After finishing up the exhibition portion of their schedule Friday in Lacombe, the 2011-12 Edmonton Oil Kings have begun to take shape. Leading scorer from last season Dylan Wruck was back with the team in time for the finale, although his night was cut short after being involved in a fight with Red Deer's Aaron Borejko. According to WHL preseason rules a player that fights receives and major penalty and a game misconduct. Wruck, a camp invite with San Jose Sharks, played all three games the Sharks played in the Young Stars tournament in Penticton. He seemed very comfortable at that level and had opportunities in key offensive situations for San Jose.
With the team having a number of young players in the pipeline, and pushing for roster spots it has been a very competitive camp. No longer are spots guaranteed on the roster for players returning from last year. The team begun to pare the roster down in the past few days. They released soon to be 19 year-old forward Mark Reners over the weekend, and reassigned 16 year-old Brandon Baddock.
Reners was acquired by the Kings near the trade deadline last season from the Vancouver Giants. He contributed 7 goals and 11 points in 19 games in Edmonton, and suited up for one playoff game. He had a goal and two helpers in the preseason. Reners has since joined the AHJL's Brooks Bandits.
Baddock, a big forward at 6'2 190, showed well in camp, and should be looked as a future contributor to the team. He appeared in all five preseason games going minus one with six PIMS.
The Kings received word today as well that their two Euros Kristians Pelss, and Martin Gernat have be reassigned by the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oil Kings currently have 26 players on their roster. Mark Pysyk (BUF), Keegan Lowe (CAR), and Michael St. Croix (NYR) are still in NHL camps.
The roster breaks down as follows:
Goalies (3): Brossoit, Groenheyde*, Jarry
Forwards (15): Benson, Ewanyk, Foster, Lazowski*, Lazar, Legault, Moroz, Pelss, Rachinski*, Sieben, St. Croix, Stephens, Stephenson, Wilson, Wruck
Defense (8): Dech, Geertson, Gernat, Laroque, Lowe, Pysyk, Reinhart, Sautner
* denotes 20 year-old
The Oil Kings open up their 5th season in the WHL Sunday afternoon in Red Deer. The puck drops at 3 on the Team 1260.