Bryan Young Recalled

With Mathieu Roy giving new meaning to the phrase “injury prone”, the Edmonton Oilers have recalled defensive defender Bryan Young.

It’s his second tour of duty, as he was a member of the 06-07 edition of the Oilers defense. In both seasons his callup was not expected at the beginning of the year but was instead forced due to an unusual number of injured players farther up the depth chart.

Young is not a player whose stats reflect his play or value, so his AHL numbers (12gp, 0-1-1, and his -5 is the worst on the club) don’t really help explain the reasons behind his getting the call before prospects like Danny Syvret (10gp, 0-1-1, +4) or minor league veterans like Rick Berry or Allan Rourke.

Guy Flaming’s Oilers Top 20 doesn’t rank him among the 20 best players in the organization still considered prospects by Hockey’s Future (my June list is to the right of this post, I have him #20 and call him the “new Tom Reid” for the older guys who remember the North Star defender).

Young is young (21) and what we used to call a “stay-at-home” player. The fact that he got the call today probably means he is valued by the Oilers organization as a guy with a future in the role of steady, reliable and unspectacular NHL defender.

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18 Responses to "Bryan Young Recalled"

  1. Bruce says:

    I hope that Young brings something of a physical component. I’m hesitant to call the Oilers defence corps “soft”, but if RTSS hits are any measure, it doesn’t look good:

    Defenceman — GP – Hits – HPG
    ———————————–
    S. Staios ——- 14 – 11 — 0.8
    L. Smid ———- 5 — 9 — 1.8
    S. Souray ——– 6 — 9 — 1.5
    M. Greene —– 13 — 8 — 0.6
    T. Gilbert —— 14 — 6 — 0.4
    D. Tarnstrom — 11 — 4 — 0.4
    D. Grebeshkov — 9 — 3 — 0.3
    M. Roy ———– 4 — 2 — 0.5
    J. Pitkanen —— 8 — 1 — 0.1
    ———————————–
    Totals ———- 84 – 53 — 0.6
    Collective —— 14 – 53 — 3.8
    ———————————–

    D. Phaneuf, CGY – 14 – 55 — 3.9
    ============================

  2. Lord Bob says:

    I was really hoping to see the Hot Doorknob come up. Mind you, considering how attack-heavy our current defense is, Young might be a more logical choice because of the role he can fill.

  3. Rob... says:

    I had a feeling it was going to be Young. We needed a d-dman back there, not another offensive one. But honestly, does it really make a difference? Syvret, Berry, Young, we’re doomed either way.

  4. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Wow. Soft like Dustin’s belly.

  5. ryan says:

    unrelated to this post… but I had a dream that marleau was wearing the oils uni. what do you think this would take it a trade/act of god

  6. ryan says:

    that’s in a trade not it a trade

  7. Lowetide says:

    For Marleau, you’d have to give up someone like Horcoff and I’d rather have Horcoff.

  8. RiversQ says:

    Bruce, call me crazy but I’ve never seen the Oilers win a game 10 hits to 9 hits. Or 20 hits to 5 hits for that matter. Catch my drift?

    Even if the RTSS are remotely close to what actually happened in the game (they are not) that still begs the question of whether or not hitting is a significant contributor to winning hockey games. I honestly have no answer to that question and I don’t think anecdotes suffice.

    As for Dion Phaneuf, he’s been hitting the lights out for three years now and for two of them he wasn’t a good NHL dman. I don’t think he’s a better player this year because he finally softened the whole fucking league up with his hit parade.

  9. PDO says:

    Bruce, call me crazy but I’ve never seen the Oilers win a game 10 hits to 9 hits. Or 20 hits to 5 hits for that matter. Catch my drift?

    Riv, aren’t you a proponent of big players being better than small players if everything else is the same, cause, well, they’re bigger?

    I’ve never seen a team win 10 hits to 9 hits or 20 hits to 5 hits either… but I’ve seen thousands of teams win because they’re out working the other team, bruising the other team, and winning puck battles… something that definitely relates to hitting. I’ve also seen huge momentum swings from hits… Torres on Michalek ring a bell? It’s certainly an important aspect of the game..

    My issue with Bruce, is more so that I think more is accomplished from a forward throwing a hit at a defenseman or another forward, than a D on F hit. The Phaneuf special tends to put him out of position, but when a forward is hitting someone it’s usually making him rush his play.

  10. RiversQ says:

    PDO said…

    Riv, aren’t you a proponent of big players being better than small players if everything else is the same, cause, well, they’re bigger?

    Yup, but hitting isn’t the only place where big players get to assert their size. It’s in the faceoff circle, puck battles along the wall, getting position in front of the net – it’s a long list.

    I’ve never seen a team win 10 hits to 9 hits or 20 hits to 5 hits either… but I’ve seen thousands of teams win because they’re out working the other team, bruising the other team, and winning puck battles… something that definitely relates to hitting.

