PENTICTON, B.C. –The Oilers Rookies look to keep the offence rolling when they play the Calgary Flames prospects tonight at the Young Stars Tournament. Last night, the Oilers cruised to an 8-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks youngsters. Eight different players scored goals for Edmonton and 13 recorded at least a point.
The Flames downed Winnipeg 3-1 in their opening game of the tournament on Friday afternoon.
Connor McDavid will not suit up tonight for the Oilers Rookies. Last night against Vancouver, McDavid recorded a goal, an assist and three shots.
It was likely pre-scheduled for McDavid to sit out one of these three games in Penticton.
“We talked about it after the game. He’s fine,” said Oilers Rookies Head Coach Gerry Fleming. “He could play. We talked with management and we just said we’ll just sit him tonight and then we’ll reevaluate after practice tomorrow.”
JONES READY TO ROLL
The Oilers selected Caleb Jones with the 117th-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. And now, the 18-year-old defenceman gets to put on the blue and orange for the first time in a competitive setting.
“I think tonight, I have to get the nerves out first period, skate and try to move my feet, try to make plays and not worry about making mistakes and things like that and try to play hockey,” said Jones.
Jones didn’t play in the Oilers 8-2 shellacking of the Vancouver Canucks prospects last night, but he had the opportunity to sit back and watch players scrap and compete for impressions and contracts.
“Right now, it’s becoming a job,” said Jones. “It’s not that little boy hockey anymore, it’s man hockey. These guys are trying to make money and stick around for a while. You have to outwork them and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I know I’m an 18-year-old here but I want to go out there and surprise people tonight and show what I can do.”
One player Jones can look up to when it comes to preparation and competing is Darnell Nurse.
“You look at everyone here and a guy like Nurse has been here for three years now and he’s trying to make the jump to the NHL,” said Jones. “That guy works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. It’s good to see guys like that. He’s a good role model for me.”
Jordan Papirny will start in net. Eetu Laurikainen will backup.
-- Chris Wescott, edmontonoilers.com
OILERS (1-0-0) vs. FLAMES (1-0-0)
RADIO: NO RADIO
OILERS TO WATCH: After a big 8-2 win, a lot of Oilers got on the scoresheet. Leon Draisaitl (1 goal, 1 assist), Josh Winquist (1 goal, 1 assist), Connor McDavid (1 goal, 1 assist) and Joey LaLeggia (2 assists) each have two points for the Oilers. LaLeggia has two assists and is plus-three to lead all defencemen.
FLAMES TO WATCH: Calgary is coming off a big win of their own, defeating the Jets Rookies 3-1 last night. The three goals were scored by Morgan Klimchuk, Bryce Van Brabant and Ryan Lomberg. Jon Gillies had a strong performance in goal Friday which makes it likely either Nick Schneider or Mason McDonald will get the call tonight.