Smid Comp Revisited

I remain convinced that Tommy Albelin is an excellent comp for Ladislav Smid. This despite a more physical style than expected from #5 (especially after the whistle, lordy they must have trained him to go ape-doodle after he hears a whistle) and way less offense than expected so far in his career.

Why do I hold on to the comp?

The main reason is that they are extremely similar in style. A 1990 scouting report on Albelin stated “A talented finesse player with good potential but with improvement yet to be done. Skates well in both directions and is smooth in his pivots, but needs to improve general speed and quickness. Has good size but could use greater strength in his upper body. Needs to improve his ability to read and understand the play.”

Folks that’s pretty close to Smid in terms of style. Now for the numbers.

We didn’t see Albelin at Smid’s age (Tommy Albelin was a 23-year old rookie in 1987-88 for Quebec) and each player’s stats must be viewed through their place and time. I’m going to use Gabriel Desjardins’ NHLE’s this time with Albelin’s rookie season three years later to see if we can get an idea of progress over time.

  • Smid (20) 77gp, 3-7-10 .130ppg
  • Albelin (20NHLE) 32gp, 4-5-9 .281ppg
  • Albelin (23) 60gp, 3-23-26 .433ppg
  1. As a 23-year old rookie Albelin was a -7 and had no PP or PK points. Smid at 20 had 1 powerplay assist and was -16 (only Matt Greene had a bigger number).
  2. Smid at 20 played on a team that scored 192 goals and was a part of 5% of the club’s scoring plays. Albelin at 23 played on a team that scored 271 goals and was part of 9.5% of the club’s scoring plays.
  3. Smid at 20 played on a team whose offensive leaders were Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky and Petr Sykora (all with 53 points). Albelin played on a team whose offensive leaders were Peter Stastny (111 points) and Michel Goulet (106 points).

Albelin was a better offensive player at 20 than Smid and so the improvement he made between 20 and 23 is unlikely for Smid. We don’t know TOI totals for Albelin but Smid had a healthy slice of playing time as a rookie (Smid played almost 1500 minutes in the NHL at age 20). Smid is emerging as a more physical player than Albelin was especially after the whistle.

However, his first instinct on almost every play in his zone while the play is alive is a stick play or a positional play. That’s Tommy Albelin. I’m prepared to say Ladislav Smid is a slightly more physical, less offensive version of Albelin but he’s still very similar in style and in result.

I cannot think of a better comp for Smid.

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19 Responses to "Smid Comp Revisited"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Tumbleweeds tonight.

    I think Laddy is getting there slowly but surely LT. We may not see a pile of offence from Smid but he has the size and the mobility to be a solid guy defensively who can chip in here and there. (His pinch and play on the Moreau goal last night was a nice one.)

    He can make the first pass and with guys like Pitkanen (right? RIGHT!?) and Chorney in the long term plans, there’s no need for the big O from Smid.

    So to speak.

    I think he’s going to be a nice piece of the puzzle going forward.

  2. Dennis says:

    NO OFFENSIVE vision beyond lugging the puck to within five feet of the opposing blue.

    You know how we all can’t figure out why JFJ could score 20 odd goals a year in the A but could hardly even get a scoring opp in the bigs? Well, that’s Smid. I see all the assists he had in the A at a young age but he’s pretty much an offensive monkey in the bigs and it’s not by accident either.

    If we could keep 25-77 as Bonafide guys who can make first passes and properly pinch into the O zone then it doesn’t hurt as much if All Smid becomes is a defense first guy who has the ability to skate the puck from trouble. There’s certainly value in that and especially if he becomes a total ruffian on the PK and shows a real ability in that role.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can see progress in Smid’s game. But none of it has to do with his offensive skills. He’s got no shot to speak of and despite being able to get into the O zone, he has no idea what to do on the odd time he gets there.

    He’s gonna be an interesting fellow, a guy who can make a good first pass when he has lots of time, is a great skater and also uses his big size. But despite that, his shot couldn’t break a pan e of glass and he doesn’t think the game well offensively.

    It’s been said before but he resembles Brewer a lot more than anyone with an offensive clue.

    And for the 1009th time, he’s not a guy that you build a Pronger package around.

    Anyway, I’m liking him more and more because a quiet Smid is an effective one. He doesn’t posess the skills to be flashy in a good way so unless you tried really hard to notice him, you only do when he does something bad.

    He’s a guy I’d like a helluva lot more if we’d just drafted him and hadn’t instead acquired him in one of the trades/moves the redefined the organization.

  3. Oilman says:

    Laddy Albesmid – I like it.

    Lowe has this fixation on first round picks (odd that he gave his up this year)…but look at all the trades Lowe has ever made….Brewer, Raffi, Grebs, Smid, Lupul, Samsonov, Pitkanen, Nilson, O’Marra….he really loves those first rounders…..when was the last trade that Lowe made that wasn’t for a first rounder (Penner and Roli both undrafted)

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    A comp that’s been building in my mind is Al Hamilton

    Physical when needed
    Smooth skater
    So-so offense

  5. Oilman says:

    yeah but he has two eyes, so….

  6. Dennis says:

    OM: he likes those guys because they were all guys he wanted to draft but didn’t have the chance!!!

