For the first time since the pandemic changed the world, the Young Stars Classic is back and being held in Penticton, BC. With all four of Canada’s western teams represented, the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers are sending squads prospects out to face off in a round robin style series of exhibitions.
Though not the biggest event on the league schedule, the games will not only be the first time we’ve seen the Oilers jersey in game action against other teams since last season. It’s also an up close look at many of the Oilers prospects in a more competitive environment compared to development camp.
The Oilers’ Young Stars tournament schedule
From September 16 to 19, the tournament that once saw the likes of Oilers super rookies such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, and Taylor Hall will no doubt feature several interesting prospects for all four of the attending teams.
The full schedule of Oilers games is as follows, where they feature in Games 1, 3, and 6 of the tournament. Note that the tournament schedule has been updated since the initial news release of the tournament returning in 2022.
|1||WPG vs EDM||September 16||5:00pm MT|
|2||CGY vs VAN||September 16||8:30pm MT|
|3||CGY vs EDM||September 17||8:30pm MT|
|4||VAN vs WPG||September 18||3:00pm MT|
|5||WPG vs CGY||September 19||12:00pm MT|
|6||VAN vs EDM||September 19||3:30pm MT|
Which Oilers will be there
The full list of prospects was released by the Oilers on September 13 prior to the tournament start. Some of the Oilers’ best budding prospects will be present in Penticton, including high draft selections such as Xavier Bourgault, Matvei Petrov, Reid Schaefer, Tyler Tullio, and Carter Savoie.
The complete Oilers’ 2022 Young Stars tournament roster can be found on the Oilers’ website.
Oilers to watch for
Of course, players like Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg feature under the spotlight, but there are some interesting invitees of a lesser known pedigree. The Oilers’ 2021 seventh-rounder Maximus Wanner had a strong finish to his first post draft season and could be a player to watch.
In particular, some younger invitees might be the biggest possibilities of NHL upside. Luca Hauf (playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2022–23) clocks in as the youngest Oilers skater at 18 years of age, while Jan Spunar (Portland Winterhawks, 2022–23) is the youngest goaltender. Both were passed in the 2022 NHL Draft in their first years of draft eligibility.
Interestingly, with Hauf and Spunar both having 2004 birthdays, it gives a perspective on the passage of time, as this was the same year Edmonton drafted Devan Dubnyk in the first round in the NHL Draft.
On the other side of the same coin, the oldest players heading to Penticton are Phil Kemp and James Hamblin, both being 23 years old. Kemp was the Oilers’ 2017 seventh-round selection. He’s been playing out of the AHL with the Condors over the past two seasons with limited game usage.
Hamblin meanwhile, is a new Oilers signee. He joins the Oilers on a two-year, two-way contract. He played with the Condors for the past two seasons under an AHL contract, but has since been rewarded with the NHL contract. We’ll see if this leads to any NHL ice time for Hamblin later on in the season.
Meanwhile, the focus in net should be directed toward Olivier Rodrigue, the Oilers 2018 second-round pick. He looks to impress at the tournament and compete for a job with the AHL Bakersfield Condors. Ryan Fanti might factor in for the Condors as well, as the battle for a prominent AHL role alongside Calvin Pickard officially begins.
It will be an enlightening sight to see all these prospects take the ice together. What’s more is that each of the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets will have prospects, highly rated and largely unheard of alike, to contrast against.
Where to watch the Young Stars Classic
If you are in the Penticton area this weekend, you can grab tickets for the Young Stars Classic off of their ticket portal. Games will also be streamed on EdmontonOilers.com and on Oilers social media.
Once the tournament concludes, watch for which players are invited to Oilers training camp.
Actually, the oldest Oilers prospect there is Noah Philp who they signed out if the UoA and just turned 24. He’s one to watch for me – a right shot center with some size and skill and can skate and has, from accounts, a good 2-way game – the type of player Coach Chaulk may learn to trust and lean on. He could be FAR from every playing an NHL game or could possibly see NHL time this year – the book is wide open.
I would say Fanti is more than a potential for Bakersfield, he is almost assuredly ahead of Rodrigue and will be a Condor to start, splitting games with Pickard.
Stauff thinks we’ll see the following pairs: