Laurent Brossoit, 21, will get the start in net tonight for the Oilers in their pre-season game against the Winnipeg Jets.
This isn’t the first action Brossoit has had this pre-season. After playing in the rookie tournament in Pentiction, B.C. and in the Oilers Rookies game against the University of Alberta, Brossoit played the third period against the Flames in Calgary on Sunday. He made eight saves on eight shots, not having to shake off any summer rust.
“I played in the U of A game, I’ve played in a couple of intrasquad games so that’s when I kind of dusted the rust off a bit,” he said. “There wasn’t too much rust to shake off and that’s why I felt so confident.”
Brossoit will go into the start tonight with one thing in mind, just be solid.
“I don’t want to go out there with the mindset that I have to steal anything. I’m just going to do what I’ve done the last few years. I felt good in pre-game skate, so I’m just going to play solid, be steady and give the team a chance to win.”
For guys like Curtis Hamilton, tonight is a big game. The Oilers cut down their roster by 18 on Tuesday and with a pre-season game tonight in Winnipeg, players like Hamilton want to make an impression.
“There’s a couple less guys now,” Hamilton said. “I think we’re down to two teams and in the next week here there are a lot of games. There is a lot of opportunity for guys, such as myself, to prove themselves.”
Hamilton was taken 48th overall in 2010 and has three seasons in the American Hockey League under his belt. After signing a one-year contract with the Oilers in the off-season, Hamilton is looking to earn his first taste of NHL regular season action. Tonight’s game is a chance for Hamilton to show he’s ready for that opportunity.
“It’s very important, just to get these games under my belt. I get a little bit more confidence from it and I’m really excited to play tonight.”
Hamilton knows it’s cliché, but he says the best way to make an impression is just keeping it simple. On a line with Bogdan Yakimov and Andrew Miller, he’ll have that opportunity.
“Just play a simple game,” he said. “Chip pucks in, finish checks and get lots of shots on net. Like I said, just finishing my checks and playing hard and create some space out there for Andrew and Bog.”
KEEPING IT PHYSICAL
The Oilers fourth line for tonight’s game in Winnipeg is Kale Kessy, Travis Ewanyk and Tyler Pitlick. That line is going to be expected to push the pace physically from their first shift.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my game, provide energy and play hard in both ends of the rink, be physical and create chances,” Ewanyk said.
Pitlick added, “Our line is a bunch of big bodies. Guys who are going to get on the forecheck and play hard. We’re going to run around a little bit, hit some guys and have some fun.”
UP FRONT: The Oilers will dress some offensive power up front with Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl all playing on the top-two lines against Winnipeg. Draisaitl, the third-overall pick in this year’s draft, will centre a line with Benoit Pouliot (0-1-1 in one pre-season game so far) and the dynamic 5-foot-8, 141-pound Russian Vladimir Tkachev (0-3-3 in three Young Stars Tournament games).
ON THE BLUE LINE: 2013 seventh-overall pick Darnell Nurse will skate with Martin Marincin. Justin Schultz (1-1-2 in one pre-season game) will be paired with Keith Aulie. Oscar Klefbom will skate with Martin Gernat, who makes his pre-season debut.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: Laurent Brossoit and Ty Rimmer are the two netminders heading to Winnipeg.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton make their 2014 pre-season debuts for the Oilers. Pitlick and Hamilton were taken 16 picks apart in the second round of the 2010 draft. Pitlick was taken 32nd and Hamilton, 48th. Pitlick earned his first NHL call up last season and played 10 games for the Oilers, scoring one goal. Hamilton played 43 games for the Oklahoma City Barons last season, scoring 16 points (8-8-16). Both signed one-year contracts on July 15.