Oilers forward Ales Hemsky hopes to keep up offensive pace from Czech league
DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
|Ales Hemsky spent the lockout with the Czech league team in his hometown of Pardubice. (Perry Mah, Edmonton Sun)
EDMONTON - It’s been a while since Ales Hemsky has been able to fly under the radar with the Edmonton Oilers.
Traditionally, the club’s chances of success have been tied to the winger’s ability to produce points.
Yet with a number of young snipers in camp, Hemsky is able to step away from the limelight — where he’s never really felt comfortable.
“There’s a lot of talent on this team,” said Hemsky.
“Everybody knows about Ebs (Jordan Eberle), Hallsy (Taylor Hall) and Nuge (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), they’ve played already, they’re not rookies anymore.
“And this is (Nail) Yakupov’s first year and he looks great. He’s got a lot of skill and a great shot, so we can use that.”
Hemsky, 29, has been the offensive catalyst for the Oilers practically since the moment he joined the club after being the 13th overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draf.
The native of Pardubice in the Czech Republic lived up to his billing, helping the Oilers reach the 2006 Stanley Cup final