In the throes of the final week of training camp, Edmonton Oilers hopefuls Ethan Bear and Tomas Jurco are still in the hunt for roster spots. Following standout performances Thursday, each of them is now one step closer.
Bear and Jurco each lit the lamp twice for the Oilers as they managed a 5-3 comeback preseason victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
With Edmonton down 1-0 and less than five minutes to go in the opening frame, James Neal stole the puck in the offensive zone and finessed it to Jurco in the slot, who fired it home past Connor Hellebuyck to even the score.
The Oilers went down yet again and were trailing 3-2 to start the third period, but Ethan Bear was able to tie it up after crashing the net and tapping in a loose puck after it caromed off the stick of Anton Burdasov.
With about 10 minutes remaining in regulation time and Edmonton up a man, Jurco was able to wheel past the defense and score from in tight to make it 4-3 on his second goal of the game. His tally was the game-winner for the Oilers.
Bear then rocketed a shot from the point minutes later to give Edmonton an insurance goal en route to the win.
In 201 career NHL games, Jurco has recorded 20 goals and 50 points, and he has 123 points in 182 AHL games. The Slovakian winger was originally taken 35th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 NHL Draft. Jurco split time between the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds and Charlotte Checkers last season. In Charlotte, he netted 17 points in the final 19 games of the regular season before putting up seven goals and 18 points in the playoffs en route to the Checkers’ Calder Cup championship title.
Bear is looking to make his full-time jump to the Oilers roster this season and is capitalizing on his opportunity for more playing time after blueliner Joel Persson suffered a shoulder injury. The 2015 fifth-round pick didn’t get time with Edmonton last season but has four points in 18 career NHL games with the Oilers. In 2018-19, he showed off his puck-moving prowess and impressed with the AHL Bakersfield Condors, racking up six goals and 31 points in 52 games.
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