'He plays a lot bigger than he is'

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

CAMROSE -- Listed at five-foot-10, 175 pounds, Bryan Lerg looks bigger than that.

More importantly, the product of Livona, Michigan, plays bigger than that.

Heading into last night's contest against the Vancouver Canucks rookies at the Encana Arena in Camrose, the Edmonton Oilers rookie had already made a good impression on the coaching staff.

He took that effort up another notch, scoring a goal in a 5-2 loss to the Canucks.

"Obviously it feels good to get some points in a game," said Lerg prior to last night's contest.

"I thought our line gelled well with (Jordan) Eberle and (Stephane) Goulet. You have to give some credit to them because all three of us worked well together."

Lerg, 22, picked up a pair of assists in the rookies' 3-2 win over the University of Alberta Golden Bears on Monday.

He had the same linemates last night against the Canucks.

"He plays a lot bigger than he is," said coach Jeff Truitt, who saw Lerg briefly as an assistant with the Springfield Falcons last season.

"He's a very strong player, he's got good hands, a lot of skill. He's got a good foundation. He's noted for being an offensive guy, but he can also play a physical role for you."

Signed as an undrafted free agent, Lerg played four seasons with the Michigan State Spartans, winning a national championship in his junior (third) year.

Last season, following his collegiate career, Lerg went to Springfield and played in four games, picking up a pair of assists.

He's expected to start the season back there.

"I want to come in here and compete," he said. "I want to get noticed by just working hard, playing my game, not trying to do too much with the puck - just keeping things simple.

"I want to come in here and leave having made management happy knowing they made the right choice in signing me."


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