Anton Lander knows the game on his side of the puck will probably determine where he starts the season.

The Edmonton Oilers centre is in contention for one of the roster spots available up the middle and has another chance to make a good impression Tuesday in Winnipeg.

Lander 22 will be between Jesse Joensuu and Tyler Pitlick on the Oilers third line when they face the Jets.

“There’s a great group of players throughout the organization so it’s really tough to win some spots and that’s how it should be” Lander said following practice Monday. “I know I’m battling for a spot right now and I have to take it day-by-day and focus on what I can do to make the team better. When I approach it that way I think I’ll have a better chance to make the team.”

Selected by the Oilers in the second round — 40th overall — in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft Lander is expected to eventually make the jump full-time to the NHL. Whether it’s out of training camp will depend on how he performs in the preseason.

“The biggest part of my game is to play well defensively I think everybody knows that and I put a lot of pride in that part of my game” Lander said. “Last year in the AHL I worked on my offence too to get some confidence back.

“I would love to be able to play a good two-way game but they have so many good offensive guys here I think in order for me to earn a job here I have to play good defence.”