Jujhar Khaira of the Edmonton Oilers plays in his second NHL game Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Khaira called up by Oilers

Surrey native plays his first NHL games in Pittsburgh, Toronto

Three years after he was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, Jujhar Khaira has made the jump to the National Hockey League level.

The 21-year-old from Surrey made his NHL debut Saturday night for the Oilers against the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking 16 shifts and playing 10 minutes in a 3-2 shootout win in Pittsburgh.

“It was a lot of fun,” Khaira told the Edmonton Sun after the game. “It took me a couple of shifts to get in the rhythm and the feel and to realize how much time I had. But I think as the game went on, I felt more comfortable and I started playing my game.”

Khaira began the season in the American Hockey League (AHL) playing for the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers’ top farm team. He was called up to the Oilers last Thursday afternoon, and played his first NHL game 48 hours later.

Drafted in the third round, 63rd overall, by the Oilers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft after two seasons with the BC Hockey League’s Prince George Spruce Kings, Khaira went on to play one season of university hockey with the Michigan Tech Huskies and another with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.

He turned pro last year, playing 51 games with the Oklahoma City Barons, which was then the Oilers’ AHL farm team, where he scored four times and added six assists.

Wearing an Oilers jersey for his first NHL regular season game, Khaira admitted to being caught up in the moment when the puck dropped in Pittsburgh, realizing he was up against international stars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

“At the start at the game and even when I was on the bench, I would just catch myself looking at one of them, not even watching the play, just looking at one of them,” he said. “You’re thinking, ‘Wow, you’re actually playing against these guys.’ But as you went through the game, they were just other players out there and you have to try to keep yourself from looking bad.”

Khaira played his second NHL game Monday in Toronto, playing seven minutes in a 3-0 loss to the Maple Leafs.

Just Posted

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Former Surrey mayor Bill Vogel dead at age 87

Vogel was Surrey’s 31st mayor, in the big chair from 1978 to 1980, and was alderman from 1973 to 1977

Woman and dogs fall through ice along Surrey’s Serpentine River

While things seem to have turned out OK this time, woman’s husband urges others to stay off thin ice

Province selects three bidding teams for Pattullo Bridge replacement

SNC-Lavalin, the company involved in allegations with Prime Minister’s Office, is among potential contractors

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP believe Cloverdale pellet gun incidents are ‘linked’

The incidents both happened in February just blocks apart

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt

Sinkholes throughout the subdivision have prompted the District of Sechelt to issue evacuation orders

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Abbotsford’s Matsqui prison beefing up security against contraband

Correctional service says officials found a number of unauthorized items during ‘exceptional search’

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

VIDEO: Canada Winter Games athletes arrive in Red Deer from B.C. and beyond

Up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches will arrive throughout the day Thursday and Friday

Trump says he’ll declare national emergency to build border wall

In a rare show of bipartisanship, lawmakers voted Thursday to fund large swaths of the government

Most Read