1st Star – Jesse Joensuu
This was a no-brainer. Joensuu was clearly the best player on the ice for the Oilers last night and one of the few who played a full sixty minutes. He scored his first goal as an Oiler, had 5 shots on net and was throwing his size and weight around like a man on a mission. He is the exact type of player the Oilers need and could use a couple more like him.
He did finish the night with a rating of minus-2 which could be something to watch for. But as long as he’s banging and crashing, mucking it up after the whistle and in the opponents faces while chipping in offensively, the other end of the game will come with time.
Joensuu could find himself playing on the Oilers top line in a short period of time if he continues his fine play. With Ryan Smyth‘s audition on the first line looking like a failure, Joensuu could be the perfect fit to go with the slick hands of Ales Hemsky and the reckless play of Taylor Hall.
Coach Eakins told the media after the game that looking back he wishes he had got Joensuu on the ice more during the third period. Let’s hope the coach doesn’t make that mistake again if Joensuu continues to deliver that caliber of play. He was easily the first star for the Oilers.