Saturday, May 3, 2014

Oil Kings Photo Blog

The Oil Kings are set to face the Portland Winterhawks tonight in Game 1 of the WHL's Championship Series.  I figured it was a good occasion to blow the dust of the blog and share some behind the scenes shots of the morning skate.

Last thing the players see as they leave the dressing room
The room prepared by Rogan Dean, Brian Cheeseman, and Mike Kilbride.
Never forgotton, #PlayforPelssy

A personal note from Ryan Smyth sent to the team.

Derek Laxdal address the media.
Steve Hamilton first man on the ice at the Moda Center

Guy Flaming doing the Pipeline Show live from the rink in the broadcast booth
Tyler Santos on the ice during morning skate
The Moda Center is all cleaned up after last night's thrilling Trailblazers win.
Ripcity is everywhere here.
Upper bowl seats come equipped with binoculars.
The ice back in and ready to go.  Complete with the oversized logo.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

GDB #5

 Oil Kings(2-2-0-0)@ Brandon(2-2-0-0)

The Oil Kings hit the road for the first time this season as they face the Wheat Kings in Brandon.  Edmonton was beaten last time out, falling 5-3 to the Hurricanes.  Lethbridge was trailing 2-1 in the third before scoring three goals in 42 seconds to snap a ten game losing streak at Rexall Place.  Mitch Moroz led the way with a pair of goals for the Kings, while Henrik Samuelsson and Aaron Irving had a pair of helpers. 

Curtis Lazar will be in the lineup for the first time tonight after he was sent back by the Ottawa Senators.  Edmonton will not have Reid Petryk tonight.  Petryk, acquired yesterday, from the Everett Silvertips will meet the team tomorrow in Saskatoon.

The Wheat Kings lost back to back games over the weekend in Prince Albert.  The setbacks evened their record on the season to 2-2-0-0.  Tonight will be their second home game of the year.  Their captain, New York Islanders first round pick, Ryan Pulock will make his season debut after being re-assigned on Monday.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings


The Oil Kings beat the Wheat Kings all four times last season, and have a 13-11-0-0 all time record against the Wheaties.  Brandon finished last in the East last season, with 56 points.  They have five Edmonton area players on their roster (Nick Walters- Spruce Grove, Taylor Cooper- Sherwood Park, John Quennville, Jordan Papirny, and Curtis Honey- Edmonton).

Team Leaders:

Edm- Cody Corbett (4)
Bdn- Richard Nejezchelb (3)

Edm- Henrik Samuelsson (9)
Bdn- Eric Roy (8)

Edm- Tristan Jarry (2)
Bdn- Curtis Honey (2)

Edm- Brandon Baddock, Mitch Moroz (15)
Bdn- Nick Walters, Kord Pankewicz (9)

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Up Next: The Oil Kings continue their road trip on Friday night in Prince Albert.  They finish the trip Saturday in Saskatoon.  The Wheaties are opening a five game home stand tonight.  They face the Vancouver Giants on Friday.

Edm: Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012), Curtis Lazar- Ottawa Senators (1st, 2013), Tristan Jarry- Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd, 2013).

Bdn:  Nick Walters- St. Louis Blues (4th, 2012), Ryan Pulock- Islanders (1st, 2013), Eric Roy- Calgary Flames (5th, 2013).

Injury Report:

EDM:  #15 Andrew Koep, lower body, week to week
           #17 Brandon Ralph, upper body, day to day
           #20 Mads Eller, upper body, day to day

BDN:  None

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Draft Watch- NHL Central Scouting Preliminary List
'A' Skaters-
'B' Skaters- Jayce Hawryluk (Bdn)
'C' Skaters- Dysin Mayo (Edm)

Roster Notes: Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart has made the Islanders open day roster.  Curtis Lazar will wear the 'C' during Reinhart's absence.  Reid Petryk will wear #18 in his Oil Kings debut on Friday.

