We’ve grown accustomed to seeing young players starting right away with the Edmonton Oilers in recent years and Leon Draisaitl wants to be the next one.
Jason Gregor at the Edmonton Journal spoke with the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and found out he’s staying in Edmonton all summer to train, leaving his parents behind in Germany, in an effort to make the team out of camp.
“I have a dream and I want to make that dream happen,” he said. “Obviously, I would love to see my parents, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t see them for a while. My goal is to play in the NHL next year and it (staying in Edmonton) is the best way to get ready and get used to the life here.
“For me, personally, it is the best decision.”
That’s a lot of toughness for an 18-year-old to just up and leave home, but opportunity is there for Draisaitl if he makes the most of it. The Oilers haven’t had issues with Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov jumping to the NHL right after being drafted.
For Draisaitl, the opportunity is there for the taking with Hopkins, Matt Hendricks, and Boyd Gordon the centers at the NHL level. He’ll have Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander, and others to compete with to potentially crack the second line.