Bonus for Brent

JASON HILLS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Brent Raedeke sat at home during the summer intently watching the National Hockey League draft on his computer. He patiently, and eagerly waited for his name to be shown on the screen, but it didn't appear.

He did however receive a nice bonus prize.

Just moments after the draft ended, he received a phone call from the Stanley Cup champion, Detroit Red Wings.

"A lot of guys that were rated (for the draft) got passed over, but I couldn't have asked for a better situation to happen to myself. Right after the draft ended I was watching it on the computer and like five minutes after the last pick, Jim Nill (Detroit Red Wings assistant GM) called me and asked me to come to their summer camp," said Raedeke.

"Even though I didn't get my name officially called, it was like I got drafted in the eighth or ninth round.

"I wasn't disappointed at all, to get a call from the Red Wings, they are one of the great organizations in the league. They are the champs."

Raedeke went to their summer camp in July as a free-agent and played well enough that he received another invite to their rookie camp earlier this month.

After taking part in the Red Wings rookie camp tournament in Traverse City, Mich., against several other NHL clubs, he was invited to main camp, where he skated with Wings superstars Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Lidstrom and others.

NHL veterans Chris Chelios and Darren McCarty even took the time to formally introduce themselves to Raedeke.

"I think it's a big vote of confidence (for Brent), it obviously meant they (Red Wings) had a lot of interest in him (prior to and after the draft)," said Oil Kings assistant coach Rocky Thompson.

Thompson played 25 NHL games over his 10-year pro career. He attended several NHL training camps, including the Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Edmonton Oilers and the St. Louis Blues.

"My piece of advice was pretty short and sweet. When you go (to an NHL camp), there can be a lot of distractions. It's awesome, the NHL is the NHL and I just told him to be respectful to the organization and don't take advantage of those types of things," said Thompson.

"Take more advantage of the opportunity you've been given and try and go out as hard as you possibly can and he's done that."

Raedeke enjoyed a solid rookie season with the Oil Kings. He was the only player to suit up in all 72 games, and he recorded 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points.

He made his return to the Oil Kings lineup Wednesday against the Calgary Hitmen in a 4-1 loss and will make his return home tonight when the Oil Kings host the Red Deer Rebels in a home-and-home affair.

Raedeke admits that his first NHL training camp experience was a positive one, and he's looking to use that experience this season with the Oil Kings.

"Going to Detroit's camp, gives me a lot of confidence coming back here. You just want to build on that confidence," said Raedeke.

"I know I am going to get a lot of playing time here, and I expect a lot more out of myself this year."

TEAMMATES AGAIN: Raedeke joined former Oil Kings 20-year-old defenceman Cameron Cepek, who was traded recently to the Prince George Cougars at the Red Wings camp.

"We were on the same team together through the intra-squad games in main camp, and we roomed together," said Raedeke.

"It was a little weird. I talked to him when he got traded, and then two days later we were on the same flight to Detroit's camp.

"It was a good experience for the both of us."


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