Chorney is one of several young defenseman the Oilers have drafted recently who play in the NCAA. It sometimes becomes a little confusing to keep track of these players and differentiate between them because they’re all coming down the track at the same time.
However, since we don’t see these kids often (or at all in the case of Petry and Wild) it’s difficult to get a feel for them. I’m reminded of the period of time when the Expos kept talking about these “young arms” Bill Gullickson and Scott Sanderson and how they would fit in wonderfully behind Steve Rogers in the rotation. As a fan you’d like to know a little more about strengths and weaknesses aside from “top flight prospect expected to arrive about 1980.”
And that’s where we are with these guys. So, let’s see if we can answer some questions about these players and put them into a little better perspective.
- Which defender is the more “complete” player? My guess would be Chorney. Wonderful skater, fine passer and good instincts. Geoff Ward’s quote says a lot: “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 .” That’s a useful player in any era.
- Which defender is the most one dimensional? I’ll say Cody Wild although all three appear to have a wide enough range of skills to be considered clear or “Poti-ville”.
- Which defender is the best offensive player? I’ll say Wild. His sophomore season was derailed offensively due to injury (torn labrum) and his points-per-game is superior. Also, Wild has played his entire NCAA career for Providence who boast a limp attack (and that’s being kind).
- How old are they? Chorney is 20 years, 9 months. Petry is 20 years, 1 month. Wild is 20 years, 7 months. I don’t think there would be too much of a gap in terms of development between the three at this point in time.
- Which player has the best draft pedigree? Chorney was taken 36th in the deep 2005 draft, while Petry was selected 45th in a weaker draft the following season. Wild has zero draft pedigree as he was taken 140th in 2006.
- Did the Oilers discover Wild while watching Colin McDonald? Maybe, but you would think the kid was pretty famous all on his own by mid-season 05-06. Wild’s freshman season in Providence was terrific.
- Which one is closest to the NHL? I have no clue at all. At a guess I’d say Petry might be a hair behind the other two but that’s just throwing stuff out there.
- Is Chorney stalling as a prospect? There has been some talk that Chorney’s offense is off season over season but I think his arrows are still going in the right direction. Year over year his points-per-game totals have been .419, .795 and .762 on teams that scored at a goal per game clip of 3.56, 3.56 and 3.29 so it would appear his offensive slump is a team one probably owing (at least in part) to the loss of Jonathan Toews.
- What are Wild’s numbers using the same statistics? Pretty damn good, actually. Wilds’s points-per-game per season have been .583, .438 and .929. In the same seasons the Providence Friars have scored at 2.92, 2.00 and this season they’re at 3.11 so far. So it looks like he’s either being used more on the powerplay, has taken a significant step forward offensively or that injury really obscured a very talented defenseman. We’ll see.
- Does Petry look good using these numbers? The problem here is that we have only one season to deal with (the current one) so no real ability to compare. Just to be complete on the matter, Petry is scoring at a .591 ppg rate and on a team that scores 3.55 goals-per-game.
- All that said, who would you put your money on being the best of the group? Chorney and it’s an easy answer. He emerged early as a prospect (remember they aren’t that far apart age wise and Chorney was drafted one year earlier) and all the secondary indicators (WJC’s, playing on a good team, top or second pairing, etc) are positive on him.
- Of the other two, which one would you slot behind Chorney? Petry because he has the reputation of having a wider range of skills.
- Do these players have a collective weakness? No, but Petry is the only one of the three who appears to be an overly physical player. If Chorney were arriving in the NHL of the post lockout era then his skill set would be ideal, but we can see the clutching and grabbing making a strong comeback these days and that may impact the careers of these kids.
- Do any of them have trade value? I’m sure they do, but in an “Edmonton Oilers have traded Cody Wild and a 2nd rd pick to Buffalo for two months of Spacek” kind of way imo and of course the Oilers aren’t in the business of making these kinds of trades.
- Anything else? Yes. Health. Wild’s health is something we’re going to have to monitor.