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In Depth: The Stage

Each week EdmontonOilers.com dives into deeper storylines surrounding the Oilers with our Sunday In Depth long read

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

One of the most popular Christmas carols has double meaning for hockey fans when the end of December rolls around.

The presents have been opened. The turkey has been devoured. The beer has been chilled to ice-cold perfection. And the TV is locked and loaded.

It's time for the World Junior Hockey Championship. Time for the top teenage players on the planet to step into the international spotlight. Time for heroes to be made.

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GAME STORY: Oilers 7, Blue Jackets 2

The Oilers dominated the Blue Jackets 7-2 to close out their road trip

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

COLUMBUS, OH - That's one way to relieve the frustration of getting shut out the game before.

Two days after the Oilers were all over the Toronto Maple Leafs but got stymied by goaltender Curtis McElhinney in a 1-0 defeat, they had no trouble converting in their road trip finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets and cruised to a decisive 7-2 victory.

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Blue Jackets Post-Game

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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Blue Jackets

Oilers wrap up a three-game road trip tonight with a game in Columbus

by Ryan Frankson & Marc Ciampa / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers complete a three-game road trip tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

You can watch the game on Sportsnet Oilers or listen via 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network. 

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Blue Jackets Pre-Game

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GAME STORY: Maple Leafs 1, Oilers 0

The game-winning goal came just 34 seconds in as the Oilers could not solve Curtis McElhinney, dropping a 1-0 decision in Toronto

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

TORONTO, ON - The Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs combined for just one goal and it came just 34 seconds into the game for the home team as defence reigned supreme all night in a 1-0 decision.

The visitors peppered Curtis McElhinney with 41 shots but the Leafs goalie turned aside every last one of them for the shutout. Edmonton did beat McElhinney on four occasions, but struck iron each time.

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Leafs Post-Game

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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Leafs

The Oilers close out this weekend back-to-back in Toronto against the Maple Leafs

by Ryan Frankson & Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers close out their weekend back-to-back with a showdown with the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet or listen live on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Leafs Pre-Game

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GAME STORY: Oilers 6, Canadiens 2

The Oilers had a big offensive night in Montreal, cruising past the Canadiens 6-2

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

MONTREAL, QC - Jujhar Khaira recorded the first multi-goal game of his career, beating Carey Price twice and leading the Oilers to a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Hockey Night in Canada.

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Canadiens Post-Game

Khaira tallied back-to-back markers, his team's second and third goals of the night, while Michael Cammalleri, Milan Lucic, Oscar Klefbom and Yohann Auvitu also scored to round out the offence. Between the pipes, Laurent Brossoit made 22 saves to earn his second win of the season.

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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Canadiens

The Oilers take on the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday night

by Ryan Frankson & Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers begin their three-game road trip in Montreal against the Canadiens.

You can watch the game on Sportsnet or listen live on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.

Video: OILERS TODAY | at Canadiens Pre-Game

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IN DEPTH: Role Model

Oilers forward Jujhar Khaira and Hockey Night Punjabi are growing the sport within Canada's South Asian community

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

The Foreword

By Harbs Bains, President, Surrey Minor Hockey Association

I met Jujhar earlier this year. The Surrey Minor Hockey Association was hosting a tournament with teams from China and Korea.

When the China team was in town, we were playing at a rink in Burnaby and Jujhar, along with some other NHL players, were there working out and practicing.

A couple of our Surrey kids noticed Jujhar, so I went over, introduced myself and asked him if he would mind coming over and saying hi to the kids. Not only did he come, but he brought a couple of other guys with him.

The kids loved it. He went to the China team dressing room, I introduced him to the coaches and all the parents came in to take photos. He did a wonderful job. 

And then he came over to the Surrey dressing room. The kids all knew who he was, shook his hand, got autographs and took lots of pictures. He was fantastic. I know he was tired, because he had just come off a workout, but he took his time and said whenever we needed something he'd do his best to help us out.

It was a cross-cultural experience and meant so much to those kids, no matter what ethnic background they were. I don't know who had a better time, him or the kids. 

He's a great ambassador for the Edmonton Oilers, a great ambassador for the sport of hockey and a great young man.

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BLOG: Rockets add Draisaitl to mural wall

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - There's a new addition to the wall outside the Kelowna Rockets locker room at Prospera Place and you'll definitely recognize him.

The Rockets recently added a portrait of Leon Draisaitl to their mural of past players, paying homage to the now-Oilers forward who suited up in the Okanagan in 2014-15.

Tweet from @Reganrant: .@Drat_29 has really made it as an all-time great of @Kelowna_Rockets with this new portrait outside the dressing room at Prospera Place. pic.twitter.com/RjIHxiLq8W

After getting dealt from the Prince Alberta Raiders upon his assignment from the Oilers to the Western Hockey League, the 2014 third-overall NHL draft pick scored 53 points in 32 regular season games with the Rockets.

He then tallied 28 points in 19 playoff games to help Kelowna capture the Ed Chynoweth Cup league championship before winning the Memorial Cup MVP award with seven points in five games.

Unfortunately, the Rockets lost to the Oshawa Generals in the national championship game, but Draisaitl certainly made a lasting impression on the Rockets before moving back to pro hockey in a full-time capacity.

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BLOG: Chiarelli and McLellan on Expansion Draft

With the Expansion Draft coming up on Wednesday, Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan comment on this year's unique proceedings

by Ryan Frankson / EdmontonOilers.com

The end of June is always an exciting time in the League with the Stanley Cup Final, followed by the NHL Awards, then the NHL Draft, which leads into the free agency period beginning July 1.

Video: NHL AWARDS | Peter Chiarelli

With the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights as an expansion team, however, this week's proceedings are even more intriguing. The Knights will announce tomorrow which player they've selected from each of the other 30 teams, in addition to any trades they've executed.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said during Tuesday's NHL Awards media availability in Las Vegas that he's had discussions with the Golden Knights, but "maybe not as much as other teams."

"It's not top of list for us, it's on the list," he said. "For some teams it was, with the age of their players and their protect situations… It's just another piece to the puzzle when you're trying to map out your roster for the coming year… I think maybe what the Expansion Draft has done is it's sparked us to get a jump-start on the normal discussions."

Head Coach Todd McLellan has, of course, been involved in those discussions alongside Chiarelli and the Oilers management team. He said he's noticed an increase from previous seasons with the added wrinkle of expansion.

"There's a lot more going on right now than what normally happens this time of year," McLellan said. "There's always some discussion about moving up or down in the Draft, and you're starting to tweak your teams at this point. But there's a lot more action going on, there's a lot more discussion, the phone's ringing a lot more often. It's an exciting time right now. It's an anxious time for players and coaching staffs. There's a new team coming into the League and nobody knows what it's going to look like until tomorrow night."

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