SUN Hockey Pool

Brule taking camp day-by-day

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

The debate still rages whether Gilbert Brule was rushed into the NHL.

Having spent the majority of last season in the minors, suggests that was the case with the five-foot-10, 180-pound centre.

“There are pros and cons to that,” Brule said. “Going into the league early, I grew up fast and I learned a lot about the NHL, what it takes to be there and what it takes to be a good pro. But I was pretty young and put into an awkward position, being so young and not getting a lot of ice time.”

Heading into training camp with the Edmonton Oilers, there’s no guarantee Brule will be back in the league this year either.

With a plethora of forwards under contract, the Vancouver native is going to have to take someone’s job, which could prove to be a daunting task.

“Every time you come to camp, it's a task to try and make an NHL team,” Brule said. “It’s never an easy process to go through. Training camp is a tough thing to do, it’s probably one of hardest parts of the year, but I’m just trying to battle through it. I’m going to go day by day here and put in the best effort that I can.”

Originally selected sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2005 NHL Draft, Brule was fast tracked to the NHL, making the jump directly out of junior.

In his first season with the Blue Jackets, he registered nine goals and 19 points in 78 games. The following season he had just one goal and 10 points in 61 games.

The Oilers acquired him for Raffi Torres prior to last season and sent him to Springfield, where Brule collected 24 goals in an injury-plagued season that limited him to 31 games.

“I know what’s it’s like to play in the NHL and I want to achieve that goal again,” Brule said. “That’s always been a big goal in my life. I reached it once and I want to keep myself there and be there for another 15 years if I can.”


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