From Rookie Camp to Training Camp

By , September 16, 2010 10:01 am
The Real Deal celebrates a goal

The Real Deal celebrates a goal

So Training camp kicks off this Saturday, with an open practice at Rexall place at 8:15AM. I’m considering going to get a preview of these guys, live, although I’m having a tough time getting up early on a Saturday to go see a practice (especially when I’ve been going to bed too late on work nights as it is). I think really there probably isn’t too much excitement to see, until they start to scrimmage. So maybe I’ll just enjoy the beauty rest.

Anyways, it was announced yesterday that Tambellini has invited every Oiler from the Young Stars tournament to the main camp, so it sounds like they’re keeping all options open for positions on the big club. The Young Stars tournament was a big success with the Oilers rookies finishing with a 2-1 record.

The tournament left me with a few extra names to be excited about that I wasn’t necessarily normally expecting, including Tyler Pitlick. He seems to be one of those complete package players. I didn’t get to focus much on the defensive side of his game, but he should a great compete level and used his size a lot. I might be all caught up in “saw him good”, but last night in particular he had one shift where he layed 2 players out. He hit one Shark in the defensive zone pretty hard, then skated across to the other side of defensive zone and nailed the d-man initiating the Sharks break out. Pitlick also had 2 goals on the tourney (one an empty netter though) including the game winner versus the Flames.

I thought our goaltending was pretty solid throughout the tournament, although I’m not really too keen on Pitton. Also, Bunz had the odd issue of staying in his net, but aside from that, I was pretty impressed with the prospects of Roy and Bunz.

From the toughness and grit side of things, Cameron Abney is a beast. Hopefully he can play the game.. but he definitely likes to throw hands. He might have gotten a bit lucky against the Flames’ Breen, but he dropped him and cut him good with a solid punch that ended the fight (it should be noted though that Abney was losing the fight, albeit not badly, before that).

Chris Vande Velde is also had a decent tournament and played a very gritty game, although I had hoped for a bit more from him.

Some folks in the Oilogosphere have been a bit disappointed with Teemu Hartikainen, but myself, I thought he played a good tournament. He is strong on the puck, and a very aggressive player (had a couple of big hits). He also has a good nose for the net, even though he couldn’t pot one.

Perhaps our best d-man on the whole at the tournament was Alex Plante. He looked good at both ends of the ice. Unfortunately, in last night’s game, it appears that he hit his head on the ice and cut it open, requiring stitches. Word is that he didn’t suffer a concussion though (which wouldn’t be his first one).. so that is good. But I’d like to see him called up this year at some point, so I hope he stays healthy.

Last but not least, the big 3… what can you say about them? They are good like I had hoped. Eberle’s has a sick set of hands. Hall has very good vision and looks like he can PK well (although he and Eberle were on the ice for a short-handed goal last night). He even nearly single-handedly killed a penalty last night, playing keepaway. And Paajarvi… wow. Consider me sold. I know the true test is at the NHL level, but in this tournament he looked similar to present-day Ales Hemsky – all over the ice… making beautiful passes… shooting when the opportunity was there. The hype spawned by Forsberg and Hemsky seems warranted. Of the 3 young players, I’m most anxious about him, and I think he will lead our rookies in scoring this year.

Anyways, rookie camp was exciting as hell for me. But the main camp should be all the better now that these young, future stars will get a chance to play with NHLers like Hemsky, Penner and Gagner, as well as AGAINST tough competition. Will our big trio look good against real NHLers? That remains to be seen. I don’t expect them to be dominating at this point of course, but it would be nice to see if they can at least keep up with the big boys. And well, training camp is a good glimpse at what these guys can do early on at the NHL level.

UPDATED 10:00AM, 9/17/2010:
Ladies and gentlemen, here are your lines/teams to start the camp:

Team A

Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
Schaber – Pitlick – Ondrus
Hartikainen – Reddox – Stortini
Cornet – Kytnar – Abney
Jacques (I understand he is out though)

Whitney – Petry
Strudwick – Blain
Davidson – Bendfeld


Team B

Paajarvi – Cogliano – Brule
Giroux – O’Marra – McDonald
Hamilton – Moran – Thomas
MacIntyre – Martindale – Livingston

Peckham – Gilbert
Petiot – Plante
Marincin – Taylor


Team C
Hall – Horcoff – Eberle
Jones – Fraser – Omark
Stewart – Vande Velde – Peiss
Gimblett – Marquardt – Czerwonka

Vandermeer – Foster
Chorney – Smid
Belle – Motin


15 Responses to “From Rookie Camp to Training Camp”

  1. Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!! says:

    Just a bit more in Sheldon SourEh’s face we would rather have an 18 year old that was undrafted and still has acne on his face than you!!! OUCH!!!