  7. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I know you’re probably joking when making that statement but I believe it to be the case.

    “The one that got away” ends up costing more down the line.

  8. Oilman says:

    Dennis….I realize that….the trades always come with the “we liked him in his draft year” quote….I think that’s a learned trait from the Slats days – 1st rounders for vets (Moreau, Kilger, Cleary for Mironov,,,,Mironov(early 2nd round) Lindgren and a 1st for Manson,,,,Carson, Gelinas and a few firsts for wayne,,,,Murphy, Graves for Carson – it’s how Sather kept the team competitive when they could never pay anyone. . I’d actually be willing to bet that the Oilers team has more first round picks in the lineup than most…they just haven’t worked out as well as those Slats ones did:o)

  9. Bruce says:

    One of Slats’ teams that didn’t work out so well was the ’93-94 team. First-rounders on that team included but may not be limited to: Shayne Corson, Dave Manson, Luke Richardson, Scott Pearson (I had a few nicknames for all those “sons” of bitches), Steven Rice, Scott Thornton, Dean McAmmond, Adam Bennett. Chris Jospeh started the season here, and Boris Mironov finished it. To include guys Oilers actually drafted themselves in the first round, Jason Arnott was a rookie, while Tyler Wright was just breaking in and got a cup o’ coffee. They weren’t all here at once, but I know they had 10 first-rounders on the active roster at the same time, and I’m pretty sure that all ten dressed for at least a few games.

    The other trait of that crew was that collectively it was the dumbest team the Oilers ever had. For fans nurtured on the likes of Gretzky and Kurri, Gregg and Huddy it was pretty hard to take. But there was a reason why so many of these failed first-rounders had been made available, and phrases like “all the tools but no toolbox” and “million dollar body, ten cent head” made the rounds. (These days with inflation, it’s “ten million dollar body, loonie head.”) But Sather just couldn’t resist taking on all these projects.

    Oh yeah, that was also the team of Bob Beers and the immortal Gordie Mark. Times were tough.

  10. Oilman says:

    That was the team that Bill McDougall (he of 52 points in 16 playoff games for the baby Oilers) couldn’t crack, no?

  11. Bruce says:

    McDougall “bolted” for Tampa in the summer of ’93 to the depsair of quite a few folks in these parts, me included. It wasn’t readily apparent at the time, but it turned out centre was the deepest position in the organization, with Arnott breaking in as a pivot, and Weight emerging that season on a line with Rice and Pearson perfectly named “Doug and the Slugs”. Todd Marchant arrived before season’s end to give the Oilers yet a third “helicopter line” (no wings), and a faint spark of hope could be seen at the end of what proved to be a three-more-year tunnel.

    Other beauty names from that club included a mishmash of Europeans like Zdeno Ciger, Igor Kravchuk, Smilin’ Freddie Olausson, Ilya Byakin (who once got penalized for trying to score with the opposing goalie’s stick), Vladimir Vujtek, Roman Oksiuta and Alexander Kerch (the latter two acquired in the Kevin Lowe trade), while Canadian “talent” included Louie DeBrusk (acquired in the Mark Messier trade with Rice and Confetti), crazy man Marc Laforge, and smart but plodding Ian Herbers. Brent Grieve finished 7th on the club with 13 goals in just 24 games, but only scored 7 goals the entire rest of his career (97 GP with 4 clubs). Bill Ranford appeared to be having a nervous breakdown before our eyes, while Fred Brathwaite was entertainingly erratic as his backup.

    The team won 8 road games all year, finishing 20 games below .500, marginally improved from the truly terrible ’92-’93 team but still one of the very worst teams in the league. And the dumbest.

  12. Oilman says:

    So McDougall couldn’t make the even worse team of 92-93….sad

  13. Bruce says:

    In ’92-93 the Cape Breton Oilers may well have beaten the Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-seven.

  14. doritogrande says:

    If he can learn to hit people before the whistle instead of after, I see a lot of Vitali Vishnevski in young Ladi. Capable Top-4 guy with very little offense but can be one of the most underrated defensive defensemen in the NHL. High draft pick too by Anaheim (5th overall, 1998).

  15. Oilman says:

    There are a lot of guys on that 92-93 team that became solid NHL’s that just knew how to play…they were what you would call a smart team for sure.

  16. Dennis says:

    I think we should get Bruce to write capsules of all the bad Oilers teams in history. The line about Ranford killed me and made me congratulate myself on my decision to stop following the club after the ’93 season:)

  17. Oilman says:

    Yep…life is pretty bad when the “man-perm” becomes the hairstyle of choice for a former Conn Smythe winner….

  18. Bruce says:

    Hey Dennis, ’92-93 was my last year as a season ticket holder after 16 seasons. The cost of tickets was going up almost as fast as the quality of games was going down. Which is to say, pretty goddam fast. At that point I frankly didn’t like the team … team “leaders” like Corson and Manson were just unlikable pricks and Oiler pride just didn’t come easily. The George Brunet fiasco was still in the future but it wasn’t too hard to see something like that coming.

    And our chief scout lived in fucking Mexico.

  19. Lowetide says:

    And the sad thing is how they got there from summer ’90.

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