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Versteeg feeling good about tryout

by Meg Tilley @MegsTilley /

It's been an interesting turn of events for Kris Versteeg.

Having originally signed with SC Bern of the Swiss National League this summer, there was a change of course, and the 30-year-old ended up a free agent and signing a professional tryout (PTO) with the Oilers prior to the start of Main Camp. 

With the pre-season wrapped up and camp winding down, the NHL veteran was able to return to the ice, Monday - sans non-contact jersey.

"I feel good, I feel great, just kind of getting back on the ice," said Versteeg. "The last three days now, getting back up to speed with everything, but I feel great."

The 5-foot-11 forward hit a snag during camp when he suffered an undisclosed injury on October 4 in a pre-season game against the Anaheim Ducks. 

"I think I did what I had to do in the four games [I played]," he said. "I showed I could still play, still skate and contribute and I knew I could do that. I think I knew what I had to do in the four games and I think I did most of that, now it really just comes down to a decision and just kind of wait and see what it is."

Though news has continued to trickle in from other teams around the league regarding PTO's that have not made the cut, Versteeg feels confident in what he's brought to the Oilers Main Camp. 

"It hasn't really changed my mindset, I think I'm a really good player so I don't think I compare myself to other PTO guys, personally, but it's just how it is," he said. 

"Some older guys are getting cut and they still deserve to be in the league and still playing in the NHL. It just [seems to be] the way the game is going. Definitely getting younger but just because a guy is on a PTO, for the most part, doesn't mean they can't play or can't do it, I think it's just the way the league's going. Personally, I know what I can do and I can play." 

Versteeg finished the 2015-16 season with the Los Angeles Kings after starting with the season with Carolina. Over 77 regular season games, he finished with 15 goals, 23 assists for 38 points. He also added two points (1G, 1A) in five playoff games with the Kings. 

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