NO. 19 PROSPECT (winter 2016) TYLER VESEL

To say that Tyler Vesel is coming from a long way back is a major understatement. Chosen in the sixth round of a very weak draft year, Vesel was coming off a strong season for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. He dominated the junior league at 19, and then moved on to college (Nebraska-Omaha). His freshman and sophomore years had some good moments, but this season, his junior year, Vesel has blossomed. The Edmonton Oilers may have something here.

PREVIOUSLY NO. 19 ON THE WINTER LIST

  • December 2006: G Glenn Fisher (0) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2007: D Sebastian Bisaillon (2) (Signing. GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2008: L Phil Cornet (2) (GM: Kevin Lowe)
  • December 2009: G Olivier Roy (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2010: D Jeremie Blain (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2011: D Kyle Bigos (0) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2012: L Curtis Hamilton (1) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2013: D Erik Gustafsson (41) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2014: L Curtis Hamilton (1) (GM: Steve Tambellini)
  • December 2015: R Greg Chase (0) (GM: Craig MacTavish)

This is a perfect list for No. 19 prospects. Gustafsson wasn’t signed by Edmonton but did have a strong half season with the Chicago Blackhawks. A couple of these names still have a chance, but most of them are either playing in Europe (Curtis Hamilton is having a nice season) or in the minors in North America. Greg Chase is the only signed Oiler, although Vesel may get a contract in the coming months.

vesel-capture-3

WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY

  • Stu MacGregor: “He’s a scorer. He had a tremendous year and he’ll be going to Nebraska-Omaha where Dean Blais is a competitive coach who develops players.”
  • Lowetide: C Tyler Vesel, Omaha USHL. 49GP, 33-38-71. NHLE: 82gp, 15-17-32. I don’t really know where to put him, he’s 20 and playing in a league that’s not quite the WHL. However, he’s been a goal scorer all down the line. Source
  • Hockey’s Future: Despite being slightly undersized he is willing to compete in tight spaces and should continue to develop during his college career. A product of the Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school program in Minnesota, he has been well-schooled in training and putting in the hours necessary to succeed in hockey. His biggest challenge will be adapting to the speed and strength of players as he moves up in levels. Source
  • Over the Boards: It’s really, really tough to find a part of Vesel’s game not to like. He’s not absolutely outstanding in any thing, but he can score (leads the prep team), he competes well in his own zone, and he has a good stick. His speed isn’t top-end, but he’s far from slow, and if he can fill out his 5’11 frame any more and adds some grit to his game, he’ll be an even hotter prospect. Source
  • Tyler Vesel on getting drafted: “We kind of had an idea that I would (get picked). We just didn’t know who and when. It was pretty exciting to see my name go across the screen. I had to go for a run afterward to calm myself down.” Source

vesel-stats

College numbers are very difficult to suss out—a lot of this is connected to playing time, and I honestly cannot tell you much about NCHC (the league Omaha plays in). I did find a similar progress—Nic Dowd was drafted by Los Angeles Kings in 2009, had a slow developing college career and hit the ground running on arrival in the AHL. This is a difficult player to project, but this season has been impressive.

PREVIOUSLY ON THE TOP 20

  • Summer 2014: No. 19
  • Winter 2014: No. 28
  • Summer 2015: No. 31
  • Winter 2015: No. 28
  • Summer 2016: No. 37
  • Winter 2016: No. 19

Vesel comes from the weak 2014 draft, and his lack of spiking boxcars (and our lack of vital information like time on ice), so it has been easy to place him at the back of the line. This past summer, I ranked him close to the end of the line (No. 41), but that appears to have been most unfair.

