I decided that I could spend my Sunday morning sleeping or watching the Oilers open day at camp, I went with the latter. I had a buddy who’s Dad was a scout for the Kings years ago, he taught her to sit down in the corners because you get a good look down the ice.
I plunked myself down in prime seating, and while it’s a good event for kids to watch their heroes and people to come see the players on ice great seats without a price, I learned maybe I should’ve brought a pair of headphones. Moms were telling their kids to stop moving and trying to get the perfect instagramable family selfie, you get the idea.
Onto hockey. I wasn’t sure to expect, I thought maybe it would be just them going through drills with a group, but it was a game!
Good news, we don’t have to issue an amber alert for Kailer Yamamoto! In the first period, I noticed him, a lot. They had him playing on a line with Greg Chase, I forgot this kid was in the system, and Ty Rattie. While I didn’t see Chase do much I did see bursts of speed from Rattie who was a waiver claim and fringe forward last season, he honestly looked really good. Yamamoto had a breakaway and some power play time. He looked good and involved on the PP with Leon, Lucic, Caggiula, and Klefbom. They fed him the puck at the top, and he made the smart move to pass off to Klefbom who blasted it past Talbot.
Another stand out for me was converted dman to winger Joey Laleggia. He was speedy and buzzing around with gritty Malone on his line. Speaking of Malone he got drilled into the boards by Auvitu, he retaliated by pinning him then grabbing onto him. I watched him grab a few times throughout the game.
They had Drake on a line with Lucic and Leon and man they looked good. Early in the second, they set up Drake with a goal.
Speaking of good lines, Puljujarvi looked to fit in well with Nuge ad Jokinen. The pizza-loving Finn had a great hockey sense and seemed to have chemistry with Nuge.
McDavid didn’t play a ton, but he did put on a show to fans when he was on the ice. I enjoyed watching him try to get past Leon with his speed. My favourite part of it all? Watching 97 try to make a beautiful move past Yamamoto who shut him down and took off with the puck.
Throughout the game lines were changing, guys like Yamamoto and Lalegia were getting chances on lines with NHL players.
It was exciting to watch the guys hit the ice in person for the first time this season. They look just as excited, and after the two-period game they blew around the ice and stretched. Did you attend the practice? What are you excited for lines wise? Shoot me a tweet @nooorzy.