Oilers’ youngsters eager to play with Hall
EDMONTON — Not so long ago, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were sporting Team Canada jerseys and making their mark at the 2010 IIHF world junior hockey championship.
Now they’ll get a chance to help remodel the Edmonton Oilers.
“I’m pretty excited. I think all of us are anxious to get to camp. It’s going to be competitive,” said Eberle, who was among the Oilers at Rexall Place on Friday for the team’s NHL entry draft party. “We have guys coming in like (2009 pick Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson) and (2007 selection Linus Omark) and obviously Taylor Hall.
“It’s exciting to be a part of the organization right now.”
Eberle had spoken to Hall the night before the draft and knew how badly the tenacious winger wanted to go to Edmonton.
Oilers coach Tom Renney said he, like most everyone else, had not been privy to which player general manager Steve Tambellini was going to choose. Hall or Tyler Seguin. In the end, he gave the final decision a thumbs-up.
“I like the fact he’s an attacking player,” Renney said. “I like the fact that the net is his end point.”
Another asset, Renney said, is that Hall plays hard from one end of the rink to the other, but it is his determination, his reckless attack that presents a challenge for opponents.
“It makes it tough on teams to defend a player like that and you hope that by osmosis it affects other players.”
The prospect of playing between Hall and Eberle wasn’t lost on Oilers centre Sam Gagner. He just figured he’d wait and see how things play out between now and the season opener.
“To add a guy who is this sought after, who has won in the past, is exciting for all of us,” said Gagner. “He’s won everywhere he’s been.
“The circumstances that got us here are not good, but this is exciting. We really want to turn the page — and we added a winner today.”
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