INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Thursday, 05.19.2016 / 10:42 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson has been re-elected as the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Vice President for the Americas.

This will be Nicholson’s second term as vice president.

“It’s an absolute privilege to represent the International Ice Hockey Federation again. We have to make sure young boys and girls play and that we put programs together whether you’re a large or small nation in a healthy and safe environment,” Nicholson told the media after the election.

Nicholson received a unanimous decision.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.16.2016 / 2:57 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers prospect Ethan Bear may have been eliminated from the playoffs by Brandon, but recognition for his impressive season continues. The Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman was named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending May 15.

Bear had five points in three games and was +3 in the 2016 WHL Championship series against Brandon. He led all WHL blueliners in post-season scoring with 22 points (8-14-22) in 18 games.

During the regular season, Bear posted 65 points (19-46-65) in 69 games.

Bear, 18, was selected in the fifth round, 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 05.14.2016 / 11:13 AM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

It was a hard fought battle that in the end saw the Brandon Wheat Kings come away with an 8-4 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds, taking Game 5 of the WHL Championship to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

The Wheat Kings won the best-of-seven series 4-1 after the Thunderbirds forced Game 5 with a 6-1 win in Game 4.

Brandon took a 1-0 lead 3:15 into the first but Seattle scored the equalizer five minutes later. After 20 minutes of play, the Wheat Kings had a 2-1 lead.

The second period would see the Thunderbirds take the lead for the first time in the game. After Brandon took a two goal lead 1:33 into the middle frame, Seattle came back and tied the game 3-3 with two goals in 31 seconds.

The Thunderbirds took a 4-3 lead just after the midway mark of the second, but the Wheat Kings tied the game 4-4 at 18:47.

The third period would see Brandon regain the lead and earn the win, ending Seattle’s bid for the WHL Championship.

Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear had one assist in the final game and finished the playoff run recording eight goals, 14 assists for 22 points in 18 games and was +11.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 05.12.2016 / 11:14 AM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Down 3-0 in the best-of-seven series, Game 4 was a do or die situation for the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday night.

Though the Brandon Wheat Kings looked poised to take it, the Thunderbirds weren’t going down without a fight, shocking the Wheat Kings in a thunderous 6-1 victory.

The Thunderbirds took a 1-0 lead 7:54 into the first period. By the end of the second, they had a commanding 3-0 lead over the Wheat Kings.

But Seattle wasn’t prepared to rest their wings any time soon. The Thunderbirds flew into the third, extending their lead to 5-0 with Ryan Gropp’s second goal of the night and another from Donovan Neuls on the power play.

Oilers defensive prospect Ethan Bear capped off the night, scoring on a slap shot during a five-on-three power play to make it a 6-0 game, adding to his already two assists from the night.

Wheat Kings Jayce Hawryluk ended Seattle’s shutout, scoring with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

In 17 playoff games Bear has recorded eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points and is +12.

The Thunderbirds must win Game 5 on Friday to send the series back to Brandon for Game 6.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 05.11.2016 / 12:44 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers defensive prospect John Marino is on the hunt with the USHL Tri-City Storm as they attempt to win the team’s first Clark Cup.

The Storm overcame a 2-1 first period deficit to defeat the Waterloo Black Hawks 5-3 on home ice in Game 5 of the western conference final series and make their second Clark Cup Final appearance in team history.

Marino was drafted by the Oilers in round 6, 154th overall, of the 2015 NHL Draft. This season the blueliner recorded five goals and 25 assists for 30 points in 56 games with the Storm.

The best-of-five series will kick-off on Friday in Dubuque, Iowa, where Tri-City will face off against the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 05.10.2016 / 11:21 PM MT
By Marc Ciampa - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

A third consecutive 3-2 overtime loss has pushed the Seattle Thunderbirds to the brink of elimination against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Oilers prospect Ethan Bear assisted on the second Seattle goal, which came 13:05 into the opening period to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead at the time. The goal came 38 seconds after Alexander True scored to tie the game up for Seattle.

The Thunderbirds would remain in the lead until 11:22 remained in the third. Edmontonian John Quenneville scored his second of the game to make it a 2-2 contest.

