Reddox and VandeVelde are interesting mid-round picks who may possibly work out if everything breaks right and they work hard.
Taylor Chorney is a different kettle of fish. He was taken in a deep draft (2005, the Cogliano draft) and in front of some guys who I liked a lot (specifically Kris Russell and that Latendresse kid) but I think the Oilers procurement department under Prendergast have been above average so was willing to give the benefit of the doubt. The fact that Paul Stastny went 8 picks after Chorney hurts a little but that’s life.
Taylor Chorney is Marc Chorney’s son and by draft pedigree appears to be a much better hockey player (Dad played just over 200 NHL games). The best info I’ve ever seen on Chorney (and lots of other Oiler prospects) came from Geoff Ward in the fall of 2005 (just a few months after he’d left Shattuck St Mary’s for UND): “This is a guy that every game I have seen him in he has gotten better,” began Ward. “As a freshman playing against 22 and 23-year-old guys it can be intimidating, but he’s done a good job. He’s steady in all areas and that’s what sticks out to me the most. He’s a strong passer, moves the puck well and the thing I really like is that after he moves the puck he follows it up the ice so he’s always in a position to be the fourth man. He’s a guy that has tremendous upside and as a freshman right now he does a lot of things very well. I think in three years we’re going to be extremely excited to see how far he’s come.” SOURCE: Guy Flaming HF article “Chorney Strong at North Dakota”, 11/11/05.
A Geoff Ward quote carries a little more weight for me than some others, so that was pretty encouraging. Since then, his offense has improved each season (his ppg at UND at 18: .418, at 19: .795 and this year at 20: 1.20) and Chorney has become a little bit famous due to international exposure and the success of North Dakota during his time there. He was on the USA 2006 and 2007 World Junior team, and captain of the ’07 edition. He helped Shattuck St Mary’s to a national midget title while he was there.
This season, Chorney has a chance to put up numbers good enough to compete across the entire NCAA. His current stats (5gp, 0-6-6) rank him second in the NCAA in assists and a tie for 24th overall in total points. He’s tied for 2nd in points among defenseman and leads all blueliners in assists.
Chorney also leads his team in points, which is probably the most impressive stat. On a club loaded with talents like TJ Oshie and Hobie Winner Ryan Duncan it isn’t likely to have sustain but it’s a positive note. You can follow UND Hockey all season on this excellent site.