    Not necessarily. See above. You don’t have to hit to win a puck battle, or do any of those things you or I mentioned.

    I’ve also seen huge momentum swings from hits… Torres on Michalek ring a bell?

    Oh my, I knew that was coming. I just figured it was a matter of time.

    That’s just an anecdote and far from the only reason the Oilers got something done that series.

    It’s certainly an important aspect of the game..

    Is it? The question is how important is hitting? I have serious doubts about it having universal value. I think hitting in bulk might work for some players, but it has far more to do with style than actual efficacy IMO.

    If it’s so important tell me why Pronger and Lidstrom don’t hit? Surely we can agree they’re the best dmen hands down.

  11. PDO says:

    RiversQ said…

    Yup, but hitting isn’t the only place where big players get to assert their size. It’s in the faceoff circle, puck battles along the wall, getting position in front of the net – it’s a long list.

    What about leaning on guys? I mean, it’s not a pure hit, but it still has value, does it not?

    Oh my, I knew that was coming. I just figured it was a matter of time.

    That’s just an anecdote and far from the only reason the Oilers got something done that series.

    I’m one of the last people you’ll see blabbering about Hockey Magick ™, but there certainly are momentum swings in hockey, and in series… several. Teams have been demoralized and energized from big open ice hits. Does it happen from every hit? Obviously not, but there are hits that can just knock the wind out of a team… Torres on Michalek is just an easy example, especially because it knocked Michalek out of the series. What about when Bertuzzi took out St. Louis top pairing in ’03? Or the countless other injuries, big and small, that take place from contact? I’m sure it didn’t make life any easier for Carolina in the final to not have Doug Weight there. Maybe Joe Thornton would still be in Boston if he hadn’t been playing through cracked ribs…

    Is it? The question is how important is hitting? I have serious doubts about it having universal value. I think hitting in bulk might work for some players, but it has far more to do with style than actual efficacy IMO.

    If it’s so important tell me why Pronger and Lidstrom don’t hit? Surely we can agree they’re the best dmen hands down.

    I’d hardly call Pronger a no-hitter… but I just said above, that I don’t think D should necessarily be concerned with burying the guy. They don’t hit because it tends to put them out of position, and both are smart enough to understand that.

    I’m talking more about the forwards driving results here. In the neutral zone, but especially in the offensive zone. It takes away the time and space when the other team needs it most, and creates turnovers…. something I’m sure both of us can agree has a positive effect, can’t we?

  12. ClaytonMagnet says:

    IMO, the more pure skill a team has, the less they need to rely on hitting. That could go for the individual player as well. Zetterberg or Dimitra or even Hemsky don’t need to destroy people to get puck possesion, they just take the puck away. And the top skill teams don’t need to rely on hitting, because they can beat you with speed, skill, vision, etc.

    The benefits of hitting on a macro level can be argued, but for the Oilers, it’s a necessity, because the lineup, top to bottom, is short on skill (of course, not Hemsky, hallowed be his name). Their biggest advantage at the moment is youth, speed, and size, and as such, should be trying to get touchdowns Jerome Bettis style, not Barry Sanders style.

  13. Bruce says:

    Even if the RTSS are remotely close to what actually happened in the game (they are not) that still begs the question of whether or not hitting is a significant contributor to winning hockey games. I honestly have no answer to that question and I don’t think anecdotes suffice.

    Well if stats don’t suffice and anecdotes don’t suffice, I don’t guess that leaves us much to talk about, does it, RQ?

    I don’t trust the RTSS either, but it’s what we’ve got, and when you look at the category in question the Oilers defencemen are DFL with a bullet. Furthermore, their leading hitter, Staios, ranks 112th among NHL defencemen.

    If it’s so important tell me why Pronger and Lidstrom don’t hit? Surely we can agree they’re the best dmen hands down.

    Yeah, I can agree with that. Ignoring for the moment the fact that Pronger leads the Ducks with 19 hits, I’ll also agree that hitting isn’t foremost among their strengths. I am not for a moment stating that every defenceman needs to hit to be effective. I would however, contend that every team needs a hitting presence or two on the back end to keep the other guys honest, and based on statistics and observation, the Oilers seem to be lacking that. They are also having trouble keeping the puck out of their net. Perhaps it’s a total coincidence, I don’t know, I’m just looking for cause and effect from the available information.

    Here’s the full summary by team (leader in brackets). Additions done in my head so may not be perfect, and there’s a couple of part-time forwards like Schubert and Dandenault listed as D, but that changes the Edmonton situation not at all.

