The Edmonton Oilers are gearing up for training camp in the coming weeks, and many of the players are already making their way back to the city.
Though camp doesn’t start until Sept. 14, many players – from up-and-coming prospects to star players to newly signed free agents, have come back to Edmonton to skate and prepare for camp.
By far, the biggest name to return to Rogers Place so far was Leon Draisaitl. The German forward recently signed an eight-year extension with Edmonton and will start making $8 million per season starting this year. He finished eighth in league scoring with 29 goals and 77 points last season and was also a huge part of Connor McDavid’s 100-point campaign.
The 21-year-old returned Tuesday and practiced for a while, and even led his teammates in an informal skate.
He also took the time to speak to the media and discuss the team’s collective and individual goals for the upcoming 2017-18 campaign.
Other Oilers in attendance included Darnell Nurse, Drake Caggiula, Cam Talbot and others.
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New Jersey Numbers
With the return of several faces, many players have decided to switch jersey numbers this season, according to the Oilers official website.
Instead of the number 36, which will now go to veteran Jussi Jokinen, Caggiula will wear 91 this season. Jujhar Khaira, one of the Oilers top gritty prospects and a fourth-line candidate this season, is switching his number 54 to 16 this year. Anton Slepyshev will don 58, and Yohann Auvitu, when playing in Edmonton, will wear 81.
While also skating Tuesday, Talbot partnered up with Make-a-Wish Northern Alberta to grant the wish of Gage Foster. The young fan got to meet Talbot and skate with the 29-year-old netminder.
In other recent news Talbot’s wife, Kelly, has been working to raise money and awareness for the Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.
Connor McDavid has been in New York City as part of the NHL and NHLPA’s Player Media Tour. He appeared on the set of the Today Show Wednesday, alongside Ryan McDonagh, Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones.