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The very best factor about Edmonton Oilers Rookie Camp is that we don't have to care proper now

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Edmonton Oilers Rookie Camp is upon us. The primary video games shall be performed earlier than Friday is over.

It’s honest to say that the noise ranges surrounding the Younger Stars Event in Penticton are significantly decrease this season in Oil Nation than it has been in maybe every other yr in reminiscence. It’s barely a murmur.

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And that’s an indication.

A superb signal that the Edmonton franchise has turned the nook and has change into an annual contender for the Stanley Cup.

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As Oilers followers a decade or so in the past we watched Taylor Corridor and hoped and prayed that he would lead us out of the darkness as a result of that was just about all we had. And as a lot because the younger Taylor thrilled us together with his promise and talent, the onerous reality was that it actually sucked. We had so little to carry on to and because of this (looking back) each we and the membership ended up heaping a lot strain on him.

However that was then, and that is now. In 2023 the Oilers have a roster stuffed with stars and robust assist personnel. There are just one or two spots open. And nobody taking the ice on the Younger Stars tourney is prone to win both of them. The truth is, they might not even be within the operating. They could nonetheless find yourself impacting Edmonton’s season in different methods. However they won’t be at heart ice at Rogers Place on opening evening.

Let’s take a look at three of them. And the one motive we aren’t choosing a Tyler Tullio, Carter Savoie or Beau Akey is as a result of all the younger males at this camp are kind of in the identical state of affairs as far as the large membership goes.

Xavier Bourgault, Jayden Grubbe and Max Wanner are all high quality prospects which have an opportunity at impacting the Edmonton Oilers lineup. For Bourgault, a 2021 1st Spherical decide, that might occur as early as later this season. For the opposite two, the street to the NHL guarantees to be a larger distance from the place they’re right now. The truth is, I’d submit that it’s each bit as doubtless that a number of of those youngsters will find yourself taking part in for a distinct franchise earlier than ever pulling on an Oilers jersey in an NHL sport.

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That’s as a result of as annual contenders the Edmonton Oilers are in win-now mode. Issues like draft picks and intriguing prospects are sometimes used as commerce fodder with the intention to plug a roster gap thought-about strategic within the seek for the Cup. A deadline deal is simply as prone to raise these gamers nearer to the NHL than a promotion from Bakersfield. And please…don’t misconstrue that as me being down on any of those three. As a result of it’s the reverse which is true.

Xavier Bourgault is definitely on the high of this listing. He possesses legit, 1st Spherical instruments and talent. He dominated The Q in his ultimate yr of junior and adopted that up with a fairly productive first yr within the AHL. A wonderful skater, Bourgault has nice palms and a fast launch. And at a good 6’, he has sufficient dimension to undertaking a great NHL profession…someplace. Defensive play will not be Bourgault’s power, although. As such, he doesn’t strike you as a fourth-line participant. And that’s the place the openings are. So, is Bourgault extra doubtless a pawn than a prospect? We will see.

Jayden Grubbe is a giant, robust, right-shot heart who performs a whole, 200-foot sport and is 20 years previous. He’ll have already got a few of his “man power”. As such, Grubbe might be equally enticing to the house squad as he could also be to a different franchise trying who’s searching for simply such traits, in change for a veteran participant they know will not be of their long-term plans for any variety of causes.

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Max Wanner is a tall, reliable right-shot D-man who moved effectively and tends to assume defence first. And the instruments are the for him to chip in additional on offence. As a late, 7th spherical choice Wanner was pinned with the “undertaking” tag. Can he “bubble underneath” and ultimately eke out an NHL profession on Edmonton’s blueline? However his handedness, wheels and stature might additionally make him a beautiful choice to others.

These three gamers are definitely not the one Oilers hopefuls to observe this weekend in Penticton. They could not even be the three greatest bets there. However the level is…none of them are being counted on at this level to be something aside from what they’re: Prospects. None of them shall be mistaken for a younger Taylor Corridor. However nor do they should be.

Do any of the three change into a part of a deadline deal? Or, as different draft picks and prospects depart for reinforcements, do they doubtlessly fill budget-friendly slots within the Oilers roster down the street a bit? Perhaps. We are going to nonetheless watch the video games and surprise. Assess what’s within the Oilers’ cabinet. Be delighted with the triumphs. Grimace on the shortcomings.

However what we not have to do is hope certainly one of these youngsters will be the savior. The following Taylor Corridor. As a result of we don’t want one.

In the long term…that’s higher for them. And it’s higher for us.

Drop the puck!

Now on Threads @kleavins. Additionally, discover me on Twitter @KurtLeavins, Instagram at LeavinsOnHockey, and Mastodon at [email protected]

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