Oilers sign Paukovich

The Oilers signed one of their coke machines today. This time it’s Geoff Paukovich, who was eligible for one more college season but has decided to begin his pro hockey career.

According to the USCHO site DU head coach George Gwozdecky said “Geoff was a valuable two-way center for us and played a key role in our championship run in 2005. He is ready to take his game to the professional level and we wish him continued success.”

USCHO has him at 6-4, 220, tsn has him 6-4, 208. International Scouting Services had him 6-4, 207 in their 2004 Draft Annual, so we should probably go with the USCHO number. ISS rated him #126 in 2004, a draft that saw Edmonton select Devan Dubnyk, Rob Schremp and Roman Tesliuk before him.

Paukovich was a “reach” pick by the Oilers, one of several taken between 2000-2004 before the Oilers began drafting undersized players instead of coke machines. He had a nice freshman season in college (41gp, 12-10-22) but those remain his offensive high water marks through three college seasons.

Here’s hoping Paukovich turns out to be a player, but I think (as with pretty much all the college coke machines in the Prendergast era) if we use Dan Lacouture as the outer marker we’ll have a nice comp down the line (Lacouture is a nice comp for Winchester so far). If they work hard these guys might have careers as 4th line pluggers but have not built a resume that screams “top 6 NHL forward.”

Paukovich isn’t on Guy Flaming’s HF Top 20 list but Flaming writes “Oiler scout Brad Davis compares Paukovich to Joel Otto, a big centre who has offensive abilities but is best suited as a two-way checking center. Paukovich has a noteworthy mean streak in him as well as the size to back it up.” Otto scored well in college (Bemidji State U of College Hockey America, NCAA) but I don’t know what level CHA is compared to the level Paukovich played in.

Paukovich is still pretty young (21) for a college prospect and may have another gear. Still, until he rips up the AHL I think using Dan Lacouture as a comp is a pretty safe bet.

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4 Responses to "Oilers sign Paukovich"

  1. James Mirtle says:

    What’s the word on Tesliuk anyway? I liked what I saw from him in his rookie season in Kamloops.

    Dubnyk’s a nice, hard-working kid, too. He’ll have a pro career, although it’s hard to say if he can justify where he was picked.

    Paukovich? He’s going to have be ready to scrap in the AHL for a few years. There’s a funny bit on him being afraid to fly here.

    It’s tough to come in as a grinder out of the NCAA, mainly because they’re nowhere near as practiced at dropping the gloves as the prairie boys scrapping in the ‘dub.

  2. Dennis says:

    Paukovich has to be really off the map if even a guy like Guy isn’t spilling for him.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    Tesliuk is long gone. I’m pretty sure it was something like two years ago that the Oilers let him go and he was in the Chicago Blackhawks system briefly; I believe he’s been let go from there as well.

  4. Chris says:

    Bemidji State was actually in the NAIA/NCAA Division II when Otto was there. They didn’t move to Division I hockey until the turn of the century.

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