Cameron Abney has been here before.
Yet, the Edmonton Oil Kings forward has no qualms about taking part in his third NHL development camp.
“Being my third one, I’m trying to be a leader out here, knowing what the schedule is like,” Abney said. “This year they’ve made it a little tougher though, they’re a bit longer days and it seems like we’re on the ice a lot longer.
“Guys are getting a little tired and are almost ready to go home.”
A native of Algrove, B.C., Abney was selected in the third round, 82nd overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Last season, the six-foot-four, 192-pound right winger scored seven goals and added 13 assists in 60 games for the Oil Kings.
The previous year, Abney started the season with the Everett Silvertips before being acquired by the Oil Kings. He had six goals and seven assists in 68 games between the two teams.
“I’m hoping to end up with a pro team somewhere this year,” Abney said. “But if I have to go back to the WHL that’s fine. It’ll be another year of development.
“The main goal, however is always to be with the big club. That’s the dream.”
Abney, 20, has been working out for the better part of the last two months preparing for the upcoming season.
He hopes to make an impact when the Oilers main camp opens in the fall. He would be an overage player if sent back to junior and is eligible to play in the Oilers minor-league system.
“I feel great at this camp,” Abney said. “I have a couple of months to get ready for main camp, and I wan to be there nice and fit.
“Having another camp like this under my belt, it’s probably going to feel that much easier for me and I’ll know the pace of the game. Going out there the first time, it was tough to get up to the pace of the game and I think now it’s going to be easier to adjust.”