Sometimes, in order to move on, you’ve got to reset. For Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens, this off-season was just as much about a mental reboot as it was getting physically ready for a new season.
“It was a good summer for me,” said Scrivens. “Mentally, it was probably the best thing for me to refresh. I’m coming in and I feel really good right now. My confidence is up. I’ve had a great summer off the ice and on the ice. It was just a matter of analyzing the season a little bit, both personally with what I did well and didn’t do well and seeing what I could change. Obviously, there were tough lessons that I learned last year. I’ve talked about it earlier, just trying to do too much, which comes when you care about the results. Sometimes, it leads you down the wrong path where now you’re worried about things that are out of your control. It was good to mentally re-focus and get back to a similar training plan I’ve had for the better part of my pro career.”
Scrivens finished last season with a .890 save percentage and 3.16 goals-against average in 57 games for the Oilers. He’s hoping to soon get back to his form from his time with the Los Angeles Kings in 2013-14, in which he posted a .931 save percentage and 1.97 GAA.
On the ice this summer, Scrivens went back to work as he does every off-season.
“A lot of goalie sessions when I could, skating well and skating as often as I could and obviously, a lot of time in the gym getting lean and getting stronger,” he said.
The Edmonton Oilers have reduced their training camp roster by seven today, assigning the following players:
Keven Bouchard (Baie-Comeau – QMJHL)
Rihards Bukarts (Brandon – WHL)
Kevin Davis (Everett – WHL)
Cole Linaker (Kelowna – WHL)
Jordan Papirny (Brandon – WHL)
Tyler Soy (Victoria – WHL)
Colton Waltz (Brandon – WHL)
The Oilers training camp roster now includes 59 players (6 goalies, 20 defencemen and 33 forwards).
Leon Draisaitl finished tied for the tournament lead in points (five) at the 2015 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C. He followed up those three games with a four-point night (1-3-4) against the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Wednesday at Rexall Place.
The third-overall pick in 2014 shouldn’t be a surprising name to spot high up on the stat sheet. His high-end scoring and playmaking ability make him a top prospect in the Oilers system. This Rookie Camp allowed him to show the Oilers brass a glimpse of his offensive talents.
“I think it’s always important,” Draisaitl said of putting up points. “I think every player has his role. I would consider myself as an offensive guy so I expect myself to produce offensively and I think (Wednesday night) the whole team did a great job of that.”
Draisaitl will battle for a spot on the Oilers roster out of training camp, starting Friday. Oilers Rookies Head Coach Gerry Fleming might not be expecting the big, German centre to spend much time down in the American Hockey League with Bakersfield if he continues anything close to his scoring pace in pre-season.
“Leon had a good Rookie Camp here,” said Fleming. “He did the things that we expected him to do. Hopefully he can just take that and keep adding to what he has to do at the big camp to stay.”
Overall, Draisaitl seemed pleased with his performance with the prospects. Nine points in four games will probably put a smile on your face.
“It’s been pretty good I think so far,” said Draisaitl. “Obviously, the first couple games are always a little tough. It takes a little while for you to get your feet wet and get your legs under you. But so far, it’s been pretty good. I think the most important thing is it’s getting better from game to game.”
If Oilers Rookie Camp taught us anything it’s that the organization has great top-level prospects in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse. It also taught us that the depth, particularly among AHL-bound players, packs a scoring punch.
Josh Winquist finished the 2015 Young Stars Classic with the tournament lead in points (five) and goals (four). He added another goal on Wednesday night against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Perhaps Winquist can carry this momentum down to Bakersfield. He did have a 93-point season in the WHL back in 2013-14.
Fellow AHL contracted teammates Braden Christoffer and Alexis Loiseau also put up points for the Oilers Rookies. Christoffer scored three goals in as many games in Penticton and added an assist. Christoffer had two helpers against the Bears. Loiseau recorded two goals and two assists in two Young Stars games. He added a goal on Wednesday night.
Add turning-pro prospect Kyle Platzer amongst names to watch who had strong camps. Bakersfield Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming, who also led the Oilers Rookies, says it makes him excited to see the players perform well and even surprise.
“It sure does,” said Fleming on Wednesday morning. “You’ve got to understand too that they’re going against junior (and college) guys and it will be a different set of competition when they get to the American Hockey League, with bigger and more-experienced guys. But for them to play the way they have in this (camp), I’d rather see that than them not perform to the way they’re supposed to. We expected it from them and they responded the way they should have.”
The Oilers Rookies are on the ice for morning skate at Rexall Place. Here is their projected lineup for tonight’s game against the University of Alberta Golden Bears based on this morning’s line combinations.
