"I've known him for about 24 hours now so there's not much I can say," Draisaitl remarked. "All I can say is he seems like a very nice, very humble guy and obviously everybody knows what he's capable of on the ice. He's a special guy and I think the whole organization should be very excited about him."
Draisaitl was also excited about some of the moves the Oilers have made in the past week, bringing in defencemen Eric Gryba, Andrej Sekera and Griffin Reinhart, goaltender Cam Talbot and forwards Lauri Korpikoski and Mark Letestu.
"It's pretty hard to miss those acquisitions and trades we've made. I think it's good. We're doing the right moves and now it's time to get ready for the season."
As for himself, the goal hasn't changed for Draisiatl as he looks to make the team next season. Being his second Orientation Camp, however, he is taking on a bigger role within the group.
"I have to try and take more leadership than I did last year. Obviously, it's my second year but at the same time I'm coming in with the same mindset as I did last year. I want to be here and I want to play on this team. It's going to be the same mindset as last year."
AUDIO: Griffin Reinhart Interview
Edmonton Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced the club has traded the 16th and 33rd overall picks in the 2015 NHL Draft to the New York Islanders, in exchange for defenceman Griffin Reinhart.
Very excited to be a part of oil country once again!— Griffin Reinhart (@GriffinReinhart) June 27, 2015
Reinhart was taken 4th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry by the Islanders. He has played eight NHL games, all during the 2014-15 season, registering one assist, six penalty minutes and a +1 rating.
The 6’4’’, 217-pound blueliner made his NHL debut on October 10, 2014 in Carolina.
Reinhart is the former captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he played 209 games and recorded 30 goals and 81 assists for 111 points. He had 164 penalty minutes and a +83 rating.
He captained the Oil Kings to a 2014 Memorial Cup Championship.
In 57 playoff games with the Oil Kings, Reinhart recorded nine goals and 19 assists, 56 penalty minutes and a plus-minus of +27.
Griffin is the son of former Calgary Flames defenceman Paul Reinhart and the brother of Flames centre Max and Buffalo Sabres centre Sam Reinhart.
WATCH DIRECTLY IN YOUTUBE
Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli addressed s the media on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. MDT. If you missed it, you can watch the full archive above.
NHL teams today were able to announce their home openers in advance of Thursday morning's full schedule release. For the Oilers, they'll be playing an opponent not usually reserved for openers, and they'll be doing it for both their home opener and season opener.
The team's season opener will be on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, October 8. Then the following Thursday (October 15), the Oilers will kick off their final season at Rexall Place against the same St. Louis Blues.
Todd McLellan was asked what his plans were as he takes the reigns as the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s going to go up. That’s what the plan is,” said McLellan. “It’s to take it up. It’s to take the organization and begin to climb the mountain. We have to chart our path to begin with. We have to determine what we want to be and how we want to look. We have to find the players within the organization right now — not going outside but in the organization — and put them in the right spots. With all of that, there’s pain. There’s nights we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams that are playing right now that just experienced it, too. They have painful nights. They just have fewer of them. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.”
McLellan has high hopes for the franchise, but did want to temper expectations for next season.
“To come in and say hey we’re winning a Stanley Cup next year, that’s not the case. There’s some auxiliary pieces — and what I mean by auxiliary is not on the ice surface — that have been added. Bob’s obviously been named to oversee everything, Peter, myself. It’s been an exciting time for all of us.”
He was quick to point out that he knows that he will ultimately be judged on whether or not the organization can get on the winning track.
“The product on the ice — the wins and losses — still drive the organization. That’s how it is in any team. And we have to make sure that that product and those players are driving it upwards.
“There will be hills and valleys but over time it has to keep going upwards.”
Todd McLellan was asked about his playoff record with the Sharks, but McLellan was quick to point out that the Oilers were looking to get better in many aspects, not just postseason.
“We’re not going to talk about playoffs here. We’re going to talk about foundation. We’re going to talk about creating an identity and building towards it. The playoff part of it exists after you accomplish those regular season things and we’ve got work to do there first of all,” McLellan began.
He added that he felt that the Sharks got a bad rap when people referred to their playoff failures, noting that often the team that eliminated them went on to win the championship.
“As far as San Jose goes, we had a lot of successes in the playoffs in my opinion. We ended up losing to some very good teams. Chicago, Los Angeles, teams that went on to win the Stanley Cup. And sometimes you get beat by a better team. It’s as simple as that.
“Maybe you’re not at the top of your game. Maybe you’re short in some areas. Whether it’s skill, strength, toughness. It’s what the playoffs are about. You play, you find out what went right, what went wrong as an organization. Then you evaluate it and try to go out and fix it the next year.
“We were close. We had really good teams. They still have a tremendous team there. They’ve got some tremendous athletes in that locker room. They’ll be a force to be reckoned with. But it was just time for the players and the coach to refresh, I guess is the best word.”
The Edmonton Oilers announced this morning that there will be a press conference later today (2:00 PM).
You can watch the press conference LIVE on the Oilers Mobile App and also right here at edmontonoilers.com.
View the live feed directly in YouTube (with live chat).
Connor McDavid won the Wayne Gretzky '99' Award as MVP of the playoffs despite the Erie Otters dropping a 6-2 decision to Oshawa, losing the championship series in five games.
From the OHL's press release:
The top 2015 NHL Draft prospect led the OHL Playoffs in scoring with 21 goals, 28 assists and 49 points in 20 games, the most points in a postseason since Justin Papineau's OHL record of 51 in 1999.
McDavid, an 18 year-old centreman from Newmarket, ON, had two goals, four assists and six points in five games during the Rogers OHL Championship Series, leading the Otters deep into the playoffs for the second straight season. He had points in 18 of his 20 playoff contests.
The Otters captain recorded a total of five multi-goal games throughout the 2015 OHL Playoffs, highlighted by a five-goal performance in a 7-3 win over the London Knights on April 10.
McDavid becomes the second Otters player to win the award after Brad Boyes earned the distinction in 2002.
The OHL introduced the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award in 1999 to honour the Most Valuable Player in the OHL Playoffs as selected by the media. Gretzky, a native of Brantford, graduated from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to become the most prolific scorer in the history of the NHL. The league created the award in tribute of 'The Great One' shortly after he announced his retirement from the NHL in 1999.
Leon Draisaitl was named the WHL MVP as his Kelowna Rockets defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings 3-0, sweeping their way to the WHL Championship.
The first two periods went scoreless but 1:10 into the third, Draisaitl scored shorthanded to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead. That goal would turn out to be the game winner as 19 seconds later, Rourke Chartier scored shorthanded on the same penalty.
With 5:30 to go, Draisaitl assisted on a goal by Nick Merkley to make it 3-0 and that was how the game would end.
The Erie Otters have been pushed to the brink after falling 6-5 to the Oshawa Generals on Wednesday night. Top-ranked CSS prospect Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists for four points in a losing cause.
Oshawa stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but before the period would end, the Otters came back to tie it at 2-2 with McDavid assisting on both goals.
The Generals then scored two more to open the second and take a 4-2 lead. 10 seconds after Oshawa's fourth goal, Jake Marchment scored to make it a one-goal affair. Then McDavid assisted on a goal by Taylor Raddysh to tie it up at 4-4.
Erie took a 5-4 after McDavid ripped a shot from the high slot top corner. Oshawa tied the game at 5-5 with one second left in the middle frame. Neither team scored in the third, sending the match-up to overtime.
In OT, Cole Cassels scored 8:19 in to give Oshawa the win.