When the Edmonton Oilers announced they had signed Colton Sceviour to a professional tryout agreement (PTO) earlier this month, news that the 32-year-old forward was coming to training camp was greeted mostly with a shrug.
Nothing against Sceviour, it’s just that there didn’t seem to be a place for him in Edmonton. Competition for spots on the Oilers lines was already stiff even before the veteran NHLer’s arrival.
But general manager Ken Holland’s decision to give Sceviour a look suddenly made sense after the GM revealed that Oilers winger Josh Archibald is unvaccinated. If Archibald is not inoculated once the season starts, he would be required to isolate for 14 days every time the Oilers return from the United States, meaning he would miss 30-plus games and significant practice time.
It’s hard to imagine using a roster spot on a player with such sporadic availability. It’s one thing if that player’s name is Connor McDavid, quite another if he’s a bottom-six forward who plays 13-14 minutes a night.
If Holland is auditioning replacements for Archibald, the leading candidate just might be Sceviour, who plays the same position and fills a similar role as Archibald. So Oilers fans might want to start boning up on Sceviour because the newcomer could be here to stay. Here are four things to know about the guy on the PTO:
He’s From a Hockey Family
Colton played parts of two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09) with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, following in the footsteps of his father Darin Sceviour and uncle Todd Sceviour, who were Lethbridge teammates in the early ‘80s.
Todd never played pro hockey, but Darin was drafted 101st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1984 and eventually made it to the NHL for one game: Feb. 1, 1987, Blackhawks vs. Oilers at iconic Chicago Stadium. The game is one of the few dubious outings from the Wayne Gretzky-era Oilers. Chicago scored five unanswered goals in the final 8:53 to rally from a 4-1 third period deficit and win 6-4. Darin registered one stat: a single shot on goal, which Edmonton netminder Andy Moog stopped.
Colton’s younger brother Logan Sceviour played five seasons of junior A hockey between the Alberta Junior Hockey League and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
He’s No Rule-Breaker
Sceviour either plays clean hockey or is good at getting away with stuff. In 500 career NHL regular-season games, he has been assessed just 110 penalty minutes. To put in perspective how remarkable that is, there are only 30 players in NHL history with 500 or more games played and 110 or fewer penalty minutes.
Last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sceviour was sent to the box just once in 46 games. In 2019-20, while playing for the Florida Panthers, he had six penalty minutes in 69 games. The most PIMs Sceviour has recorded in one season is 25, in 2016-17 when he made 80 appearances for the Panthers. Additionally, Sceviour is yet to be penalized in 19 career NHL playoff games.
He’s an All-Time Star
Sceviour was drafted 112th overall by the Dallas Stars in 2007 and went on to play 170 games with Dallas over parts of five seasons. He left the organization as a free agent when he signed with Florida in 2016, but not before making a substantial mark with Dallas’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Texas Stars.
The 6-foot forward is a Texas original, having played in the first five seasons of the franchise’s existence, 2009-10 to 2013-14. He played in the 2014 AHL All-Star Game and was named an AHL First Team All-Star for the 2013-14 season.
After the 2013-14 season, Sceviour was the all-time Texas leader in many categories, including games (348), goals (99), plus-minus (39), shorthanded goals (9), game-winning goals (22), and shots (961). He is still tied for second goals and ranks third for points (240) in team history.
He’s True-Blue to Red Deer
Sceviour was born and raised in Red Deer, a city of 100,000 in Central Alberta that sits halfway in between Calgary and Edmonton.
At age 13 and 14, he played for the Red Deer Chiefs and won the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League’s Top Scorer and Top Forward awards for the 2003-04 season after totaling 47 goals and 62 assists in 37 games.
Red Deer remained home the first several seasons of his pro career. While playing in the AHL, he would drive down to Cedar Park, Texas, at the end of the summer, then drive back to central Alberta every spring. On an episode of “Summer with the Stars,” Sceviour estimated the trek meant spending about 33 hours on the road, often with the tunes cranked up.
Now Sceviour has the opportunity to play in Edmonton, 90 minutes north of his hometown. And that chance begins 90 minutes south of his hometown, at the Scotiabank Saddledome, where the Oilers open their preseason against the host Calgary Flames on Sunday (Sept. 26).
Brian is an Edmonton-based sports writer and broadcaster. His experience includes working as a sports reporter for the Edmonton Sun, where he covered the Edmonton Oil Kings 2013-14 Memorial Cup championship season.