League Notes:  The Winnipeg Jets have signed Hurricanes forward Axel Blomqvist to an entry level contract.  The CHL has named Spokane Chief Mitch Holmberg as the CHL Player of the Week.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

GDB #2

 Oil Kings (1-0-0-0) vs Pats (0-2-0-0)

The Oil Kings season resumes tonight with their first look at the Regina Pats.  Last time out, Edmonton scored a very impressive 7-3 win over the rival Calgary Hitmen.  Henrik Samuelsson lead the way with four points, Cody Corbett had a pair of goals and five Oil Kings had multi-point efforts.  Their power play clicked, going 5/10 in the game, and at times the team's speed seemed too much for Calgary to handle.  The Oil Kings unveiled their new third jersey to much fanfare in an eye catching pregame ceremony.  Tonight the Kings will wear their traditional red uniforms.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
The Pats haven't been able to earn a victory yet on the young season, as they lost both ends of a home and home with the Swift Current Broncos.  Swift outscored Regina 10-4 in the two matchups.

The Opposition:
Regina finished last season in 11th spot in the Eastern Conference, and look to be going with a youth movement this season.  They are led by Flames draft choice Morgan Klimchuk and Caps prospect Chandler Stephenson.  Regina recently released a pair of twenty year olds in Luke Fenske and Trent Ouellette.  They have one overager on their roster heading into action tonight.

Last Season:
Edmonton controlled the season series with Regina last year, winning three of the four matchups.  The Oil Kings outscored the Pats 23-7, their lone loss coming at home in a 3-2 defeat.

Season's Leaders:

Edm- Cody Corbett (2)
Reg-  Geordie Maguire (2)

Edm- Henrik Samuelsson (4)
Reg- Chandler Stephenson, Maguire, Kyle Burroughs (2)

Edm- Tristan Jarry (1)
Reg- Teagan Sacher, Dawson MacAuley (0)

Edm- Brandon Baddock (11)
Reg- Tye Hand, Braden Christoffer (11)

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Up Next: The Oil Kings will matchup with the Medicine Hat Tigers on Friday night at Rexall Place.  The team will honour the memory of former Oil King Kristians Pelss before the game.  Pelss passed away this off season.  Tonight is game two of a five game road trip for Regina.  They will visit Red Deer on Friday before facing Kootenay and Swift Current on this trip.

Edm: Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012), Curtis Lazar- Ottawa Senators (1st, 2013), Tristan Jarry- Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd, 2013).

Reg:  Chandler Stephenson- Washington Capitols (3rd, 2012), Dmitry Sinitsyn- Dallas Stars (7th, 2012), Morgan Klimchuk- Calgary Flames (1st, 2013) Kyle Burroughs- Islanders (7th, 2013).

Injury Report:

EDM:  #15 Andrew Koep, lower body, week to week

REG:  #23 Braden Christoffer, upper body, day to day
           #34 Griffin Mumby, upper body, day to day

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings

Draft Watch- NHL Central Scouting Preliminary List
'A' Skaters-
'B' Skaters-
'C' Skaters- Dysin Mayo (Edm)

Roster Notes: The Pats named Kyle Burroughs as their new captain.  Griffin Reinhart (Islanders), and Curtis Lazar (Senators) will not play for the Oil Kings.

League Notes:  The Kootenay Ice today acquired forward Ryan Chynoweth from the Tri City Americans in exchange for a 5th round bantam pick.  He is the son of Kootenay GM Jeff Chynoweth.  The Medicine Hat Tigers announce that defenseman Tommy Vannelli will join them after leaving Minnetonka High School in Minnesota.  Vannelli is a second round pick of the St. Louis Blues.  The Anaheim Ducks have announced that they have signed Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Shea Theodore to an entry level contract.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oil Kings GDB #1

 Oil Kings vs Calgary Hitmen

The Edmonton Oil Kings drop the puck on the 2013-14 season tonight when they welcome the rival Calgary Hitmen to Rexall Place.  Edmonton wrapped up the preseason with a record of 1-4 after dropping a 7-5 decision to Red Deer last week.  The Oil Kings go into action tonight looking for their franchise's 200th regular season win.  Expect an elongated pregame tonight, as the team will unveil their new black third uniforms, as well as commemorate last season's Eastern Conference title.

