Craig's getting noticed

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Craig McCallum didn't see this coming.

He had his mind made up when he headed to Edmonton from his home in Canoe Lakes, Sask., that he was going to make the Edmonton Oil Kings, but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine he was going to have this much of an impact on the team this early.

"I really didn't expect any of this," said McCallum, who leads the Oil Kings in scoring through four exhibition games.

'ONE DAY AT A TIME'

"I told myself before I came here I would just take it one day at a time and whatever happens, happens. Success, failure, I'll take it."

Those are mature words coming from an 18-year-old looking to crack the Western Hockey League for the first time, but that may have come with his past failures trying to make the WHL as a 16 and 17-year-old.

After being drafted in 2003 by the Lethbridge Hurricanes, his first WHL camp, he didn't make it to main camp. His second and third years he progressed to main camp, but just prior to last season, he was dropped by the Hurricanes and snatched up by the Oil Kings and put on their list.

"We knew we were going to have to get some goal scoring at some point and Craig certainly fits that need," said Oil Kings GM Bob Green.

SCORING LEADER

"He led the Saskatchewan Midget AAA league in scoring last year and we knew he could score.

"It was just a matter of how long it would take him to adjust."

McCallum's adjustment hasn't taken long.

He's quickly forming a strong chemistry with linemates Karey Pieper and Brenden Dowd to give the Oil Kings a strong scoring line.

"Every player wants to go out and contribute offensively.

"For me, I just want to go out and work hard and find the open spots for my linemates," said McCallum.


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