Bisaillon, The Blue Horizon

Sebastien Bisaillon was ranked by Central Scouting as the #122 North American skater for 2005. He was just ahead of Mason Raymond and Cody Wild.

Major League Baseball drafts used to take place by conference call. Teams would have stacks of recipe cards with names on them and just zip through the list until all 12,000 players were selected. I’m sure computers have changed all of that by now but I’ve always felt that some of the most interesting tracking information in the game was on those recipe cards.

I would like to know what the gap was between Raymond, Wild and Bisaillon on draft day 2005, because the NHL teams embraced one and passed over the other two.

Here, let’s write it down and compare:

  • CSB 2005: #122-Bisaillon, #123-Raymond, #134 Wild.
  • 2005 Draft: #51-Raymond, undrafted Bisaillon and Wild.

Edmonton drafted Wild 140th overall the following season and invited Bisaillon to training camp a couple of months later (September 2006).

Since arriving in pro hockey Bisaillon has turned some heads. He can move the puck, has a big time shot and decent size. Bisaillon is also right handed which gives him a slight advantage on the depth chart. He does have coverage issues (experience is a factor, obviously) and he’s coming off a dreadful injury that ended his season very early this past year.

Bisaillon is likely to spend most of the season in the AHL, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him jump ahead of both Wild and Chorney on the organizational depth chart by season’s end. Bisaillon has no draft pedigree but that hasn’t mattered to the 2005 draft class in some time.

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12 Responses to "Bisaillon, The Blue Horizon"

  1. DMFB says:

    I remember seeing Bisaillon at the Rookies/Bears’ game, and I thought he was the most impressive defender besides Gilbert (who was admittedly a rather large step ahead of everyone). I hope the injury doesn’t set him back too much, if only because I have a soft spot in my heart for offence-minded, French-Canadian walk-on defencemen.

  2. Scott says:

    It should be noted that Lowe also wanted Raymond, just not at the expense of Chorney.

    Lowe had nice things to say about Raymond when Vancouver picked him up and said that he was the next target if he would have slipped to us.

    I only noticed at the time because Raymond played minor hockey in Airdrie, where I am from.

  3. jon k says:

    Well I remember seeing Bisaillon in pre-season and the Rookies/Bear games and he was slower than Cory Cross and had half the wits.

    I’d be very surprised if he’s ever an effective defender at the NHL level.

  4. Hemsky_83 says:

    LT do you think it’s probable that he starts the year in ECHL till he’s back up near his old form?

  5. rananda says:

    tho forwards and defensemen are like red delicious and mandarin at that age, what raymond has accomplished at the nhl thus far certainly justifies the divergence in drafting position.

  6. Asiaoil says:

    I don’t know – I’m not getting all wound up about our supposed defensive depth. Chorney seems to be good at a lot of things but not outstanding at anything – looks like 2nd pair upside to me. Peckham is probably a 3rd pair ruffian. Other than those two – the rest are cup of coffee guys at best or AHL lifers at worst. Plante had a very unfortunate year and Petry was a nice NCAA rookie – so they are years away from actually helping an NHL team in any significant way. As for Bisaillon – well he wasn’t drafted for a reason or three – perhaps MAB-lite at best.

  7. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I like Asia’s take… I’m as guilty as the next fan for falling in love with our prospects, but really, outside of maybe Petry, none of our D prospects are on anyone’s top NHL prospect list. So if Bisaillon is somewhere around 7th or 8th on the Oilers’ D prospect list – you have to think it would be an absolute miracle for him to start a single NHL game.

    Put another way, if Bisaillon can beat out all of Petry, Chorney, Motin, Wild, Peckham, Hrabal, and Young, for a roster spot, because he has more talent – this team is in deep trouble.

  8. ClaytonMagnet says:

    …and, yes, I know he’s already started 2 games for the Oilers, but we all know why.

  9. Bank Shot says:

    If Bisaillon passes Chorney on the depth chart I’ll eat a roll of quarters.

    Here’s some past WCHA first team all-stars, and how long it took them to get to the show.

    01-02-Leopold-NHL Debut-02-03
    05-06-Thomas Gilbert-06-07

    I like the odds of this Chorney kid making it happen for himself.

    Bisaillon had a good start to his pro career, but so did McDonald. If Bisaillon didn’t get injured right off the hop, would we be talking about him the same way now? He hasn’t proven much of anything outside of a 20 game spurt.

  10. Ducey says:

    I seems that the NHL has often had trouble judging defencemen. Here is a real short list I compiled after about 5 minutes of seaching:

    Aucoin – 5th round
    Boyle – undrafted and then traded for a 5th rounder 4 years later
    Bieksa- 5th round
    Campbell – 6th round
    Finger- 11th round (he must be good – Uncle Cliffy says so)
    Staios – drafted pretty high but put on waivers and also exposed to the expansion draft

    All of these guys beat out a lot of first round busts that were 6’4″ 225lbs. Is Basaillon one of these under the radar guys? Who knows? At 21 its a little early to write him off.

    I would bet that in the “New NHL” he would have been drafted for sure and maybe fairly highly.

    What seems evident is that someone in the Oilers procurement department was ahead of the curve in acquiring smaller puck moving D.

  11. spOILer says:

    He’s added 15 lbs. to his frame in the past couple of years… time will tell if his skating can catch up (and if his stride has recovered from 2007’s slice and dice). He’s certainly bigger now than quite a few NHL Dmen.

    He has a very good goal-scoring history as a defenseman, never a bad thing. At the same time he has no history of being bad defensively at any level he’s played.

    His 20 games in the A can’t really be considered a spurt since they’re the only 20 games he played. We don’t know what the rest of his season would have been like, so we can’t know if those 20 games were par, birdie or bogey golf.

    His injury recovery was remarkable and may show strong focus and determination. I liked his poise too during the emergency call up.

    This will be an interesting season to watch Bisaillon. I agree with LT in that he has the potential to pass Chorney, although I think it unlikely with the lost year of development.

    If he can prove he can skate, I think at worst he’s a future tradeable asset that we originally obtained for nothing. If he can’t skate, then we didn’t lose a heckuva lot.

    I look forward to the mid-season report.

  12. Schitzo says:

    What is his size like? HockeyDB has 6’0″ and 185, but I’m not sure how current that is.

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