Four veterans will return to the Tulsa Oilers roster this season, as the team recently announced the re-signing of forwards Ben Gordon, Drew Fisher, and Ryan Cramer along with defenseman, Scott Macaulay. All four players made significant contributions last season in helping the Oilers secure a Central Hockey League playoff spot for the first time in three years.
Gordon, set to begin his third season in Tulsa, led the squad in goals (36) and points (89) in the 2013-14 campaign and was named to the All-CHL Team. A 29-year old native of International Falls, Minnesota, Gordon proved to be the Oilers’ most consistent and most potent offensive weapon last season by recording five hat-tricks and 22 multi-point games. Gordon grabbed CHL Player of the Week honors three times and was selected as the CHL Player of the Month for February.
“Tulsa is really starting to feel like home for me and my family and I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping push this team to a championship,” said Gordon as he approaches his seventh season of pro hockey. “This organization has really taken care of me, they’ve treated me extremely well and I want to do whatever I can to show my appreciation and give these fans the kind of hockey they deserve. With a lot of guys back from last season and some new pieces in place, I think we’re in for an exciting season.”
“Bringing a guy like Ben back was a huge priority for us during the offseason,” commented Bruce Ramsay, Oilers Head Coach. “There is no question that Ben is one of the best players in our league and one of the top players in minor pro hockey. His leadership and his talent on the ice make everyone around him a better player and that’s exactly the kind of guy every team needs. We feel very fortunate to have Ben around for another year.”
Fisher, who happens to be Gordon’s brother-in-law and fellow International Falls native, suited up for all 66 games last season and tallied 10 goals with 22 assists and 30 penalty minutes. A product of Bemidji State University, Fisher began his pro journey with the Oilers at the end of the 2011-12 season. In the two years since his debut, the 27-year old has played in 144 consecutive games as an Oiler. Fisher, who finished seventh in the CHL in rookie scoring in the 2012-13 campaign with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists), is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound winger capable of playing a top-line role and contributing on Tulsa’s special teams units.
“My wife and I really love it here in Tulsa, we have family and great friends here so it’s definitely special to be able to keep coming back to the same place and the same team,” Fisher said. “So many players in minor league hockey bounce around from city to city and I feel very lucky to be able to stay in the same place. The fans in Tulsa are incredible and I hope this team can take another big step this season.”
The third member of the International Falls trio, Cramer, like Fisher, has played every game of his three-year career in an Oilers sweater. A 6-foot-2, 210-pound center or right wing, Cramer arrived in Tulsa for the Oilers’ 2011 playoff run and has gone on to record 85 points (41 goals, 46 assists) over the course of 178 total games.
“I grew up playing hockey alongside Ben and Drew and to have those guys as teammates for another season is a big part of why I wanted to come back,” commented Cramer. “You don’t see it too much at this level of hockey where three guys from the same small town can play on the same team and it’s something I don’t take for granted. It’s going to be another fun season for all of us and I’m excited to get it started.”
As a rookie last season, Macaulay, 5-foot-8, 170-pounds, added the element of speed and play-making ability to the Oilers’ defense corp. The Winnipeg native saw action in 53 games and finished the season with three goals and 22 assists. Macaulay was a regular on the Oilers’ top power play unit and earned 15 of his 25 total points with Tulsa on the man-advantage.
“I had a great time in Tulsa last season and I’m really looking forward to coming back,” Macaulay stated. “We had a great group of guys last year and I learned a lot. I know we can build on what we achieved and bring a championship back to the fans at the BOK Center.”
“Scott was a phenomenal addition to our team last season and still has so much room to grow as a hockey player,” Ramsay said. “You’re not going to find many defensemen who can move as quickly as Scott and who can join the offensive rush so effectively. He was a huge part of our power play success and he’s one of those players who just puts his head down and gets the job done every single night. We couldn’t be happier to have him back on BOK Center ice.”
The Oilers open training camp on October 13, and begin the 2014-15 CHL season on October 24 on the road against the defending champion Allen Americans. Tulsa’s home opener is slated for Sunday, October 26 at 4:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder. For more info.; www.tulsaoilers.com.