New Look:
Along with the new silks, the Oil Kings will have a new look lineup tonight as many players have moved on after last year.  Gone are last season's twenty year olds; TJ Foster, Trevor Cheek, and Dylan Wruck, also moving on are top scorer Michael St. Croix, Stephane Legault, Keegan Lowe, David Musil, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk, and Laurent Brossoit.  Griffin Reinhart is still with the New York Islanders, while Curtis Lazar is still up with the Ottawa Senators.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
The Opposition:
Calgary figures to be a top team this year in the WHL's Eastern Conference after finishing with 97 points last season.  The Hitmen were eliminated by the Oil Kings in a hard fought seven game Eastern Conference Championship series.  Leading the Hitmen this year will be familiar names Jaynen Rissling, Brady Brassart and Greg Chase.  Senator draft pick Chris Driedger provides solid goaltending and Jake Virtanen enters his draft season as a top prospect this year.

Last Season's Leaders:

Edm- Curtis Lazar (38)
Cal-  Cody Sylvestor (41)

Edm- Michael St. Croix (92)
Cal- Sylvestor (90)

Edm- Laurent Brossoit (33)
Cal- Chris Driedger (36)

Edm- Keegan Lowe (148)
Cal- Jaynen Rissling (122)
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Up Next: The Oil Kings enjoy a bit of an early break in the schedule, they return to action at home on Wednesday against the Regina Pats.  The season kicks off with a four game homestand for the Kings.  Calgary, meanwhile, has eight days off.  Their next game is their home opener next Saturday night versus Red Deer.

Edm: Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012), Curtis Lazar- Ottawa Senators (1st, 2013), Tristan Jarry- Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd, 2013).

Cal:Chris Driedger- Senators (3rd, 2012), Kenton Helgesen- Anaheim Ducks (7th, 2012), Jaynen Rissling- Washington Capitals (7th, 2012), Greg Chase- Oilers (7th, 2013).

Injury Report:

EDM:  #15 Andrew Koep, lower body, TBA

CAL: none
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Roster Notes: Hitmen forward Pavel Padakin will not play tonight as he serves the final game of his suspension from a pre-season hit.  Brady Brassart is still at pro camp (Tampa Bay).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oil Kings Main Camp Thoughts

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
The Edmonton Oil Kings wrapped up their main camp with the annual Red/White Game on Wednesday night in Fort Saskatchewan.  Team Red downed Team White 4-2 in a tightly contested affair.  Curtis Lazar was a force as usual for Team White, scoring the game winner and wowing fans with rushes, and big hits.  Logan Ferguson, Cody Corbett, and Cole Benson into an empty net tallied for White, meanwhile Branden Klatt and Brandon Baddock scored for Red as they mounted a furious third period comeback.

One of the most interesting battles in camp is for the backup goaltender position behind returning netminder Tristan Jarry.  Jarry did not play in the Red/White game, allowing the four remaining goalies to battle it out.  Patrick Dea, the Oil Kings first round Bantam pick in 2012, is an option, but he is only 16 years old.  He has shown huge strides in his game but did allow three goals in the intrasquad game.

Tyler Santos, his teammate on Team Red, was rock solid in his 30 minutes of action, stopping all 25 shots he faced.  Santos is 19 and played in Bonnyville of the AJHL last year.  He has not played a regular season WHL game, but does not have NCAA eligibility due to his time with the Prince George Cougars.

Austin Shaw, a big goalie out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, has been very solid at camp as well.  The 17 year old was a free agent invite to last year's camp and as since played himself into the discussion as a possible option behind Jarry.

