TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers open up their 69th season tonight with a somewhat new-look team, but still the same leadership group. With lots of new faces, it will be interesting to see how they mesh together.
Let’s take a look at the Oilers.
Initial Schedule (Home games in BOLD and all times local):
Dec. 11 vs WICHITA THUNDER at 7:05 pm
Dec. 12 vs ALLEN AMERICANS at 7:05 pm
Dec 18 @ Utah Grizzlies 8:10 pm
Dec 19 @ Utah Grizzlies 8:10 pm
Dec 26 @ Allen Americans 7:05 pm
Dec 27 @ Allen Americans 7:05 pm
Dec 31 @ Kansas City Mavericks 7:05 pm
Jan 2 @ Kansas City Mavericks 7:05 pm
Jan 8 vs UTAH GRIZZLIES at 7:05 p.m
Jan 9 vs UTAH GRIZZLIES at 7:05 p.m
Jan 10 vs UTAH GRIZZLIES at 4:05 p.m
Head Coach: Rob Murray, 12th season as a head coach, fourth with Tulsa. (102-79-26 with the Oilers).
Captain: Adam Pleskach; fourth year as Captain, eighth with Tulsa.
Last Season: The Oilers ended the 2019-20 season fourth in the ECHL Mountain Division, with a record of 29-26-7-1 (66 points) and in the presumed fourth and final divisional playoff spot. Team leaders when the season was suspended were JJ Piccinich, who had 54 points with the majority of those coming from his 42 assists. Pleskach and Charlie Sampair led the team in goals scored with 21, while Sampair had the best plus-minus rating at plus-15. Pleskach also led the Oilers in power-play goals with eight.
Hot or Not?
The Oilers season-opening roster features six returning players from a season ago; Pleskach, Sampair, Mike McKee, Ian McNulty, Danny Moynihan, and netminder Devin Williams. With that core intact, plus the addition of Matt Lane from Atlanta, that group will be called upon to help the dozen rookies on the roster get acclimated to the pro game.
- Mike McKee (F/D) – Adds toughness to the roster, with 122 PIMs a season ago
- Ian McNulty (F) – Chipped in with 25 points in 55 games last season
- Steven Kaunisto (D) – Retired
- Jack Nevins (F) – Retired
- Ryan Tesink (F) – Currently playing Senior A hockey in Canada
- J.J. Piccinich (F) – Signed in Orlando.
- Matt Lane (F) – Returns to the ECHL after a 60-point campaign last season with Ritten Sport in the Alps Hockey League
- Justin Hamonic (D) – Returns to the ECHL after two seasons overseas
- Stephan Beauvais (D) – Makes the step up to the ECHL after a season with the reigning SPHL champion Huntsville Havoc
What to Watch For?
- This is a very young team, will they catch fire early and propel that to a good season, or stumble out of the gate and get better as the year goes on?
- Six players who played key roles on the last two Oilers squads are not with the team this season. How will that affect the club and who will step up and fill those roles?
Rich Lohman covers the Tulsa Oilers for The Sin Bin. Follow and interact with him @SinBinOilers.
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