#14 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TYLER BUNZ

I’ve been avoiding discussing the goaltenders for about one week now, but with none down and three to go its time to start climbing Everest. The two goalies we’ve been following for a couple of years have been very poor this season, and the two guys we never discuss are playing well. Did I mention goalies are impossible to figure out?

The storyline going into the season had Bunz as a feature player. His .921SP last year was the 2nd best total in the entire WHL and his 2.57 GAA was good for 5th in the junior league. Bunz was a 5th rd pick in 2010, a watershed draft weekend for the Oildrop. From my point of view, this was a pretty low hurdle season for Bunz, simply be “in the range” with past rookie pro goalies at the ECHL level.

Summer 2012: #9

Winter 2012: #14


  • Mike Remmerde, Redline Report: Strengths: Good overall quickness. Decent size. Good footwork. Weaknesses: Can get a little scrambly at times. Tends to go down too early. Might not have #1 upside. Has looked very good every time I’ve seen him the last two seasons, but the numbers never quite seemed to match the talent. But the numbers started to come around late this season and during the playoffs. Looks to me like he bulked up quite a bit this season, and I wonder if that’s hurt his quickness a bit. Seemed much quicker last season, but still has pretty quick legs and gets around the crease smoothly. There’s a good mix of technicals and raw athleticism here, and I don’t see any real serious flaws. Summary: I like this guy much better than Kent Simpson, but I probably still wouldn’t spend anything more than a 4th on him. I think the consensus opinion has him a bit underrated.
  • Suu MacGregor post draft: “17-year old goalie who carried the mail in Medicine Hat all year. Willie Desjardins said he was one of the big reasons they were able to defeat Kootenay in the first round. He’s got some battle in his game, he needs to smooth things out a little in his technique.”

A funny thing happened on the way to crowning Tyler Bunz as the next Oiler goaltender. He ran into:

I’ve lifted this chart from Bruce McCurdy’s article on Bunz because it is perfect. Outlines exactly how each goaltender performed during their junior career and gives a slight edge to Bunz over Roy. Nothing massive, but it’s there at 18 and 19:



But, when Bunz arrived in pro hockey, it did not go well. Remember that item about keeping his numbers “in the range” with past rookie pro’s?

  • Jeff Deslauriers 11, .940 (04-05)
  • Olivier Roy 40, .925 (11-12)
  • Devan Dubnyk 43, .921 (06-07)
  • Andrew Perugini 37, .908 (08-09)
  • Glenn Fisher 38, .903 (07-08)
  • Bryan Pitton 34, .886 (08-09)
  • Tyler Bunz 14, .883 (12-13)

#14 ranked prospects on December lists:

  • December 2004: R Zack Stortini
  • December 2005: D Taylor Chorney
  • December 2006: C Kyle Brodziak
  • December 2007: D Cody Wild
  • December 2008: L Bryan Lerg
  • December 2009: R Ryan Stone
  • December 2010: C Chris VandeVelde
  • December 2011: D Jeremie Blain
  • December 2012: G Olivier Roy

Tyler Bunz earned his slot as the #1 goalkeeper in the system over a two year period, and he keeps it despite some truly subpar goaltending in Northern California. He keeps it because Olivier Roy is also struggling and because we haven’t seen enough of Bunz at the pro level to suggest the current numbers reflect his quality of play. However, its also true that Roy was splendid in the ECHL just one year ago, and we can’t ignore that either.

Simply put: this isn’t over, and unlike DD vs. JDD, this contest between Bunz and Roy may not matter when all is said and done.

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16 Responses to "#14 PROSPECT (winter 2012): TYLER BUNZ"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    Could there be an effective of more talent than usual in the ECHL because of the lockout? That wouldn’t explain JDD’s excellent numbers, though. If the NHL lockout ends today, does he still get the call to be a dual tandem with Roy in OKC?

  2. regwald says:


    Can you explain further ?

    “this contest between Bunz and Roy may not matter when all is said and done.”