McDavid will centre Sanford and Slepyshev.— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) September 16, 2015
Roy and Soy are skating, but not expected to play.
Other lines: Bukarts-Loiseau-Linaker Rankin-Platzer-Chase Roy and Soy skating, not expected to play. Moroz injured.— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) September 16, 2015
- PRACTICE | Tuesday at Royal Glenora
- PRACTICE RAW | Connor McDavid
- PRACTICE RAW | Greg Chase
- PRACTICE RAW | Gerry Fleming
After getting banged up in Saturday’s Young Stars tournament game against Calgary, Greg Chase was a late scratch on Monday against Winnipeg. One game remains for the Oilers Rookies and that is tomorrow night against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Chase, like many of the prospects, most looks forward to this game.
“I think for us, the last couple of years I’ve played, it’s definitely been the hardest game that we’ve played out of the four rookie tournament games,” said Chase. “They’re the best team in the country for however many years and they’re a fun team to play against. It’s always a fun environment. They’re a well-structured team, it’s a good test for us every year and it’s always a fun one to be a part of.”
A good sign for Chase to play tomorrow is that he skated and participated fully today as the team practiced at Royal Glenora.
Chase wouldn’t commit to a yes-or-no answer when asked if he’d play tomorrow.
“We’ll just reevaluate in the morning,” said Chase. “I felt good out there and we’ll see what they want to do.”
- IN FOCUS | Oilers vs. Jets Pre-Game
- RAW | Peter Chiarelli
- RAW | Connor McDavid
- RAW | Gerry Fleming
- RAW | Ethan Bear
- THE PANEL | Presented by Sport Chek
Marco Roy isn’t dwelling on the past.
He’s not worried about prior injuries, which served as an obstacle to his junior production. He’s not worried about not getting an NHL contract at the end of his junior career. The former second-round pick of the Oilers in 2013 is just focused on what he can control and that is the present.
“I think I’m here to have fun, play hard and compete every shift,” said the 20-year-old centre, who is skating for the Oilers in the 2015 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C. “In the end, I’m here to be a better player and add more experience in hockey. I’m just here to win and compete.”
Roy played just 39 games in 2013-14 for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL. A change of scenery was supposed to help him put the injuries in the past and gain valuable experience. He was moved to the 2015 Memorial Cup host team, Quebec.
Roy posted 50 points, including 26 goals, in 59 games for the Remparts in the regular season. He added 11 points in 14 playoff games and five points (1-4-5) in five games during the Memorial Cup tournament.
“I had a lot of injuries and stuff,” Roy said of his final junior season. “I think I finished strong at the Memorial Cup and I’m happy to have played in this tournament. It’s good for me. I had a lot of fun in that tournament.”
But Roy brushes all last year aside. His focus is clear.
“I think I’m ready to play in the pros.”
The Oilers did not sign Roy to an entry level contract and he re-entered the draft. After he wasn’t selected, the centre was brought back to the Oilers system, but this time with a professional contract. Roy signed an AHL deal with the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers primary development team.
The Condors look forward to seeing if Roy can live up to his second-round potential.
“Marco is a skilled guy, a goal scorer, so he’s got to go out there and let his skills take over, dominate the game and have confidence with the puck and make plays,” said Condors Head Coach Gerry Fleming. “He’s a playmaker and that’s what we expect from him.”
Roy is suiting up for the Oilers here in Penticton with the hopes of leaving an impression on the Oilers and the Condors. He wants to prove he can be a professional hockey player and can be successful.
In order to be successful in that endeavour, Roy is putting all of his injuries and past obstacles to rest.
“Right now I’m feeling 100 percent and I had a really good summer of training, like three months of training. I added weight, so I’m stronger,” said Roy. “I think mentally I am ready. Everything I had in the past is behind me. Right now, I am focusing on playing in the NHL one day and proving to everybody that I can play there.”
Oilers rookies reported to Rexall Place for fitness testing as Rookie Camp got underway in Edmonton prior to the team's departure for Penticton and the Young Stars Tournament. Edmontonoilers.com and Oilers TV were there to provide the coverage:VIDEO:
- ROOKIE CAMP | Young Stars Get Going
- RAW | Connor McDavid
- RAW | Darnell Nurse
- RAW | Kyle Platzer
- RAW | Greg Chase
- RAW | Leon Draisaitl
- COMING SOON - TICKET DELIVERY | Yakupov & Talbot
- Photo Gallery from Day 1 of Rookie Camp
- Nail Yakupov and Cam Talbot deliver tickets to Season Seat Holders