Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Caggiula providing a spark for Oilers in first two games

Video: Drake Caggiula's first NHL point from Saturday's game vs. Dallas

Story: Drake Caggiula was talked about a lot in training camp, but when an injury took him down in an October 6 pre-season game, the Oilers--and Caggiula--had to wait for the kid to make an impact.

He's doing it now.

Caggiula played his first two games this week for the Oilers and Edmonton won both, over Dallas on Saturday and over the Blackhawks on Monday. He already has two assists and is a plus two in 28:49 of ice time for the Oilers, with most of his ice time spend with Tyler Pitlick and Matt Hendricks. The possession numbers have not been there (Caggiula has a 10 CF and a 41 CA) but he has not been on the ice for an opposition goal and he's also contributing on the penalty kill.

Sportsnets Mark Spector was raving about Caggiula on TSN's Hockey Central at noon on Tuesday.

"He's a really good player, for a guy that hasn't played any pro hockey," Spector said of the former UND standout. "I'm really skeptical about these unsigned NCAA guys. I'm on the record saying that eight of ten of them are overrated... He's very mature he's well-rounded, he's cool. Some guys are leaders. This kid in college was a major leader on a really good team at UND."

Spector says he thinks Caggiula could pencil in as a future third-line center that plays with bite and knows his role.

"Is he going to be a second-line center in the NHL? I don't know. Is he maybe going to be that third-line center that every good team has? Think back in history of all the winning clubs. Dallas had Guy Carbonneau as their third-line center, I always thought John Madden was a great third-line center, the Oilers had Craig McTavish. Every team has a solid citizen playing third-line center for them. I think that's who [Caggiula] might turn into.