Winning is a glorious thing. The period of time from 2011 to 2014 was a magical and highly successful tenure for the Edmonton Oil Kings.
In this next part of Blast from the Past, we will take a look at three skaters with a tremendous amount of championship experience to their names.
Here are today’s players:
Curtis Lazar was a popular player who could light up a room with his happy, contagious smile. On the ice, he was an intense, focused, and skilled two-way force.
Lazar had a good mix of relentless grit and polished skill. His puck handling and quick release allowed him to score a lot of goals. His work ethic was unquestionable as he played a consistent 200-foot game that blended responsible defensive plays with that of dynamic offensive sequences.
In 199 games with the Oil Kings, Lazar scored 169 points during his WHL career from 2010-2014.
Selected second overall by the Oil Kings in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, Lazar burst onto the WHL scene in 2011-12 as a promising rookie. He scored 20 goals in 63 games and took his already high potential to another level when the Oil Kings went on a deep playoff run to the championship. He had 19 points in 20 postseason games. Edmonton became WHL Champions that year, winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
His best season as an Oil King undoubtedly came in 2013-14, when he scored 41 goals and had 76 points in 58 games. He was named to the WHL Eastern Conference First All-Star Team.
The Oil Kings, being the WHL powerhouse they were at the time, went on to win the league championship. Lazar racked up 22 points in 21 playoff games.
An epic Memorial Cup victory for the Oil Kings in 2014 capped off a truly legendary junior career for Lazar.
Laurent Brossoit always played lights out hockey. He was a brick wall as the Oil Kings’ number one goaltender for a few solid years.
He was drafted in the second round, 26th overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft by the Oil Kings and played for them from 2008-2013. In 147 WHL games, Brossoit maintained a .909 save percentage.
As a goaltender, he displayed great poise and competitiveness. One of his best seasons came in 2011-12 when he led the Oil Kings to a WHL championship victory over the Portland Winterhawks. Brossoit played in 61 regular season games that year and recorded a .914 save percentage. During the long playoff run, he played in 20 games, sporting a .933 save percentage, and was awarded WHL Playoffs MVP.
The team went on to compete for the 2012 Memorial Cup in Shawinigan but ultimately came up short.
In 2012-13, his final season in the WHL, Brossoit played in 49 games and posted a .917 save percentage. His play earned him recognition on the WHL Eastern Conference Second All-Star Team.
Once again, he was a beast in the playoffs, taking the Oil Kings on yet another deep run to the final. They weren’t able to repeat, ironically losing to the team they beat the season prior, the Portland Winterhawks. Brossoit played in 22 postseason contests and maintained a monstrous .935 save percentage.
Henrik Samuelsson was a perfect power forward. His imposing size and strength allowed him to create his own space on the ice. He could battle hard, make plays, and score goals.
Samuelsson came to Edmonton from MODO Hockey of the SHL in Sweden. In 162 games with the Oil Kings, he registered 198 points between 2011-2014.
The height of his WHL career came in 2013-2014 when the young Swede scored 95 points in 65 regular-season games and added 23 points in 21 playoff games.
In addition to winning the WHL championship, he also enjoyed the Oil Kings’ 2014 Memorial Cup victory in London, Ontario, where they beat the Guelph Storm in the final game 6-3. Samuelsson had himself a tournament performance to remember. He recorded eight points in five games, was named to the CHL Memorial Cup All-Star Team and was awarded the CHL Memorial Cup Most Points Award (Ed Chynoweth Trophy).