Draft Week Post #4: Size Matters

That’s Marc Pouliot soaring over Sidney Crosby from their days in junior. One of the positives about Marc Pouliot on draft day was that he was skilled and had decent size (6-1, 195) for a center.

The Oilers followed that up with Rob Schremp (5-11, 200), Andrew Cogliano (5-10, 185) and Sam Gagner (5-10, 191). They did this despite the fact that their division rivals were spending first round picks on Wojtek Wolski (6-3, 200), Chris Stewart (6-1, 230), Benoit Pouliot (6-3, 195), James Sheppard (6-2, 215) and Colton Gillies (6-4, 195).

The Oilers do have some nice size up front (6-4, 215 Dustin Penner and 6-4, 220 Zack Stortini lead the way) but in a league where size matters the Oilers have more than their share of imps. Robert Nilsson, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner are all shy of 6-0, 200 and Ales Hemsky is barely there (6-0, 192).

With the NHL’s rules on holding, clutching and violence giving way slightly each spring to the “beat ‘em in the alley and you can beat ‘em on the ice” style of hockey, size (which never left as a feature item among prospects) looks likely to be in play for the Oilers this draft.

Back in the summer of 2002, the Oilers roster up front featured this top 12:

  1. Georges Laraque 6-3, 240
  2. Josh Green 6-4, 212
  3. Ethan Moreau 6-2, 211
  4. Shawn Horcoff 6-1, 200
  5. Marty Reasoner 6-1, 203
  6. Fernando Pisani 6-1, 185
  7. Ryan Smyth 6-1, 195
  8. Anson Carter 6-1, 200
  9. Daniel Cleary 6-0, 203
  10. Mike York 5-10, 185
  11. Todd Marchant 5-10, 178
  12. Mike Comrie 5-9, 172

So that’s three runts, 3 big men who weight in over 210 and the average for the group is 6-0.5 and 199 pounds. Let’s compare that to 12 current forwards:

  1. Dustin Penner 6-4, 245
  2. Zach Stortini 6-4, 220
  3. Ethan Moreau 6-2, 220
  4. Raffi Torres 6-0, 215
  5. Jarret Stoll 6-1, 210
  6. Kyle Brodziak 6-2, 209
  7. Shawn Horcoff 6-1, 208
  8. Fernando Pisani 6-1, 205
  9. Ales Hemsky 6-0, 192
  10. Sam Gagner 5-11, 191
  11. Robert Nilsson 5-11, 185
  12. Andrew Cogliano 5-10, 184

Three smaller players again, actually that’s a pretty nice roster match. An increase to 5 men over 210 and the average for the group is up to 6-1 and 207 pounds. So it looks like the Oilers have increased in size slightly, although one imagines the entire league is bigger since these men are constantly moving the outer marker forward in terms of conditioning. I sure do like the skill of the current team better than that 2002 summer bunch btw.

Okay, in the system the Oilers have Coke Machines but they’re not progressing:

  • JF Jacques 6-4, 225
  • David Rohlfs 6-3, 219
  • Geoff Paukovich 6-4, 208
  • Alexei Mikhnov 6-5, 200

THAT is not a list that gives us a hint of any kind of brilliant future. Looking at the Oilers procurement holes, power forwards and big men who can do damage without the puck are not in great supply. Therefore, one of these men is a possibility on draft day:

  • C Greg Nemisz (OHL) 6-3, 197
  • C AJ Jenks (OHL) 6-1, 206
  • LW Like Adam (OHL) 6-1, 210
  • RW Jared Staal (OHL) 6-3, 195
  • C Joel Champagne (QMJHL) 6-3, 210
  • LW Geordie Wudrick (WHL) 6-3, 204
  • RW Jimmy Hayes (USHL) 6-4, 210

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18 Responses to "Draft Week Post #4: Size Matters"

  1. Ducey says:

    O’Marra, Nash, VandeVelde all have decent size. MacDonald, Goulet, and Bodie are lesser prospects with good size as well.

    However, size is not the trump card. Please Mr Lowe don’t draft another big body that you hope will develop some sort of talent. Doesn’t happen.

    The only things that matter at the draft table are talent and effort. Size is always freely available in the veteran FA scrap heap. See Wayne Primeau, Josh Green, et al.

