INSIDE THE OILERS
POSTED ON Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 2:15 PM MT
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POSTED ON Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 1:53 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid obviously came into training camp with some big expectations from both the Oilers and the fans. He’s shown that chemistry doesn’t take too long to develop, gelling nicely with his linemates early, especially Taylor Hall.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media on Sunday for the first time since camp opened and had good things to say.

“He makes a lot of plays,” said Chiarelli. “His play without the puck has been good. I’ve been very happy with him and that line looks very good, including Ted on the other wing. He makes good plays. He’s fast and he’s had some back-checking and he’s been good with that. Every time he has the puck he makes a good play.”

McDavid, unofficially, scored two goals and added an assist in Sunday’s scrimmage in Leduc.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 1:26 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers announced Sunday morning that they locked up defenceman Oscar Klefbom long term.

Klefbom, 22, figures greatly into the organization’s plans for the blueline moving forward. He was inked to a seven-year extension.

“He’s a big, strong kid. He skates well, he moves the puck well, he defends well,” said Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “I saw him play in the Worlds and at that high level, he’s a very good player. I know he’s only had 70-something games in the NHL but there’s a lot to like about him, on both sides of the puck.”

Chiarelli had some really high praise for the potential of Klefbom and gave an indication of where the Oilers believe is ceiling is.

“He’s a top-four D and he’s going to be a top-two D at some point,” said Chiarelli. “He plays a real responsible game and he moves the puck. We project on him but we’re fairly confident on it.”

Klefbom has just 77 NHL games under his belt since being taken 19th overall in 2011.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 10:15 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The Oilers have taken the ice here in Leduc for their third practice of training camp.

Schedule for today is as follows:

10-10:45 a.m. - GROUP A PRACTICE - RINK 1

10:50-11:20 a.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 1

11:20-11:40 a.m. - FLOOD

11:40-12:10 p.m. - GROUP B vs GROUP A - RINK 2 - PERIOD 2

Interviews to follow.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.19.2015 / 2:22 PM MT
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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.19.2015 / 2:19 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

The summer skate is over and the fall season is around the corner.

Day three for training camp and already the roster has scrimmaged — scrimmaged hard — and has had the chance to play the league’s new 3-on-3-overtime format.

“It’s going to be fun. There’s a lot of room out there, and with the guys we have especially, it’s going to be something I think we take advantage of,” said Justin Schultz.

Now that the Oilers are back at it, Schultz is happy to be getting back into real game-like situations.

“It was good, it’s what you’d expect for the first kind of scrimmage for everyone there. It was tough, we had a practice before and went out there, so it was a long day but it was good,” he said.

Within the group setting, Schultz is also focusing on his own game, looking to improve in areas that will increase his skill and benefit the team in the long run.

“I’m going to try to get a lot more shots off this year, get the puck towards the net and get it through screens,” he said.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.19.2015 / 1:43 PM MT
By Meg Tilley - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

According to Cam Talbot, as a player in the NHL, you have to have an attitude where you just want to push yourself to be better and better, day in and day out.

It sounds like a promising attribute for the newly acquired goalie, whose time with the Edmonton Oilers is just beginning.

“Different jersey, different guys but same feel, same energy I think,” he said. “Just real excited to get in here and get to know a lot more of the guys and good to see kind of what the teams going to look like in the future."

This is not his first rodeo.

Suiting up in an Oilers jersey and dawning his newly painted goalie mask to match, Talbot looked forward to gearing up for training camp.

“You’re always fighting for something in this league and you’re always trying to push yourself to be better and I think that’s one of the characteristics you have to have in order to make it in this league.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 09.19.2015 / 10:18 AM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers
Group B is the first to skate this morning with Group A doing off-ice training.

The groups appear to be the same as Friday morning.

Schedule for today is as follows:

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM - GROUP B PRACTICE
10:50 AM - 11:20 AM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 1
(Click here to watch some of this scrimmage via Periscope)
11:20 AM - 11:40 AM - FLOOD
11:40 AM - 12:10 PM - GROUP B vs. GROUP A - PERIOD 2 12:25 PM - 1:10 PM - GROUP A PRACTICE
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM - GROUP C PRACTICE

The lines for Group B are the same as yesterday:

Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
Slepyshev-Yakimov-Klinkhammer
Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks
Gazdic-Khaira-Pakarinen (McRae)

Defensive Pairings:

Klefbom-Schultz
Reinhart-Gryba
Nurse-Musil (Simpson)

However, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a puck to the face during the practice and Bogdan Yakimov replaced him on the top line between Pouliot and Eberle for the scrimmage.
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POSTED ON Friday, 09.18.2015 / 7:08 PM MT
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POSTED ON Friday, 09.18.2015 / 7:07 PM MT
By Chris Wescott - edmontonoilers.com / Inside the Oilers

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan rolled out some tentative lines for his team on Friday, at Leduc Recreation Centre.

First-overall pick Connor McDavid skated between Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell. He said it was a decision partially based on chemistry of two of those linemates but also Purcell as a third complementary player. Also influencing that combination is that McLellan seems very comfortable to roll with Benoit Pouliot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle as his other top line.

“I’m not sure it can work, I hope it can work. But I know that Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle had a good finish to last year when they were together,” said McLellan. “There’s some familiarity there. They played well at both ends of the rink for the most part and I like that. I think that Connor and Taylor have had a little bit of chemistry throughout their summer and that might help. And Teddy has the ability to shoot the puck and we forget him using his size and that can be a factor on that line.”

McLellan says this is an opportunity for Purcell to step up and he needs to “take advantage of it.”

Another line the Oilers tested out today was one that has Leon Draisaitl centring Anton Lander and Nail Yakupov. That’s a lot of fire power and McLellan almost went out of his way to remind the media they’re a group to watch.

“The interesting line for me is that Draisaitl-Lander-Yakupov line. If we can get them gelling and playing the right way, they can be very dangerous. That’s a goal of ours anyway,” said McLellan.

The Oilers coach also reminded everyone that the lines the team uses in Leduc aren’t finalized.

“What we all have to understand is those lines are very fluid,” said McLellan. “We didn’t even scrimmage today. There’s really no evaluation tool to see if they had chemistry or not. It was a lot about concepts and setting standards more than anything. Later on, that will happen.”

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INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG