SUN Hockey Pool

Fresh start for Plante

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

Alex Plante's nightmare began a year ago at his first Edmonton Oilers training camp.

And it lasted the entire season for the young defenceman.

"I got a charley horse last year at camp," Plante said. "It wasn't much of a hit - I kind of just got rubbed out along the boards.

"It was my butt. I finished the period, then it started to hurt and I had to sit down for a bit. Then when I tried to get back up, I just couldn't do it. It just ballooned right out and it took quite a while to settle down."

STRUGGLED

With his camp having come to a premature end, Plante, 19, returned to play junior hockey with the Calgary Hitmen, where he injured his back and struggled to get in the lineup on a regular basis.

He finished the year having played in only 36 games, picking up a goal and an assist.

"After that first injury it kind of just snowballed from there," he said. "Hopefully that's all behind me now. That's the beauty of the next season. You can start fresh.

"This summer I tried to stay on the ice as much as I could in order to catch back up. Now I'm really looking forward to this camp and the start of the season."

Plante was the Oilers second pick (15th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Heading into this season, the six-foot-four, 225-pound defenceman is looking for a fresh start, which may include a change of scenery at the junior level.

ASKED FOR TRADE

The native of Brandon, Man., has asked the Hitmen for a trade. It's an issue he'll deal with after the Oilers training camp.

"I don't know if I have a set goal coming into training camp," he said. "I had such a rough year last year, the goal right now is to catch up and develop as much as I can.

"I'm looking to go as far as I can here in camp and going from there. I want to make a good impression and show that I'm still very capable and still have some potential."


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