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Versteeg talks opportunity with Oilers

Three on-ice days into camp, Kris Versteeg talks about his opportunity on a tryout with Edmonton

by Marc Ciampa /

Video: OILERS TODAY | Opportunity Knocks

After three days skating on Rogers Place ice, Kris Versteeg has assessed the lay of the land when it comes to his potential future teammates. 

"I think they're going good. I think guys are looking great," said Versteeg. "It's exciting to be around guys that I've played against and some that I've played with for a long time just to see the progression and how good guys are.

"You don't really get a chance to see how good guys are until you see them up close for many days in a row. These first three days have been something for me. It's been an eye-opener."

In camp with the Oilers on a professional tryout, Versteeg has a limited opportunity to show that he has what it takes to get an NHL contract. 

"I've always tried to go into camp and play hard every year and try to show the brass, no matter where I've been, that I want to be there. And that I'm in shape and am going to be at the top of my game," Versteeg began. "I don't think that's changed. Maybe the urgency has changed a tad but in the end, I've just got to play my game and not overdo it."

"It's not pressure for me. I've been in a lot of pressure situations in my life. Even just in life in general, people have a lot worse things to worry about than trying to make an NHL hockey club. This is fun for me. This is exciting. I'm just hoping to, in the end, impress the team and hopefully earn my way on."

He impressed on Sunday, netting an assist on Drake Caggiula's winning goal 33 seconds into overtime. 

"I said before, I'm not going out to be someone I'm not. I'm just going to go out and play my game and play with some urgency, too. I'm here to try and win a job and be part of the organization. But I've felt good. I think our line's been playing well so far and I've been having fun.

"All in all, the team's been doing great. We've been having great practices and you can see it transitioning into the games and it's been good."

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan talked about what Versteeg brings to the team. 

"He's not a one-tool player when it comes to position and I think that's a valuable thing. If you have the ability to move and you're comfortable and willing to do it on whatever line, it certainly enhances your chances. Versteeg has been a veteran player of many years. He's won Stanley Cups, he's been on some real good teams and he's been on some developing teams. He tends to have an impact wherever he goes so that's a positive thing for us to have him here.

"We think he can challenge for a spot."



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