Leslie Oles is one of the more unique players for Les Canadiennes de Montreal. She played in the CWHL as a 17-year-old before attending McGill University. In her first season, she finished second to fellow first-timer Marie-Philip Poulin in scoring and was an East Division all-star.
She also played with current Canadiennes Carly Hill, Charline Labonté, Cathy Chartrand and Ann-Sophie Bettez at McGill. She is the perfect connection to the old and the new and epitomises just how connected the Canadiennes are as a team. One thing you realize is how small the Quebec women's hockey community is and it is something that gives Les Canadiennes a little on-ice boost.
Oles is a skilled forward and has shown flashes of brilliance in the exhibition season so far. She has bounced around the lineup, playing with different players on what could be considered anywhere from the second to fourth lines. She opened the exhibition season on a line with Bettez and fellow rookie Alyssa Sherrard; a line that looked particularly exciting.
But it was in the last exhibition game — a 7-0 win over McGill University on Saturday — that she truly shone. On a line with Emilie Bocchia and Jordanna Peroff, Oles was named the second star of the game and had a goal and an assist against her former team.
In the third period of that game, Canadiennes' coach Dany Brunet mixed up all the lines, perhaps experimenting a little more before the roster needed to be submitted. Oles found herself with Caroline Ouellette and Audrey Morand.
When a player with the talent level of Oles could possibly be bouncing around the third or fourth line, you know you have depth on forward, and that is definitely Montreal's strength heading into the season.
Oles was a four-time all-star at McGill. She ranks third among the team's all-time leaders in games played (199), third in goals (144), fifth in assists (149), and fourth in points (293), while also holding the team's all-time record for penalty minutes (324). A physical education graduate, she was an alternate captain last year.