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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Jets

The Oilers travel to Winnipeg to complete a pre-season home-and-home with the Jets

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers pre-season schedule continues as the club visits the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. 

Watch the game live on EdmontonOilers.com or listen to it via 630 CHED at 6:00 PM MDT.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game @ WPG

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BLOG: Jones learning through mistakes

"If you get flat-footed without speed you're going to get a little exposed. I think having that happen is a good learning experience. I would not let that happen twice."

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Trial by error.

In the case of defenceman Caleb Jones, it's paying dividends.

After what the 6-foot-1, 194-pound blueliner described as a shaky introduction to NHL pre-season this campaign last night against the Vancouver Canucks, Jones settled in and stepped into the slot to finish off Ryan Strome's feed in the third period to give the Oilers insurance.

"I think every day you try to get better and yesterday was a big learning curve for me," said Jones, drafted in the fourth round, 117th overall by the Oilers in 2015. "I made some mistakes but I feel like I settled in as the game went on and I was fighting it a little bit. In the third I was able to get that goal which was nice and then played a steady game."

A standout Rookie Camp provided Jones the platform to showcase his growth as a player after recording 17 points (2G, 15A) in 58 games with the Bakersfield Condors last season.

"I think I came in and had a few strong games in Rookie Camp and last night I got better as the game went on, so hopefully I get another chance to go out and perform even better, learning from the mistakes I made last night and try to keep going forward."

Video: CAMP RAW | Caleb Jones 09.19.18

Ironing out deficiencies in his game early this pre-season has been the goal.

"It's a fast game. There's some skilled guys out there," Jones said of the NHL adjustment. "If you make a mistake or your stick is in the wrong position, you become exposed. I think those are some things you have to learn by error.

"If you get flat-footed without speed you're going to get a little exposed. I think having that happen is a good learning experience. I would not let that happen twice."

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BLOG: Marody's first NHL pre-season exposure

The former Michigan Wolverine continues his adjustment to pro in first pre-season game with Oilers after brief stint in Bakersfield last season

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - A first pre-season game is in the books for centre Cooper Marody.

The former University of Michigan Wolverine, acquired via trade from the Philadelphia Flyers back in March for a third-round pick, fired four shots the way of the Vancouver Canucks in a 4-2 win for the Oilers in their second tune-up match on back-to-back nights.

"I thought I had a lot of chances and could've had a few goals, but some nights they don't go in," Marody said. "It was a little faster, they played basically an all-NHL lineup, so it was good to see how that is and see the pace you have to play with on a nightly basis."

Marody centred a line flanked by wingers Ostap Safin and Ty Rattie, who helped the Brighton, Michigan product settle in from puck drop in his first NHL contest.

"We just talked about keeping it simple for the first couple of shifts and we'd go from there," Marody said of Rattie, who suited up for 14 games in Oilers threads last season. "I think it was great playing with him. Playing with the better players in a way is easier. Guys know where to be and they make the right play, and like I said it was easier in some aspects playing with a guy like him and other NHLers."

Video: CAMP RAW | Cooper Marody 09.19.18

Registering 51 points (16G, 35A) in 40 games with the Wolverines before a three-game stint in Bakersfield with the Condors yielded a goal and two assists, Marody continues to use pre-season and Oilers Main Camp to adjust to a more speedy, skilled professional game.

"It's about being confident in making the plays you usually make when it's faster and guys are bigger," Marody added. "I think as the game went on I was able to do that and feel more comfortable, but I think to start in the next game I want to make those plays and get comfortable right away."

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MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers at Canucks

The Oilers continue their pre-season schedule with a road game in Vancouver

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

The Oilers pre-season schedule continues on the heels of a 7-4 win in Calgary on Monday. Tonight, the club visits Vancouver. 

The game can be seen and heard live on Sportsnet and 630 CHED beginning at 8:30 PM MT.

We have the lineups below with videos and much more to come, including our Morning Skate Report. 

Video: OILERS TODAY | Pre-Game at VAN

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FEATURE: Crease competition

Goaltenders Al Montoya and Mikko Koskinen are the frontrunners competing to join Cam Talbot in the Oilers goaltending tandem at the start of the 2018-19 NHL season

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The blue paint is going to be crowded.

Eight seasons ago with the New York Islanders, goaltenders Al Montoya and Mikko Koskinen earned time between the pipes as part of a crease roulette that included six netminders.

Flash forward to this year's Oilers Main Camp, the pair are frontrunners to secure the solitary back-up spot behind mainstay Cam Talbot when the puck drops on the 2018-19 NHL season against the New Jersey Devils in Gothenburg, Sweden on Oct. 6.

"There's a lot of competition with all the goalies we have here - six or seven," former SKA St. Petersburg netminder Koskinen said on Sunday.

