Louise is always telling me that viewing the Edmonton Oilers’ prospects without knowing their “mental makeup” is a fool’s folly. Louise (Ice Dragoon) is a smart cookie, not to be trifled with and I do pay attention to that side of the game because there is a lot to be learned by fans in this area.
For instance, fall 2000 any fool could tell that Shawn Horcoff would be a better MacT player than Mike Comrie just based on elements of the game without the puck. Comrie was either cherry picking or picking his nose, Horcoff was in the right place at the right time often enough to know he had a clue.
Most fans had Brodziak as a guy who was mid-level talent who would have to get a few breaks to have a career. Fair? In December, I had him #14 on my list (to the right) and #15 in the summer, both times calling him “the new Rem Murray.” I think that’s fair. Guy Flaming had him #13 in March of this year and wrote “The most obvious improvement in Brodziak’s abilities from last year is in his skating. Not unlike Jarret Stoll before him, Brodziak has never been regarded as a good skater but no longer does he stand out for being slow. If he can continue to improve at the pace he has this year, who knows where he could end up on the Oilers’ depth chart.”
Brodziak looked like a different player in camp this season, stronger on the puck, bigger and better wheels. I saw him at the JMC: Kyle Brodziak: The most impressive of the group I call the minor leaguers. I don’t think he’ll be one opening night. Played the off wing today and didn’t skip a beat, in fact it seemed to help him offensively with a better shooting angle. Physical all day, his goal combined hustle, speed and skill in equal parts. 1 goal.
It didn’t take any great insight to say that he would make the team, I believe MacT had already said as much. Also, “saw him good” is a bad way to predict the outcome of these things. Still, with Pisani having his devastating injury someone had to step in and Brodziak made himself the most attractive option.
It’s one thing to make the team, another to arrive at camp and shoot the moon. On top of that he’s started the season with 3 points in 2 games to lead the team in scoring. Oh, he’s also +3.
Good for Kyle Brodziak, he’s earned it.