SUN Hockey Pool

Chorney makes strong case

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

Defensively, the Edmonton Oilers are set.

In fact, they can boast probably one of the strongest and most mobile units in the NHL's Western Conference.

Yet that hasn't stopped Taylor Chorney from making a strong case to get a place at the table.

Last night, Chorney was arguably the Oilers best defenceman in a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers. He scored the opening goal and logged nearly 23 minutes of ice time playing with Tom Gilbert.

JUST SHOT

"To be honest, I just jumped up in the rush and Stoney (Ryan Stone) made a hard pass and I just didn't really look, I just tried to get it up as fast as I could and I was lucky to get it in," Chorney said. "I honest didn't really look. I was shooting high, I didn't know really where, I knew I had to get it away as fast as I could because the defenceman was closing in. But it's nice to get an NHL goal, even if it's in exhibition."

A product of the University of North Dakota, Chorney was the Oilers' second pick -- 36th overall -- in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

He left school a year early to turn pro and spent last season with the Springfield Falcons, scoring five goals and adding 16 assists in 68 games.

STRONG ON DEFENCE

In any other season, his chances to make the team would be good, but heading into this year, the Oilers had few questions as to who would be on their blue-line. With Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov, Ladislav Smid, Steve Staios and Jason Strudwick, the roster spots on defence are all but set.

They also have Theo Peckham waiting in the wings, having played 15 games last season as the first callup in case of injury.

"I thought about it a lot this summer, when I knew that was going to be the situation," Chorney said. "But I can't really think about the depth chart, I just have to worry about my game, try to play as well as I can and when it comes to decision time, I want to make it as hard as possible for them to send me down and hopefully I'll stay."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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