DALLAS — Taylor Chorney is finally getting his shot this season.
The Edmonton Oilers defenceman, who spent half of last year in the NHL, was called up on Monday and is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
“I think we want to play him, we don’t want to call people up and not put them in the lineup,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “He’s had good experience with us in the past, he’s still a young guy and he understands our systems from when he was here last year. I’m looking for good things from him, I’m sure he’s looking to deliver for us.”
Chorney, 23, the Oilers second pick, 36th overall, in the 2005 NHL Draft has spent the entire season with the Oklahoma City Barons. He has three goals and 12 assists in 40 games with the Barons.
Last year, he had three assists in 42 games for the Oilers.
“I think it’s important for him to come in and play a tight-gap game,” Renney said. “Often times when you’re playing against big guys that have speed and are coming at you, you have a tendency to give them too much ice.
“For him and our defence in general, we have to make sure that we play tight-gap hockey, both off the rush and down low, playing the lanes properly, taking time and space away from opponents, those types of things.”
The Oilers needed to bring up reinforcements when defenceman Jim Vandermeer re-injured his ankle early into the win over the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Also on the limp is Gilbert Brule, who is currently not on the trip, but could join the team in California when they move on to face the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
“The ankle flared up on him,” said Renney. “It’s set him back a bit, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on this trip.”
Jordan Eberle is another story.
The Oilers forward suffered an ankle injury against the Calgary Flames on New Years Day, then had to have an emergency appendectomy a few days later.
“I don’t know about Jordan,” said Renney. “Someone is going to have to convince me that a guy who’s had an appendectomy should be playing hockey a week or 10 days later.”