Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newcomer David Perron Quietly Taken Scoring Lead with Edmonton Oilers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newcomer David Perron Quietly Taken Scoring Lead with Edmonton Oilers

Article excerpt

Perron leads Oilers in scoring early in year

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EDMONTON - They've got three of their own No. 1 draft picks on their roster but it's a former St. Louis Blues first-round selection who has quietly emerged as the Edmonton Oilers' leading scorer.

Edmonton picked up David Perron from St. Louis last summer, and the 2007 first-round selection, despite missing four games with a neck injury, has 12 goals and 25 points for the Oilers (10-18-3, 23 points).

What's more, the 25-year-old is just one of three players on the squad not on the negative side of the plus-minus rating.

"It's only 25-30 games so I don't want to go ahead of schedule," said the native of Sherbrooke, Que. "I want to keep going, keep working hard and help this team.

"I like the way it's going lately with the team and with a lot of the individual play so we have to keep it up."

But Edmonton first-year coach Dallas Eakins said Perron is more than just an offensive player. The Oilers landed Perron from the Blues for Swedish-born forward Magnus Paajarvi and a '14 second-round pick.

"I love his competitiveness," Eakins said. "As much skill as he has, he's got that little bit of nasty in him."

Eakins adds the seven-year veteran has wasted no time becoming a leader in the dressing room. However, the six-foot, 198-pound Perron admits he's frustrated with the Oilers' inconsistent play this season.

"I don't know if it's a roller coaster but that's not the way we're trying to build," said Perron. "I know its frustrating for everybody but we're trying not to get on that roller coaster.

"We're trying to stay on an even keel. We're trying to find that good balance."

That's been difficult for an Edmonton team that's alternated wins with losses over its last eight games. The Oilers continue their five-game homestand Tuesday night hosting the Carolina Hurricanes.

At no time, perhaps, was their inconsistency more evident than their two games last week -- a 6-2 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday, then an 8-2 win over Colorado on Thursday. …

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