Canada Wins, Draisaitl and Sekera Have Good Showing at World Cup | - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Canada Wins, Draisaitl and Sekera Have Good Showing at World Cup

I'm not going to lie... as much as I cheered for Canada as a Canadian hockey fan, part of me wanted to see Europe take it home with the two remaining Oilers in the tournament playing for the Europeans. It would have been exciting to see Leon Draisaitl and Andrej Sekera, as part of the underdog group that scraped together pieces from eight different countries, make a go of it. It wasn't meant to be and Canada took the best-of-three finals in two games.

Good for Team Canada, who was the tournament favorite from day one.

The Oilers Contingent 

In reality, it was because of these two Oilers that I even watched the final game of the World Cup tournament. After McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins got sent packing in the tournament, I was pretty checked out interest wise, but both Draisaitl and Sekera had strong showings and it's great news for Oiler fans who are hoping that the team takes a step forward this year. Draisaitl was one of Team Europe's most proficient scoring threats and Sekera ate a lot of big minutes on Europe's defense. Both will be asked to do the same for Edmonton in 2016-17.

Injury Free

Part of the concern in any tournament is that a player comes out of it injury free. With four Oilers at the World Cup of Hockey, Edmonton stood a chance that one of the pieces significant to their potential success this season would be derailed before the season even started. Fortunately, this wasn't an issue and everyone is coming home safe and sound.

Edmonton already lost Patrick Maroon in Wednesday's pre-season game. The news is still out on the severity of that injury, but with the Oilers track record of injuries hurting their seasons, the fewer health issues, the better. Edmonton couldn't afford to have a top-six forward and top-three defenseman out for any significant amount of time.

Flexible Draisaitl

Part of that group is Draisaitl who had to have learned a hugely valuable lesson from playing in a tournament like this. From working directly with Anze Kopitar to getting a feel for what winning tastes like, what Draisaitl will bring back to Edmonton with him is going to be a huge part of his success moving forward.

Will he play the wing or center? All tournament long media and analysts went back and forth on the topic. Perhaps he sees a bit of both, but he'll need to create offense on a regular basis, use his size and skill on defense and drive the play for whatever line he ends up on. This tournament showed he had the capability to do so.

Big Minutes Sekera

Sekera  will be asked to log some big minutes this season as Edmonton's third most valuable defenseman. The good news is, he showed well in the World Cup and it's making people comfortable with the fact that he'll be a valuable piece backing up Larsson and Klefbom. His work here with Team Europe is a sign of the Oilers have a player they can rely on to do some of the heavy lifting, while chipping on offense.

For a lefty, Sekera has also played a lot of time on the right side blue line for Europe and this could mean moving him over in Edmonton and moving Davidson up to a second-pair left side position. This created options and could be good news for the Oilers.

Glad It's Over

I'm just glad the World Cup is done so that we can get back to focusing on rounding out the Oilers roster and getting some of our main components back into camp. Sekera and Draisaitl will likely get a few days to rest and then join the team in Tuesday's game against the Ducks.

The Oilers are quickly cutting down their roster to make room for the main players and Edmonton is going to want to see if Sekera and Draisaitl can build some chemistry with certain linemates before the regular season gets underway. The World Cup of Hockey was a good sign for Oiler fans that this chemistry isn't just a possibility, but a likely probability .

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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