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BLOG: McLellan on loss of Sekera

Head Coach Todd McLellan joined Oilers Now Wednesday to talk about several topics, including the loss of Andrej Sekera to injury

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers announced Andrej Sekera will be out six to nine months with a torn ACL he suffered in Game 5 of the team's second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.

Sekera was a big part of the Oilers defensive gains in 2016-17, logging 21:28 time on ice per game - good for second on the roster.

The club must soldier on without Sekera's calming veteran presence, but as Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said on Oilers Now Wednesday, that means some young blueliners can step up.

"Moving forward, his injury is one that's going to keep him out for a while," said McLellan. "We're going to miss him because he's a very good leader at training camp. He shows up and he's ready to work all the time, not only his skill set but his ability to set the tone for others around him is very strong so we'll miss him that way.

"As one player gets injured, another gets an opportunity and there is a number of young players in our organization that will get a chance. The summer really hasn't even begun in the hockey world yet when you think of free agency, the trade market at the draft and that type of stuff. We'll be able to ice seven or eight defencemen once we pick our team and we expect each of them to pick up the slack we'll miss with Andrej not being around."

Matthew Benning is an example of a young defender who stepped up with Sekera down in the playoffs. He led all Oilers d-men in time on ice in Game 6 versus the Ducks with 23:38.

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BLOG: More risk from Nugent-Hopkins

Head Coach Todd McLellan joined Oilers Now Wednesday to talk about several topics, including the production of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put an emphasis on his defensive game in 2016-17 and the club deployed him in many tough situations all season long, trusting him in that department. Even with successful play without the puck, Nugent-Hopkins may still have more to give.

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan appeared on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer Wednesday and talked about expecting more risk and offensive production from their centre next season.

"I think that, and I told Nuge this at the end of the year, there's more to his game, especially offensively," said McLellan. "He's become such a responsible player, that at times he doesn't take the risk necessary to score. It's OK to be a risky player sometimes. You have teammates that have to cover for you. You can't always be the safe guy, but he's convinced he's going to be a well-rounded player. I respect him for that. He puts every ounce of effort into doing it both ways. I think we can see his defensive skills have really increased and he's played against some tough opponents.

"That said though, we need him to be a little more productive so we're going to encourage him to take a little more risk to try and be a little more productive offensively. Not at the cost of losing a game or anything like that, but mistakes are going to happen and you have teammates that have to cover for you sometimes."

Nugent-Hopkins scored 18 goals and added 25 assists for 43 points in 82 games. His .52 points per game in the regular season was the lowest of his career. He had four assists in 13 playoff games.

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BLOG: Bear's season ends

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Saint John Sea Dogs defeated Ethan Bear and the Seattle Thunderbirds 7-0 at the 2017 Memorial Cup. The loss ended the Oilers defensive prospect's season.

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: #Oilers D prospect @Bear25E's outstanding season with @SeattleTbirds concludes with 70 regular season points & 26 more in the playoffs.

Bear had a superb 28 goals and 42 assists in the regular season and followed it up with 26 points (6-20-26) in the playoffs, helping Seattle win the WHL Championship and advance to the Mem Cup.

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Plays of the Year: Round 1, Game F

by Staff /

Each week during this past season, reviewed all the top goals and saves and put the vote to you the fans for the top play for the week. Those plays are back as the top 32 plays face off in head-to-head competition until a winner is ultimately determined. We will regularly put two plays up against one another and it's up to you to decide which one will advance on to the next round.

In Round 1, Game F it's a rebound goal from Leon Draisaitl up against Matt Hendricks' big hit.

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BLOG: Oilers sign Pakarinen

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers have signed pending RFA Iiro Pakarinen to a one-year contract extension, the club announced.

Pakarinen was a seventh-round pick of the Florida Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft. He has played for the Oilers since the 2014-15 season, splitting time between the AHL and NHL.

In 94 career NHL games, Pakarinen has eight goals and 12 assists. He finished the 2016-17 season with two goals and two assists in 14 games.

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BLOG: Windsor defeats Seattle at Memorial Cup

Ethan Bear and his Thunderbirds will play the Saint John Sea Dogs on Tuesday

by Paul Gazzola /

The Windsor Spitfires defeated Oilers prospect Ethan Bear and his Seattle Thunderbirds 7-1 on Sunday at the Memorial Cup. 

Bear finished the game with a minus-two rating. His squad will play the Saint John Sea Dogs on Tuesday.

The T-Birds are 0-2 at the tournament after falling to the Erie Otters 4-2 on Saturday.

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BLOG: Puljujarvi, Finland fall to Russia

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers prospect Jesse Puljujarvi and Team Finland lost to Russia 5-3 in the bronze-medal game of the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Puljujarvi played 16:44 in the loss. Puljujarvi finished the tournament playing eight games, registering 16 shots and four penalty minutes.

Canada plays Sweden in the final today.

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Weekly Recap: May 14-20

Don't miss out on any of the content from the off-season with our weekly recap

by Staff /

It was a busy off-season week on Peter Chiarelli answered several questions from the media, we launched our draft coverage and continued our World Championship and prospect coverage. Here's what happened the week of May 14-20.

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BLOG: Seattle falls in Memorial Cup match

Update on Oilers prospect Ethan Bear at the Memorial Cup

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear and his Seattle Thunderbirds fell 4-2 in their opening game of the 2017 Memorial Cup. Seattle lost to the OHL's Erie Otters.

Bear was +1 in the loss, and will play Windsor Sunday evening. The Windsor Spitfires beat the Saint John Sea Dogs in their opening game of the tournament Friday.

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BLOG: Puljujarvi and Finns fall short

Update from the 2017 IIHF World Championships

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Oilers prospect Jesse Puljujarvi and Team Finland fell short of their tournament goals at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, as they lost to Sweden 4-1 in the semis.

Puljujarvi played 13:54 in the loss, including 5:47 in the third. He tied Jusso Hietanen for the team high in shots with three for the game.

In the other game of the tournament today, Canada advanced with a 4-2 victory over the Russians. Canada and Sweden will face off Sunday for gold, while Finland hopes for bronze against Russia.

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