Oilers Prospect Camp Day 1

I had the chance to pop by the camp this morning. I got there just after 9am and was able to grab a good seat. Glad I did because by 10am it was packed.

Lots of people just wanting to watch the new faces and lots of people with no clue who certain people were, but it was cool to see Edmontonians get behind these kids as the Oilers will likely have a number of them in their lineup come opening night.

Here's a few notes from what I gathered today:

The Oilers started with some skating drills with Steve Serdachny. I'm no hockey player, but some of the drills were interesting including a jumping drill when players would wave their own sticks under their feet and be forced to jump over them. Some of the prospects did well, others really struggled. This was the first time I noticed MPS who really stood out here. As you read you'll start to notice a recurring theme... MPS was awesome -- there is some real power in his stride.

Serdachny wasted no time getting on kids and he played no favorites. Among others, he harped on Eberle a bit. Not because Eberle wasn't skating but I think because he saw the potential in Eberle being able to set the tone to the rest of the rookies. I was impressed with Eberle considering the knock on him is his skating speed. Eberle to me actually looked a step faster than a lot of the other prospects and from what I've seen before.

The zamoboni came out and did a lap around the ice. All went well until the second machine spit out a whack of ice and left the driver looking like a real putz. Kelly Buchburger wound up spending a few minutes trying to get rid of the debris. Fortunately it had no effect on the rest of the day.

Mike Sillinger took over with some additional offensive drills. 3 on 0 and breakout drills were the meal of the day. Again, some kids struggled and others picked up on things right away. You could really tell the high end prospects from some of the later picks. A few names surprised me too like Kristians Pelss who has an unbelieveable release. Again MPS stood out with his speed and size. Taylor Hall got a few fan reactions for some pretty stick handling and shots when he started to put a bit more effort into it. For the most part however, Hall looked tired and not surprisingly. I can't imagine how much running around he's done since his arrival.

Renney, Sillinger and Buchburger then finished off with some breakout drills and game of rebound on the goalie Tyler Bunz. Bunz looked great and the only player to really light him up was center Tyler Pitlick. Pitlick has a great snap/wrist shot and scored about three consecutive on a goalie who otherwise made some crazy good saves.

In an interview after day one, Renney mentioned after the fact that there wasn't too much of a premuim placed on effort today. This camp is more about the kids getting to know each other, the coaching staff and getting their footing back on the ice. Many of the kids were tired, jet lagged and haven't rested much yet.

Kids like Anton Lander, who provided the most entertaining moments of the day with a few spills and a nice reaction to a fan with a Sweden t-shirt, was visibily tired. He landed late last night, but kept a smile on his face all day.

It was an interesting camp to say the least and I look forward to tomorrow. I'll be looking at a few of the defencemen in a bit more detail. If you have any players you'd like me to keep an eye on, feel free to leave it in the comments section.


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