And the Scores Are Coming In…..

This is Ales Pisa. He was an overage draft back when the Oilers didn’t have a lot of depth (call it the “Chris Hajt didn’t make it” era) and made it to the show for a time.

Pisa is one of several former Oilers draft picks who are already playing regular season games in Europe. The new Russian League (KHL) and the Czech League are in action and there are some players who look like they could be on their way to some impressive seasons.

Early, but worth a look.

KHL
  1. Maxim Spiridonov (’98 draft) 6gp, 4-2-6
  2. Alexei Mikhnov (’00 draft) 6gp, 1-5-6
  3. Evgeny Muratov (’00 draft) 6gp, 2-2-4
  4. Mikael Joukov (’03 draft) 5gp, 2-0-2
  5. Alexander Bumagin (’06 draft) 3gp, 0-1-1
Czech
  1. Tomas Micka (’02 draft) 3gp, 1-1-2
  2. Ales Pisa (’01 draft) 3gp, 0-0-0
  3. Lukas Zib (’95 draft) 3gp, 0-0-0

Among goalies, both Jussi Markkanen and Alexandre Fomitchev are playing in the KHL but I can’t find stats. Oilers still hold playing rights on Mikhnov and Bumagin but I believe that is all (slight chance they hold Joukov’s rights).

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18 Responses to "And the Scores Are Coming In….."

  1. Doogie2K says:

    Jussi’s stats are all fucked up on the KHL website — 1-1 and 2.00 GAA but no shot data, so no SVP. His club, CSKA, will be playing again sometime today.

    As for Fomichev, he appears to be 0-2 with a 4.50 GAA and a 0.591 SVP. I’d take that latter number with a grain of salt, given that shot counts seem to be extremely unreliable in this league, though I think by any measure, he’s having a rough go of it early.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I always liked Ales Pisa. For one thing, I thought he was a better player than Cory Cross.

    Of course, if that isn’t damning with faint praise, I don’t know what is.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    I seem to recall – and don’t ask me where I got this – that the Oilers held Fomitchev’s rights as recently as, like, 2006. They may still have them, but I definitely recall seeing him listed somewhere around them.

    I only remember this because Fomitchev is a former St. Albert Saint, and therefore Jesus.

  4. Scott says:

    I’ll always remember Ales Pisa for how upset he was to be packaged into a deal with the Rangers. It was something like “I just came here and tried my best, and I thought I was doing good…” I guess he thought he was better than Cory Cross, too.

  5. Steve says:

    Pisa is one of several former Oilers draft picks…

    I’m likely the only one who cares about this, but I’ve long wondered when somebody stops being a draft pick of a given team. Is it when that team loses the player’s rights? When the player graduates from being a prospect? Whichever of those comes first?

    Intuitively, it seems to me that the word “former” should never be applied to “draft pick”, in the same way that you wouldn’t call somebody a “former native of Alberta”. But most of the sports media world seems to be against me on this, so I’m wondering just what the correct usage is.

  6. Doogie2K says:

    MacTavish told LeBrun his pre-camp line combos last night:

    26-10-83
    12-13-89
    18-27-34

    Penner at 3C, Cole at 1L. I know the former idea was discussed here briefly, and it looks like MacTavish is at least toying with the idea. But really, we all know this is going to get MacBlended 17 times in October alone, so I dunno if I’d hang my hat on this too much.

  7. Vic Ferrari says:

    Well, I doubt that there will be a hell of a lot of difference in EV ice time from first to third lines, as defined here by LeBrun. And the “3rd” line may even see more time than the kid line.

    Horcoff has the two best wingers with this alignment, not just in terms of sizzle, but by weight of the steak. This isn’t the Hemsky of a couple of years ago imo, right now I’d be indifferent about MacTavish sending either Hemmer or Pisani over the boards as the right side winger for an own zone draw with 30 seconds left, whole clinging to a one goal lead. He’s a difference maker now, and he’ll get better yet.

    HBomb and the other power-vs-power proponents will rejoice. I mean lines change, injuries happen too (and not just the ones that push you right out of the line-up). Still, clearly MacTavish thinks he has the horses to go power vs power. Gotta love the optimism.

    I don’t know that Penner has the speed to get back enough at centre. But like Stoll with Torres/Pisani, it doesn’t mater so much if the wingers always cover, and can create offense in the good end of the rink while still staying high when they are the 3F.

    I’m not sure that Penner instinctively makes the right play in his own end enough either, though with those wingers (pray for health, btw, because beyond them it’s damn thin) you know you’ll get great puck support. To use a Pisani quote in the correct context; these guys don’t cheat for offense.

