The Edmonton Oilers have signed D Cody Wild to a professional contract. He is rated as the 8th best prospect in the system by Guy Flaming in his recent Oilers top 20 at HF and his Desjardins’ NHLE for this season (82gp, 3-16-19) is ahead of the more heralded Jeff Petry (82gp, 2-14-16) and Taylor Chorney (82gp, 1-14-15).
I rated Wild as the #14 prospect on the Oilers list in December and would slot him at about #9 with all the graduations (I’d have Petry about #7 and Chorney #2).
Wild could easily end up being the best offensive defender of the three. Let’s look at each of their season stats for this year (this is “age 20″ for each of them):
- Taylor Chorney 38gp, 2-19-21, 18pims
- Jeff Petry 40gp, 3-20-23, 26pims
- Cody Wild 32gp, 4-18-22, 28pims
Guy Flaming has described him in the past like this: “Wild is a very smart defenseman who is blessed with natural offensive ability. He is an excellent skater with speed and is very active. One of Wild’s greatest attributes is his decision-making capability. While he is sound defensively and is willing to play the body, they are areas that Wild will need to continue to strengthen to succeed at the next level.”
So we have what is a fairly typical area to work on for young defensemen. It’s my opinion (based on the math) that Wild is the one defender of the group who is clearly more offense than defense and is closer to the Tom Poti tree than the Tom Gilbert tree. We’ll see.
Here’s a fun little exercise that might give some insight into an area of trouble for the 07-08 Edmonton Oilers. Here is a list of defensemen on the Oilers and Falcons roster who were born in 1983 or later:
- Tom Gilbert
- Denis Grebeshkov
- Matt Greene
- Joni Pitkanen
- Mathieu Roy
- Ladislav Smid
- Bryan Young
- Sebastien Bisallion
- Theo Peckham
- Cody Wild
As a comparison, here is a list of all the Calgary Flames and the AHL Flames born in 1983 or later:
- Dion Phaneuf
- Adam Pardy
- Tim Ramholt
- Brad Cole
- Tim Hambly
- Brett Palin
- Gord Baldwin
- Matt Pelech
NHL roster players for each team are in bold.