SUN Hockey Pool

Hamilton on familiar surroundings

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:13 AM ET

SASKATOON - Having played his junior hockey in Saskatoon, the Credit Union Centre is a very familiar arena to Edmonton Oilers prospect Curtis Hamilton.

On Tuesday, Hamilton returned to his old stomping ground as a professional, suiting up for the Oilers against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Hamilton played on the Oilers fourth line with Josh Green, centered by Ryan O’Marra.

He picked up an assist on Green’s goal in the second period.

“I felt I got more comfortable as the game went on,” Hamilton said. “I was a little bit nervous at the start with it being my first game and being in Saskatoon, it was something special.”

The 19-year-old was selected in the second round — 48th overall — in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and had 26 goals and added 56 assists in 62 games with the Blades last season.

Hamilton is attending his second Oilers training camp. He’s expected to play with the Oklahoma City Barons this season.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day right now and trying to get better and making it as tough on the staff as I can to send me to Oklahoma,” Hamilton said.

Devan Dubnyk had a strong first outing for the Oilers, turning away 20 of the 21 shots he face in just over 30 minutes of work Tuesday. Rostislav Olesz was the only Blackhawk able to beat the Oilers goaltender, taking a gift from Gilbert Brule in front of the Oilers net and snapping past Dubnyk.

The goal came on the final shot Dubnyk would face as he was replace by Olivier Roy for the remainder of the contest.

“I thought the first 10 or 12 minutes this game could have been done and he was very big for us as we were trying to find our footing,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “There are a lot of guys that are getting their first taste of an NHL exhibition game and we had a tendency to watch our goaltender do pretty good things.

“Devan was solid and I thought Olivier was good late.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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