    If nothing else Penner will become a much better player because of this, though it’s probably not good news if you have him in the office pool. Assuming MacTavish really does roll this way, of course.

    I’m not a preseason fan at all, never have been. But real hockey is close enough that we can smell it, folks.

  8. doritogrande says:

    I don’t like the line combos. We’re now going to be playing two guys out of their positions from last year. Penner on “third line C” and either Brodziak or Pouliot on wing for the 4th line. Remember how badly Poo adjusted to playing wing last year in TC? This is a bad idea from the get-go.

  9. Dennis says:

    The idea of 27 at pivot has been thrown around a bit this summer and was hinted at last season by the number of draws given to Dustin.

    I believe he was pretty good at it too, right?

    Anyway, he’s a RH and 10′s a LH so now Mac has his choice for each side of the circle.

    I don’t really know if he can hang in the secondary tough role — and I”m not sure that 18 can either anymore — but it’s damn well gonna be interesting to watch.

    The trickledown has a 4th line of 78-51-46 and I think this bodes well for Rob Schremp to be the 13th forward and see about 20 odd games or so at least.

  10. Steven says:

    Dennis:

    Actually I think Penner’s a lefty as well so MacT will still have to use Pouliot or Brodziak if he wants to have a RH centre.

    I’m not sure I like this idea a ton though… can anyone think of any circumstances where a position change from Winger to Center worked out at all? The Center needs be much more responsible defensively and I don’t think Penner has the speed or the Hockey Sense to be able to do it.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Anyway, he’s a RH and 10′s a LH so now Mac has his choice for each side of the circle.

    As Steven noted, he’s actually a LH. As to who gets the RH own-zone draws, it’s still a toss-up between Brodziak/Pouliot, but I’d bet on Brodziak.

    I don’t really know if he can hang in the secondary tough role — and I”m not sure that 18 can either anymore — but it’s damn well gonna be interesting to watch.

    Yeah, nobody’s really talking about it, but Moreau has to be considered a question mark in that role given we haven’t seen him play in two years now. I think Penner could hold his own in that role if he were playing wing with a fleet centre to cover, but as it is, Fernando may be carrying too much on that line right now.

  12. Schitzo says:

    The Center needs be much more responsible defensively and I don’t think Penner has the speed or the Hockey Sense to be able to do it.

    That said, do any of Brodziak, Cogliano, or Pouliot have more hockey sense than Penner?

    I don’t think we’re going to be able to find a GOOD option, we just need to find the one that hurts the least.

  13. Steven says:

    Schitzo:

    I pretty much agree with you. But I guess my preferred option is one of Brodziak or Pouliot (if we’re not going to make a trade).

    Like what has been mentioned earlier… someone is going to get thrown to the wolves in terms of Defensive Zone faceoffs and match ups. I just don’t know if Penner is going to be that guy.

    I’m pretty sure everyone will be ripping him if he plays this role and is -15 with 25 points and making 4 million bucks. I just don’t think the best option is throw Penner in there and start playing him against the Iginla’s of the world. Then again doing the same with Pouliot or Brodziak doesn’t sound promising either…

  14. Bruce says:

    can anyone think of any circumstances where a position change from Winger to Center worked out at all?

    Uhh … Mark Messier?

    Mike Krushelnyski, a much more similar player to Dustin Penner, also successfully made the move from 1LW to 3C.

  15. Schitzo says:

    Bruce: That comment went from zero to devastating in 3 words flat. Well played.

  16. Lord Bob says:

    Messier came up through his entire junior, brief minor pro, and indeed WHA career as a centre.

    Of course, I’m 99% sure that Penner trained as a centre too.

    I’ll take any excuse to call Dustin Penner ‘the next Mark Messier’.

  17. Steven says:

    bruce:

    Definitely well played. I actually did not Penner played center before. If I recall the 2-3games last year where he was tried out at Center did not have good results.

  18. Bruce says:

    LB: Yeah, it’s a shadowy line. A large number of pro wingers will have played centre at some point in their development — most are dominant players in minor hockey — and get switched to the wing out of need and demonstrated skill set at some point as they rise through the ranks. Many (most?) of them don’t switch back.

    Messier’s conversion from First All-Star Left Winger to First All-Star Centre is unique in the annals of the game, but there are tons of natural centres like Shawn Horcoff, Kyle Brodziak, Marc Pouliot, and Sam Gagner who started their Oiler careers on the flank. I think it’s a fairly common practice throughout the league.

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