Junior Oilers - Program Information



Hockey Edmonton and the Edmonton Oilers have unveiled a pinnacle stream program that will revolutionize elite hockey development in Edmonton.

Debuting the 2022-23 season, Hockey Edmonton’s two U18 AAA male teams and one U18 AAA female team will be named the Edmonton Junior Oilers, receiving assistance from the NHL Club in a program that is the first of its kind in Canada. The Edmonton Oilers will provide access to world-class resources for all U18 AAA teams including player and coach development opportunities, facility utilization, apparel and equipment, and other significant off-ice support.

The Edmonton Junior Oilers teams will receive elite player and coach development and promotion guided by Hockey Edmonton’s four pillars of player development: technical-tactical, physical, mental, and life skills. Aiming to foster well-rounded individuals both on and off the ice, Hockey Edmonton will also ensure that academic supports are available to these elite student athletes. 

In addition to these unique opportunities, another element that makes this program so alluring is the affordability of this elite, one-of-a-kind experience, especially in comparison to other options offered regionally.



Coaching Staff 

Team Blue: Nathan Papirny (and staff) will return to the program after leading Team Blue to one of the most successful U18 AAA records in Edmonton's recent history. Nathan and his staff guided Team Blue to a Circle K Classic tournament invite, a second place AEHL season finish, and a North Division final berth in the inaugural season. Individually, several Team Blue players were selected for AEHL individual awards and all-star selections. Nathan and his staff also did an excellent job at promoting Team Blue players to the next level, earning 16 junior player affiliations and 10 player signings. Nathan is well respected in the league by staff and players because of his energy, dedication, and passion for the game. We are excited to work with Nathan and his staff next season; they have been integral contributors to building the Junior Oilers program from the foundation.

Team Orange: Lee Zalasky (and staff) will join the Junior Oilers program after an extremely successful 2022-23 season as the Head Coach with the U18 AAA Sherwood Park Ennis Kings. Lee and his staff guided Sherwood Park to a Circle K Classic tournament invite, a third place AEHL season finish, and a North Division semi-final position. Lee's teams play with energy, pace, and physicality. During the 2021-22 season, Lee led CAC U16 AAA to an AEHL Provincial Championship, after a dominant season record and playoff performance. He brings a wealth of coaching experience at the U Sport level, Team Alberta level, and AAA level. Lee and his staff will bring accountability, knowledge, and dedication to Team Orange and the entire program. We are fortunate and excited to welcome Lee back to Edmonton! We are excited to benefit from his future contributions to the program.

Team White: Joel Lenius will return to coaching at the U18 AAA level for the 2023-24 season, after leading the Edmonton Pandas U18 AAA program for the last four seasons (2018-22). Joel helped to build one of the most nationally recognized U18 AAA female programs, winning numerous tournament/league championships and supporting over 40 young women with earning a post-secondary scholarship during his time with the Pandas. Joel has experience coaching players at the NHL, WHL, NCAA, U Sport, AJHL, and AAA levels. His teams play with pace, they compete hard, they are highly skilled, and they have a positive culture. We are excited to add Joel's experience and energy to Team White next season.

Hockey Development Committee

The Edmonton Junior Oilers are managed by Hockey Edmonton’s Hockey Development Committee (HDC). This prestigious consortium of respected hockey development experts includes Matt Davidson, Umberto Fiorillo, Dan Kordic, Joel Lenius, Craig MacTavish, Billy Moores, and Stephen Zipp, all with NHL, AHL, WHL and AJHL, and post-secondary, playing and coaching experience. 

Become an Official Partner of the Edmonton Junior Oilers 

Big League Brand. Grassroots Heart. 

To ensure that this innovative club program limits barriers to access and can attract the highest level of talent in the city, the cost remains affordable for families thanks to the support of corporate partners.

Becoming an official partner provides a unique opportunity for your company to be associated with an iconic NHL brand at a modest cost, while also making an impact in minor hockey in our community.

Contact Kylee Quinn at kylee.quinn@hockeyedmonton.ca to discuss a customized partnership that aligns with your organization's marketing budget and goals.


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