HOLTY’S BLOG: Welcome to camp

Ice is in, players have been assigned to Bakersfield, and there are season ticket packages in boxes throughout the office. The season is officially here.

You may prefer morning blogs, and that’s fine, but things are happening in Condorstown and sometimes an afternoon blog is just what the day orders. And as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Now for the blog…

To be honest, I had a good chunk of the blog written and then had to re-write with the news that eight more have been assigned to Bakersfield: click here. That brings the number to 24 players assigned by the Oilers this week.

So the Condors will at least open training camp on Monday with last season’s leading scorer (Josh Currie), rookie scoring leader (David Gust), rookie goal scoring leader (Joe Gambardella), shorthanded goal leader (Patrick Russell), and penalty minute leader (Braden Christoffer).

There will be some jersey number changes from a year ago. Caleb Jones is switching to 3. Joe Gambardella will be 5. And Tyler Benson will be 16.

Speaking of Jones, he scored in Edmonton’s preseason win over Vancouver earlier this week. From all accounts, he has come into this season in great shape and improved from last season. I think you will see even more of the offensive side of his game take off this season.

A new face to Condors fans on the blue line will be William Lagesson. The 22-year old comes to North America for the first time professionally this season. He had 13 points (1g-12a) in 49 games in the top Swedish league last year, which is at minimum on par with the AHL. The 6’2” d-man already fought Ryan Lomberg from Calgary/Up The 99 earlier this week too, so he’ll fit right in.

Two rookie forwards in particular I’m excited to see are the two Tylers: Benson and Vesel. Benson is fully healthy heading into the season and many commented about how strong of a camp he had in Edmonton. The 2nd round pick had three points in five games at the end of last season. Vesel had more of an extended look in Bakersfield last season and it was that performance (six points in 11 games, five in his last six) that earned him an NHL deal this offseason.

Edmonton still has 35 players still in camp, so there will be more movement (roughly 10-12 players) to come.

We’ll have a training camp schedule, including the possibility of an open practice or two next week, on Sunday. That will have a complete list of who is in camp to kick things off on Monday.

Condors.TV will be a great resource next week for reports and video from next week as we head into the preseason home and home with the Heat on the 29th and 30th.

Sunday from 2-4 p.m. you can skate on the ice at Rabobank Arena.

LOCK OF THE WEEK? I know it’s for entertainment purposes only, but I let loyal readers of the blog down last week. That needs to change and I need to be better. Here’s a five pack to mull over. Entertainment purposes only.

Cincinnati (+3) @ Carolina
Indianapolis (+7) @ Philadelphia
Green Bay (-2.5) @ Washington
LA Rams (-7.5) v LA Chargers
Seattle (PK) v Dallas

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt enters his 8th season in Bakersfield in 2018-19. So much for the offseason facial hair. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@bakersfieldcondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.