Graham Goes From Title Game To Tulsa Camp
Derek Graham, who completed his second practice with the Oilers earlier today, is the newest addition to Tulsa’s training camp roster.
The 5’9” 175 pound center just completed a four-year collegiate career at Ferris State University where he helped the Bulldogs reach the 2012 National Championship game. Prior to landing in Oklahoma, Graham was skating in the Kalamazoo Wings training camp, but with many AHL players being pushed down to the ECHL thanks to the lockout, there just wasn’t any room left for the 24-year old.
“I knew it was going to be tough with the lockout to stick in the ECHL,” said Graham. “It was nothing more than a numbers game, but I’m happy to be here in Tulsa.”
Graham, who averaged better than a point per game during his junior career with the Mahoning Valley Phantoms, spent most of Thursday paired with Ryan Menei and Ben Gordon on the Oilers top line.
“Today I thought we were clicking really well out there,” Graham said. “We could’ve probably buried a few more chances but hopefully those will come over time.”
Graham played 138 games in college and recorded a career-high 20 points during his senior season. Even though he’s only been a pro for a few weeks, he can already see how the game is much different at the CHL level.
“It’s not so much action-packed, dump and chase, in your face hockey,” said Graham. “It’s more puck control here where guys are looking to make passes and set up some plays, but the skills you need are still the same and it’s good hockey either way.”
The Oilers will hold a short practice on Friday morning at the Oilers Ice Center from 10:15-11:15 a.m. The team will depart on Saturday morning for a pair of preseason games in Kansas. Tulsa takes on Wichita at 3 p.m. on Saturday before heading west to Dodge City for a matchup with the Denver Cutthroats at 6 p.m. on Sunday.