . Hall was traded to the New Jersey Devils for defenceman Adam Larsson on June 29; Ference was limited to six games because of a hip injury and had surgery in March. His status for this season is uncertain.

Many wouldn't be surprised if centre Connor McDavid was chosen to wear the 'C', but McLellan said nothing has been determined. McDavid is entering his second season with the Oilers after being the No. 1 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft. He had 16 goals and 32 assists in 45 games last season and was a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

"If I was ever the captain at any point, I think it would be one of the greatest honours and one of the accomplishments that I would definitely take the most seriously," McDavid told the Toronto Sun in July. "I don't want to comment on it too much, but obviously it would be an unbelievable feeling."

McLellan will coach Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft will also be working for Team North America, while McDavid will be one of its centres.

"This isn't a normal training camp for a lot of teams, especially for us with Peter being the general manager for North America, me as coach and Jay as an assistant," McLellan said. "But we will name a captain this year."

Team North America is in Group B, along with Team Finland, Team Russia and Team Sweden. Its first game will be against Team Finland on September 18 (6 p.m. MDT; ESPN2).

The eight-team tournament will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto from September 17 to October 1. All games will be televised by ESPN in the United States, and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

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