He was reassigned to their ECHL affiliate Stockton Thunder at the beginning of the 2010/2011 season and things took shape pretty quickly, as he connected for 7 goals and 13 assists in 33 contests and was MVP at the All-Star Game.
The undersized 5’9″ 165 lbs. kept proving his critics wrong as he climbed up to the next rung and finished his rookie season with 11 goals and 11 assists in 26 games.
His consistent efforts paid off with the Oilers signing him to a 2-year entry level NHL contract. He stayed with their top farm team but was showing that despite his smaller stature he had a knack for the net, finishing his sophomore campaign with 17 goals, 26 assists and a nice +16 rating. He continued to strike through 14 Calder Cup Playoff match-ups adding another 13 points (5 goals and 8 assists) to his totals.
To start 2012/2013 as the lockout halted the highest league, he was teamed up with a #1 overall and 1st round draft picks to skate on a line with for the Barons.
The 24-year old further showed his skill set and looks to be on pace for career highs in goals, assists, points and got the nod as a Western Conference AHL All-Star Game starter.
He received his first NHL call-up and skated 19 shifts for 18:15 of total ice time in a overtime losing effort.
Despite being returned after only a 24-hour visit, it’s not looking like much of a stretch for him to find at the very least a part-time home in the show.