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Sports Ethan Bear's early-season success making him a fan favourite in Edmonton

20:50  08 december  2019
20:50  08 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Ethan Bear ( born June 26, 1997) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted in the fifth round in the 2015 Draft by the Edmonton Oilers and played for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL.

Oilersnation is a fan site with no direct affiliation to the Edmonton Oilers, Oilers Entertainment His poise and ability to move the puck effectively make him the top-four right-handed defenceman the Oilers I’m not saying Holland should go out and sign Ethan Bear to a seven-year deal this weekend.

Dave Tippett et al. that are standing in the snow: Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear and head coach Dave Tippett talk strategy between drills at practice on Tuesday. © Provided by cbc.ca Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear and head coach Dave Tippett talk strategy between drills at practice on Tuesday. As a kid growing up on the Ochapowace Nation in southern Saskatchewan, Ethan Bear idolized NHL players like Carey Price and former players Jonathan Cheechoo and Jordin Tootoo.

Now, just months into his own NHL career, the 22-year-old rookie finds himself in a similar position.

"That stuff's cool," said Bear, whose jersey can be seen throughout the crowd at Oilers home games.

"As a kid you grow up and you dream of that stuff but now that I'm here, I'm going to stay focused and make sure I'm still dialled in and ready for the guys," he said.

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Ethan Bear spoke eloquently and honestly about the moment his career changed. In between sips of his post-game drink last night, Bear outlined the events during our conversation in a Oilersnation is a fan site with no direct affiliation to the Edmonton Oilers, Oilers Entertainment Group, NHL, or NHLPA.

Ethan Bear . Hometown: Regina Saskatchewan. 2012-13: Bear made his WHL debut, skating in one game for Seattle in March following his midget season with the Yorkton Harvest in Saskatchewan. Future. Bear attended his first NHL training camp with Edmonton and has blossomed as a top pairing

Aside from the Oilers' early-season success, which sees the team atop the Pacific division, Bear's steady play on the blue-line is hands down the feel-good story in Oil Country.

Bear was drafted in the fifth round, 124th overall in 2015, the same year as Connor McDavid.

During the 2017-18 season he was called up for 18 games with the Oilers, but last year he spent the entire season with the AHL's Bakersfield Condors.

Bear's steady play has earned praise from head coach Dave Tippett. His meteoric rise doesn't surprise defensive partner Darnell Nurse.

"He's got it figured out pretty well," said Nurse, who's impressed by Bear's composure under pressure.

"Each and every night he just comes in and he's comfortable. He just plays. He doesn't think; he just plays and he's been fun to play with."

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Oilersnation is a fan site with no direct affiliation to the Edmonton Oilers, Oilers Entertainment Group, NHL, or From where I sit, Bear will come into camp further along the development curve and, barring a Let’ s not be surprised if neither stick around. Bouchard has attributes that could make him more

Bear went on to make his NHL debut with the Oilers at the end of their campaign, playing in 18 games and scoring one goal Oilersnation is a fan site with no direct affiliation to the Edmonton Oilers, Oilers Entertainment If Ethan Bear shows well in camp he could see himself in the mix early for the Oilers.

'Very inspirational'

Just west of Edmonton at the Enoch Recreation Centre, the Northern Alberta Tomahawks are finishing up a practice of their own. The Metro Junior A hockey team is made up of players ranging in age from 14 to 21.

Captain Connor discusses #Oilers goaltending performances this season, settling back in at @RogersPlace for a four-game homestand, Ethan Bear's emergence & more following today's practice. pic.twitter.com/QBtTu3B4WW@EdmontonOilers

The players are predominantly Indigenous. Bear's play is a constant topic of conversation in the room.

"I think it's very inspirational," said Quinton Courteoreille, a 21-year-old forward who grew up in Fort McMurray. Bear has had a huge impact on the community, he said.

"I live with my cousins and every one of them has a Bear jersey. They trained with him this past summer in Kelowna.

"They had the chance to meet him and whatnot. They said it was an awesome experience and that he's a good guy."

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Ethan Bear ' s solid play has been a major surprise for the Edmonton Oilers this season . He was somewhat of a surprise making the team out of training camp. Oilers’ Ethan Bear early favourite for Calder Trophy after strong start. Ethan Bear is absolutely crushing it in Edmonton and the numbers

Oilers defenders Ethan Bear and Darnell Nurse have shared the ice for the majority of the year EDMONTON , AB - It was early in the season - in the first period of the Oilers home opener "Bearsy stepped in and right off the hop was making great plays, great confident plays," Nurse continued.

'Product's really hot'

At United Sport & Cycle in south Edmonton, the Christmas rush is underway.

Upstairs, a sewing machine hums loudly as three new Oilers jerseys are branded with Bear's name and number 74 before being returned to the sales floor where it's hung next to those of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

"It's been a great success story so far, " said manager Kelly Hodgson.

"We're having a hard time keeping Bear's jersey in stock, so production has been fierce to try and keep him on the shelf," said Hodgson, who added the jersey business can be tricky at times.

'Stay away from drugs and alcohol'

"Bear really came out of nowhere and the story just emerged and obviously the product's really hot, but then for every success story like this you get caught with a few [Milan] Lucics along the way,"  Hodgson said with a grin.

Bear says he's flattered by the support.

Ethan Bear jerseys are a top seller beside those of Leon Drasaitl and Connor McDavid at United Sport & Cycle. © Provided by cbc.ca Ethan Bear jerseys are a top seller beside those of Leon Drasaitl and Connor McDavid at United Sport & Cycle.

Despite all the hype and early-season success, the defenceman says he comes to the rink each day focused on doing his job, on and off the ice.

"If I can be a role model and somebody that can just lead by example and they can look up to me, I take that seriously," Bear said.

"I hope they can all see what I did, and figure out as well, to just work hard and stay focused and as an athlete eat healthy and stay away from drugs and alcohol."

Player grades: Terrible defence by top Edmonton Oilers attackers leads to loss to Toronto Maple Leafs .
Until the top attackers on the Edmonton Oilers start to play the game with more defensive intensity and awareness, Edmonton is going to keep on losing. They have now lost four in a row, and sit with 18 wins and 17 losses after 35 games. And you can’t blame this one on the goalie. Mikko Koskinen of Edmonton made many fine saves. But key defensive errors by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl saw the team get behind two goals, and Edmonton could never get back into it, losing 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the end, Grade A chances were 10 for the Leafs, 8 for the Oilers ( running count ). © Provided by PostMedia DigitalConnor McDavid, 6.

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