Vernon’s Cole Sanford will play for the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 Young Stars Classic Tournament which starts tonight in Penticton.
Sanford, who compiled 50 goals and 95 points with the WHL Medicine Hat Tigers last season, rated orientation camp invites from the Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs in July and chose the Oiler camp. He was overlooked in the summer entry draft.
The 20-year-old roadrunner and fellow Oiler rookies underwent medicals and fitness testing Thursday at Rexall Place before leaving for Penticton.
Several notable prospects are with Edmonton, including centre Connor McDavid (2015 first round, No. 1 selection), centre Leon Draisaitl (2014 first round, third overall selection) and defenceman Darnell Nurse (2013 first round, seventh overall selection).
The Oilers face the Vancouver Canucks tonight and tangle with the Calgary Flames Saturday night before finishing the tournament Monday at 11:30 a.m. versus the Winnipeg Jets.
Edmonton’s rookie camp wraps up Wednesday as the Oilers take on the CIS national champion University of Alberta Golden Bears in an exhibition game at Rexall Place.
“My agent, Tobin Wright, of Minnesota, has talked to a couple of teams and he says there’s some interest, but I’m not banking on being drafted,” said Sanford, a Vernon minor hockey grad who turns 20 in July.
Sanford supplied 10 game winners, a dozen powerplay snipes and six shorties last year. He added five goals and 11 points in 10 playoff games as Medicine Hat’s season halted in a Game 5 double overtime loss to Canuck prospect Jake Virtanen and the Calgary Hitmen.
One of nine B.C. players who helped the Tigers finish fifth overall, Sanford’s fast hands make him dangerous.