The Edmonton Oilers huddle before the start of their practice at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Monday. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

Oilers McDavid, Draisaitl relish time in Okanagan

The Edmonton Oilers practiced at Prospera Place in Kelowan twice during team bonding trip

The Edmonton Oilers visited Kelowna over the weekend for a series of practices and team bonding activities.

The Oilers were on the ice for their second of two practices on Monday at Prospera Place before heading home to play the Arizona Coyotes in exhibition play on Tuesday.

Captain Connor McDavid stressed the importance of team bonding ahead of the season. The elite talent said spending time in Kelowna was essential to build chemistry with teammates off the ice.

“It’s really important,” said McDavid.

“Relationships in the dressing room are really important for the on-ice part of it. It was a good weekend and a good opportunity set up by the coaches and management for us to get to know each other pretty well.”

It was also a homecoming of sorts for Oilers Center Leon Draisaitl who played for the Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The 50-goal scorer played 37 games with the Oilers that year before returning to junior hockey where he was traded from the Prince Albert Raiders to Kelowna.

Draistaitl led the Rockets to a WHL championship and won the MVP of the Memorial Cup despite falling to the Oshawa Generals in the final.

After Tuesday’s practice, he reflected on his time in Kelowna as he stood in front of his painting on the Rockets Hall-of-fame wall in Prospera Place.

“They really took me in and they treated me really well here,” said Draisitl. “I just love being here and it’s great to be back.”

Draisaitl went on to talk about how important his time spent in Kelowna was for his development.

“I played half the year in the NHL and clearly wasn’t ready to make an impact every night,” said Draisaitl.

“For me at that point, it was best to get some confidence. Get to play on the powerplay, penalty kill. It really helped me and helped my development.”

Draistaitl registered 19 goals and 34 assists (54 points) in 32 games with Kelowna.

READ MORE: Lucky fan meets McDavid in Kelowna


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Is the news here to stay?

A new year and a new goal

Avalanche control on Highway 1 near Revelstoke

Expect 20 minute delays at Three Valley Gap until 2 p.m.

Revelstoke RCMP investigating hit and run

A pedestrian was struck on Tuesday at Victoria Rd and First Street

New book released on the untold Indigenous history of Revelstoke

Swift River is Laura Stovel’s fourth book

Tickets still available for Montreal Canadiens alumni event in Revelstoke

The Habs alumni will be playing a Revelstoke men’s team

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read