Being the opportunist that he is Mark Arcobello managed to turn a training camp audition into a spot in the Edmonton Oilers’ opening day lineup.

He then parlayed that appearance at centre into another game. So even when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was ready to return Arcobello was able to hold down a spot in the lineup which also meant the Oilers could then move Taylor Hall back to left-wing.

“Arco’s going about it the right way” head coach Dallas Eakins said. “He’s dying for another game another opportunity another day on the roster. And he’s opened up some eyes with his play.

“His play enabled Taylor to buzz back over to the wing.”

Arcobello played between Ryan Hamilton and Nail Yakupov in Monday’s 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils and will be back in the mix on Thursday when the Oilers host the Montreal Canadiens.

“It’s high stress but high reward too” said Arcobello of this work-for-more-minutes routine he’s growing accustomed to.

“As long as I work hard there’s not much else I can do.”

And frankly Arcobello knows no other way. The undrafted undersized overachiever left Yale University with a political sciences major and a tryout offer from the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. He played his way on to the roster of the Oklahoma City Barons after 33 games during that 2010-2011 campaign then closed out last season as the Barons’ all-time leading scorer.

He turned down offers to play in the Europe in the off-season opting instead to sign a one-year two-way extension with the Oilers a team that was going to go into camp with Nugent-Hopkins. Before the Oilers got through the pre-season Sam Gagner was felled with a broken jaw opening up another spot down the middle.

“Every game I feel more and more comfortable. I feel like I’m adapting to the pace” the five-foot-eight native of Bloomfield Hills Mich. said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be an overnight situation where I’d jump right in and have success. Every game every shift it’s feeling better and better.

“When I re-signed in the summer in the back of my mind I knew there might be an opportunity here. It’s unfortunate we’ve had the injuries but at the same time it’s a chance for me to show what I’ve got.”

Arcobello 25 had played just one NHL game prior to the this season and that was in relief of Nugent-Hopkins on Feb. 6 against the Dallas Stars. He flew in played between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and was on his way back to the American Hockey League shortly after.

“It was tough to just jump in for one game. Then I was on my way but it was good to get that game out of the way” said Arcobello who picked up his second NHL point an assist against the Devils. He was the only player who was plus one or better on the night (plus two) and he won eight of his 10 draws.