The final goalie still in the mix is 18 year old Tanner McCorriston.  He played midget AAA last season for the Knights of Columbus.  McCorriston improved as camp progressed and jumped ahead of other goalies who attended.  He was named the Alberta Midget Hockey League's top goaltender last season.
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Up front there are a few spots open from last year's Eastern Conference Championship winning team.  TJ Foster, Dylan Wruk, and Trevor Cheek have graduated as 20 year olds.  Michael St. Croix, and Travis Ewanyk are eligible to play pro, and Stephane Legault announced he will be attending NAIT, forgoing his 20 year old season.

Expect Riley Keiser, a 20 year old acquired from Vancouver this off season to slide into the top nine on this team, he has looked impressive early at camp.  Danish import Mads Eller is also a lock, he possesses a ton of speed and should help the Kings on the PK and be able to produce offensively.  Lane Bauer will be on the team if they can get him signed.  Nothing official to report on that front, but according to his Twitter feed it appears as though it is a done deal.  Youngsters Andrew Koepp, and Brayden Brown have made a strong impression so far, and are battling the likes of Tyler Robertson or Mitch Walter, the Oil Kings second rounder in 2011, for roster spots.

The blue line is where the team will see the biggest changes.  Keegan Lowe, David Musil, and Marty Gernat are all likely to play professional hockey this season.  There is a big question mark around Griffin Reinhart, the club's captain who did not attend camp.  Instead, Reinhart was on Long Island, getting ready for Islanders camp.  Look for Ben Carroll, and Aaron Irving to make the club, joining incumbents Dysin Mayo, Ashton Sautner, Cody Corbett, and Stephen Shmoorkoff.  My guess is the Kings will carry eight defensemen including Reinhart, so there is one spot open for a youngster to make the club.  I'd look at guys like Jesse Mills, Cole Josefchak, or Chance Patterson to be the front runners for that spot.
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
The Oil Kings now enter the preseason where they will play five games.  The schedule kicks off on Saturday night in St. Albert when they face the Swift Current Broncos at their annual preseason tournament.  The Kings face the Red Deer on Sunday night to wrap up the weekend.  They will travel to Prince George for a pair of games on September 6th and 7th, before closing the exhibition schedule against the Rebels in Lacombe on September 13th.

The Kings open up their seventh WHL season at home on Friday September 20th against the Calgary Hitmen.  The team is teasing 'History in the Making' as their promo for the game. Puck drops at 7.  All games are on The Team 1260.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Oil Kings Spring Camp Thoughts

Just two weeks after the 2012-2013 season ended the 2013-2014 season began for the Edmonton Oil Kings.  The hosted their annual Spring Development Camp over the weekend at NAIT and Rexall Place.  Twenty-five '97 and '98 born Oil King prospects took their first steps towards becoming Western Hockey League players under the watchful eyes of the team's coaches and front office staff.  The wide eyed players were divided into two groups and were put through both on and off ice workouts over the weekend.  Players endured power skating sessions, dry land testing, and showed their stuff in a full ice four on four scrimmage to wrap up the weekend.  There were a lot of smiles, nerves and excitement in the rink, as the youngsters tried to make a good first impression.

The players attending were bantam draft picks from the last two drafts and a few free agent invites.  It is a good chance for the players to see what it means to be an Oil King as they are introduced to the staff, tour the facilities and meet potential teammates.  

2012 draft picks Andrew Koep, Colton Kehler, Patrick Dea, Jesse Mills  and Garrett Armour were some of the more recognizable names, and they did not disappoint.  There will be an opportunity for several of the 16 year prospects to crack  the roster at main camp in September.

Meanwhile several of the 2013 picks showed strong including Davis Koch, Kyle Yewchuk and Alex Rotundo.  The prospects will have access to video of the camp, with lessons to work on throughout the summer as they prepare to return for Rookie Camp in August.

This and That

-Brett Pollock was one of the current Oil Kings helping during the camp. He sported a helmet with the number 39 on it, indicating a change from 20 which he wore last year.

