Brad Herauf hasn't played for the Blazers in three seasons, but he has helped the hockey club out in a big way this year. "He's the one that sort of got me to this area, to Oklahoma City,” said 6-foot-3, 220-pound winger D.J. Jelitto, one of the Blazers' top newcomers. Herauf and Jelitto were teammates with Utah of the ECHL the past two seasons, before Herauf moved on to the ECHL's Florida franchise this season. "He talked very highly about the Oklahoma City organization,” Jelitto said. "He said it was a first-class facility, a first-class place to play. "He said it was the funnest place he's ever played pro hockey. He said all you've got to do is compete every day and they provide everything else. And so far, so good. I mean, nothing's wrong with that.” Nothing wrong with former Blazers giving the team a helping hand, either. Happens all the time. "All the guys know that this is a good place to play,” Blazers coach Doug Sauter said. "We get referrals from players all the time. That's one of our strongest recruiting tools.” Jelitto has been one of the Blazers' best players this season. He has four goals and six points in his first eight games, playing left wing on the Marty Standish line. "I like his attitude,” Sauter said. "He's come here very determined to make himself a better hockey player, and I think he's going to be a very good player for us. He's big and strong, and he can skate as well. He has all the attributes of being a good pro player that hopefully can play at another level.” Jelitto has been playing at a different level — for Utah in the ECHL the past two seasons. Now in his third pro season, he was waived by Utah three games into this season. "The ECHL might have a half step on the CHL,” Jelitto said. "I think a lot of the better teams in this league can compete in the ECHL. But you can't take any team lightly in this league. It's competitive hockey. Everybody's playing for jobs just like in the ECHL.” Jelitto, 23, is from the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City. So his first two pro seasons were with a hometown team. He lived a mile from Utah's practice facility and four miles from the team's arena. "So I had a lot of friends and relatives come to the games and support me every night. It was very flattering to get that,” Jelitto said. "But things didn't work out there this year, and I think it's for the better. I'm just looking to help Oklahoma City, the Blazers, and help us have a successful season.”
Odessa at Blazers•When: 7:35 tonight •Where: Ford Center •Radio: KEBC-1340 AM •Records: Blazers 5-7-1; Jackalopes 9-4-1. •Scouting report: In the only previous meeting, Odessa won 6-3 at home, coming back from a 2-0 deficit after one period. The Jackalopes scored on four power plays. They are 8-2-1 over their last 11 games.
Marty Standish•Born: July 10, 1978, in Kelvinton, Saskatchewan •Years pro: 9 •Years with Blazers: 7 •Height, weight: 5-8, 175 •Position: Center What four people, living or deceased, would you like to invite for dinner? Tyler Sauter (Fleck), Graham my boy (Dearle), Watty my boy (Ryan Watson), Garrett my boy (Prosofsky). What is your favorite meal? Sushi. Who is the person you admire most? My mom. What's the best TV show ever? "Entourage” Who is the greatest player in hockey history? Wayne Gretzky What's the best sporting event you've attended? Chiefs game at Arrowhead. Who is your favorite singer or musical group? Red Hot Chili Peppers By Bob Hersom