EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — With a roster full of young talent, the Edmonton Oilers are eager to end their lengthy playoff drought.
They’ve missed the postseason since losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final.
Two years into a top-to-bottom rebuild that’s seen them finish last overall the past two seasons, the Oilers have a long way to go to become contenders.
Coach Tom Renney’s team is laden with talented forwards in Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall picks in 2010 and 2011, as well as former first-rounders Jordan Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Ales Hemsky.
Edmonton added to its core of veterans with Ryan Smyth, back for a second tour, Cam Barker, Andy Sutton, Eric Belanger, Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk.
In goal, Devan Dubnyk begins his third NHL season looking ready to take the starter’s job away from veteran 38-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin, who is coming off two subpar seasons.
There’s no place to go but up.