  2. Racki says:

    According to Mike Brophy of Sportsnet…

    An Oilers insider told him that Tyler Pitlick looked great in the rookie tournament (duh) and Paajarvi could start on a line with Gagner and Hemsky.

    Take that with a grain of salt though. Saying that could happen is about as definitive as saying it could snow within the next week or two.

    But anyways, I feel that Paajarvi plays a very similar game to Hemsky. In fact, I hate to get all ahead of myself, but the way he played against rookies (in merely 2 games, it should be noted) is reminiscent of Ales Hemsky’s current level of play. I don’t expect the transition to NHL to be an instant success… but I can definitely see him and Hemsky working well together, flying all over the ice while Sam Gagner wonders what the fuck just happened.

  3. gr8one says:


    I like that line, especially if Hall looks good at Center through camp.


  4. Racki says:

    Those I would say would be pretty solid lines. Top line would be a threat at both ends of the ice (to quote MacT), but line 2, while inexperienced probably would be OK with Penner’s ability, and Hall and Eberle are no defensive slouches themselves (although they have a lot to learn at the NHL level). Line 3… good 2-way line with wheels all around. I like it! We might get killed, but at least it would be exciting.. lol

  5. Racki says:

    Per Gregor:

    Oilers forward JF Jacques will not be ready at the start of camp, and is doubtful to be ready to start the regular season.

  6. Bostonoiler says:

    Racki: Per Gregor:Oilers forward JF Jacques will not be ready at the start of camp, and is doubtful to be ready to start the regular season.

    I think this is gonna end JFJ with the Oilers. When he gets back, there won’t be a spot for him and we will have ot waive him (correct me if im wrong there) and I bet some random team will pick him up for toughness. Another tough injury break for JFJ

  7. Racki says:

    I agree, Boston. I’m a rare breed in that I actually really like Jacques 😛 But the injury issues just make it difficult to keep him over some other guys.

    So unless he lucks out when he returns and there is a spot available due to injury, I suspect too that his days here are numbered.

    Perhaps a conditioning stint for him for a bit, then we’ll see..

  8. Racki says:

    Per Tencer’s Twat:

    At camp, Hall and Eberle start with Horcoff… Gagner with Penner and Hemsky

  9. Mr.Majestyk says:

    What about Magnus?

    Edit: Forget it, I found it. He’s playing with Cogs and Brule. Hmm, speedy line, Brule has a rocket for a shot so if Paajarvi speeds down the wing opening up ice like he did in the rookie games, I’ll like Brule one timing those passes!

  10. Racki says:

    edit: Updated the original post to include all the lines/teams

    I kind of would have liked to have seen Hemsky and Paajarvi together. But things will change. That might be plan B.

    Team C looks to be the most balanced… although more biased towards defense, it would appear.

  11. Mr.Majestyk says:

    I was thinking Team C looked the best as well.

  12. Racki says:

    The best defense group (Team B is close though).. good goalie combination as well. Forwards drop off big time after line 2, but other than that, not bad.

  13. Mr.Majestyk says:

    yeah, but the top 6 forwards could all be Oilers this season, teams A and B have only 1 line of bonafide NHL’ers. I still say C has the best team, but I’d put A in second place because their top line could dominate, and they have some decent roll players, but Dubnyk would have to be stellar behind that D.

  14. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Racki, I think its clear you need to get your lazy butt outta bed tomorrow and watch the practice. Don’t you feel atleast a little bit obligated for the benefit of the Foil?

  15. John says:

    Mr.Majestyk: What about Magnus?Edit: Forget it, I found it. He’s playing with Cogs and Brule. Hmm, speedy line, Brule has a rocket for a shot so if Paajarvi speeds down the wing opening up ice like he did in the rookie games, I’ll like Brule one timing those passes!

    No kidding; aside from probably not being a set line for the season, that could be the fastest line in the league when they do play together!

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