Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
FUTURE WATCH
CLICK HERE TO VIEW 2014-15 OILERS PROSPECT STATS

Future Watch: Cam Abney

Oil Kings enforcer discusses development, Oilers future, WHL post-season & more

Thursday, 31.03.2011 / 5:00 PM / Future Watch
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
X
Share with your Friends


Future Watch: Cam Abney
Cam Abney is ushered off the ice by a WHL official following a melee vs. Regina (Photo by Dylan Lynch / EOHC).

RELATED
As any WHL player knows, the challenges associated with a 72-game schedule are numerous. From traveling across the prairie regions during the desolate Canadian winter to earning your keep in a competitive league, the ongoing strive toward a career in the professional ranks presents a unique opportunity for many.

Such is the case for Aldergrove, BC native Cam Abney. The 19-year-old Edmonton Oil Kings forward remains focused on the 2011 post-season, as his team looks to embark on the comeback trail against the rival Red Deer Rebels.

Although Abney has played in four full seasons in the WHL, a trade from the Everett Silvertips in Dec. 2009 brought the bruising winger to Edmonton, where he hopes his upcoming professional career will flourish.

After being drafted by the Oilers in the third round, 82nd overall earlier that summer, Abney was immediately immersed in the Oil Country development path.

"It was a really nice feeling [to be chosen]," Abney said. "I didn't know much about the draft beforehand. My agent said it could happen, but maybe not. It was nice to hear it was a Canadian team and Edmonton especially, but just to get drafted was huge."

Becoming a student of the Oilers organization has already proven valuable. As Abney explains, the opportunity to attend the various camps and participate in pre-season games with the Oilers has had profound impact on his development curve.

"Every time I go I learn so much and there's always such a high caliber of players and top prospects there to learn from. The coaching is always really good, so those have been excellent experiences for me. Overall, I feel that I've been able to develop my game through each session. I want to make sure that continues."

Like any young player, Abney has some areas in need of improvement. Separating the bad from the good has never been a challenge for the 6'5" 200-pound bruiser, as he diligently works to improve his varied skill-set.

"I don't want to be a liability in my own end," said a focused Abney. "I want to be able to play well at both ends of the ice. In terms of improvement, I want to continue to develop my foot speed and things like that. Getting pucks in and hammering the body is a big part of my game."

The Oilers, meanwhile, have kept an eye on Abney as he continues to progress.

"I'm so close to the Oilers, which is really good. They say they like my development so far and like what I'm doing. They keep telling me to play my game and try not to overcomplicate things."

Keeping his game simple has been his bread and butter, which has helped him get to this point in an increasingly successful career. It's the kind of game that Abney hopes will translate well to the NHL style one day soon.

"I love battling in the corners and being strong on the puck; dumping the puck in deep and putting fear into the defenders. I think those things will help me be a good NHLer someday."

"I think the simpler I keep my game, the better I am." Abney continued. "I try not to over-handle the puck. I want to get the puck in and use my strengths to be successful in the offensive zone. Those are the things the Oilers are teaching me to do."

While Abney certainly recognizes that offence is a secondary component to his game, it has been an area that has seen a marked improvement in recent years. In 60 games with the Oil Kings this season, Abney recorded seven goals and 20 points, along with 72 penalty minutes and a respectable minus-three rating.

All things considered, his 2010-11 campaign has been a successful one as he looks to continue this upward trend. Although he has typically been revered as one of the WHL's most dexterous fighters, he wants to stem the trend of being known as a player with such a simplistic role.

"One day I want to be a guy who puts up 20 points and 20 fights in a season. It's the way I like to play and the way that I think I can be successful. I'm not a one-dimensional player."

While Abney brings an undeniable swagger on the ice, his modesty away from the rink has, perhaps, helped contributed to his rising development path.

"I haven't really changed much [with my game]. I've always stayed with the same style. … I could probably attribute that to getting older, a little more mature. Just part of the development process," Abney said with a smile.

