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Edmonton Oil Kings hope to carry momentum from last season’s success to start of new WHL campaign

WATCH ABOVE: The Edmonton Oil Kings are set to kick of their season this weekend when they take on the Red Deer Rebels, so forwards Liam Keeler and Carter South joined us to talk about the upcoming season.

The Edmonton Oil Kings will see the puck drop on their 2019-20 Western Hockey League season in Red Deer on Saturday and the team will be looking to build off last season’s remarkable success.

In 2018-19, the Oil Kings finished in first place in the Central Division and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Final. It was an impressive bounce-back season under new coach Brad Lauer after the team finished last place overall in the WHL the season before.

“Last year we came in kind of flying at the seat of our pants with obviously a new coaching staff and not really knowing the players, but obviously this season we’re a lot more organized,” Lauer said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot more detail and structure to our day.

“We’ve had a good pre-season. We still have a lot of work to do but it was definitely a lot easier transition this year.”

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Watch below: (From Sept. 20, 2019) The Edmonton Oil Kings announced the team’s new leadership group on Friday as it prepares to drop the puck on a new season.

Edmonton Oil Kings announce new leadership group
Edmonton Oil Kings announce new leadership group

Veteran Oil Kings defenceman Connor McDonald said while it’s exciting that expectations for the team are higher this year, “our mindset needs to remain the same.”

“[It’s a] clean slate,” he said. “We’ve got to get to work right away.
“[It’s a] big contest out in Red Deer on Saturday and then we’ve got them her on Sunday so we’re just focusing on preparation for those two games.”

READ MORE: Brad Lauer takes over as Edmonton Oil Kings head coach

Watch below: (From July 2018) The Edmonton Oil Kings season won’t start for another couple of months, but already fans can expect to see some big changes this season. New head coach Brad Lauer, and new hockey operations president Kirt Hill joined Shaye Ganam to talk about their roles.

Edmonton Oil Kings making big changes ahead of 2018-19 season
Edmonton Oil Kings making big changes ahead of 2018-19 season

The club is coming into the 2019-20 season without several players from last year’s roster. That list will likely include the team’s captain and leading scorer last season, Trey Fix-Wolansky. He is currently at the Columbus Blue Jackets’ training camp trying to earn a spot on the National Hockey League team and has a chance to play for the or that team’s affiliate club in the American Hockey League.

Watch below: (From December 2018) The Edmonton Oil Kings’ captain recently hit the 200-point mark in just 171 WHL games. Quinn Phillips has more on Trey Fix-Wolansky and what motivates him.

Oil Kings captain piles up the points
Oil Kings captain piles up the points
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However, the team also has an impressive list of returning players, including standout defenceman Matthew Robertson, who was drafted by the New York Rangers this summer at the NHL Draft.

READ MORE: Oil Kings’ star selected by New York Rangers in 2nd round of NHL Draft

Watch below: (From September 2017) Last year, the Edmonton Oil Kings decided to move forward with a rebuild of the team. That means there’s a lot of young hockey players that will be on this year’s roster. As Quinn Phillips reports, 16-year-old Matthew Robertson is one player to keep an eye on.

A closer look at Oil Kings’ defenceman Matthew Robertson
A closer look at Oil Kings’ defenceman Matthew Robertson
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