Getting a better look

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:06 PM ET

Essentially it's a better tool for the evaluators than the evaluated.

With over 40 rookies expected in camp this season, it can get difficult for the Edmonton Oilers brass to distinguish who should earn an invite once the real auditions begin.

So, by adding two more games exclusively for rookies, the powers that be get a little more time to look over their future.

"There are some guys that we know what they can do and there are other guys we're not sure what they can do," said Oilers assistant general manager Kevin Prendergast. "I think a lot of guys will only play one game and there's others that will play two.

"There will also be a few guys who we definitely want to look at that will play three.

"But I think after the first game, we'll evaluate it and make some decisions from there.

"This is an opportunity for rookies to showcase that they deserve to go to main camp," Prendergast said.

"In some cases guys might play their way out of the main camp."

Traditionally there is only room on an NHL roster for a small handful of rookies.

But just easing them into an NHL dressing room can prove beneficial for the players who will eventually play at the highest level.

"They're going against their peers," Prendergast said.

"They're going up against guys they have played against in junior, in college or wherever it might be. Some of the first-year pros have played against each other.

"It's three organizations that have a love-hate relationship with each other.

"Those kids want to go in there and see that Calgary or Vancouver sweater, and out to impress their bosses and do the best they can."


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