2016-17

  • Rick Carriere, Oilers Sr. Director of Player Development: “I remember going to watch him in February. I went and talked to the (Nebraska-Omaha) trainer and asked him how Tyler is going. He said, ‘you wouldn’t believe how many shots he blocks.’ That’s the first thing he told me. (Vesel) loves blocking shots. He’s a shot blocker. We always talk about wanting guys to lay it on the line and sacrifice. There’s no hesitation for him.” Source
  • Tyler Vesel: “I would say I’m more physical. I’ve got a tougher game. I play a bit more heavy than I used to. My coach just nags on playing hard and playing physical. I’ve grown in that area.” Source

vesel-capture1

THE FUTURE

Vesel is an undersized center whose skill set probably fits a checking role at the pro level. There is so much we can’t know about him and that means we are really making a guess here. If my son were playing NCAA hockey, one of the things I would really push for is TOI totals, because that could benefit his pro chances. As it is, we are left to guess that his ice time has increased markedly and he is scoring at previous levels (with extra minutes accounting for the spike). His NHLE (37 points) is the big reason for his ranking, but he does have some secondary skills that might come in handy. It is an open question about his signability this coming spring, but the Oilers do have a need for righties in the pro system.

THE 2014 DRAFT

  • Leon Draisaitl No. 3 overall. He was a top prospect from draft day until he graduated, and is inside the top 20 scorers in the NHL. Graduated.
  • William Lagesson No. 91 overall. He is mobile and can defend, plus there is no doubt the edge he displays fits the McLellan/Chiarelli template. No. 16 prospect, Winter 2016.
  • Zach Nagelvoort No. 111 overall. He is the return on the Mike Brown trade. Currently boasts a .927 save percentage. A candidate for the Winter top 20.
  • Liam Coughlin No. 130 overall. Traded for Anders Nilsson in 2015, he belongs to the Chicago organization.
  • Tyler Vesel No. 153 overall. One of the more pleasant surprises this season, he is spiking offensively in his junior NCAA season.  No. 19 prospect, Winter 2016.
  • Keven Bouchard No. 183 overall. One of the truly curious draft picks in recent years. No longer in the organization.

ROLLING TOP 20

rolling-top-20

  • I categorize Vesel in the two-way slot with Jujhar Khaira and Aapeli Rasanen (among centers), Edmonton can use this player type in Bakersfield this season.
  • Vesel, drafted in 2014, is actually older than Khaira, drafted in 2012. His progress this season looks like a big step forward, important to remember the opportunity of playing time is the reason for this increased offense.
  • Vesel has the top NHLE this season, 37 points. Drake Caggiula’s NHLE last season was 44 points.
  • We are basically through the list, and Khaira is the only Condors forward ranked. All of Kyle Platzer, Mitch Moroz, Patrick Russell, Greg Chase, Jere Sallinen and Braden Christoffer have fewer than five points, 20 games into the season. I understand the importance of having men like Ryan Hamilton on the roster to make things competitive, but the TOI issue in Bakersfield really does impact the roster forwards each season.
  • Anton Slepyshev was sent down today, with Taylor Beck getting his second recall of the season.

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31 Responses to "NO. 19 PROSPECT (winter 2016) TYLER VESEL"

  1. JDï™ says:

    2014-15 U. of Nebraska-Omaha NCHC 39 8 15 23

    2015-16 U. of Nebraska-Omaha NCHC 35 6 12 18

    2016-17 U. of Nebraska-Omaha NCHC 18 7 13 20

    Really looks to be having a good season alright.

  2. stush18 says:

    I know it’s a small video and snapshot, but that goal he scored is an example of really quick hands.

    One more year left?

    Also. Blocks a ton of shots?! Might as well rank him 40 again, we know his possession numbers must be awful. No use for him.

    The game is about numbers now. Somebody should have told vesel that. Although maybe that’s why he went the college route. Bulk up his numbers game.

  3. theres oil in virginia says:

    stush18:
    I know it’s a small video and snapshot, but that goal he scored is an example of really quick hands.

    One more year left?

    Also. Blocks a ton of shots?! Might as well rank him 40 again, we know his possession numbers must be awful. No use for him.

    The game is about numbers now. Somebody should have told vesel that. Although maybe that’s why he went the college route. Bulk up his numbers game.

    1) This post has been scanned by one of my sarcasm detectors and no sarcasm was detected.

    2) One of my sarcasm detectors is defective.

