Stamler valued rookie camp

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

Bretton Stamler valued his time at the Edmonton Oilers rookie camp in Yellowknife, now he's going to bring everything he learned to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

"Personally on the ice I think I learned a lot from Craig MacTavish, Billy Moores, Charlie Huddy and Rob Daum. It was a lot of little things like two on ones and footwork that were a big help," said Stamler, who was a seventh-round draft pick in the 2005 NHL entry draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

"It was my fourth pro camp, so I knew what to expect going in. I was a little disappointed I got let go so quickly but with their contract situation I completely understand,"

The rugged defenceman will bring a lot of leadership to the expansion Oil Kings with four years' WHL experience with the Seattle Thunderbirds where he recorded 17 goals, 43 assists and 343 penalty minutes.

The Oil Kings will have quite a few candidates for the team's first captain and Stamler is certainly one of them.

"It would be a feather in the cap, but how I am in the room isn't going to change the way I play on the ice. I'll be a leader on this team whether I wear a letter on my jersey or not," said Stamler.

Stamler has goals of playing pro hockey and after being drafted two years ago, he hasn't given up the dream to get to the pro level. A meeting with Steve Pleau shortly after Stamler was chosen in the Oil Kings expansion draft really eased Stamler's mind heading into his final year of junior.

"He said to me in the meeting 'Worry about winning hockey games and I'll worry about getting you a contract' and for a guy wanting to play pro hockey that's music to your ears," said Stamler.

"Nobody has ever said that to me and to have Steve reassure me feels great. I know I can play at that level and I know Steve believes in me and I am going to play as hard as I can for him."

Stamler was able to play in the annual University of Alberta Golden Bears, Oilers rookie game earlier this week and he enjoyed the experience.

"I didn't realize how good the Bears were, I knew they had good players, but man, they play well as a team," laughed Stamler.

"I think it was my third shift out there and it was a four-on-four situation and it was like they were the Detroit Red Wings of the CIS, they were making great passes and curling around in the neutral zone, I was definitely impressed."


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