Naturally, the current season is reaching its most vital point. The Oil Kings are currently down 3-0 to the Rebels in their best-of-seven matchup, with game four set to face-off tonight at Rexall Place.

"I think we've got to outwork them," Abney said of the Rebels. "They obviously have a lot of skill and they have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, which helps. We want to eliminate him, or try to anyway, because he's obviously going to get his points."

"We need to get pucks deep and work hard in the trenches, as our coach (Derek Laxdal) likes to say. At this point, we're truly working one game at a time. Our focus is on Thursday night and we're going to do our best to get back in the series."

Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com

 
2010-11 OILERS PROSPECT STATS

Forwards
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
Cameron Abney   19 60 7 13 20 -3 72 Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
mark arcobello
22 21 9 7 16 E 2 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   23 39 6 5 11 -10 24 Novokuznetsk (KHL)
Philippe Cornet   20 55 6 11 17 +2 8 Oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   18 68 13 30 43 +9 78 kootenay ice (WHL)
Robby Dee   23 36 13 22 32 N/A 26 university of maine (h-east)
Jesse Gimblett * 26 43 13 9 22 +2 98 stockton thunder (echl)
Alexandre Giroux 
29 66 30 41 71 -5 61 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Curtis Hamilton   19 62 26 56 82 +48 22 saskatoon blades (whl)
Teemu Hartikainen  *
20 66 17 25 42 -1 27 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kellen Jones   20 38 8 14 22 E 33 quinnipiac university (ecac)
Milan Kytnar   21 73 10 12 22 -1 33 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Anton Lander   19 49 11 15 26 -14 38 timra ik (sel)
Matt Marquardt   23 62 5 7 12 -10 20 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan Martindale   18 65 34 49 83 +38 28 ottawa 67's (ohl)
Colin McDonald   26 75 34 14 48 -7 59 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Brad Moran   31 75 20 47 67 -4 36 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ryan O'Marra *
23 53 2 20 22 +9 49 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Linus Omark  *
24 26 14 17 31 +7 32 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Ben Ondrus   28 75 6 13 19 -10 68 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Kristians Pelss   18 63 14 19 33 +11 29 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 56 27 35 62 +4 31 medicine hat tigets (whl)
Toni Rajala   19 44 9 13 22 -3 4 ilves tampere (fnl)
Liam Reddox *
24 37 18 15 33 +14 16 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Gregory Stewart   24 69 6 9 15 -11 104 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Chris VandeVelde *
23 67 12 4 16 -17 45 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Defencemen
Name Age GP G A PTS +/- PIM Team
KEVIN MONTGOMERY
22 62 3 21 24 +1 42 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jordan Bendfeld   22 35 2 4 6 +5 112 stockton thunder (echl)
Kyle Bigos   21 33 2 6 8 E 127 merrimack college (h-east)
Jeremie Blain   18 40 2 35 37 +17 48 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)
Taylor Chorney *
23 46 3 13 16 E 22 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Brandon Davidson   19 72 8 43 51 -5 71 regina pats (whl)
Troy Hesketh   19 29 0 1 1 -12 32 sioux city musketeers (ushl)
Martin Marincin   18 67 14 42 56 -12 65 prince george cougars (whl)
Johan Motin *
21 34 1 3 4 -7 30 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Richard Petiot
28 61 0 14 14 +10 46 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Jeff Petry *
23 41 7 17 24 -6 18 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Alex Plante
21 68 1 14 15 +4 122 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Goalies
Name Age GP W L T SO GAA PCT Team
Tyler Bunz   18 56 35 13 8 3 2.47 .919 medicine hat tigers (whl)
Jeff Deslauriers   26 31 13 13 4 0 3.13 .898 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Martin Gerber
36 41 20 15 4 4 2.51 .914 oklahoma city barons (ahl)
Bryan Pitton *
22 34 18 10 4 0 2.90 .901 stockton thunder (echl)
Olivier Roy   19 45 29 13 2 2 2.79 .911 acadie-bathurst titan (qmjhl)

INSIDE THE OILERS BLOG