Bear on the Blue Line for Oilers

October 2, 2019 9:16 pm

Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett, from Moosomin, had a special message for defenceman Ethan Bear, from Ochapowace, at practice on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

的 skated up to him this morning. I said, 銭nock, knock. Opportunity waits,樗 Tippett said.

With Joel Persson out seven to 10 days after suffering a shoulder injury Tuesday against Arizona, the door was open for Bear to be on the Oilers opening-night roster.

的知 obviously happy to still be here, but at the same time, I知 not satisfied. I知 not getting comfortable, said Bear at the time, who had 31 points in 52 games last season for the AHL痴 Bakersfield Condors.

He didn稚 get into every game because of a shoulder injury. Bear, 22, also admits he didn稚 take his conditioning seriously enough until this summer.

笛ust trying to take care of myself away from the rink. When I知 here, make sure I知 focused and ready go to, said Bear, who got into 18 games for the Oilers at the end of the 2017/18 season.

滴e値l play next two games. Hopefully, he plays well, Tippett said. 滴e痴 one of the guys who has surprised me coming into camp. He痴 in great shape. The little details of the game, he痴 really trying to dig into and be strong at.

On Thursday night last week, Bear burst through Tippet痴 figurative closed door and grabbed his fate by the reins, exploding onto the scene with two goals and three blocks to highlight a solid two-way performance in the Oilers 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets in a pre-season game.

Not surprisingly after that, Bear was on the roster for the Oilers Home Opener for the regular season Wednesday, October 2.

Bear grew up at Ochapowace First Nation watching his older brother play hockey with the OCN Blizzard in the MJHL.

Coached by his dad through minor hockey, Bear spent much of his childhood at the rink and credits his family with his love of hockey and his success.

He says it was always a dream of his to play higher level hockey, and that dream came within reach in 2015 when he was selected 124th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers.

Bear played 18 games with the Oilers in the 2017-18 NHL season, earning one goal and three assists that season.

Oilers coach Dave Tippett was born and raised in Moosomin and has been an NHL coach since 2002 after a playing career from 19831995 that included the Hartford Whalers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers.

Tippett coached the Houston Aeros, LA Kings, Dallas Stars, and Arizona Coyotes before becoming the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers this year.