With all the first rounders lined up (2003-2007 editions), it’s a guy taken 4,958th overall who kicks out the jams. WHY do we even pay attention to the first round?
I kid. Sam Gagner delivered like a first rounder should, and there seemed to be some good signs for the other two 1st rounders ’03-’07 who play forward on this team. Below is the list of selected Oilers first round picks in tonight’s game, their minutes (this may be wonky, nhl.com may have been drinking tonight) and how Brodziak compared to them on the night.
- Kyle Brodziak: Selected 214th overall in 2003. 2 goals, 1 assist, +2. 18 shifts, 16:33 TOI, 1:59PP, 2:31PK. He was splendid based on the play-by-play and the results. Listening to Rod from the first shift of the night through the last it was clear that Brodziak was not only on a mission but had prepared for the opportunity. THIS is how players win NHL jobs.
- Marc Pouliot: Selected 22nd overall in 2003. 0 goals, 0 assists, -1. 14 shifts, 13:50 TOI, 2:14PP, 1:45PK. He had a couple of chances and his line seemed to force the issue later in the third period, but the offense didn’t come for him tonight. With Reasoner injured and unable to take the final two faceoffs of the game, Pouliot did so and had a positive outcome both times.
- Rob Schremp: Selected 25th overall in 2004. 0 goals, 0 assists, -1. 12 shifts, 11:12 TOI, 2:29PP, 0:00PK. Had a nice chance late but it sounded like he’s still a step or two behind this training camp. Schremp got passed over with the penalty brigade and didn’t seem to get it back until midway through the third period when he had what Morley described as the best chance for his line on the night.
- Sam Gagner: Selected 6th overall in 2007. 1 goal, 0 assists, +1. 21 shifts, 17:33 TOI, 4:55PP, 0:39PK. Popped a goal and had several chances again tonight. I know they’re showcasing the kid and giving him every opportunity, but he’s also delivering results. Each time he does it, we say “well let’s wait until he does it against better competition.” Tonight’s result came in a game against an NHL team with NHL goaltending. At what point do we begin to take him seriously?
All of them got plenty of icetime. Can all four make this team? What about Cogliano?