-Expect a couple other number changes from returning players when camp opens in September.

-Goaltender Tristan Jarry and forward Curtis Lazar spent the weekend in Toronto at the NHL Draft Combine.  Lazar had 26 interviews with NHL team managers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

GDB #29 @ Lethbridge

Oil Kings(28 18-5-2-3) @ Hurricanes(32 14-14-1-3)

The Oil Kings and Hurricanes play the back half of a home and home tonight at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.  The Oil Kings held on to win a wild affair 4-3 at Rexall Place on Sunday night.  The Kings were up 3-0 early in the second period, but allowed the 'Canes to storm back and tie it before Curtis Lazar scored his second of the game on the power play late in the 2nd.  Lazar had not scored in the previous 14 games.  Tristan Jarry made 19 saves for his 7th win of the season.
Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Season Series- The Oil Kings have defeated the Hurricanes in both matchups so far this season.  Jarry has been the goalie of record both times.  He and the Oil Kings shut out the Hurricanes in Lethbridge 3-0 early in the year before winning on Sunday.  The game in Lethbridge featured a stellar performance from Hurricane netminder and Edmonton native, Ty Rimmer.  The 20 year old goalie made 57 saves in the losing effort.

The Opposition: Hurricanes have been up and down this season so far.  Between October 17 and November 9 they lost only once is regulation over a 12 game stretch.  But they have only one victory in their last nine heading into tonight.  They are a young team coming off a 29 win season last year.  They sit 5th in the Eastern Conference, playing a league high 32 games to this point.

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Goals- EDM- Michael St. Croix (14)
LET- Russell Maxwell (15)

Points- EDM- St. Croix (37)
LET- Maxwell (30)

Wins- EDM- Laurent Brossoit (11)
LET- Ty Rimmer (13)

PIMS- EDM- Keegan Lowe (72)
LET- Jamian Yakubowski (87)

Next Up:  The Kings return to Edmonton and open a home and home set with the Calgary Hitmen.  They host Calgary on Friday night in their Teddy Bear Toss game before squaring off at the Saddledome on Saturday.  The 'Canes open a six game homestand tonight.  They host the Tigers on Friday.

Photo: Edmonton Oil Kings
Drafted: EDM- David Musil- Edmonton Oilers (2nd, 2011), Keegan Lowe- Carolina Hurricanes (3rd, 2011), Travis Ewanyk- Oilers (3rd, 2011), Michael St. Croix- New York Rangers (4th, 2011), Martin Gernat- Oilers (5th, 2011), Laurent Brossoit- Calgary Flames (6th, 2011), Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012).

LET- None

Draft Watch (CSS Preliminary 2013 North American Rankings in Western Hockey League)
EDM- #8 Curtis Lazar, #2 (goalies)Tristan Jarry
LET- none

Injury Report:

#4 Keegan Lowe, lower body, day to day
#21Travis Ewanyk, lower body, day to day
#28 Martin Gernat, upper body, 1 month plus

#8 Tyler Wong, upper body, 1 week
#16 Reid Duke, upper body, 1 week

Roster Notes: Mike Sofillas and Graham Hood have both returned from injury for the Hurricanes.  Martin Gernat has begun skating in Edmonton as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Notes: Michael St. Croix is tied in 10th in scoring (37).  Tristan Jarry leads the league in GAA (1.50), Laurent Brossoit is 9th (2.56).  Hurricane Jamian Yakubowski leads the WHL in PIMs (87).  Axel Blomqvist is 7th in rookie scoring (18).  Daniel Johnston is tied in 7th in scoring amongst defencemen (22).  The The Oil Kings lead the league in both power play and penalty kill percentage.  The Hurricane's PP is ranked 16th, their PK is 14th. Tonight is one of five games on the schedule and is the third of six meetings between the teams. Pregame at 6:55, puck drop at 7:00 on the Team 1260.