Kyle's style turns heads

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

He doesn't have a flashy pedigree, never went high in the draft, wasn't the MVP of a Super Series and, to the best of anyone's knowlege, never tried to pull a lacrosse move in a shootout.

So when Kyle Brodziak reported to Edmonton Oilers training camp this year, his dressing room stall located somewhere under the radar, he got lost in a shuffle that included newcomers Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson, Ryan O'Marra, Andrew Cogliano and Rob Schremp.

No problem. He just went about his business in the shadows, quietly impressing the coaches with solid play at both ends of the ice.

Until last night, anyway.

There was nothing quiet or sublime about his performance in a 5-4 win over the visiting Florida Panthers.

The 23-year-old from St. Paul scored two goals in the first period and added a shorthanded assist in the third to take another step towards the roster spot he's been chasing down since the Oilers drafted him 214th overall in 2003.

"Coming into a game you don't expect to score two goals," said Brodziak, who was also on the ice for Moreau's goal 42 seconds into the contest, but didn't get an assist, and was out there to preserve a one-goal lead with Florida's net empty in the final minute.

"It definitely feels good. I scored a couple in (scrimmages) but I wanted to come into the exhibition and playing a little higher tempo and prove that I can play at this pace, too."

So much for the shadows.

"It's been like that for the last couple of years," he said of the anonymity.

"I fly under the radar a little bit. I like it that way. There's a little more pressure on the guys who are talked about a little more."

Playing right wing with Moreau and Marty Reasoner in Edmonton's first game of the preseason, Brodziak made things a little more precarious for some of the other forwards on Edmonton's bubble, like Schremp and training camp walk-on Anson Carter.

"That's the closest you'll get to a perfect game," said head coach Craig MacTavish. "He wasn't in the wrong position all night.

"Made great plays with the puck, scored two goals, had a beautiful shorthanded assist, big block at the end. There's nothing he didn't do tonight."

And this wasn't out of the blue. He's been on his game all camp.

"He looks faster and stronger and maybe the most important difference for him is mentally he's ready to stay," said MacTavish.

"And it looks like he's made the decision that he's staying. That was a hell of a game."

Moreau tipped his hat at the night Brodziak turned in.

"He did everything. He scored goals, he blocked shots, worked hard on the forecheck, you couldn't ask anything more from him."

The Oilers continue the pre-season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

GAGNER STAYS HOT: The line of Sam Gagner, Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky, fresh off their 13-point night in the Joey Moss Cup, continued their run. With Penner blocking for him in front of the net, Gagner picked up a loose puck in the faceoff circle and wristed it past Vokoun late in the second period ... Sheldon Souray skated in the morning but didn't play last night. He's getting closer to ready and could go tonight against the Leafs ... Netminder Dwayne Roloson played 30:25, letting in two goals on 25 shots, before giving way to Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers..


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