    Hits by team (defence only):

    ANA 15 GP 76 H (Pronger 19)
    ATL 14 GP 104 H (Exelby 47)
    BOS 12 GP 130 H (Chara 40)
    BUF 12 GP 61 H (Lydman 21)
    CAR 14 GP 121 H (Seidenberg 26)
    CBJ 14 GP 87 H (Hejda! 24)
    CGY 14 GP 164 H (Phaneuf 55)
    CHI 13 GP 89 H (Wisniewski 24)
    COL 13 GP 65 H (Finger 15)
    DAL 13 GP 90 H (Robidas 34)
    DET 14 GP 77 H (Lilja 24)
    EDM 14 GP 53 H (Staios 11)
    FLA 14 GP 113 H (Salei 24)
    LAK 15 GP 77 H (Stuart 21)
    MIN 14 GP 76 H (Burns 19)
    MTL 13 GP 155 H (Komisarek 49)
    NJD 13 GP 98 H (Vishnevski 27)
    NSH 13 GP 105 H (Zanon 36)
    NYI 11 GP 91 H (Witt/Campoli 20)
    NYR 13 GP 133 H (Tyutin 41)
    OTT 12 GP 123 H (Schubert 30)
    PHI 12 GP 69 H (Hatcher 26)
    PHX 12 GP 108 H (Jones 27)
    PIT 13 GP 81 H (Orpik 34)
    SJS 14 GP 82 H (McLaren 22)
    STL 12 GP 88 H (Jackman 26)
    TBL 13 GP 96 H (Lukowich 30)
    TOR 15 GP 106 H (Kubina 24)
    VAN 14 GP 98 H (Bieksa/Ohlund 25)
    WSH 13 GP 125 H (Jurcina 35)

  14. Dennis says:

    To take this in another direction, do the Oilers really lose a whole lot with Roy out and Young in? Let’s just say all things were considered equal and say the other five dmen were to remain healthy and able to play;), if you have Roy or Young playing say 11 min a night, is there really going to be that much difference?

    BTW, is anyone gonna comment on Jones piece from the Sun today where he basically called Penner fat and the whole team a bunch of pussies?

  15. RiversQ says:

    Screw you Dennis. No, it doesn’t matter, they both kind of suck. I always thought Roy looked a little more mobile though.

    Well if stats don’t suffice and anecdotes don’t suffice, I don’t guess that leaves us much to talk about, does it, RQ?

    No, it doesn’t. It’s frustrating that it doesn’t seem like it can be proven one way or another.

    I love the physical aspect of the game and I think it has value beyond entertainment, I just think it’s more of a means to an end than anything else.

    Yeah, I can agree with that. Ignoring for the moment the fact that Pronger leads the Ducks with 19 hits, I’ll also agree that hitting isn’t foremost among their strengths.

    Well I looked at the last three years since the lockout and he isn’t exactly a board rattler. In fact, that was one of the most apparent things to me from watching Pronger as an Oiler – he was awfully effective at shying away from contact unless it was clearly in his benefit to do so. (That’s why his transgressions in the playoffs last year were so blatantly offensive – he knew exactly what he was doing… but I digress)

    I see your list of teams there Bruce. I see a handful of bad teams that hit as well as good teams that hit. Is there a conclusion to be made there? Is it anymore than a coincidence that the Oilers don’t hit and suck at the same time?

    (If you consider that the RTSS hit stats are at least +/- 2 hits game, is there still something there?)

    I still say it’s style.

  16. Bank Shot says:

    Hitting isn’t going to really decide a game all on it’s lonesome.

    I think it makes a difference though just like things like shot, blocking, face offs and goalies playing the puck.

    If your team does enough of these things better then the other team I think it starts to translate into goals and points.

    If you are a defensemen going back into your own zone, and you can hear the skate blades behind you, and you know from a shoulder peak that it’s Jordin Tootoo, you are going to be a little distracted from making a play on the puck. I’ve seen defensemen getting rattled by a forecheck lead to goals.

    On the other side of things; during a one on one it is much easier for a defenseman to take the body then the puck. Taking the body can prevent goals in that case, as it stops Hemsky from dashing around you while you look like a retard.

    Also taking the body in the crease is an effective way to prevent goals. They can’t score if they are on their ass.

    Also, players aren’t robots. If you really crush an opponent, that can sometimes make a pretty big impact on how he plays the rest of the game. Depending on the mental makeup of the player, they can get alot more timid in challenging you for loose pucks. I imagine there aren’t many guys like this at the NHL level, but I’ve seen a few. Robert Nilsson of the Oilers is a good example of a guy who would likely be pretty shy about going into the crease against a team famous for pole-axing guys there.

  17. NBOilerFan says:

    Well, during last season my two favorite defensive prospects were Gilbert and Young.

    Gilbert has now proven his value, now its Youngs turn… unfortunatelly, I think he is still a good year away from being ready.

    Regardless, I hope he holds his own and turns some heads.

  18. Bruce says:

    Bruce, call me crazy but I’ve never seen the Oilers win a game 10 hits to 9 hits ….

    Funny you should choose those numbers out of the air, RQ, check out the team totals for tonight’s game. And you’re right, the Oilers didn’t win it.

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