    Last I checked, the two best teams this year had little size but lots o’ talent.

  2. jon k says:

    Nemisz is a player of interest who is slated to be available around 22, but I get the feeling that he’ll get picked up early as opposed to a player like Colborne. He’s been compared to Jeff Carter, and apparentl has fewer question marks about intensity and played in a better league.

  3. jon k says:

    I should add though, that Carter led his team in scoring, while Nemisz is buried by another draft eligible 1st rounder (Bailey), and an upcoming phenom (Taylor Hall).

  4. DeBakey says:

    Two more fair sized guys are
    - Gustafsson
    - Stefanovich

    Tho’ CS doesn’t like young Mikhail much

  5. Traktor says:

    LT, the guy you’re looking for is Paquette Danick.

    29 goals this year and 213 penalty minutes playing in the Q.

    He spends money out of his own pocket to give the less fortunate tickits to Q games.(Edmonton loves good character)

  6. Traktor says:

    Should read Danick Paquette but I copy & pasted.

  7. Knamely Lacked says:

    I’d take Gustafsson over Nemisz because he is projected to be a more well rounded player, however there are some questions surrounding his health too.

    Nemisz on the other hand does have some nice intangibles going for him but the thing that keeps putting me off about him is his lack of speed. Not a very strong skater apparently.

    I agree with Ducey. Please Lowe don’t just pick on size alone. If Tedenby is there (which I don’t think he will be, but Bob does), I expect Lowe to at least have a long ponder before he undoubtedly picks another Coke machine. It’s been too long, and Lowe won’t be able to help himself.

    Unfortunately for us Oiler fans, they’ve introduced Coke Zero in the last few years…

  8. Knamely Lacked says:

    Gare Joyce’s mock draft up. Always interesting.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3448428

  9. jon k says:

    From the mock it seems that Joyce might know things that others are not privy to. Pickard as the last goalie of the 1st round is novel. By most accounts he’s far and above the best tender available in this draft.

  10. Ribs says:

    Just say no to Coke Machines.

    Seriously.

    Let other teams waste picks on these guys as they take 5+ years to develop into useful players (besides the odd guy). If you want a coke, save up your quarters and drop them into the Free Agent Machine. It’s a matter of convenience at this point.

  11. Kev says:

    I just had a moment imagining Rod Phillips saying “… and Jared Staal just made a great pass to Jarret Stoll…”

  12. Bruce says:

    Every time I hear about BIG draft picks I think of Ted Green’s classic comment just before the draft one year when he was the coach. I paraphrase, but this is close:

    “If we draft another big, slow forward or another big, dumb defenceman, I think I’ll puke.”

  13. speeds says:

    I can’t remember where I read it LT, but I read in someone’s mock draft (I think somewhere on HF) that EDM is interested in Hayes, who was higher up the ranks at the start of the year.

  14. Asiaoil says:

    My dream scenario is that we obtain a high pick somehow and draft a skill Euro – Filatov or Boedker would be perfect.

    Then we use #22 on a safe Canadian and I’m liking Staal for that pick. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft with an August birth date and played for a crap team. Seems like he did not impress at the combine – but that can be fixed as long as he has the attitude – and I can’t see him being that different than the other brothers.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Asia: This is the one year Lowe hasn’t been saying they’re trying to trade up.

    speeds: Makes sense. Oilers like those USHL guys.

  16. Doogie says:

    LT, the guy you’re looking for is Paquette Danick.

    29 goals this year and 213 penalty minutes playing in the Q.

    He spends money out of his own pocket to give the less fortunate tickits to Q games.(Edmonton loves good character)

    Sounds a bit like a certain tough guy we once knew, maybe with slightly better hands. LeGG scored 19 and 20 goals in the Q his last two years, and racked up 259 and 260 PIM in 62 and 41 GP, respectively.

    This is the one year Lowe hasn’t been saying they’re trying to trade up.

    So does this make it the one year he actually does? I wouldn’t argue.

  17. ClaytonMagnet says:

    “The Oilers do have some nice size up front (6-4, 215 Dustin Penner…”

    Did he get a tapeworm or something?

  18. Ribs says:

    That’s a sweet Pouliot/Crosby pic. C’mon Pittsburgh, we’ll give you Stoll, #22 pick and the Moreau brothers for 87……c’mmooooonnn.

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