In this edition of Edmonton Oilers News & Rumors, I’ll attempt to keep Oilers fans up-to-date with what’s happening with players on the team. I’ll especially look at some of those players now on the ice with European teams. However, when there’s even a practice that involves both Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews together – that’s noteworthy.
Item One: Connor McDavid Hangs Out with Auston Matthews in Arizona
Talk about bringing in the stars. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote a great informative article today about some Shane Doan-run hockey practices that have attracted the best of the best players together for practice. The two headliners were none other than Oilers’ star Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs young mega-star Auston Matthews.
Friedman’s article is well worth reading – regardless of what NHL team you root for – because it outlines drills and great insights about at least one thing that separates the really good NHL players from others. These young stars take their work seriously and practice hard – really hard.
The article noted that McDavid and Matthews have been skating and working out together and that – when other NHLers heard about the workouts – that news attracted even more NHL players. Some of these included the Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews, the Carolina Hurricanes young defensive prospect Jake Bean, free agent Anthony Duclair, the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba, brand new Ottawa Senators Alex Galchenyuk, and a bunch of Arizona Coyotes players.
The camp was run by former NHL player Shane Doan, who has also been designing the drills and practices for the players. Interestingly enough McDavid and Matthews have had some time to play together. When asked about what the like about each other’s game, McDavid named Matthews’ shot and Matthews named McDavid’s skating ability.
Item Two: The Oilers Reassign William Lagesson to Kristianstads IK of SHL
The Oilers prospect William Lagesson has been moved (reassigned) from one team in the Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan to another. He had been playing for HC Vita Hasten in the same league to Kristianstads IK. Each club is part of Sweden’s second-highest division.
During his time with HC Vita Hasten, the 24-year old blueliner had scored three goals and six assists (nine points in 11 games). Earlier this month, the Oilers signed the youngster to a two-year contract extension. It seems that, after some time in the Oilers AHL affiliate in Bakersfield, there’s hope that Lagesson can compete successfully for a roster position with the team during training camp. For now, he’s playing at home in Sweden to get some game action in.
Item Three: Joakim Nygard Finally Hit the Score Sheet in the SHL
It took some time, but Joakim Nygard finally scored his first goal for Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League. Actually, it was his first goal in nine games with the team. Part of the issue with Nygard was that he had injured his hand and had surgery on his finger in January during the time he was playing with the Oilers.
The 27-year-old Nygard has totaled three points thus far with Farjestad BK but will be returning to the Oilers when their NHL training camp starts. He is no stranger to this Swedish team; in fact, it’s his eighth season playing with them.
Item Four: Defenseman Evan Bouchard Continues His Impressive Stint in Sweden
Young defenseman Evan Bouchard had a great game last week in the SHL’s second division HockeyAllsvenskan when he scored a goal and added an assist. Those two points gave Bouchard a total of six goals and 10 assists (for 16 points) in 19 games.
There’s no doubt that Bouchard is prepping to battle for a spot on the Oilers’ roster. Bouchard was chosen during round one (10th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Now that Oscar Klefbom has been injured, there’s a good chance Bouchard can take over one of the spots quarterbacking the Edmonton power play.
Given that Tyson Barrie recently signed and Bouchard is going to fight for a spot as the team’s seventh defenseman, that job isn’t his yet. But Oilers’ fans know he’s coming. He’s extremely talented and is just 21 years old. Look for him to establish himself on the roster either this season or next.
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