"Everyone wants to be the number-one guy."

Video: OILERS TODAY | Between the Pipes

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BLOG: Klefbom lends experience to Lagesson

Providing guidance for his Swedish counterpart continues a practice that helped Klefbom make strides in the NHL as a rookie

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - It's a common theme for veterans to pass on their experience to rookies.

Asked if any fresh faces have stood out to him, defenceman Oscar Klefbom had one that he'd been watching closely after the first two Oilers Main Camp scrimmages.

"As a Swede I've looked a little extra at [William Lagesson] and he's looked really good," the Karlstad, Sweden, product said of the Gothenburg, Sweden product.

Lagesson comes into camp with a season in the Swedish Hockey League with Djurgärdens IF under his belt, which can help the 22-year-old transition to the pro game in North America more seamlessly, says Klefbom.

"He's been playing really good hockey back home in Sweden and he's a very good guy on and off the ice," Klefbom said. "Hopefully he can get a shot this year in the NHL. It's a big step playing in Sweden and down in Bakersfield before coming here to the NHL. The game is so much faster and it takes a little while to adapt, but I think he's going to be just fine."

Providing guidance for a prospect like Lagesson is the continuation of a leadership chain that began for Klefbom when he started making strides as an Oiler back during the 2013-14 NHL season.

Video: CAMP | Day 3

"I just remember when I came up here the first couple games or first couple of months how nice it was to have guys like Andrew Ference back in the day," he added. "Those kinds of guys who took me under their wing and helped me get into the game."

Lagesson notched a goal for Team White in a 5-3 scrimmage win for Team Blue, sniping top corner from the top of the circle past goaltender Shane Starrett.

"That was just pure luck," joked Klefbom. "We'll see if he can keep it up. But it was a good shot actually, and I look forward to seeing him play."

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BLOG: Klefbom, Larsson embracing fresh start

The Swedish defensive pairing is leaving last season's issues behind them to start anew at Oilers Main Camp this season

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - If given the opportunity, almost every Oiler would ask for a do-over of the 2017-18 NHL season.

Defencemen Oscaf Klefbom and Adam Larsson would be at the front of that line.

The Swedish pairing played a pivotal role for the Oilers two years ago as the top defensive pair during a playoff run that came one game short of an appearance in the Western Conference Final before a combination of injuries, personal issues and dips in on-ice performance hampered their proceeding campaigns.

But the path to redemption for the Swedish duo is a righteous one.

"My year wasn't great last year - on the ice, off the ice, and my body wasn't right last year," Larsson said after Saturday's scrimmage at Rogers Place. "Oscar was dealing with some injuries too. So there's a fresh start for both of us both mentally and physically."

Klefbom, who missed the final 10 games of last season due to a lingering shoulder injury, looked sharp alongside his countryman during the second scrimmage of Oilers Main Camp, regularly jumping up on the offensive rush in search of a scoring opportunity or the set-up for his teammates.

The 25-year-old is relishing the fresh start of Main Camp with a clean bill of health.

Video: CAMP RAW | Oscar Klefbom

"It feels good to be out there and be able to join the rush a bit and be involved in the offence," a renewed Klefbom said. "I'm just enjoying being on the ice again. It felt bad not being able to play the last games of the season and help the guys out there, but it feels good being on the ice and involved in the game."

As Andrej Sekera continues to rehab an Achilles injury and the Darnell Nurse contract situation is sorted, Klefbom knows he and Larsson have a big role to play in an Oilers defensive core ripe with plenty of new and young faces.

"I think both Adam and I think, along with some of the other guys, that we have a responsibility. Certainly this year with [Sekera] gone," Klefbom said. "Obviously we're going to miss those guys. We want them on the ice. They're really good hockey players and they can help us this year.

"We have so many good young defencemen coming up and we have a lot of confidence in everybody."

For the Swedes, strong individual seasons will be a by-product of approaching the new season as key players in a unified Oilers defensive group.

"We still have a young d-core and we want to grow as a group," Larsson said. "Guys get a year older and more experienced. We have guys who are still young but have been in the league for a number for quite some time, so we're taking steps together.

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BLOG: New season, new mindset for Lucic

Rebounding from a down year begins with coming to the rink happy every day for the 30-year-old left wing

by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The 2016-17 NHL season has always been the benchmark for the current Oilers core that includes left-winger Milan Lucic.

A first playoff appearance for the Oilers in a decade, coming one game from a trip to the Western Conference Final, and a strong individual season from Lucic and his counterparts set the standard for the Oilers and the 30-year-old Vancouver, BC product.

As the team performed, individuals performed.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Fresh Start

BLOG | Oilers Main Camp

    But it all came to a crashing halt the proceeding season as the team struggled, with Lucic hitting a mental block with only one goal in his final 46 games to finish the campaign.

