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Oilers' prospects hot at World Hockey Championship

TSN.ca Staff

5/19/2010 5:24:10 PM

While watching the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Germany, Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini must be feeling pretty optimistic about the future of his team.

Two of the club's top prospects are proving their talent against NHL players at the tournament in Germany.

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton's first-round draft pick in 2008, had a sensational four-point performance in his first game for Canada. Then there's Magnus

Paajarvi-Svensson, the 20-year-old player the Oilers took with their 10th pick last year, who has led Team Sweden in scoring for this entire tournament.

Both are hoping to use the tournament as a springboard to crack the Oilers lineup this fall.

"For myself, and I know Magnus and [Oilers prospect Linus] Omark, it's only going to help us going into camp and kind of put us at that level where we can play with those guys," said Eberle.

Tambellini has even visited the tournament in person and has spoken at length with Paajarvi-Svensson, who has four goals and four assists in six game.

"You feel if you can compare to them, and if you can skate with them or have the same skill level, then I think I can handle it," said Paajarvi-Svensson.

The two future teammates have gone head-to-head in two World Junior Championship with Eberle and Canada getting the better of Sweden in 2009. Then Paajarvi-Svensson's Swedes beat Eberle's Canadians 3-1 last week.

"I think he's an extraordinary player. he always steps up when the big games come," said Paajarvi-Svensson. "I think he's a really special player."

The two players have only met in post-game handshake lines, so there is more of a respect than a rivalry between the two at this point.

"He's got a lot of speed, he's a big player," said Eberle of Paajarvi-Svensson. "He goes to the tough areas, which is good to see, especially when you get to the NHL. And he's smart."

There's another exciting Oilers prospect playing for Sweden in this tournament, and that would be Linus Omark, known for his incredible shootout goal that is a sensation on YouTube.

All of the prospects will be closely tied to the outcome of the Taylor versus Tyler debate which will settle itself in late June when the Oilers decide who to choose with their first-overall draft choice: Tyler Seguin of the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers or Taylor Hall of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.