EDMONTON, AB - Cooper Marody has made it clear: he hopes to earn an NHL roster spot come October.
"I'm just trying to prove how hard I've worked throughout my career and I think I'm ready for the next step," Marody said.
The Brighton, MI native began last season in the Philadelphia Flyers' system, who drafted the skilled centre 158th overall (sixth round) in the 2015 NHL Draft. The pivot put up 51 points (16G, 35A) in 40 games for the University of Michigan to lead the Big Ten in scoring.
The Oilers signed the 21-year-old to a three-year entry-level contract on April 8th, after acquiring him three weeks prior.
"It's a tremendous opportunity, it's something you dream about your whole life," Marody said. "I had success in Michigan and it was a dream to get that NHL contract."
Marody finished his 2017-18 season with the Bakersfield Condors, recording three points in three games with the Oilers AHL club.
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"It was huge for me, you never really know how to play with the pros until you actually do it," Marody continued. "I felt very confident and I played my game. The way I was effective in college, I was effective in the American league.
"[My game] has translated well into the American League and I feel it will even better into the NHL."
The 6-foot, 184-pound centre feels he's never been a hyped player through high school and junior hockey. Now, at Oilers Rookie Camp, he feels a productive summer will help him inch closer to earning an NHL roster spot.
"I watched and clipped every one of the Oilers goals [from last season], power play and even strength," he said. "I broke them down and really tried to learn the structure and learn about each player on the team.
"I learned about the style of game the Oilers like to play and any tendencies I could pick up on."
Marody and the rest of the Oilers Rookies take to the ice again on Saturday before heading to Calgary for a road game versus the Flames Rookies on Sunday afternoon.