There are a few interesting names at this year’s Edmonton Oilers rookie camp, but the most interesting name most fans are likely watching is Philip Broberg. A defenseman who has been highly-touted and in the Oilers system for quite a while now, he’s on the verge of taking that next step and potentially getting NHL minutes. How he plays during the rookie camp could have a lot to say about whether he wears an Oilers sweater this season.
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Daniel Nugent-Bowman took a closer look at how the Oilers are approaching this camp for Broberg. While it’s critical he shows well, they aren’t putting a rush on his development, nor are they expecting him to play well enough to get consideration for a roster spot. In fact, they are likely expecting he won’t make the team and will be down playing regular minutes with the Bakersfield Condors this coming season.
“There’s no rush. We’re not forcing anything,” said rookie camp coach Jay Woodcroft. Woodcroft will also be Broberg’s coach in Bakersfield so he’s getting a good, long look at him now. Oilers GM Ken Holland has already said that the only way Broberg is on the Oilers’ main roster is if he’s pegged for regular minutes. That means one of two things: either he plays so well it’s hard to deny him a spot or there are numerous injuries that open a spot in the Oilers’ top-six blue line corps. The team isn’t counting on either happening and they just want Broberg to take it one day at a time and get increasingly better.
There are some who have worried about his injury history and lack of development to date. Woodcroft is not among those concerned. He said, “He’s still so young. He’s a young hockey player that’s going into what’s typically a first year of professional hockey for North Americans.” Woodcroft added:
“We’re not putting undue expectations on him. If he puts the work into the process and has faith in that process, the results take care of themselves. We’re trying to focus that attention to do the daily requirements needed to be a top-flight NHLer one day.”
Next: Expect Bounce-Back Season From Newly-Signed Oilers’ F Kailer Yamamoto
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