The Oilers announced that they have signed Braden Christoffer signed a three-year entry level contract.
Christoffer, a Sherwood Park, AB native, was previously signed to an American Hockey League contract with the Bakersfield Condors. He attended Oilers Rookie Camp and showed well against NHL prospects and competition.
Christoffer had three goals and an assist in three games at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C.
He earned himself an invite to Oilers training camp and played in a pre-season game.
The 21-year-old forward spent three seasons in the WHL with the Regina Pats and finished his career as their team captain. He posted 114 points (50-64-114) and 368 penalty minutes in 202 career games.
In two AHL pre-season games for the Condors, Christoffer recorded two assists.
Read a feature story on Christoffer from Penticton
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The Oilers are just as excited to open the season as the rest of the teams around the NHL. As far as the adjustments to the new staff and systems, the Oilers feel like they’re prepared to start the year on the road in St. Louis on Thursday.
“I think we’re pretty ready,” said Matt Hendricks. “We’ve been pretty tested so far in camp, in terms of knowledge and in terms of taking in the information the coaches want. Execution has gotten better and better. Throughout camp, from day one, we keep improving. We’re seeing affirmation, we’re seeing confirmation of that through video clips and stuff before practices.”
There are several new faces in the locker room, but the returning players want to erase last season’s results and push forward into a new season.
“I know this is an excited group,” said Hendricks. “There’s a lot of guys that want to start the season on the right foot, forget about last season, get all that crap out of us and start the year that we think that we can do.”
Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom sat out a few practices and games near the end of the pre-season as his head coach said he was just a little “banged up.”
The blueliner has been full-go for a couple of days now and says he’s ready to start the season fully healthy.
“I’m feeling 100% for sure,” said Klefbom. “It feels good to be on the ice again. I’m very excited and looking forward to the first game.”
Klefbom said his injury was just some soreness in his foot and he’s fully ready to play when the Oilers open the season against St. Louis on Thursday. Sitting out was a precaution to limit the regular season games he’d miss to start. It turns out, he won’t miss any.
The Oilers have taken the ice at Rexall Place for their Tuesday practice. The lineup remains unchanged from yesterday.
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“I thought he was really close.”
Leon Draisaitl, the third-overall pick in 2014, nearly made the Oilers roster out of camp this season, according to his general manager.
“What we told Leon this morning is that he did everything we asked him to do,” said Peter Chiarelli.
Head Coach Todd McLellan also believed the centre was right in the discussion.
“He had a really good camp,” said McLellan. “He did a lot of the things we asked him to do at the beginning of the summer with conditioning, moving his big body around, coming to camp prepared to play and compete. He played well in the exhibition season.”
While Draisaitl had a chance to stick with Edmonton to begin the 2015-16 season, the organization felt it was in the player and the team’s best interest to have him go to Bakersfield and work on some things.
“What we told him was ‘you have to look at the big picture, we have to look at the big picture. You had a good camp. You outplayed some people, there’s no question there. Play ramps up, things change, dynamics of the game change as games progress into the regular season. We want you, when we call you up, to stay here for good. So you’ve got to work on your 200-foot game. Offensively, you can play in the NHL right now. You’ve got to work on the 200-foot game, the little stuff on the defensive side of the puck, whether it’s at wing or centre.’” said Chiarelli.
The Oilers GM says Draisaitl will predominantly play centre in Bakersfield, but is pleased he now has the ability to play either wing.
“We tried to send him with a good message,” said Chiarelli.
By sending Draisaitl to the AHL, the organization is giving him a chance to play more minutes, higher up the depth chart right from opening night.
“We want to build a long career for him and we want long-term success for our team and we just feel right now, for both, it’s best that Leon spend a little bit of time in the AHL to start the season,” said McLellan. “It gives our group here an opportunity to get to know each other better… they’re still trying to figure me and us as a staff out and we’re trying to figure them out. I’d rather do that with Leon playing a lot and playing centre down there, having success on the power play, than being in the midst of all that here right now.”
The Oilers have hit the ice for their first regular season practice of 2015-16, after finalizing their opening day roster this morning.
The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have assigned centre Leon Draisaitl to the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors.
The Oilers have finalized their 23-man roster for the start of the 2015-16 NHL season, which includes two goaltenders, eight defencemen and 13 forwards. Both Jordan Eberle and Dillon Simpson are currently injured and not on the Oilers active roster.
UPDATE: Ben Scrivens has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the AHL.
Goaltender Ben Scrivens cleared waivers and has been assigned to the AHL's Bakersfield @Condors.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 5, 2015
The Oilers have placed goaltender Ben Scrivens on waivers for the purpose of assignment.
Scrivens had a 15-26-11 record last season with a 3.16 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 57 games played. The season before, he was 9-11-0 with a 3.01 GAA and .916 save percentage for Edmonton in 21 games.
Overall in 78 games, Scrivens has a 3.12 goals-against average and .898 save percentage with two shutouts and a 24-37-11 record.