Edmonton Oilers Training Camp Preview

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When Edmonton blew a 3 to 0 lead in game five with 3:20 remaining against the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the playoffs, it basically sealed there fate for that season but they didn't go away quietly by winning big in game six and losing by one goal in game seven. With a young team like Edmonton which is led by superstar Connor McDavid, they could have easily given up but that tone they set in game six and seven against Anaheim will be a building block for them for years to come.

McDavid was signed to a big contract in the offseason and he is going to be the best player in the world soon. With all the possible hype towards Edmonton possibly going to the finals this upcoming season, what would be a better way for McDavid to take over the throne in the NHL by dethroning Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the finals. I thought for some reason before the playoffs began that Edmonton was going to face Pittsburgh and I think that would be a series for the ages.

What really was the key for the Oilers last season was how their role players stepped up in the postseason and the play of goaltender Cam Talbot. If he continues to play at an elite level, the Oilers will make a deep playoff run. Talbot played in 73 games last season, but backup goalie Laurent Brossoit needs to help him out as well and win games.

They lost Jordan Eberle this offseason in a trade to the New York Islanders for Ryan Strome. Otherwise, the Oilers have had a quiet offseason.

Projected lines: Line 1: Patrick Maroon-Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl

Line 2: Milan Lucic-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- Jesse Puljujarvi

Line 3: Drake Caggiula-Ryan Strome-Jussi Jokinen

Line 4: Anton Slepyshev-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian

Defense 1: Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson

Defense 2: Kris Russell-Matt Benning

Defense 3: Darnell Nurse-Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot will be the starting goalie and Laurent Brossoit will be the backup.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera is out for sometime with a torn ACL that he suffered in the second-round against the Anaheim Ducks.

Expect these players to step up in case of injury: Ben Betker, Dillon Simpson, Iiro Pakarinen , Brad Malone, and Joey Laleggia.

The Oilers need to make sure they are not caught up in the Stanley Cup hype this season and focus with the task on hand.