SUN Hockey Pool

New deals Oil right for draft picks

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

The Oilers signed 2003 draft picks Marc-Antoine Pouliot, J.F. Jacques and Troy Bodie yesterday with a few hours to spare before a 3 p.m. deadline that would have sent them back into the draft.

They came to terms with Bodie early yesterday morning and inked deals with Pouliot and Jacques with about four hours to spare.

"It is very nice to get it out of the way," said assistant general manager Scott Howson. "We're pleased we got all three of them in the fold. Two of them were high picks and you never like to lose those guys."

Pouliot (22nd overall in 2003) notched 114 points with Rimouski last season and at 6-2 and 190 pounds he could grow into the big centre the Oilers have long coveted. His three-year deal is in the neighbourhood of what Jeff Carter and Mike Richards (who went 11th and 24th in 2003) signed for in Philadelphia earlier this week. The Flyers inked those two to the entry-level cap of $942,400, without any team bonus clauses.

"He got in salary and bonus very similar to what other players who were selected around him in the draft are getting," said Howson. "We think they're fair deals for both parties."

TY'S DA MAN: Edmonton Oilers goalie Ty Conklin was one of four netminders selected to attend the U.S. hockey team's Olympic orientation camp Sept. 5-8 in Colorado Springs.

Conklin, who's been solid for the Americans in World Championship appearances, will be joined by Rick DiPietro, Robert Esche and Ryan Millar.


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