TULSA, OK – Forwards Brandon Wong and Brian Nugent have trained together and competed against each other for 15 years. However, the close friends, and natives of Victoria, British Columbia, have never put on the same jersey. Wong and Nugent will finally become teammates with the Tulsa Oilers during the 2015-16 season. The Oilers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose, announced the signings of Wong and Nugent on Wednesday along with the signing of Russian forward Igor Vladykovskii.
Wong, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, split his time last season between the Evansville Icemen and the South Carolina Stingrays. After posting 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) in 50 games for the Icemen, Wong recorded 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 19 regular season outings for the Stingrays. The 28-year old appeared in nine playoff contests and helped South Carolina march all the way to Game 7 of the Kelly Cup Final against the Allen Americans. Wong, who has suited up for nine games in the AHL, played his first three full pro seasons with the Greenville Road Warriors. In the 2011-12 season, Wong set career-highs with 31 goals and 61 points. He netted 20 goals or more in three consecutive seasons in Greenville and helped the Road Warriors to three straight appearances in the postseason. Prior to turning pro, Wong was a standout at Quinnipiac University where he led the Bobcats in points during his freshman, sophomore, and senior seasons.
Jussi Olkinuora is no stranger to playing for Jason Christie. (photo by: Ontario Reign Media Relations)
“Playing in Tulsa is going to be a great opportunity for me to be a part of the Winnipeg Jets’ organization,” said Wong. “I’m looking forward to playing for Coach Christie and excited about the chance to play alongside Brian. From everything I’ve heard, Tulsa is a great place to play and I’m ready to get going and see what kind of team we have.”
“Brandon is a skilled player who will bring a lot of leadership to our club,” commented Jason Christie, Oilers’ Head Coach. “He’s been very consistent with his production and the experience he gained last season in helping a team make a deep playoff run will be very valuable for his own game and for our team.”
Nugent, 26, is entering his third season in the ECHL. In 55 games with the Cincinnati Cyclones last season, the 5-foot-10, 205-pound Nugent recorded 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) and 70 penalty minutes. As a rookie in 2013-14, Nugent appeared in 25 games for the Las Vegas Wranglers before playing the second half of the season in Cincinnati. After four successful seasons in the junior ranks with his hometown Victoria Salsa and Victoria Grizzlies, Nugent played four years at Northern Michigan University.
“It’s always nice to go where you’re wanted and I guess Coach Christie liked the way I play when he saw me in the past,” remarked Nugent. “I was really excited when I heard Brandon had signed with Tulsa. We’ve been competing against each other for a long time and it’s going to be nice to be on the same side and wearing the same uniform.”
Brian Nugent (#23 above) will look to add depth and consistent production to the Tulsa offense. (photo courtesy of: Cincinnati Cyclones Media Relations)
Vladykovskii, a 20-year old from St. Petersburg, Russia, most recently played for Dynamo St. Petersburg in the MHL, a major-junior league with teams in Russia, Belarus, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. In 2013-14, Vladykovskii, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, appeared in 31 games for the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League.
Tulsa Oilers’ training camp begins Monday, October 5 at the Oilers Ice Center (6413 S. Mingo Rd.). Click here for a full training camp schedule.
The Oilers’ 2015-16 season begins Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder. Tickets are available by calling 918-632-7825 or by visiting www.tulsaoilers.com.
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Below is an Excerpt of a Tulsa Oilers Game
6:10 remaining, 3rd period of play. Cleared out in the neutral zone, slapped away back into the Tulsa end. It went off of a player’s stick, so they wave off the icing. It’ll come around to the near side, cleared out by the Oilers’ Ramsay, and now the Americans recover it again.
Cross-rink pass into neutral ice, over for Lafontaine. Lafontaine sends it ahead on the left wing. Back come the Americans, over the blue line is Crane. He has it poke checked away by Brisebois. Now it’s cleared away back into the Americans’ end, no icing. The goaltender, Riley, will play it. Riley Gill, that is, will play it, and we’re down to 5:28 remaining in the 3rd period, Tulsa with a 2-1 lead.
Now cross-rink pass to the far side. Courtnall, his shot, sticked away by the Oilers’ Carr. Off the boards on the near side, brought back in by the Oilers. Ahead for Brewer into the Americans’ end. Now it’s picked off, slapped back in by the Oilers’ DeSalvo at the blue line, and the Oilers will go for a line change, and so do the Americans.
They’ll reset it behind their own goal. With the puck for Allen, behind his net, is Roy. Eric Roy with it. It is Roy, by the way, and not Roy on this pronunciation. Roy sends it ahead into the Tulsa zone. Around the boards, out to the point, Blomqvist picks up the loose puck, here he comes over the blue line. Blomqvist into the left circle with it, Blomqvist still in front, centering pass knocked away. Blomqvist on the rebound, can’t it it to go.
To the point, Sova with a shot, and a save by Gill. One of the Oilers, Blomqvist, is pushed into the net. We’ve got a fight, fans. We’ve got a fight. The big guy, Blomqvist, squaring off with Roy. Blomqvist and Roy. Blomqvist lost his helmet. Now he’s pushing and shoving Roy. Blomqvist pushed onto the back of the net. He and Roy are squaring off here. Blomqvist getting a nice shot to the body there on Roy, and they’re tied up right now, can’t get a hand free, and the linesmen step in.
Good job by the big Swede! Got to like that. The rookie comes in and stands up for himself against Eric Roy, and it looks like they’re going to go to the dressing room. Blomqvist still jawing with one of the players, Roy is already off of the ice, and Blomqvist is still jawing with one of the … It looks like Aaron Gens of Allen. They’re waiting to get the door open on the end of the ice, so Blomqvist can go to the dressing room. Now they finally open the door for him, and we’ve got an official timeout as well.
The man who was our interview the other night, and I replayed it during the 2nd intermission tonight, Axel Blomqvist, involved in a fight, and he will go off the ice, and I’m guessing they’re going to at least get five minutes for fighting. Not sure if there’ll be any additional penalties tagged onto that, but we do have an official timeout right now to sort it out with 4:31 left to go here in the 3rd period of play.