#11 Prospect Winter 2008: Taylor Chorney

Current Rank: #11
Summer Rank: #4

Taylor Chorney had a pretty nice college career and a lot of smart hockey men said nice things about him. Geoff Ward: “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 and the thing I really like is that after he moves the puck he follows it up the ice so he’s always in a position to be the fourth man. He’s a guy that has tremendous upside and as a freshman right now he does a lot of things very well. I think in three years we’re going to be extremely excited to see how far he’s come.”

That was the backdrop, the foundation. Chorney had the kind of resume that drops hints all over about being a little better than the next guy, a stronger bet for a career, a guy who could jump a league on his way to the show. As an example, Chorney represented the United States twice at the World Junior level (once as captain). Chorney attended the University of North Dakota for three seasons before signing with the Oilers in the off-season. He did suffer an injury right at the end of his college career but we have no evidence it has had an effect on his career.

After Chorney signed with the Oilers he came to camp and did some good things. After the Joey Moss game I said “he’s not ready but you can see he’s a player. Good speed, made a beauty teeup pass to Visnoveky for a great shot on goal that resulted in the Eberle goal. You’re going to like him.”

And the good reviews continued when the Falcons brass got hold of him. Coach Jeff Truitt: “He’s been unbelievable so far. He’s such a smooth skater, he sees the ice really well and has great poise with the puck. When he has the puck, good things happen. He makes good reads and is sure noticeable with his skating ability, he’s so smooth out there. He’s a great player.”

Before the season, I suggested reasonable expectations might be a full, healthy season in the AHL, with a plus minus in the middle of the D pack and enough offense to justify his draft number.

And he’s been a dud. A complete non-starter. It’s hard to imagine a worse start to a pro career for a guy with this much promise. Further irritating the situation is that the positive verbal keeps on rolling. Guy Flaming (from his site Coming down the Pipe!) had a chance to talk to Truitt early in the season and asked if there were any pleasant surprise. Truitt: “I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised but Taylor Chorney has been really good. His confidence with the puck and his all around game, he’s obviously a highly touted guy and deservedly so. He works extremely hard, sees the ice, moves pucks really quick but having him in rookie camp for a bit he’s not really a surprise because he’s a great player. We’ve had him with Theo [Peckham] or Jake Taylor and he’s been really good every night.”

The numbers tell a very different story. Here’s the Springfield D and their plus minus:

  • Sebastien Bisaillion +6 (19gp)
  • Cody Wild +6 (15gp)
  • Theo Peckham +4 (20gp)
  • Jake Taylor +4 (12gp)
  • Josef Hrabal E (10gp)
  • Bryan Young -2 (15gp)
  • Robbie Bina -2 (11gp)
  • Mathieu Roy -7 (14gp)
  • Taylor Chorney -10 (23gp)

Chorney has had 3EV assists and 2PP assists and he hasn’t hit the scoreboard since November 8th (12 games without a point). He’s had at least one minus in the last 5 games and is -6 over that stretch. He has been falling down the depth chart and is currently on the back pairing with Robbie Bina.

Taylor Chorney has always been a favorite of mine. Sure he’s undersized and there’s always a learning curve but at the World Junior’s it was obvious he could play and he had a nice career at UND. I didn’t think these would be the early results and at some level you can justify it and say well he’s 0-for-April but those line drives will find their way eventually. I’ll tell you, this is a helluva slump.

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24 Responses to "#11 Prospect Winter 2008: Taylor Chorney"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Yeah but that might just be it LT, a slump.

    Gagner’s been no hell this season and Smid was scratched and I don’t think the Oilers are ready to give up on either of them.

    Well, maybe Smid ;) although that would be a mistake, imo.

    Anyways he did have a nice start did he not? The first couple of weeks? maybe he got dinged, maybe he’s just struggling.

    He’ll be OK.

    Poor Jeff Petry. He was #4 and now there is no end in sight. Soon he will be behind Almtorp.

    What did he ever do to you? :)

  2. Kris says:

    Chorney’s start is disappointing, no doubt.

    I wonder if his problem is, as most expected, his lacking the strength needed to handlE pros, NHL or AHL.

    If so, you can easily see why Truitt would praise him even when he’s struggling to defend.

    And, if Chorney’s problem is only lack of muscle, well that’s at least a solvable problem. They have gym’s in Homer Simpson town, no?

  3. kanadienkyle says:

    His final year of college was somewhat disappointing too. He was inconsistent and a victim of trying to do too much.

