Edmonton Oil Kings Take It All

Tristan Jarry, NHL Draft
Tristan Jarry (Shoot the Breeze Photography)

Edmonton is the City of Champions once again. Although the Edmonton Oilers are in a playoff drought, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League certainly are not. The Oil Kings won the WHL Championship for the second time in three years, beating the Portland Winterhawks in a battle for the ages. They carried that momentum right into the MasterCard Memorial Cup, where they defeated the surging Guelph Storm to take the most coveted trophy in Junior Hockey.

The team was not supposed to do great things this year. With many of their veteran players moving on to start their professional careers, this could easily have been a rebuilding year for the Oil Kings. But, the team refused to go down without a fight. Goalie Tristan Jarry rose to the occasion, replacing Laurent Brossoit (an Oilers prospect currently playing in the ECHL), backstopping his team all the way to the MasterCard Memorial Cup. In front of Jarry, the Oil Kings’ skaters rallied to exceed everyone’s expectations and bring the MasterCard Memorial Cup to Edmonton for the first time in modern franchise history.

Oilers Prospect Shines in Tournament

Mitch Moroz is making a run at cracking the Oilers roster next season. After being selected by the Oilers in the second round of the 2012 Draft, he signed a contract with the team in December 2013. His play in the WHL playoffs and the MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament must be giving the Oilers a lot of confidence in their choice. In the Oil Kings WHL Championship run, he had 6 goals and 13 assists, totaling 19 points. This strong performance carried into the MasterCard Memorial Cup. He scored 2 goals and contributed 2 assists in the tournament, including a goal and an assist in Sunday’s final, helping to defeat the Guelph Storm 6-3.

Play for Pelss

The Oil Kings had a lot to play for this season, but maybe nothing was as important as remembering a lost teammate. Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss passed away tragically last summer in his home country of Latvia. The Oil Kings played every game for their teammate, finishing both the WHL Championship and the MasterCard Memorial Cup with a heartfelt salute to Pelss. His jersey was on the ice with them for the handshake line and trophy ceremonies, keeping his memory alive. The whole season, the Oil Kings played, and won, for Kristians Pelss.

Curtis Lazar (Shoot the Breeze Photography)
Curtis Lazar (Shoot the Breeze Photography)

Edmonton Celebrating their Champions

Hockey fans in Edmonton have had very little to cheer about over the past few years. As the Oilers playoff drought drags on, the fans now have something to celebrate. A large crowd met the Oil Kings when their plane touched down in Edmonton Monday afternoon, with hundreds of fans flocking to congratulate their WHL team on a job well done. This welcome home will be followed by a celebratory gathering in downtown Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon, giving the city a chance to thank the Oil Kings for a fantastic season.