Tag: Leon Draisaitl


Ex-NHLer Sturm named coach, GM of German national team

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Marco Sturm, the highest-scoring German player in NHL history, has agreed to become the head coach and general manager of Germany’s national team.

“I’m very proud that the DEB [German hockey federation] gives me the huge responsibility and I’m really immensely looking forward to this challenging and exciting task I will work on with huge motivation,” Sturm said, per the IIHF website. “Together we want to go the next step with German ice hockey.”

Sturm, 36, retired last January after a 15-year NHL career that went through San Jose, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, Vancouver and Florida. He also represented Germany at nearly every international level, participating in three Winter Olympics.

As mentioned in his quote above, this new gig will be a challenge. Sturm, who doesn’t have any pro coaching experience, inherits a struggling national team; Germany finished a disappointing 10th at the 2015 World Hockey Championships, suffering one of the biggest blowouts of the tournament, a 10-0 loss to Canada.

This came on the heels of an equally disappointing effort at the ’14 tourney, in which the Germans needed group stage wins over Latvia and Kazakhstan to avoid relegation.

Currently, there are seven German skaters in the NHL: Tobias Rieder, Dennis Seidenberg, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Leon Draisaitl, Korbinian Holzer and David Wolf. Thomas Greiss and Philipp Grubauer are the country’s lone netminders.

Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage

Connor McDavid

If Connor McDavid’s Oilers “debut” was any indication, this is going to be quite the rookie year.

On Monday night, McDavid — the first overall pick at this year’s draft — scored five goals en route to winning the Billy Moores Cup, a scrimmage that wrapped up Edmonton’s six-day prospect orientation camp.

From NHL.com:

The No. 1 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft had three goals in two 20-minute halves of 4-on-4 play, then scored two more in seven minutes at 3-on-3, leading his team to an 8-6 win.

“It was fun. Anytime you get a chance to play in front of fans like that, it’s always exciting,” McDavid said. “It was pretty competitive, just with the guys that we had, and they made a lot of great plays out there.”

While the night was a showcase for McDavid, there were other Oilers prospects on the ice as well, including Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse. The No. 3 and No. 7 picks in the 2014 and ’13 drafts, the two are looking to be alongside McDavid on the Oilers’ opening-night roster this October.

Sabres fill out Bylsma’s staff, hire Lambert away from WHL team

2015 Memorial Cup - Championship

The Buffalo Sabres have hired Dan Lambert as an assistant coach.

Lambert, 45, will leave his job as head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets to join Dan Bylsma’s staff, which already included assistants Terry Murray and Dave Barr.

From the press release:

Lambert joins the Sabres after guiding the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) to a 53-13-6 record and a Western Conference title in his first season as head coach in 2014-15. The Rockets followed up their regular-season success by posting a 16-3 record in the WHL Playoffs, winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup and earning a berth in the Memorial Cup, where the team fell to the Oshawa Generals (OHL) in the Final.

Last year in Kelowna, Lambert coached a handful of top NHL prospects, including Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), Nick Merkley (Coyotes), and Madison Bowey (Capitals).

Related: Murray joins Bylsma’s staff in Buffalo, not Hakstol’s in Philly

Oilers prospect Draisaitl ‘totally fine’ playing the wing


After beginning last season with the Edmonton Oilers just prior to his 19th birthday, it seems Leon Draisaitl might be in tough to do the same thing at his center position this year.

According to a report from the Edmonton Journal, Draisaitl, the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, may have to consider a move from center to the wing in order to stick with the Oilers next season, with the additions of Connor McDavid and Mark Letestu down the middle in the last eight days.

“I’d be totally fine with that,” said Draisaitl, as per the Oilers website. “I’ve played the wing before… I know how to play the wing. For me, it wouldn’t really matter. As long as I’m on the team, for me, everything works I guess.”

Draisaitl, who turns 20 on Oct. 27, played 37 games for the Oilers last season, before he was dispatched back to the WHL in January. During his time in Edmonton, he scored twice and had nine points while averaging 12:41 of ice time playing in the middle.

The Oilers eventually burned through the first year of his entry-level contract, although former GM Craig MacTavish believed keeping Draisaitl in Edmonton for so long before sending him to junior was the right move in his development.

‘Very quiet’ on Derek Roy-Edmonton front, says agent

Edmonton Oilers v Pittsburgh Penguins

Not a huge surprise, but there hasn’t been much contract talk between Derek Roy and the Edmonton Oilers.

“Nothing to report,” Roy’s agent, Rob Hooper, told PHT on Wednesday. “Very quiet to date.”

It’s easy to understand why. Few teams have undergone more front office changes than Edmonton this offseason — Bob Nicholson was brought in as CEO, Peter Chiarelli was hired as GM and former Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan became the team’s new head coach.

So it stands to reason that, with all this changeover, Edmonton’s decision-makers haven’t had a ton of time to reach out to free agents. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see how the conversation goes once — or, if — they reach out to Roy.

The 32-year-old did enjoy a bounce-back campaign after getting traded to the Oilers in late December. Roy scored 11 goals and 22 points in 46 games, averaged nearly 17 minutes per night and developed some good chemistry with Nail Yakupov, who assisted on eight of Roy’s markers.

“I was waiting for a center for three years,” Yakupov said of playing with Roy, per the Edmonton Sun. “It’s the first time I’ve had a really good center and I’m really happy for it.

“It took us a couple of games to get used to each other and now we’re pretty comfortable. It’s easy to play with him. He can move the puck and he’s really smart. All I have to do is try to get open for a shot.”

Of course, all of this occurred under the Oilers’ old regime. Roy was acquired by now-assistant GM Craig MacTavish — it’s still unclear how big a role he’ll have under Chiarelli — and thrived playing for interim head coach Todd Nelson, who will reportedly explore other head coaching gigs now that McLellan is aboard.

Roy’s efforts also came prior to Edmonton winning the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, which meant winning the rights to OHL Erie superstar Connor McDavid — who, like Roy, plays center. Edmonton also has 19-year-old center Leon Draisaitl, currently starring with WHL Kelowna at the Memorial Cup, looking to get back to the NHL next year.

Should he head to free agency, Roy would be in a class loaded with veterans. It would be curious to see how much his mini-revival with Edmonton sparked interest league-wide, especially after disappointing stints in St. Louis and Nashville.