Edmonton general manager Steve Tambellini and Oilers coach Ralph Krueger watched the Oklahoma City Barons' 3-2 win over Texas Tuesday night at the Cox Convention Center. The Oilers are in the early portion of a season-defining, nine-game road trip that continues Thursday night in Dallas.
It was an opportunity for Edmonton's brass to watch young prospects like defensemen Taylor Fedun, Colten Teubert and Martin Marincin and forwards Mark Arcobello, Ryan Martindale and Toni Rajala play for the team's AHL affiliate.
“This is such a different season for everybody,” Tambellini said. “There are some players that played the past couple of years in the NHL playing in the AHL. It's changed rosters in a big way. This is a good opportunity for guys to play against really good competition. Use it wisely. That's how you develop.”
VETERAN DEFENSEMEN PLAYING BIG
Brett Clark and Randy Jones, two veteran defensemen who have played in a combined 1,046 NHL games, factored in the Barons' first two goals.
Jones had the key pass that set up Tanner House to gave the Barons a 2-1 lead late in the second period. Clark opened the scoring in the first period when he stuffed in a pass from Philippe Cornet.
“It's pretty easy when you get a chance like that,” Clark said. “I could see it was a delayed penalty so I started creeping in. (Arcobello) battled in the corner and Phil made a great play to me to an empty net.”
EBERLE LOSES SCORING LEAD
How dominant was Jordan Eberle during his three months with the Barons?
Despite returning to Edmonton two months ago, Eberle (51 points) led the AHL in scoring until Grand Rapids' Gustav Nyquist finally passed him last weekend. Eberle has 12 points in 18 games with the Oilers.
Taylor Hall, who also played in OKC, is second on the Oilers with 16 points. Justin Schultz, who scored 48 points while in OKC, has 10 points to lead all NHL rookie defensemen. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the other member of the Fab Four, is off to a slow start with seven points.
The second edition of “Oil Change” (season 3) will air later this week on the NHL Network. The documentary follows the Oilers all season. ... Defenseman Andrew Hotham received a rousing ovation for clearly winning a fight against the Stars' Bretton Cameron midway through the second period.