The Edmonton Oilers have, by way of terrific drafting position these past few years, built an impressive core of young forwards with increasing star potential.
The focus might soon switch to the Oilers’ blue line heading into September.
Led by 23-year-old Justin Schultz, who was the league’s top scoring rookie defenseman with 27 points during the regular season, the Oilers have been busy this summer trying to improve their defense corps.
Not only did they go to the free agent market for help, but they strayed from their methods of the past few years by taking a defenseman high up in the first round of the draft.
They signed free agent veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, who had just wrapped up a Stanley Cup Final with the Boston Bruins, and drafted Darnell Nurse with the seventh overall pick in June’s NHL Draft.
And that has Schultz speaking highly of the Oilers defensive unit, as training camp approaches.
“We’ve got a lot of depth on the back end now. It’s going to provide for a lot of competition. Everyone, including myself, has got to come ready to camp to make this team. It’s going to make us better,” Schultz told NHL.com.
“I’ve been training hard the last couple of months, enjoying my time off. I’m really excited for the season to come here. I’ve had enough of summer. I’m ready to go.”