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A Hank Snow song

Edmonton Oilers' Kyle Brodziak (left) and Matt Greene celebrate Brodziak's goal against the St....

Edmonton Oilers' Kyle Brodziak (left) and Matt Greene celebrate Brodziak's goal against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. (Sun Media/Darryl Dyck)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:14 AM ET

Bryan Young's hockey odyssey this season has taken him from Milwaukee, to Stockton, to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Edmonton.

It'll most likely move to Springfield, Massachusetts, next season.

Today, the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League will announce their new affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers starting next season.

Young and half the roster the Oilers are icing right now will most likely end up playing with the Falcons.

But for now, he and the rest of the fresh faces are making the most of their time with the Oilers despite the team's struggles.

"I think playing here has definitely shed some light on the stuff you need to work on to play at this level," Young said. "The guys are bigger and stronger and a lot smarter. You take that with you and hopefully you learn from that experience."

Tonight the rookies will get another lesson as the Vancouver Canucks are in town (7 p.m.) at Rexall Place.

Unlike the St. Louis Blues who were here on Saturday, the Canucks have a lot on the line when they face the Oilers. Currently they're in a battle for top spot in the Northwest Division - a position that would automatically give them one of the top three spots in the conference for the playoffs.

The Oilers are in a battle just to finish the year with enough players. Nearly half their roster is out with injuries.

Ladislav Smid was the latest casualty, taking a shot in the ribs against the Blues. The Oilers defenceman is day-to-day and it's not known whether he'll be able to suit up tonight.

That means the Oilers will depend even more on Young, 20, who had 16:33 of ice time on Saturday.

"A lot of these guys are getting valuable experience," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "You look at a guy like Bryan Young, he played a pretty good game. He's a guy that's come out of the East Coast League and he's fended for himself pretty well."

Early this year Young actually went to see the Oilers play in San Jose.

As a member of the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, Young and a number of other Oiler prospects were the team's welcomed guests.

He was actually in Norfolk with the Wilkes-Barre Penguins when he was summoned to Anaheim to meet up with the Oilers.

"I knew there were a few d-men hurt, but I thought they still had enough to dress here," Young said. "It was definitely a surprise. When the coach called me up and said I was going to California. I figured I was going back to Stockton, I didn't realize a couple more guys were hurt in Edmonton. It came as a bit of a shock."

DVANDIEST@EDMSUN.COM


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