  4. --hudson-- says:

    The Sharks drafted Kevin Labanc 18 picks after the Oilers took Vesel.
    – Vesel is 20 months older
    – Both are 5’11” and about 180lbs
    – Labanc scored 9 points in 26 games in the USHL in his 16 year old season. Vesel scored 71 in 49 in his 19 year old season. (Hard to compare since different ages in the same league)
    – Since then Labanc went to the OHL while Vesel went to college.
    – Last year Labanc won the OHL scoring championship with 127 points in 65 games.
    – This year Labanc has 13 points in 8 AHL games. 6 points in 17 NHL games playing 4th line.

    The Sharks have found another useful player deep in the draft. Looks like he is emerging as an NHL player. Also Vesel certainly looks like he could be something.

  5. Confused says:

    Anyone actually seen Beck play this year?

  6. stush18 says:

    Also I thought he was centre? How is he blocking a bunch of shots then?

  7. Centre of attention says:

    stush18:
    Also I thought he was centre? How is he blocking a bunch of shots then?

    Penalty kill.

    He plays both special teams for his NCAA team.

    Confused:
    Anyone actually seen Beck play this year?

    He’s great when he takes it to the net. He dominates at the AHL level. But then again so did Rob Klinkhammer.

    Beck reminds me a bit of Pitlick.

  8. JDï™ says:

    After many games of letting Yakupov stew, he’s getting his chance tonight it seems:

    Jeremy Rutherford Verified account
    ‏@jprutherford

    #stlblues lines vs. #njdevils
    Schwartz-Stastny-Yakupov
    Fabbri-Lehtera-Tarasenko
    Steen-Berglund-Perron
    Upshall-Brodziak-Reaves

  9. Centre of attention says:

    The Coyotes are really really bad and the Oilers should be embarrassed they only got 1 of a possible 4 points from them so far.

    Absolutely embarrassing that the Coyotes can just steal the Oilers lunch money seemingly at will.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Centre of attention:
    The Coyotes are really really bad and the Oilers should be embarrassed they only got 1 of a possible 4 points from them so far.

    Absolutely embarrassing that the Coyotes can just steal the Oilers lunch money seemingly at will.

    I was at the game here at Rogers Place, and for me they didn’t play badly at all. Puck goes in off Russell early, they fought all night to get back, did, and then a defensive mistake late cost them. It was a frustrating game, but Mike Smith stole it imo.

  11. JDï™ says:

    Centre of attention:
    The Coyotes are really really bad and the Oilers should be embarrassed they only got 1 of a possible 4 points from them so far.

    Absolutely embarrassing that the Coyotes can just steal the Oilers lunch money seemingly at will.

    Losing Domi was a big blow to the Yotes.

  12. Centre of attention says:

    Lowetide: I was at the game here at Rogers Place, and for me they didn’t play badly at all. Puck goes in off Russell early, they fought all night to get back, did, and then a defensive mistake late cost them. It was a frustrating game, but Mike Smith stole it imo.

    Yeah I know it was a decent effort by the Oilers but how many decent efforts do you need before you just beat the 30th place team?

    Its gotta be some kind of curse. It can’t just be a coincidence that no matter how good or bad either team is the Coyotes beat the Oilers.

    If they lose the next game against them I’ll be at a loss for words. “well played game” or not they need those points.

  13. Centre of attention says:

    Watching the Leafs lose to the Coyotes makes me feel better guys.

  14. Centre of attention says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/15/swedish-towns-told-make-preparations-regarding-threat-war-conflict/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

    Estonia, Sweden, and Finland are telling their citizens to prepare for war. Russia staging mock invasions of Baltic states.

    Something something human nature to slaughter each other? Why can’t we just all get along?

    *edit* what happens if Klefbom / Larsson get drafted? Like does the NHL have a contingency plan for major international conflicts? Morbid question I know but I’m curious.

  15. Dicky94 says:

    JDï™,

    Showcasing?

  16. JDï™ says:

    Dicky94:
    JDï™,

    Showcasing?

    Not sure that ‘showcasing’ is something you do with a reclamation project like Yak. More like, ‘trying to find the value’ in him.

