Taylor Fedun is someone who is lucky to be still playing hockey. Involved in a gruesome injury on September 30, 2011 many thought Fedun would never play hockey again.
During training camp with the Edmonton Oilers, Fedun was going back after a puck on an icing call and while he got there first, he got tangled up with Minnesota Wild forward Eric Nystrom and was slammed into the boards. The result was a broken right femur.
His career thought to be in jeopardy, he was in a wheelchair for months with a steel rod inserted down his leg. He persevered and worked hard and was back on the ice in April 2012, rehabbing the injured leg.
He was back in training camp in September 2012 with the Oilers and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. Playing in Oklahoma City for the Oilers AHL affiliate, Fedun is among their top defensemen and will be one of the first in line for a call up to the NHL should a defenseman’s services be needed.
He’s played the majority of the year paired with veteran Brett Clark and the two currently form the Barons top pairing. He has 15 points and is a -4 on the season, although those numbers can be deceiving as he has been playing a lot of tough minutes as an AHL rookie.
His biggest strength is his hockey IQ and awareness on the ice. He’s a cerebral player and picks things up very quickly. He’s also an excellent puck mover and makes a good first pass out of the zone. At 6′ 190lbs, his size isn’t ideal, however he is rarely caught out of position and angles well.
It should come as no surprise that Fedun possesses the intelligence he does, after all he is a Princeton grad with an Ivy League degree to go with his hockey acumen.
He didn’t take the traditional route to a pro career, as a teenager he was not selected in the Bantam draft, nor was he drafted by any major junior teams. He instead took the college route and played four years for the Princeton Tigers, the last as team captain and was a First Team ECAC all-star. He was signed in March 2011 to a two-year entry level deal by the Oilers.
He impressed in his first training camp and even more in his second, especially his perseverance in returning from such a significant injury. At 24 years old he is evolving as a prospect and as a pro. He possesses leadership skills and a maturity that many players his senior never get to. If his game progresses to the point of his attitude and character, it will not be long before Oiler fans get a chance to see Fedun in the Oiler blue and orange.Season totals: