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Oil Kings trio find early season success on NHL stage – WHL Network

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When the Edmonton Oil Kings hoisted the Ed Chinoweth Cup in June, it marked the end of a two-month journey that included 16 wins, and a return to normalcy as they crowned themselves WHL champions for the first time in three years.

Fast forward four months and more than three members of that Oil Kings group are finding their way and finding score sheets in the National Hockey League as the 2022-23 season is in full swing.

Forwards Dylan Gunther and Jake Neighbors have had opportunities to make their mark with the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues, respectively, while defenseman Kaiden Goulet has been out with the Montreal Canadians in just four NHL regular-season games. It is becoming a heavyweight of the.

The 9th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Genther made his NHL debut Saturday in Boston with the Coyotes. 1 Edmontian, who led the Oil his Kings with his 91 points earlier in the season, assisted Josh in his third-period tally against the Bruins on Saturday, his first in Arizona. of NHL points.

“I think it took me a few shifts to get my foot in the first period, but then I thought I could play with them,” Guenther said after Saturday’s game.

I felt better and more comfortable as the game progressed. I felt pretty good towards the end,” added Gunther.

A first-round pick by the Blues in the 2020 NHL Draft, Neighbours has already scored a goal to his name this season after potting an insurance marker in St. Louis’ 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. I’m here. 20-year-old Airdrie, Alta. The product was one of his pre-season with the Blues, where he appeared in nine games and added one goal and an assist before returning to Edmonton for oil he captained the Kings, his third in the past decade. won his WHL Championship.

“I thought my lines were very good [Saturday] And there were many opportunities. I just tried to shoot into the net, but that gives me confidence,” Neighbors said after the win over the Blue Jackets.

“It’s nice to have the first of a season and try to build on that,” Neighbors noted.

The 2022 WHL Playoff Most Valuable Player and two-time Ed Chinoweth Cup winner Goulet led all Montreal Canadiens skaters in ice time in last week’s first NHL contest. Goulet, who was selected 16th overall from Montreal in the 2020 NHL Draft, took on future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby for over 15 minutes on Monday. He collected two assists to open the NHL account while helping limit the Penguins captain to one shot on goal.

“The guys are great. They tell me to keep skating. My coach is in my corner and helping me out as much as he can,” he said at Alta’s Sherwood Park. The product said after Monday’s game.

“It also helps when you’re playing a lot. When you’re on the ice, you just go and play. You can’t think too much about the game,” added Guhle.

Guenther, Guhle and Neighbors were just three of the eight NHL picks that graced the Oil Kings’ roster last season, and all but two started the 2022-23 season in professional hockey. Forward Justin Soldiff (Charlotte), defenseman Luke Prokop (Milwaukee) and goaltender Sebastian Cossa (Grand Rapids) will start the 2022-23 season as forwards in the American Hockey League and will be on the cusp of 2021. Jakub Demek (Vegas) and Jalen Ruipen were selected in the NHL Draft. (Chicago) could have followed suit had both not missed to start the season due to injury.

Edmonton also gained professional attention behind the bench as head coach Brad Lauer returned to the NHL over the summer and assumed an assistant coach role with the Winnipeg Jets.

Of course, it’s still early for the Edmonton Oil Kings to graduate from last season. But for Guenther, Guhle, and his Neighbours, early success at the NHL level is a continuation of his individual and team victories in the WHL last spring.