Tomas Jurco and Patrick Russell see chances to make Edmonton Oilers

Rogers Place ready for the Edmonton Oilers season opener Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.
Rogers Place ready for the Edmonton Oilers season opener Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Emily Mertz, Global News

Two players fighting for spots on the Edmonton Oilers will be back in the lineup Thursday night at home against the Vancouver Canucks.

Tomas Jurco and Patrick Russell both scored in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss in Vancouver.

“It was nice to get a goal. But you have to keep going at it, keep shooting,” said Russell, who played six NHL games last season but didn’t record a point.

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Both Russell and Jurco are 26 and started camp as longer shots to crack the Oilers bottom six. However, early on they’ve done enough to boost their chances of sticking around for opening night on Oct. 2.

“The chance to play is big here, but it’s never easy. You have a lot of guys trying to chase the same dream,” said Jurco, who has played 201 NHL games but spent all of last season in the AHL. “In the last three seasons, I’ve had two back surgeries. I’ve missed a lot of hockey in the last three years.”

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“He’s kind of trying to find his role in the game. He has good skill, but he’s really trying to bring a strong work ethic with it,” head coach Dave Tippett said of Jurco. “He was one of the guys on the forecheck the other night in Vancouver who hounded the puck hard. He was solid on it.”

The Oilers expected lineup against the Canucks is:

Nygard – McLeod – Neal

Jurco – Marody – Chiasson

Benson – Haas – P. Russell

Granlund – Malone – Peluso

Klefbom – Persson

Samorukov – Benning

Lowe – Jones



Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game starts at 7 p.m.