Teubert working to crack Oilers lineup
ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|Colton Teubert wants to make the kind of impression at opportunities like Oilers development camp to convince the club to keep him on the NHL roster. (PERRY NELSON/QMI Agency)
EDMONTON - Whether it’s for giving them Ryan Smyth, or taking Dustin Penner, Oilers fans have plenty reasons to thank the Los Angeles Kings.
Colten Teubert is hoping to become another.
Like most minor-league defencemen in NHL trades, his inclusion in the deadline deal that sent Penner to the Kings last March barely registered at the time — he went from AHL Manchester to AHL Oklahoma without so much as an Oilers fly-by — but if everything goes according to plan, he’s going to change all that.
“I’m treating this like a very important part of my life and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make the club,” said Teubert, who has all kinds of NHL upside given that he’s only three years removed from going 13th overall in the draft.
With a year of pro hockey already on his resume, the most experienced player at Oilers development camp is already further up the organizational depth chart in Edmonton than he was in L.A.
“In L.A. they had a strong D-corps and were a strong team in the standings,” said Teubert, who had 17 points and 83 penalty minutes in his rookie AHL season. “In Edmonton they’re really focused on their development and bringing all these young prospects up, really getting them NHL-ready.
“I think that camps like these and working with the people they have here will give me the best chance to make the NHL someday.”
The top six spots are taken by Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladisalv Smid, Cam Barker, Theo Peckham and Andy Sutton, but the seven hole could be there for the taking.
“I think there can be jobs open if you’re NHL-ready,” he said. “That’s all I’m trying to do, just get NHL-ready with my speed, my size, my strength and my maturity.
“I think it’s all going to come down to how well I play in camp. I need to play my ass off to earn a spot on this roster.”
For most prospects, improving size and strength are usually the top two items on their to-do lists, but at 6-4, 201, Teubert is ahead of the curve physically.
“I want to improve on my on-ice decisions,” he said. “You look at all the defencemen out there that I want to signature my play after, Chris Pronger, you never see him out there making mistakes. He always has a hard first pass and he’s difficult to play against. If I can emulate that kind of game in any way I’d be really happy.”
So would Edmonton. They obviously like what they see in the B.C. product or they wouldn’t have asked for him in the Penner deal, a development that caught Teubert entirely flat-footed.
“It was crazy, really hectic,” he said. “My phone was off, but I was playing some video games with my buddies and one of them tells me, ‘Teubes, you just got traded!’
“It was definitely a shock. Lot’s of things go through your mind, especially with it being my first year pro, having an apartment, all my furniture.
“The relocation was difficult, but then again the hotel makes your bed every morning so that was good for three months.”
He’s in no hurry to move again, though. Edmonton suits him just fine.
“Definitely,” he said. “But trying to get all that stuff organized was a good experience in learning the ropes of being a pro.”