Goalie Jack Campbell embracing high expectations with Edmonton Oilers

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Jack Campbell settled into his new home in Edmonton just a few days ago but he’s already noticed a difference from his previous NHL stops in Toronto and Los Angeles.

“There’s no traffic,” Campbell said Friday morning at Rogers Place. “It’s an easy drive to the rink.

“Great food so far. Can’t wait to keep getting familiar.”

The 30-year-old goaltender joined the Oilers in July, signing as a free agent for five years and $25 million. He shone with the Maple Leafs over the past two seasons, going 48-12-18 with seven shutouts, a .916 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers add goalie Jack Campbell in free agency, keep Brett Kulak

“I think he’s going to be really good for us,” said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl. “He’s shown it over the last couple of years that he can be a really good goalie in this league.

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“As a guy, he’s really nice. He’s a special human being.”

“I can’t wait to get started with this group,” Campbell said. “Everybody seems awesome.

“Watching them last year in the playoffs gave us a lot of fuel to keep it going this year.”

Campbell is living up to expectations that have been with him as a teenager. He helped the United States win gold at the 2010 World Juniors. He was drafted eleventh overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. However, he played only sparingly for the Stars before being traded to the Kings in 2016. The Kings traded him to the Leafs in February 2020.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell speaks to the media after being eliminated in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs during a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

“I knew all along I could be a No. 1 goalie,” Campbell said. “It’s not just being a No. 1 goalie. My goal is to be the best I can be and help this team win a Stanley Cup.

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“Getting that opportunity in Toronto be a No. 1 guy gave me that feeling I was looking for my whole career.”

Campbell is the Oilers’ biggest off-season addition. Most of the team from last season’s run to the NHL’s West Final will return.

FILE – Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) waves to the crowd after being voted the first star after a shutout performance in a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Monday, May 2, 2022 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File). Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File

“There’s some familiarity,” Draisaitl explained.

“I think everyone kind of knows where they slot in and the type of game that we want to play. Sometimes that makes things easier, especially at the start of the season.”

Click to play video: 'Best Edmonton Oilers playoff run in 16 years has fans believing team will only get better'
Best Edmonton Oilers playoff run in 16 years has fans believing team will only get better

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