Oilers Former Defenders Join Team USA

Jeff Petry

All of the players who were cut are getting ready for a long summer while the Oilers prepare for that series. For most people, a mix of training and leisure time away from the gym and rink is necessary.

There will be those who continue to play hockey for a little while longer. I am, of course, talking about the World Championships. This year’s event takes place in Czechia from May 10 to May 26. Team USA expanded its roster by nine players yesterday.

Many of the names on this list will be familiar to Oilers fans (for good cause), but two in particular, Jeff Petry and Michael Kesselring, should stick out due to their ties to Edmonton.

Petry played for the Oilers during his first five seasons in the NHL, and he has nearly 1000 games played overall. During his stint with the Oilers, he averaged between 20 and 22 minutes per night and was a workhorse throughout.

Jeff Petry

He played with the Detroit Red Wings during the previous season, supporting them in their quest for postseason participation. He only averaged 18:47 of ice time this season, which is the lowest number for any season in his 14-year career, but he still played a more restricted role than he is used to.

Kesselring, however, joined the company quite recently. At the trade deadline the previous year, he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Nick Bjugstad.

He has participated in 74 NHL games and 16 AHL games with the Coyotes since the deal. The 6-foot-4 right-handed defenseman performed admirably when paired with either Juuso Valimaki or Sean Durzi during 63% of his even strength time on the ice.

With the additions they have made, Team USA’s chances of winning this competition should be enhanced.

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