The Oilers hit the road for a pre-season stop in Winnipeg
The Oilers face off in a pre-season contest in Winnipeg tonight looking to build on the two wins on Monday against the Flames.
You can watch tonight's game on EdmontonOilers.com within the Oilers Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories) or televised across North America on NHL Centre Ice and online at NHL.TV. You can listen to the game on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
Check back following Oilers morning skate for lineups of each team and a full pre-game report.
WINNIPEG, MB - The Oilers lineup for their pre-season tilt with the Jets in Winnipeg will consist of a healthy mix of NHL players and youth.
"Our lineup going into Winnipeg is still scattered with a bunch of young prospects and a lot of players that have spent a significant time in the American League," said Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We want to give them another opportunity to play and I believe Winnipeg will have a fairly stacked lineup so it will be a great opportunity for us to evaluate our team against some of the best players they have.
McLellan confirmed 2017 first-round pick Kailer Yamamoto will be among the younger skaters to take the ice for the orange and blue tonight.
"Yamamoto is going, he'll play on a line with (Jussi) Jokinen and (Ryan) Nugent-Hopkins to start with and we'll see how he handles himself," said McLellan. "It's a big game for a lot of our guys. A big test because it will be a taxing game on our team but also a test to see how individuals handle their speed, their pace, their size and playing on the road as well."
Yamamoto was impressive in the Oilers split-squad game with the Flames on Monday night, scoring a goal and adding an assist in Calgary.
Off-season signing Jussi Jokinen will skate in his first game with the Oilers, having sat out Monday's split-squad slate. The veteran of just shy of 900 NHL games is eager to shake the rust off and make his debut for his new club.
"I'm excited to get back to playing," Jokinen said. "I think I played my last game on April 4, or something like that so it's been five and a half months or almost six months. It's been a long time training so I'm really excited to put the Oilers jersey on and get back to playing."
The thought was we'd see the line of Jokinen, Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi, but as McLellan indicated Yamamoto will take the right-wing spot. Jokinen was signed to a one-year contract on July 7.
With Andrej Sekera still dealing with his long-term knee injury, Matt Benning slides up the defensive lineup to join Kris Russell as a pair. The two blueliners did not participate in either game against Calgary on Monday, but are ready to roll tonight.
"You want to always be on the ice, especially against a rival like Calgary, it was a good game to be a part of," said Benning. "I'm disappointed I didn't get to go out there but tonight will be exciting. They (Winnipeg) have a full roster of returning guys that are pretty close, so that will be a good test for us and a chance to show what we got."
Benning, a second-year player, enjoys being paired with a veteran defender like Russell.
"He's such a good defender and that's huge as another defenceman," said Benning. "I can read off him, I know what he's doing and I think we're pretty simple puck-movers. I like to get the puck into the forwards' hands so that's one thing we're going to try to feed off tonight. Let them do the work and jump up into the play."
Behind Benning and Russell, Laurent Brossoit and Nick Ellis will split time between the pipes, according to McLellan. As for the rest of the Oilers lineup, it will be confirmed closer to puck drop.