    For Lucic and the Oilers heading into the first official skates of Main Camp on Friday, the past is the past.

    "Two years ago, it was a lot of fun being a part of that group and last year was last year," a straight-forward Lucic said on Thursday following medicals and fitness testing. "It wasn't fun being a part of the group last year, so it's about the present and the future for us as players."

    With a chipper smile and excitement in his voice, Lucic described a simple approach to breaking out of last season's slump.

    "Just trying to get happy again and being happy going to the rink," he said. "I think it starts with workouts - waking up, jumping out of bed in the morning, working hard and pushing yourself. Just having an optimistic and positive outlook on things and not letting the bad things dwell."

    Video: CAMP RAW | Milan Lucic 09.13.18

    Simply put, what's done is done.

    "I definitely learned a hard lesson last year, but I'm not thinking about it at all and just think thinking about this year, playing my own game and being the best player that I can for this team," Lucic said. "I know everyone has the same mindset coming in to this season."

    Having a successful year as an individual begins at the team level, beginning with the establishing of a foundation in Main Camp that can carry a team deep into the playoffs like the Oilers two seasons ago.

    That's a proven fact for Lucic.

    "I've always found, in my 11 years, that when a team has success individuals have success," he continued. "I think this team needs to buy in to what the coaches are selling and what the management is doing, and the vision of where the organization wants to go.

    "You look at it two years ago when we were one game away from a Conference Final, so it's just when everyone buys in and a team has success, individuals have success. That's the motivation right there."

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    BLOG: McLellan structuring identity and combinations early

    Late-season success is providing the road map for early line combinations as Main Camp begins Thursday and team identity develops

    by Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

    EDMONTON, AB - There will be plenty of questions from the players and coaching staff about who the Oilers are as a team.

    During Thursday night's meeting that officially kicks off Oilers Main Camp after a day of physicals and testing, Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan, his coaching staff and the players will start answering them.

    "The team might be a little 'who are we?' and 'who are you?'" McLellan said to the media. "Who are we as a team, who are you as in individual, how do we get there and what do you bring to the table?"

    Video: CAMP RAW | Todd McLellan 09.13.18

    But the Oilers bench boss is already putting in place the building blocks for forward and defensive combinations, using late-season success to guide a number of early decisions.

    It begins up front on the wings alongside Connor McDavid.

    "We will start there with the [Nugent-Hopkins, McDavid, Rattie] line," McLellan said of the trio. "They think similarly, they complement each other, they have confidence, Nuge can keep up and keep plays alive for Connor. They just have a knack right now to play efficient, smart hockey with each other."

    Nine points in 14 games for Rattie alongside McDavid at the end of last season provided a microcosm of the Airdrie, AB right-winger's potential with the Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award winner.

    "We have to keep in mind that experiment started near the end of last year," McLellan added. "That group has to get it done when it's really tough early in the year, and we believe they can."

    Video: CAMP RAW | Connor McDavid 09.13.18

    The evolution of Jesse Puljujarvi continues by placing the 2016 fourth-overall pick in an environment the Finnish winger feels is comfortable and complementary.

    "He's an important part of our team," McLellan said. "We want to put him in a situation where he feels comfortable and confident. In my opinion and just talking to his teammates that's been with [Ryan Strome].

    "We want him to evolve into a real good player. Now that definition is pretty broad. Is he going to be the Patrik Laine 50-goal scorer? I don't know. But I think his evolution and development is going the right way and it will continue."

    The Oilers special team units will take on a more clear image as Main Camp progresses, but as preseason games begin everyone will get the opportunity on both the power play and penalty kill.

    "We play two games right off the bat," McLellan said, with the Oilers facing the Flames and Canucks on the road Monday and Tuesday to begin their preseason schedule. "It's a tough situation to really get special teams going. We're going to play some kids. They deserve a chance to play in the games and we'll let them play. We'll probably see lines running out in power-play situations with everyone getting a chance at the penalty kill.

    "As camp wears on we'll start to put units together and practice with them a little bit more, giving some of our older guys an opportunity at success. They have done it before, we have new eyes on it, and to be successful you need two units to push each other and perform well."

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    MORNING SKATE REPORT: Oilers Rookies vs. Flames Rookies

    The Oilers Rookies look for redemption against the Flames Rookies Wednesday night in Red Deer

    by Paul Gazzola & Jamie Umbach / EdmontonOilers.com

    The Oilers Rookies face the Calgary Flames Rookies at the ENMAX Centrium in Red Deer Wednesday night.

    Watch the game live on EdmontonOilers.com at 7:00 PM MDT.

    Video: OILERS TODAY | vs. Flames Rookies

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