Oil­ers to au­di­tion wingers

Train­ing camp to de­ter­mine who flanks McDavid and Drai­saitl

The Daily Courier - - SPORTS - By The Cana­dian Press

ED­MON­TON — The Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers opened train­ing camp with fran­chise for­wards Con­nor McDavid and Leon Drai­saitl locked up to long-term con­tracts — but with ques­tions on who will play along­side them.

“The right (wing), in my opin­ion, is the wild-card po­si­tion on our team right now,” head coach Todd McLellan said as play­ers re­ported for med­i­cal tests at Rogers Place.

McDavid is pen­ciled in with his usual left-wing part­ner, Pa­trick Ma­roon, on the top line. Drai­saitl will re­main with Mi­lan Lu­cic on his left side on the sec­ond line.

But af­ter that, it’s not so clear.

Ryan Strome, ac­quired in the off-sea­son for Jor­dan Eberle, is tabbed to play on McDavid’s right side when the play­ers hit the ice to­day.

An­ton Slepy­shev won’t skate im­me­di­ately as he con­tin­ues re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for an an­kle in­jury.

Sopho­more Drake Cag­giula will move up as the sec­ond-line rightwinger in train­ing camp.

But McLellan said if things don’t pan out, he could try Drai­saitl on McDavid’s wing, as was done with suc­cess last sea­son. Mi­lan Lu­cic could even move back along­side McDavid, as he did at the start of last year.

Third-line cen­tre Ryan Nu­gent-Hop­kins could even move to the wing, al­though McLellan said that’s doubt­ful. Strome has ex­pe­ri­ence at cen­tre in ju­nior.

“There are mov­ing parts,” said McLellan. “Those pieces are mov­ing all the time in my opin­ion and they still need to be sorted out.”

The Oil­ers open the pre-sea­son on Mon­day against Cal­gary.

The Cana­dian Press

Con­nor McDavid was all smiles in speak­ing to the press as the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers opened train­ing camp at Rogers Place in Ed­mon­ton on Thurs­day.

McLellan

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