Both bring a different set of skills along with their size attributes. Klefbom is much more physical and provides a toughness while Marincin showed a long reach and offensive ability last year in Oklahoma City.
If Klefbom does not make the Oilers roster out of training camp, this pairing could be an interesting and potentially dominant combination in the American Hockey League barring further development from Marincin.
“On paper it looks really good,” said Oilers coach Todd Nelson. “Hopefully it translates in the game tonight. I think the way we feel Oscar plays and Marty plays it’s a nice compliment towards each other so we hope it works out.”
“He’s really good defenceman,” said Klefbom of his new partner. “Big, strong, good shot and very good reach. I’m looking forward to playing with him.”
Marincin played in 69 games for Oklahoma City and scored 30 points (7-23-30) and had seven points (1-6-7) in 17 playoff games.
Klefbom is now healthy coming off a shoulder injury that held the former 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft out for most of the season.
Edmonton Oilers Prospects Head Coach Todd Nelson elaborated on the coaching staff’s decision to switch around defensive pairings for tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets rookies, including the choice to sit 2013 first round pick, Darnell Nurse.
“Well, we have eight defencemen and everybody’s going to get at least three games of the four that we play in,” said Nelson. “(We’re) just trying different combinations. We’re going to try to rotate all defencemen through. We want to get Brandon Davidson and Joey Leach in tonight.
“Nurse is out as well as (Ben) Betker. They’ll be back in tomorrow. It’s just one of those things where we try and rotate people through.”
Acquired in the 7th round, 188th overall, in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, 18 year-old Gregory Chase is known as an agitator. He is someone opponents do not like to play against.
His tough style of play shone through in the Oilers rookies game against Calgary’s prospects last night. He made a good first impression on coach Todd Nelson.
“I like the way he played,” said Nelson. “He played with sandpaper out there. He has that swagger about him. He was always being vocal on the ice. He was definitely into the game and was competitive.
“When you play against a player like that, you hate playing against him but you love to have players like that on your team. That was my first time watching him play, last night and you could tell he kind of thrives in that environment. That’s part of his game, he’s not going to change it and that’s why he’s here.”
Oklahoma City Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson has had the opportunity to coach the Oilers young prospects for three full seasons now and has seen a noticeable shift in the size and physicality of the incoming players.
He sees this as a good thing and a step in the right direction for Edmonton.
“I think the organization is making a push to be harder to play against,” said Nelson. “It’s nice to have skill. You have to have a complement of grit and size and I think that’s the direction it’s going in. We have some big bodies coming up.
“You look at any talented hockey team that’s successful in the National Hockey League, there’s a combination of both size and skill and that’s the direction that we’re going in.”
Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom had not seen game action since October of 2012 after suffering a shoulder injury while playing for Farjestad. So last night’s Young Stars Tournament game was a relief for one of Edmonton’s top prospects.
Klefbom played a healthy amount of minutes as one-part of the top d-pairing which included the 2013 seventh overall pick, Darnell Nurse.
Although he was happy to retun to the ice, Klefbom was disappointed in his performance in a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames prospects.
“It was very fun, absolutely,” said Klefbom. “It’s very fun to get back and play some games. Personally, it wasn’t a very good game for me. But, like I said, it was fun. Hoping for a better game tomorrow.”
The Oilers rookies take on the Winnipeg Jets rookies tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. MDT.
A lot of eyes were on Darnell Nurse tonight. The number seven overall pick in this year’s draft was seeing his first game action in an Oilers uniform, against the Calgary Flames rookies.
Nurse finished the game with two penalties and played a healthy amount of minutes. When recapping the night, coach Todd Nelson says that while Nurse started the game with a case of nerves, he finished stronger.
“You tend to put pressure on yourself, that’s human nature and once he did settle in he was fine,” said coach Todd Nelson. “You could say that about a lot of our guys. It’s just going to take time over this tournament to feel comfortable but they’ll be a lot better than that.”
They’re not the same rosters or staffs. There aren’t longtime veterans with the NHL experience either. But the rivalry is the same.
When the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames prospects square off in Game One of the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. tonight, it’s the same Battle of Alberta mentality.
“From my experience, we had a really hard fought game against Calgary last time,” said Oilers forward Cameron Abney. “As much as the players don’t know each other, it’s definitely a battle.”
For rookie centre Travis Ewanyk, and Edmonton native, it’s even more personal.
“Anytime you play Calgary… Being from Edmonton personally, born and raised in Edmonton… You don’t have to tell me twice to get up for a game against Calgary and everyone shares that same theme in here,” Ewanyk said.
“It’s been a long time coming to get into an actual game with this team and playing Calgary, you’ve got to get up for it.”
Here were today's line combinations:
Marco Roy - Andrew Miller - Kale Kessy
Austin Fyten - Jujhar Khaira - Greg Chase
Jackson Houck - Travis Ewanyk - Cam Abney
Brandon Baddock - Chase Schaber - Ty Bilcke
And the defence pairings, with no indication of which pairing will be sitting this one out:
Darnell Nurse - Oscar Klefbom
Martin Gernat - David Musil
Brandon Davidson - Joey Leach
Martin Marincin - Ben Betker
Tyler Bunz gets the start in goal.
The Edmonton Oilers signed former Yale University captain, Andrew Miller, to a one-year contract in April. A current member of the Oilers organization, and former Yale Bulldog, may have helped out in the recruiting of Miller.
The forward confesses that he spoke with forward Mark Arcobello during the signing process to get the inside scoop on the Oilers.
"I spoke with him a bit and obviously he speaks very highly of the organization and the AHL development program and the staff in the NHL," said Miller. "It was a great person to talk to but at the same time I had to make the decision by myself and I'm glad I picked the Oilers."
The Edmonton Oilers drafted defenceman Darnell Nurse seventh overall in this year's entry draft. It's been a fun summer for the Oilers newest top blueline prospect, but he's ready to get it over and done with and play hockey.
"It's awesome," said Nurse at rookie camp fitness testing. "I've had enough rest time. It's been pretty crazy all summer but, I'm just ready to get back into the swing of things and play hockey."
This will be Nurse's first professional camp and his first rookie tournament in Penticton. It's something he is heard much about and ready to experience.
"I've just heard the competition is great. You have to be ready every shift and every moment. Everyone is trying to make the team and that's the best part about it. You're going to be pushed out there on a daily basis to really show who you are and it'll bring out the best in everyone.
"The best part about it is you get to hit people with other jerseys on."