In our next look at potential call-ups from OKC, we profile Brandon Davidson. Davidson is a resilient fellow, who has overcome major obstacles and finds himself on the doorstep of a NHL career.
New Oilers assistant coach Rocky Thompson is a former coach in Oklahoma City. As the Barons’ video man, he would watch and analyze the game in real time, using breaks and intermissions to review broken plays, successful offensive drives and other minutiae that would benefit the team. By the third period, he takes that knowledge and then arms the bench with it, hoping to stem the tide of mistakes, or help foster more success with what is working.
He must have seen something in Davidson while he was up watching that video. In an interview recently with Jason Gregor he had good things to say. Gregor writes:
Last week, Rocky Thompson said that of the other D-men who played in OKC last year, Davidson is the next in line for a promotion. He liked his defensive game and expected Davidson to get some PP time this year to show off his offensive talents.
That may be true in Thompson’s mind, but competition for defensive spots will be wicked this year. Darnell Nurse is scratching at the door like a rabid dog to have his first berth in the NHL. Oscar Klefbom is also feeling “ready”, and then there’s that guy Martin Marincin who went and stole their thunder last year. Not only that, there’s Brad Hunt in the mix as well, who has has shown excellent ability in moving the puck, something the Oilers have desired for a long time.
In much the same way that Taylor Fedun was a kind of cinderella story in the making, Davidson is similar. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012 and had to go through treatment before returning to the ice. He almost didn’t make it. Fast forward one year to October 2013. The Cult of Hockey wrote:
“Played the tough shut-down role on the kill and against top lines. Just an OK skater and skill player, he thinks the game well, plays sound and tough positional defence and doesn’t take needless chances. Needs to up his skill and play with even more aggression. With another year or two in AHL, he could well be knocking on Oilers door.”
Well, one year has passed, and his coach who made it to the big club wants to see him up here. He is at the multi-million dollar dressing room door, and he wants in.