nside or outside of the CCA. "As always, the objective of the National Team
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PHILADELPHIA -- Its far from a coincidence that the Edmonton Oilers went big with the third pick in the NHL draft. Michael Roberts Jersey . In taking German centre Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers added some much-needed size and depth at a position of great importance. "Its not a stretch to say were really happy and think that we filled a tremendous need for our hockey club and I think is going to have a real significant impact over time with our team," general manager Craig MacTavish said Friday night. "You combine him with our No. 1 pick last year (Darnell Nurse), and we start to see some size and quite a bit of character continue to come into our dressing room." Beyond 2011 No. 1 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers are thin at centre. And in Draisaitl, the highest-drafted German in NHL history, they get a six-foot-one, 208-pound player who has drawn comparisons to Anze Kopitar and Jaromir Jagr. Playing for the WHLs Prince Albert Raiders, Draisaitl had 38 goals and 67 assists in 64 games this past season as he developed his defensive game and faceoff prowess. Hes from Cologne but came to develop in the Canadian junior system and will remain in North America this summer to train. There are still things Draisaitl believes he needs to improve this off-season but the physically mature 18-year-old also thinks hell be ready to play in the NHL in 2014-15. MacTavish cant make such a guarantee. "Obviously we project the team to be much more productive and much deeper than we were this year, and thatll be a significant factor," he said. "We want to make sure that if we do put young kids into our lineup that they have a chance to have success, and thatll be a big factor along with how well he adapts to the NHL game at training camp." Just having a chance to earn a spot at training camp is a nice opportunity for Draisaitl, who understands he wont just be handed a job playing alongside Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. "Im going to have to do my job and earn my spot if I want to play in that league and on that team," Draisaitl said. "I think theyre moving forward for sure and they made some good trades, (David) Perron, and the guys are getting older and more mature. This is just awesome right now." Draisaitl was thrilled to put on the same orange and blue of Edmonton stars of the past, most of whom had their primes before he was born. "Theyve had so many great players on their team: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, MacTavish -- all those guys are stars in the league, and wearing the same jersey as they do is unbelievable," he said. MacTavish joked that he owed Draisaitl $100 for dropping his name in that group. More importantly for the GMs current job, he hopes Draisaitl can develop into an important piece of this already young core. Draisaitl fills a specific role, too, as the Oilers seek a variety of talent at forward. "(He) protects the puck and is a real offensive-zone player," MacTavish said. "Weve got a lot of skill, but were in need of somebody down low thats capable of sustaining the play. We have David Perron that fits that bill and now Leon will be a guy that can really protect the puck." If Draisaitl develops as scouts expect, he would slot in as the Oilers No. 2 centre of the future. His size mixed with Halls speed could be a tantalizing combination. "Hes probably the fastest skater in the league and hes an exciting player to watch," Draisaitl said. "It might be a good fit, but you never know." MacTavish would love to spend Saturday adding more depth to the organization, but the Oilers dont have a second- or a third-round pick after trades for Perron and goaltender Ben Scrivens. And he doesnt expect to be able to get into the second. "Well be sitting on our hands, it looks like, through the second or third round," MacTavish said. "Hopefully the scouts can pull a few of those impact players out of the later picks." Miles Killebrew Jersey . The top-ranked Spaniard won his fourth Madrid Open on Sunday after Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw with a hip injury when trailing 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final. And Nadal, who is coming off to uncharacteristic quarterfinal losses on clay, said his mental strength is still lacking just two weeks ahead of the French Open. Stitched Detroit Lions Jerseys .7 million, one-year contract, a raise of $2.2 million. Wieters had asked for $8.75 million and the Orioles had offered $6. http://www.cheaplionsjerseyssale.com/?ta...ersey-sale .S.-Portugal game on June 22 in the Amazonian jungle city of Manaus. FIFPro, the international soccer players union, had pressed FIFA to avoid the earliest kickoffs in the hottest and most humid weather. OTTAWA -- The Canadian Curling Association has unveiled the 12 rinks that will be part of the organizations National Team Program for the 2014-15 season. The six mens teams are skipped by Olympic champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, John Morris of Calgary, Brad Gushue of St. Johns, Kevin Koe of Calgary and Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont. The six womens teams are skipped by Olympic champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, Rachel Homan of Ottawa, Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon, Val Sweeting of Edmonton, Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., Heather Nedohin of Sherwood Park, Alta. The teams qualified for the National Team Program (NTP) based on their standings on the Order of Merit following last season. "The depth of curling talent in our country is amazing, and the international results continue to prove that," CCA chief executive officer Greg Stremlaw said Thursday in a release. "We were the only country in the world to have no team finish outside of the top six in traditional four-player world and Olympic championship evvents last season, and the National Team Program has played a significant role in those ongoing successes. Christian Jones Jersey. " As part of the NTP, the teams will have funding to cover some competition and training costs. They will also be able to access high-performance resources in the areas of sports science, sports medicine and coaching from either inside or outside of the CCA. "As always, the objective of the National Team Program is to achieve podium results at international competitions, and were excited about the potential of the group of athletes that is part of the NTP for the 2014-15 season to continue to maintain those high expectations," said CCA high-performance director Gerry Peckham. "Thanks to this program, these teams, based on their proven performance levels, will be given every competitive advantage possible to keep Canada contending for international medals." All 12 teams will be participating in the Dec. 3-7 Canada Cup of Curling at Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta. Its the opening event of the CCAs Season of Champions. 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