Last season, Adam Huxley thrilled fans of the ECHL's Stockton Thunder with his toughness and agitating playing style. Playing under an ECHL contract for a team that was also sprinkled with Oilers prospects, Edmonton got to see plenty of Huxley during the 2006-07 season. The Oilers were impressed enough with his style of play that they extended an invite to the Left Winger for Rookie Camp. Huxley took the time to speak with edmontonoilers.com on Thursday prior to taking off for Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
Q: What is your past experience with NHL training camps?
Adam Huxley (right) racked up 241 minutes in penalties in 61 games with Stockton last season.
A: I’ve been to three other NHL camps. I went to Washington and Phoenix my first two years. Out of junior I was with Calgary for two years. I went to camp there twice but one year was during the lockout so I had rookie camp and then went to Lowell (Calgary’s AHL affiliate at the time).Q: Having played last season with the Oilers’ ECHL affiliate in Stockton is there a difference with this NHL camp – perhaps a familiarity with some of the players?
A: I’ve played with a lot of these guys. I’ve been around long enough that I’ve seen a lot of the younger kids that I wouldn’t have played junior against from the OHL or whatever. I’ve seen them play here or there, this league or the other. I’ve played with a lot of guys from this camp – Liam Reddox
, Tyler Spurgeon, Troy Bodie, Devan Dubnyk
they were down in Stockton last year. Guys in main camp I’ve skated with over the years and become good friends with some of them.Q: Now heading into your fourth season professionally, how do you think you’ve improved as a player throughout that time?
A: First I started out just fighting; I thought ‘this will get me somewhere’ but then I realized you’ve really got to work on your game. Ever since I caught that notion after my first year going to NHL camp I realized I can fight but I need to make my game more well-rounded. Every day I try to make something better.
I actually feel really good going into this camp – better than any other one – because I’m very confident in my game as well as knowing I can play a tougher role. Q: What are some of your goals heading into this camp?
A: Well obviously, number one would be to sign a contract with the Oilers. To be with the Oilers would be very good for me because I grew up watching them, they were my favourite team growing up. This is just an honour to even be at camp.
They have a lot of guys coming back from last year. It would be good to just get into their system. It’d be great to work with them and try to get here someday. Q: The fact that you’ve already signed an ECHL contract with Stockton this year, do you think you have an advantage being under the Oilers’ watchful eye even if you don’t land a contract at camp?
A: For sure. Right now, I signed back in Stockton. I love the fans there and everything like that but my main goal right now is to first make it to main camp with the Oilers and second definitely in Springfield. I think there’s definitely a hole to be filled there in my particular role as an agitator and tougher kind of player.
My eye is definitely on Springfield right now and if I’m back in Stockton my goal is to get up to Springfield. The Oilers were really good with everyone last year, they developed all those guys last year and they will be really good players this year in the American League.Q: Talk about Yellowknife and what you’re expecting having Rookie Camp in the Northwest Territories.
A: I have a cousin who I used to see a lot and he moved up to Yellowknife and I haven’t seen him since. It’s up north; I’ve never been there before so it’ll be exciting. I love to travel.
I’m 100 percent focused on the camp here. I’m going to do what it takes to get an eye on me, improve my game and get to the next level.
I think that it’s awesome for those people up there. They probably don’t get down here that often. I understand it’s a busy town and it would be awesome for them to get to see some of the future Oilers play in front of them.