It'll be pretty hard for the second game of the rookie tournament to be better than the first one. Not only did the Edmonton Oilers destroy the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 7-2, but it was also my first chance to see so many players, and for the rest, it was the first time in a long time. There are still a few guys didn't get a chance to play in the team's first game, and I'm excited to see what they can do, but this one doesn't have quite the same drama as a first look at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. On the other hand, it's the first chance to play against the new Winnipeg Jets, which is kind of exciting in its own right. Let's hope the result is as "right out of the 80s" as it was on Sunday.
Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets
South Okanagan Event Center, Penticton, 8:30 p.m. MDT
More analysis after the jump...
Hamilton (70) - Nugent-Hopkins (72) - Pelss (63)
Ferguson (79) - Pitlick (68) - Rieder (61)
Czerwonka (71) - Smith (59) - Rajala (92)
Tyrvainen (75) - Schaber (76) - Martindale (66)
Davidson (88) - Blain (82)
Vannieuwenhuizen (90) - Lowery (45)
Gernat (78) - Fedun (81)
Notes from Camp:
Tyler Pitlick and walk-on Colin Smith are both playing center, while Ryan Martindale, which seems like a bit of a tell from Oilers' management on where they see these guys eventually playing. Given that the club seems to want Pitlick at center (there have been many comments to this effect), and may be thinking of shifting Martindale to the wing (not much evidence other than this lineup), it's a bit odd that Martindale's going back to junior where he'll almost certainly play center, and Pitlick is going to the AHL where he'll probably be forced to the wing.
- As I mentioned last time, Milan Kytnar and Travis Ewanyk are listed on the roster, but both players are injured, so they'll both be out for the second consecutive game. Colten Teubert joined them on the injured list after no never absolutely not getting concussed in a fight against Vancouver.
- I thought that the line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Curtis Hamilton, and Kristians Pelss looked fantastic in the team's first game, so it's fun to see them sticking together for another game. I imagine that will change once these players go to main camp (Nugent-Hopkins will be playing with the NHL talent), so this might be the last chance to see this group together.
- The numbers loved Brett Ferguson when I took a closer look at quality of competition for the Red Deer Rebels so it'll be interesting to see if the eye-test matches. If it does, I may just have a new favorite Oiler... er... Baron... um... Thunder... uh... Golden Bear....
- A lot of people seem to be upset that there was so much fighting in the first game. I suggest you don't watch this one. Wes Vannieuwenhuizen led the Vancouver Giants in fighting majors last season with 18, and the big man is trying to earn a contract with a team that drafted Cameron Abney in the first hundred picks. I'd put the odds of him fighting in this game at something like 80%.