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PREVIEW: Oilers at Jets

The Oilers hit the road for a pre-season stop in Winnipeg

by Chris Wescott /

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 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. 

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LIVE BLOG: Oilers at Flames

Minute-by-minute updates as the Oilers take on the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome in pre-season split-squad action

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

The Oilers take on the Flames tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

You can watch on Oilers TV within the Oilers Region (click here to watch LIVE!), or listen on Calgary's Sportsnet 960 Radio.

Stay tuned for updates, videos, commentary and more in our live in-game blog.

FLAMES AT OILERS: Read Game Blog | Watch LIVE

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BLOG: McLellan on Monday's split-squad game

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers will take on the Calgary Flames in a split-squad game tomorrow at home and on the road. Head Coach Todd McLellan says the rosters won't stay the same as the Group A and Group B units that have been skating together in camp.

"We're going to shuffle some players around," said McLellan. "You may see some different lines, see different combinations. We'll have 42 players involved in the games, because we'll have a couple extras in warmup."

Having so many players taking the ice is a good thing for the organization, and allows for some younger guys or those further down the depth chart to get game action.

"It's a great experience for some of the players that maybe aren't ready to play in the League and a great experience for our minor league players to play in this and also a warmup and reminder for our veterans that real bullets are fired now," said McLellan. "The emotions, the physicality, the game management situation like shift lengths and faceoffs and all those things are going to start to come into play tomorrow."

The only lineup note we have so far is Connor McDavid is expected to stay in Edmonton.

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BLOG: Strome on McDavid/Tavares comparison

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Ryan Strome is saddled up on a line with Connor McDavid here at Oilers Training Camp. It's not the first first-overall pick he's played with. In New York with the Islanders, Strome saw time with John Tavares.

When Strome compares the two, he immediately singles out McDavid's speed as a difference.

"No one has got that gear Connor has and no one has got that explosiveness," said Strome. "It's funny, I've only been here a couple of days but even guys who have played with him the last couple of years still say on the bench how crazy it is to see."

But Strome says he sees a few similarities as well, most noticeably with their passion and commitment to the game.

"I think they're both driven winners," said Strome. "You can just see every drill, every skate, no matter what it is, they want to win, they want to score. That's the exact same mentality that John has. That's something that really rubbed off on me, if it's just a casual drill or whatever to be the best you can and get better. If you don't push yourself, you're not going to have that next level in the game. I see similarities between the two. Those guys are just built like that. They're great for a reason, and that's why they're great leaders and everyone tries to keep up with them and feed off that."

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BLOG: Benning knows what to expect in year two

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - This time last season, Matt Benning was a rookie - signed by the Oilers in the summer of 2016 as a free agent. Benning was just trying to show he could be called upon to play at this level. Not only did Benning eventually prove that, but he logged 62 games for Edmonton in the regular season and played 12 in the playoffs.

Fast forward to this week and Benning is comfortable in his second camp with the Oilers. That comfort also lends itself to excitement about what the second-year blueliner can do with a club that has high expectations for 2017-18.

Video: RAW | Benning on Camp Day 4

"I know what to expect," he said. "I worked on things in the off-season to try and improve on the little areas. I'm excited to see that in some games and stuff like that. It's going to be an exciting season. There's a lot of hype around us, but I think there's a big expectation in our dressing room - higher than anyone outside the dressing room."

Benning is one of the young players on the roster who could see more ice time this season, particularly with the injury to Andrej Sekera.

"They make their decisions up there and I just continue to play," said Benning. "If I get more ice time, then great. If not, I'll just play the role I'm in. Last year, I think I just came into camp not knowing what to expect and just looking to do something well to get noticed. It worked last year. I'm just excited for the season. I know what to expect and I'll be ready to go."

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BLOG: Khaira on his camp thus far

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - A few days ago, we wrote on Jujhar Khaira's confidence heading into camp. That confidence should only continue to grow after Sunday's practice at Rogers Place.

The 23-year-old forward had a nice showing in front of the crowd of fans who turned out for the open scrimmage. He scored a goal on a Zack Kassian feed and potted the game-winning shootout marker, which capped a comeback for Team White and a 6-5 victory.

"I think they're going well," Khaira said of how camp sessions have been so far. "I'm definitely getting my legs under me and getting used to pressure situations. I'm pretty happy with how everything is going right now and as time goes on I'm just going to get better. I'm excited."

Khaira now sets his sights on showing well in the first pre-season game of exhibition season. Khaira will join one of two Oilers squads in either Edmonton or Calgary tomorrow evening.

"It should be fun," he said. "It should be a little rusty out there for sure, but I think it's going to be fun just having contact and all that. Everybody is out here trying to send a message and we have to prepare as best as possible."

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FEATURE: Nurse looking to be a more explosive player

Defenceman Darnell Nurse looks to open the 2017-18 season a more explosive player for the Oilers

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Darnell Nurse understands the weight of expectations - those placed on himself and those placed on the team.

Nurse wore the "C" in junior for Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League. He earned his place as a top-10 prospect, going seventh overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. He battled his way onto the Oilers roster. Expectations have followed him every step along the way, and they follow him and his team now.

Video: RAW | Nurse on Camp Day 3

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BLOG: Lucic talks pairing with Draisaitl

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan likes to deal more with pairs of players than full lines. That's why you'll see the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon together, or Leon Draisaitl and Milan Lucic.

For the latter, Lucic says the pairing works so well because the two do a good job at playing that "give-and-go game" and they use their size and strength to get inside of teams. Having Draisaitl be the type of skilled and versatile player he is also makes it easy on his veteran partner to have success.

"He has showed he can help take this team to another level and we're going to need him to be the same type of player he was last year," said Lucic. "He's a lot of fun to play with. He uses his linemates, he uses his size, he uses his speed and I'm excited to see what kind of player he's going to be for us this season."

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FEATURE: Khaira enters camp out to prove he belongs

Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira comes into camp confident and ready to show he can stick

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

Video: OILERS TODAY | Net Game

EDMONTON, AB - Jujhar Khaira has had his taste of NHL hockey, and he's ready for more.

It seems like each season the 2012 third-round pick takes another step toward sticking in the NHL. In 2015-16, Khaira saw 15 games of action with the Oilers, while scoring 10 goals and adding 17 assists in 49 games down in the American Hockey League.

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BLOG: McLellan's thoughts on Yamamoto

by Chris Wescott / Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - Oilers 2017 first-round pick Kailer Yamamoto is just beginning his first NHL camp. It's far too early for even first impressions of the dynamic 18-year-old winger, but Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan delivered some thoughts on his rookie.

"I don't know if it's fair yet to even evaluate, because I think Yamamoto is the type of player that when the games start and he gets involved with some good, heady players who think like he does I think that's where he's going to be very dangerous," McLellan said.

At 5-foot-8, size is always going to be the question with Yamamoto, says McLellan.

"Players of that stature are always questioned that way but some of them perform extremely well, based on their size. They find ways to be involved in the game, but yet manage their weaknesses and play to their strengths.

"I think we need to give this young man some time, we've got to give him some breathing room, let him feel his way through. I'm guessing he's nervous, like any first-year player or even second-year player for that matter. He'll begin to feel more comfortable and we'll see some good games out of him."

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