TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, announced on Thursday the signings of defenseman Eric Tallent and forwards, Brady Ramsay and Justin Mansfield. All three players are returning to Tulsa from last season.
“I know what kind of hustle and heart Brady brings because I coached him in Ontario and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Eric and Justin and what they were able to contribute to this team last season,” remarked new Oilers’ Head Coach, Jason Christie. “I want players who are going to work extremely hard and who are committed to doing the little things that it takes to win consistently at this level. From what I can tell, Eric, Brady, and Justin fit that description and I know our fans will be thrilled to have them back in Tulsa.”
Tallent, 29, is entering his third season with the Oilers and his sixth season as a pro. During the 2014-15 campaign Tallent appeared in 33 games and tallied 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists) along with 38 penalty minutes. The native of Garland, Texas, finished last season with a +18 rating – tops among all Oilers’ defensemen.
“I’ve had some bad luck and bad timing with injuries in the last couple of seasons, but I’m looking at this year as a fresh start,” said Tallent. “I feel extremely comfortable in Tulsa and after speaking with Coach Christie, I’m excited to get back on the ice and work hard. I’m going to approach this season with focus and determination and I know the hard work I’ve put in over the summer will pay off.”
The 22-year old Ramsay returns to the Oilers after beginning his rookie season of 2014-15 with the Ontario Reign. After skating in 13 games and posting five points (2 goals, 3 assists) for Christie, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound winger was traded to the Oilers in January. Ramsay, who hails from Calgary, Alberta, put up eight points (6 goals, 2 assists) and 45 penalty minutes in 28 regular season games for the Oilers and appeared in all five of Tulsa’s postseason contests.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in Tulsa last season,” Ramsay commented. “I loved the fans and the city, and I really enjoyed my role on the team. I’ve tried to prepare myself to be faster and stronger coming into this season and even though you never really know what to expect, it’s definitely comforting to know what Coach Christie expects from his players and I’m looking forward to playing for him again.
Mansfield, 6-foot-0, 200 pounds, originally signed with the Oilers in March of 2015 season as an amateur out of Merrimack College. A versatile player who spent time at forward and defense, Mansfield appeared in 11 games and chipped in an assist for his first professional point on March 29 against Wichita. The native of Arlington, Massachusetts, played four years at Merrimack and served as the Warriors’ assistant captain during his senior season.
“Even though I came in late last season, I was immediately welcomed by the guys and by the entire organization,” the 25-year old Mansfield stated. “I learned a lot and really enjoyed my time and now I’m extremely excited to be part of this team from day one of the season. I want to be in it for the long haul and I can’t wait to get going to see what kind of team we can have.”
The Oilers begin their second season in the ECHL on Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder at the BOK Center. For more information about season tickets, group tickets, or party areas, call 918-632-7825 or log on to www.tulsaoilers.com.
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Now is the newest member of the Tulsa Oilers, Axel Blomqvist. Axel, native of Sweden, and you find yourself playing pro hockey here in the United States. Was this a dream of yours as a kid growing up in Sweden?
Yeah, sure. Always wanted to come over and play pro hockey in North America. First year playing pro, so pretty excited about that. Pretty fun.
A lot of Swedes have come over ahead of you, and many of them in the NHL.
Yeah, that’s true. That’s [inaudible 01:27:50] a couple years. I got sent down, as you said, so get to play some games here, get some ice time. It’s good for a young guy I think, not just sit out in the stands in the A, so happy to be here, and get some games and a lot of ice time.
Was there any particular player that you were a fan of when you were a youngster growing up in Sweden?Mats Sundin, for sure. He was always my idol. Big guy who can make plays, and that’s what I want to do out there. For sure, Mats Sundin.
Coming down from Manitoba, you had just limited ice time in Manitoba. Now you’re going to get some playing time here in Tulsa, and we saw that last night, obviously. You were on several shifts. Late in the game, you had the tying goal there to send it to overtime. That had to feel good.
Yeah, for sure. That was a great feeling, got my first pro goal there, so that was a pretty special moment for me. Just, as I said, fun to be out there in important situations like that, and get a lot of ice time. Yeah, it was fun.
Did you know anything about Tulsa before you came here a couple of nights ago?
I know Harstad, so I talked to him a little bit. He came here-
Yeah, exactly, a week earlier than me pretty much, so talked to him a little bit about it, and I heard it’s a pretty good city, and I like the weather here. It’s a little bit better than Winnipeg, so yeah, it’s … Thus far, I haven’t seen that much, but hopefully I get to explore some of it now over Christmas break.
Yeah, you know what’s interesting too is we had a great crowd to welcome you to Tulsa. 9,100 people here in the stands. In fact, it was the biggest crowd of this season. They must have known you were coming or something.