  4. goldenchild says:

    I hope the kid turns it around and this is just a tough adjustment period, happens to a lot of guys leaving college and turning pro in all sports. But unless you are a reg at HF nobody expects all these guys to live up to their draft pedigree cuz it obviously doesnt work that way. If just one of the college D men from that cluster has a career as an impact D I would take it i dont care which one but if I was betting my money, it wouldnt be on the undersized kid.

  5. quain says:

    BDHS: Unless I’m misunderstanding you, Petry was #7. So there is, in fact, an end in sight!

  6. Lord Bob says:

    The unspoken question: who’s that #15 for the Portland Pirates? I wasn’t aware they had named a McAlternate Captain for this season!

    Also, I’m still all aboard the Chorney train, for many of the reasons the black dog states above: Chorney showed as much as it’s possible to show at North Dakota, and just because he’s having trouble adjusting to professional hockey playing on a crowded, young blueline with a mediocre team doesn’t mean he’s worse than, say, Linus Omark, who’ll probably do the exact same thing if he comes over.

  7. Black Dog says:

    quain – he was temporarily # 4 on this list, for a couple of hours

    Then Schremp replaced him.

    And he’s been sliding ever since.

    From can’t miss to O’Marratown in barely a week. ;)

  8. oilerdiehard says:

    And he’s been a dud. A complete non-starter. It’s hard to imagine a worse start to a pro career for a guy with this much promise.

    Wow that is pretty harsh.

    One thing I will say after getting watch him some this season. He is playing quite a bit and is not being sheltered. He is generally facing the tough comp most nights.

    On the flip side guys like Tom Gilbert and Cody Wild (who gets heathly scratched even when there are injuries) for the first half of their pro seasons have been sheltered.

    I also know from hearing audio interviews on the Falcons site. It sounds like after the first handful of games. He either decided or was told to concentrate on his defensive game. He was asked about his offense and he said I am just concentrating on my defensive game right now. Also the injuries on the Falcons blue line have taken out vets like Jake Taylor (who was Chorney’s partner in the early going until he went down), Bryan Young, Mike Gabinet.

    I guess we will see what shakes down. For sure Taylor’s first half so far has been a little disappointing. I personally expect a strong second half from him. I am not ready to read too much and start throwing around terms like dud based on 23 games at the start of a players pro career though.

    On a side note I know you were really high on Hrabal. I think you had even predicted he would be one of the first blue line call ups. He has done alright but has not been especially impressive at the AHL or even ECHL level just yet.

  9. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Petry is at #7. Did you miss it?

  10. Scott says:


    What do you think of LT’s #7 guy this season?

  11. Lord Bob says:

    Hey, did you guys notice that Petry is #7?

  12. quain says:

    I can’t believe LA gets away with that hook on Horcoff, but Brown gets the call going the other way. Ridiculous.

  13. Steve says:

    I love this place.

  14. Black Dog says:

    I was talking about Dan Petry, you bunch of clowns.

    Wait, isn’t this the Detroit Tigers top 20 prospects Winter 1980?

    Oops, wrong blog.

  15. Black Dog says:

    Damn, I have ADD and Alzheimers.

    Bad combo.

  16. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: I keep meaning to mention that the last few months over at your site are golden. Terrific stuff, I especially enjoyed the descrption of your dancing ability in high school (which TOWERED over mine). :-)

    I’ll get to Petry soon.:-)

  17. Lowetide says:

    Chorney already -1 tonight.

  18. eidy says:

    not defending chorney, but roy is as well as o’marra and no one is in the plus (at least until they get a goal). still the pairing with roy must mean he’s off the bottom pairing.

  19. Lowetide says:

    And now he’s -2.

  20. Lowetide says:

    And -3 on the night. He and Roy may not have been the 3rd pairing (I suspect they were not) but what on earth are they doing here? The kid is clearly struggling (now -9 in his last 6gp) so why put him out there in OT?

  21. Schitzo says:

    Apparently we now develop based on the “sink or swim” method

  22. Lowetide says:

    Schitzo: I’d be okay if they didn’t have other options but the Falcons do have better ones than Chorney currently. The idea of pairing the veteran (Roy) with Chorney is a good one but Roy’s been struggling too.

  23. Ribs says:

    I love the pic they have up for the game tonight on the Falcons site.

    “Get your season tickets folks! Step right up!”

    I sure hope Springfield has a few more people show up for their home games.

  24. Black Dog says:

    Thanks LT, appreciate it.

    Looking forward to what you have to say about Petry.

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