Twenty-three rookies are working to make the Edmonton Oilers' roster ahead of the 2019-20 season, including a unique 23-year-old.

Vincent Desharnais is a 6'6" defenceman from Montreal with a college degree.

"Big guy, Frenchie, like no one really knew me, kind of funny looking guy on the ice," Desharnais said.

Desharnais went to school in Providence, a university near Boston, where he closely watched another tall defenceman.

"I watched so many games because of Chara. I love his style," Desharnais said. "Parayko is St. Louis. In my opinion, he's one of the best defencemen. He's so good, he's so mobile."

Desharnais has a degree in business management, but his goal is to make it in the NHL.

"I don’t want to brag about it, but I'm pretty decent in school.

"Right now I'm focused on today … I just want to prove to everyone that I can play hockey."

The rookies will get to make their case against the Calgary Flames in Red Deer on Saturday.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Dave Mitchell