#9 Prospect Winter 2008: Cody Wild


















Current Rank: #9
Summer Rank: #9

For some time now we’ve compared three college defenders and their development as they move through the NCAA and (now) begin pro careers.

The pecking order has been the same all down the line: Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry and then Cody Wild.

I have suggested from time to time that it’s too close to call in terms of who will be the better pro, and this winter’s top 20 is going to reflect the point beautifully. Taylor Chorney is struggling at the AHL level, Jeff Petry’s indicators are somewhat mixed and Cody Wild is having a party.

When turning pro, Wild described his style like this: “I like to jump in the rush. Move the puck. I like to get in the offense a lot. Play defense as well.”

Earlier this season, Falcons coach Jeff Truitt: “You can just tell that he’s got an offensive flair, he likes to jump into the rush and he’s certainly been a contributor with the team. It’s a learning process no doubt and coming out of college to the American League is obviously an adjustment for him. We’ve had him in to watch tape and he’s learning, it’s part of the education and the process a first year player has to go through but he’s been a good student so far.”

Well, yes. Yes he has.

Based on scoresheets it appears Wild has played significant minutes with Theo Peckham and (since he returned) Mathieu Roy this season and against fairly difficult opponents. (NOTE: The Falcons have a strange rotation in which several defenders rotate through as a healthy scratch. Among the D used in this way are Sebastien Bisaillon, Bryan Young and Wild). When Wild is in the lineup, good things happen around him and he seems to be sending things in the right direction with consistency.

Wild’s +6 leads all defenders and he is also leading a slow Falcon-race for top rookie D offensively:

  1. Cody Wild 15gp, 1-4-5 +6
  2. Taylor Chorney 23gp, 0-5-5 -10
  3. Robbie Bina 11gp, 0-3-3 -2
  4. Josef Hrabal 10gp, 0-1-1 E

So, you may be asking yourself “if he’s passing all these other guys on the depth chart why isn’t he ranked higher on the Oilers top 20?”

  1. The top scoring rookie defender in the AHL this season is Ottawa farmhand Mattias Karlsson, who is 24gp, 4-12-16 -7 for Binghampton in 08-09.
  2. The Oilers most recent rookie AHL All-Star defender was Doug Lynch who at 20-years old went 11-25-36 in 74 games as a rookie. Wild isn’t in this territory.
  3. Wild has played well in what can only be described as part time duty. He’s in that bizarre rotation that includes Bisaillon and Wild, and I think it’s reasonable to knock all three a peg or two based on the coach’s decision. He must have his reasons.
  4. All of his points have come on the powerplay.

In spite of some fine indicators, the middling offense combined with a number of healthy scratches tells me Wild hasn’t gained enough traction as a prospect since turning pro to warrant a move up the prospect chart this winter. A player to watch, though.

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9 Responses to "#9 Prospect Winter 2008: Cody Wild"

  1. jon k says:

    Wild might be a candidate prospect for players who are unjustly favoured by a numbers only analysis.

  2. B.C.B. says:

    No love for Wild hey? maybe next year . . .

  3. Lowetide says:

    Actually, I think Wild at #9 is solid. He’s ranked above Bisaillon, Motin Chorney, Young and some others. And he’s behind only Peckham, Plante and Petry.

    The thing I want to know is why does Truitt HS him and play Chorney? I’d love to know the answer.

  4. oilerdago says:

    Could be that the organization is taking the long view. Eventually Chorney has more upside than Wild and so you allow a kid to get the minutes and learn from his mistakes in the hope it helps him down the road.

    While Wild’s numbers are better, they’re not overwhelming and given the logjam, they are pushing him to give them a reason to change their minds (and it looks like he may not have done it yet).

    Not saying that this is right or not, but one of the things with young defensemen is they need the time to develop and it appears Chorney is getting priority over the likes of others (below Peckham of course).

  5. B.C.B. says:

    LT: I was talking about ‘no-love’ from the rest of Oilblogosphere. Just a observation on the number of comments on Wild compared to the other prospects.

  6. Dennis says:

    BCB: I usually comment on just about everything;) but I don’t have a chance to see these guys so I’ll just go by LT’s numbers.

    I’m just waiting for one of these offensive guys to gain some separation and we can call that guy the lead dog.

    It’s days like these I wish St. John’s still had an AHL team and there was still a Canadian division. Time was the Bulldogs and Roadrunners would be here for eight games a year and I’d catch them all.

  7. oilerdiehard says:

    Wild was sent down to Stockton of the ECHL yesterday. I guess there must be something he is not doing well that does not jump off the stat sheet?

  8. Lowetide says:

    I’m sure there is, but it’s an open question as to where he is as a prospect versus Taylor Chorney. Wild isn’t likely getting the tough minutes Chorney’s getting and may not deserve them.

    One thing we do know: Chorney can’t handle them.

  9. oilerdiehard says:

    A timely story for you to check out if you have not already come across it?

    http://www.masslive.com/sports/index.ssf/2008/12/falcons_defenseman_
    taylor_chor.html?category=Falcons&category=Garry%20Brown

    Though the writer says Chorney drafted "No.2" and also says he played 4 seasons in North Dakota. Hockeydb is your friend. :)

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