SUN Hockey Pool

Putting faces on the names

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

It was more a case of familiarization than evaluation for the Edmonton Oilers brass yesterday.

Rookie camp opened at Rexall Place, with more than 25 players taking to the ice for practice and a brief scrimmage.

"It's an education for both sides of the equation," said associate coach Tom Renney.

"It's an education for our management team and our coaches and our scouts to see these guys in a competitive environment.

"We get reacquainted with them, and in some cases get to know them. We also want to get them acquainted with how we're going to play here, the tactics we want to wrap our heads around and the type of game we want to play."

Among those taking part in rookie camp are 2009 draft picks Olivier Roy, Cameron Abney and Toni Rajala.

Previous first-round picks, Jordan Eberle and Alex Plante are also in attendance.

"At a rookie camp, you are within your peer group, so you should be able to come into a situation like this and be real competitive, show what your instincts are all about and let your skills speak for themselves," Renney said.

"Beyond that, time will tell when we start to do a few more battle drills and scrimmages. We'll see where that is."

Rookie camp will culminate with a mini-tournament with the Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and University of Alberta Golden Bears playing each other.

The Bears host the Canucks tomorrow (7 p.m.) at Clare Drake Arena, while the Oilers face Vancouver Thursday (7 p.m.) in Leduc.

The tournament comes to an end Friday with the Oilers taking on the Bears (7 p.m.) at Clare Drake Arena.

It is expected around a half dozen players from rookie camp will be invited to the Oilers' main camp, which gets underway with player medicals Saturday.


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