    Why do you say that ? You think Dubnyk will rule the day and that the Oilers will just have room for a back up ? Or do you think the Oilers will make a trade for a goaltender and this new goalie and Dubnyk will prevent Roy and Bunz from making the show ?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Regwald: Point being, its possible both of these guys falter before making the NHL. Probable, based on history. Now I think Bunz and Roy have some nice things, and of course as a fan you always cheer for them, but the Oilers could just as easily go out and re-sign Khabibulin for a couple more years and Dubnyk could emerge as a 6 or 7 year starter.

    The NHL is not promised to either goalie, and their performances this season–in a narrow window–are not encouraging.

  4. regwald says:


    Ok, that makes sense.

    My personal view is that Roy doesn’t cut it as he has more of an unorthodox style. I worry when jr. goalies falter on the WJ stage. He however had a nice first year pro.

    Watching a bit of Bunz, I see him as a stronger alternative, but he seems to have fallen into a sink hole in the ECHL this season.

    So, point well made on both prospects. thanks for the clarification.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m hoping Bunz is having some kind of Danis-like early season hiccup that will be shortly resolved.

    It would be nice to grow one of our own for a change. Dub and Bunz would make two successes at G… it’s been what… not since Moog?

  6. PunjabiOil says:

    Those are some terrible numbers, after putting together two quality seasons in the WHL.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  7. jake70 says:

    I wonder generally if young goalies nowadays are overcoached to some degree. An erosion of their instinct to STOP THE PUCK comming at them. It’s like, well yeah I got scored on but boy my positioning/ fundamentals throughout the sequence leading up to the goal was spot on. I read a blog somewhere where the writer called goalies “shot blockers” and not puck stoppers. In baseball…..SEE BALL – HIT BALL.

  8. Bar_Qu says:

    Speaking from a strictly outsider perspective on goalies – man its mental. You cannot use past performance to predict future ability, you cannot use any real substantive quantification to determine career progression and a goalie may win the Vezina one year and be gone from the game the next. No wonder a team like Philly goes insane whenever they are looking to acquire a goalie.

    We may all look back on this post in 5 yrs and chuckle at our naiviety around Bunz and Roy, much like we do (and will) over JDD vs DD.

    I wonder if the trick with goalies isn’t just to focus on drafting and developing but also to pro-scout other teams and pro-leagues to try and find that one diamond in the rough. And never, ever sign a goalie to more than a two-year contract.

  9. Professor Q says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m much too young, but Ranford and Fuhr? Man does mobile suck…

  10. Professor Q says:

    MacGregor must have taken the day off and let his wife Suu comment on Bunz!

    Just playing Lowetide 😉

  11. dessert1111 says:

    I believe the Oilers also developed Jussi Markkanen, the guy who almost stole them the Stanley in ’06. Others might not consider him a success but I would say he is.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Professor Q:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m much too young, but Ranford and Fuhr? Man does mobile suck…

    Ranford came over from Boston for Moog in 88. I forgot about Fuhr (him being an Oiler draftee that is)…

    Somehow we managed to get Moog and Fuhr in the draft back-to-back years in 80 and 81… amazing luck!

    Am I missing anyone else… or is Dubs the first major G the Oil have drafted since 81?

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I believe the Oilers also developed Jussi Markkanen, the guy who almost stole them the Stanley in ’06. Others might not consider him a success but I would say he is.

    good call… 102 games as an oiler, drafted 2001 (133 overall)… probably counts for an honorable mention or better.

  14. Max Powers says:

    Conklin? If you go by games played, I’d say he is a success too. Want drafted by the oil though, just signed as a free agent.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Max Powers:
    Conklin? If you go by games played, I’d say he is a success too.Want drafted by the oil though, just signed as a free agent.

    I hadn’t thought of him as I was only thinking in terms of draftees…

    but if you take the marginally more expansive definition of “developed by” (which would include non-drafted signees who come up from jr or college to pro as an “oiler”), he’d have to be included to some degree…

    Of course, we only got limited use out of him at the nhl level (only 60 games). he’s had more success post-Oil

  16. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Markkanen was 26 when drafted so it’s a bit of a stretch to say he was “developed” by the Oilers. You could make a much better case for Ranford, acquired by trade at 21.

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