Tonight, marks the first night that undrafted Oilers forward Mark Arcobello, will start in an NHL game.
His story runs deeper than this. Arcobello has proved that if you work hard and have goals, anything is possible.
His draft year (2006) came and went. He was undrafted to the NHL for reasons unknown to me. But nonetheless, he went and attended Yale University and had a good time playing with that team.
In 2008-09 he lead the Bulldogs in scoring with 35 points in 34 games. He also helped the Bulldogs win the ECAC Hockey League Regular Season and Tournament Championships. Arcobello was also named to the NCAA East Second All American Team and the ECAC First All-Star Team that year. Impressive stuff for a guy who didn't get drafted.
In the last game he ever played for Yale University, he scored a whopping 3 goals and 3 assists. He went out with a bang.
He eventually made his professional debut with the Edmonton Oilers ECHL farm team, the Stockton Thunder. In the short time he was there, he impressed the Oilers/OKCBarons management and was offered a two year entry level deal with the Oilers in 2011. With this new contract he was awarded a full time shot with the AHL Oklahoma City Barons.
Again he made the best of his situation.
He worked his butt off and kept learning how to be a better hockey player and it paid off when Ryan Nugent Hopkins went to play in the WJHC and Arcobello filled in for him and was center to Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. He finally earned his chance to be a first line center. He shined playing with those two and it showed the coaches he can play with the big boys.
Which leads us to today. He was called up after both Horcoff and Belanger fell due to injury. Now it turns out, RNH isn't able to play tonight and why not fill the void with a familiar face?
Mark Arcobello, an undrafted player, who worked his ass off, earns every inch of respect he has, gets to play in his first NHL game, starting on the Edmonton Oilers first line! That has a ring to it.
If I'm a betting man... Mark Arcobello will score tonight. And to make it even better, it's vs the Stars. (Psst! There is history between the two farm clubs)
I can't wait to read the next chapter in this exciting book Arcobello is writing.
Wow! Just Wow!
-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-