    From what I’ve seen so far, I haven’t seen much from him to be impressed with, but he just got a lucky goal, and maybe that will help.

  17. StixMalone says:

    Beck shoots right no?…..

  18. JDï™ says:

    Who would have thought that in the showdown between Hall/Gadzooks and Yak/Perron/Hunt, that Yak/Hunt would be leading the charge 2 – 0 in points?

  19. JDï™ says:

    StixMalone:
    Beck shoots right no?…..

    Yes, he doesn’t shoot left.

  20. Lowetide says:

    StixMalone:
    Beck shoots right no?…..

    Everywhere but WGs phone.

  21. flyfish1168 says:

    Centre of attention:
    The Coyotes are really really bad and the Oilers should be embarrassed they only got 1 of a possible 4 points from them so far.

    Absolutely embarrassing that the Coyotes can just steal the Oilers lunch money seemingly at will.

    I watched both games and felt that TMac and the Oilers didn’t learn a thing. Smith was able to corral the shoot ins and pass it out of danger. Sad part was we didn’t adjust from the 1st game. I wonder if TMac will have a better game plan this time.

  22. flyfish1168 says:

    Wild is playing some good hockey

  23. wheatnoil says:

    I wrote about Vesel (among the other NCAA prospects) this last summer (link: http://www.theoilersrig.com/2016/09/oiler-ncaa-prospects-competition-part-2/).

    His estimated TOI last year was 15.5 minutes a night but he was likely playing against top competition with second tier teammates at times. A righty C with PK skills and some offense should be worth a contract. At 23 next year, he’s old enough to potentially be effective in the AHL and there’s not a lot of other forwards coming up the pipe that would be newly signed next year.

  24. B.C.B says:

    LT,

    I am a little more worried about the Oilers’ centre depth than you are. Both Caggiula and Khaira are left handed and I see them more at left-wing than centre. Adding to it that the Oilers have RNH, the German, and McDavid, all of which are left handed centres- I see the Oilers’ real need to be a right handed centre that can play the the top 9. I don’t see any prospect in the Oilers’ system that could be projected as a top 9 RHC: do you think Vesel or Rasanen can be that player?

  25. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: Everywhere but WGs phone.

    I listened to the show today so comment is gold.

    I’m thinking Woodguy spends so much time looking at spreadsheets and data that he does not watch the games.

    How can a guy who studies hockey as much as him not know Guerin shot left 🙂

  26. Lowetide says:

    B.C.B:
    LT,

    I am a little more worried about the Oilers’ centre depth than you are.Both Caggiula and Khaira are left handed and I see them more at left-wing than centre.Adding to it that the Oilers have RNH, the German, and McDavid, all of which are left handed centres- I see the Oilers’ real need to be a right handed centre that can play the the top 9.I don’t see any prospect in the Oilers’ system that could be projected as a top 9 RHC: do you think Vesel or Rasanen can be that player?

    Too soon to know. I will say (and will write about this in tomorrow morning’s blog) that Vesel, Rasanen and most of the top 20 are too soon to know. JP is going to have a long career, pretty sure. Matt Benning looks even better now than when I wrote about him, Caggiula looks good although your point about W is well taken.

  27. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:

    How can a guy who studies hockey as much as him not know Guerin shot left 🙂

    Haha!

  28. raventalon40 says:

    Lowetide: I was at the game here at Rogers Place, and for me they didn’t play badly at all. Puck goes in off Russell early, they fought all night to get back, did, and then a defensive mistake late cost them. It was a frustrating game, but Mike Smith stole it imo.

    I was also at that game. I recall they hit a crossbar and a post in the first period. Game could have easily been out of reach if the puck bounces had been the other way.

  29. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but if he doesn’t dig and leave College early does he not go UFA? Seems like he’s a candidate for a reverse Schultzing.

  30. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    Correct me if I’m wrong but if he doesn’t dig and leave College early does he not go UFA?Seems like he’s a candidate for a reverse Schultzing.

    Dig = sign.

    Autocorrect making me sound like a hipster.

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