2:59 into overtime, Reid Duke scored to give the Wheat Kings the victory.

Bear’s assist gave him seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 16 playoff games. The 18-year-old defenceman leads all WHL blueliners in playoff scoring and is tied for eighth overall in points.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.9.2016 / 3:19 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

While Oilers fans were still conversing about the team landing coveted NCAA undrafted free agent Drake Caggiula, the organization was wrapping up another two-year entry level contract. Edmonton signed Patrick Russell out of St. Cloud State University.



The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward recorded 41 points in 41 games for his college team this past season.

“He’s a late bloomer, but he’s a big, strong kid and I call him a strong cycle player and he’s got really good hands and good net-front,” said Oilers GM Peter Chiareli on Oilers Now Monday.

“We don’t have a lot of that in the pipeline. He’s a ’93 birth, so he’s close to playing. His footspeed has to get up to speed a little more, but strong, strong on the puck and big, strong and good release. He scored 20 this year at St. Cloud, which is no easy feat. We were on him a little bit last year and he had a real good year this year. Fortunate to get him and happy to have him.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.9.2016 / 3:16 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers signed University of North Dakota standout Drake Caggiula to a two-year entry level contract this weekend, after he spoke and visited with numerous teams.

“Drake is a good prospect,” Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli said on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer Monday. “He’s one of those guys who will play. He’s very smart. He’s got good speed. But the reason why he’ll play, because he’s 5-10, 185 and that is a bit of an obstacle for him, is his hockey sense and grit. When you combine those two ingredients with skill, these guys find a way to play. No accident that I would suspect there were 29 teams after this player.”



The forward put up 51 points in 39 games as a senior and was named the most outstanding player at the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament as UND won a national title.

“We’re happy he chose us,” said Chiarelli.

Although there is excitement with the prospect, Chiarelli says there’s still a learning curve as he enters the professional ranks.

“He’s got to learn the pro game, he’s got to learn to temper his aggression,” said Chiarelli. “You may ask, why we’d get someone to temper their aggression? Well, if he gets aggressive for an undersized guy he’s going to get hurt. He’s been real big in big games. Happy to get him. He’s still got some work to do, but he enjoyed his visit with us, enjoyed our plan we were pitching so we look at him like a free draft choice.”

Caggiula has compared his style of play to the likes of Minnesota’s Zach Parise, Boston’s Brad Marchand and Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher. Chiarelli can see that.

“Smaller guys have a lower centre of gravity than other guys, so if they have the strength to protect the puck then they actually can be quite good at it,” Chiarelli explained. “I would put Drake in that category. That was one of the things we noticed in Drake. There’s a number of players who put up numbers in college, but how he controlled the play by protecting the puck and with speed was something that’s hard to find. I don’t know if he’s as much of a pest as those other two, but he is aggressive, he likes to go after bigger guys, he’s hard on the forecheck, he likes to hit. I haven’t seen that pest in him but you never know what might come out.”

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.9.2016 / 12:05 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Drake Caggiula, who signed a two-year entry level contract with the Oilers Saturday earned two team awards from the University of North Dakota.

Caggiula was named UND’s most valuable player, earning the Jeff Anderson Scholarship Award. Caggiula scored 25 goals and added 25 assists for 51 points in 39 games as a senior in 2015-16. The forward was instrumental in UND’s national title run. He scored two goals in each of UND’s Frozen Four games and was named the NCAA Frozen Four's Most Outstanding Player.

In addition to the MVP honours, Caggiula took home the team’s Plus/Minus Award. He led the nation with a school record 46-rating.

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POSTED ON Monday, 05.9.2016 / 10:00 AM MT

The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Patrick Russell to a two-year entry level contract.

Russell, 23, appeared in 41 games this season with the St. Cloud State Huskies in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), posting 41 points (20G, 21A), 14 penalty minutes and a plus 24 rating. He set career highs in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) in his second season with the Huskies.

Russell received several accolades in his time with St. Cloud State, including being named to the 2015 All-NCHC Academic Team and to the 2015 All-NCHC Rookie Team.

The 6’1”, 205-pound forward has accumulated 66 points (30G, 36A) and 26 penalty minutes in 81 career games with St. Cloud State.

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