Oilers sign Motin

The Edmonton Oilers signed Swede defender Johan Motin to an entry level contract today. Motin has some nice things on his resume and his arrows are pointing in the right direction.

Also positive is that the Oilers as an organization are really good at identifying this player type and having success with them. The most recent example is Theo Peckham, but finding DD’s (defensive defensemen) is an organizational strength that goes back to Jan Hejda, Steve Staios, Igor Ulanov and beyond.

The Edmonton Oilers can find these guys at midnight in a snow storm. Also, Motin was drafted less than a year ago but fans shouldn’t be fooled about his timeline. Unlike teenage Finn Teeum Hartikainen (who is still fairly raw from the reports) or the “next Schremp” Linus Omark (who was 20 when drafted and has developed a reputation since that birthday), Motin is both a teenager and fairly well along as a hockey player.

It’s a wonderful combination and will probably serve Motin well with the fanbase. Most of us don’t know him well, we’ve been worrying over Schremp and the new king-in-waiting Omark, while Motin just posted a quality season in a very good pro league.

Motin was +4 in 52 games with Farjestads this season. That number was 5th best on a very good team (UFA goalie Jonas Gustavsson was on this team) and shows (along with the GP total) that a good club had some faith in him. We shouldn’t get crazy and assume he was playing the tough minutes but he was out there for 11 minutes on 52 different evenings and that’s a nice bullet on the resume. End of the roster guy, but he’s learning the ropes.

Another way to look at Motin (and compare him to others) is to drag out my trusty prospect evaluation system:

  1. Player of unknown quality
  2. Entry level junior/college player
  3. Fringe level junior/college/2nd div Euro player
  4. Regular in junior/college/2nd div Euro player
  5. Quality junior/college/2nd div Euro player
  6. Impact junior/college/2nd div Euro player
  7. Minor League/Elite Euro league Cup-of-Coffee
  8. Minor League/Elite Euro league Depth Player
  9. Minor League/Elite Euro league Regular
  10. Quality Minor/Elite Euro league Player
  11. NHL Fringe Player
  12. NHL Role Player
  13. NHL Regular
  14. Above Average NHL Player
  15. Impact NHL Player

Johan Motin

  • Age 17: 7
  • Age 18: 7
  • Age 19: 9

Teemu Hartikainen

  • Age 17: 5
  • Age 18: 9

Linus Omark

  • Age 17: 4
  • Age 18: 7
  • Age 19: 9
  • Age 20: 9
  • Age 21: 10

Three good young prospects here, I’d probably take the Finn in a re-draft. However, Motin has a nice scouting report:

  • 6.01, 202
  • A strong skating defender.
  • Does over commit at times but is skilled enough to recover.
  • Very strong defensive presence.
  • Crisp passer, plays in all situations.
  • Mean streak.

Today, we get another tell. When an NHL organization calls your name past #100 in an Entry Draft and signs you 11 months later, you’ve done something right.

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29 Responses to "Oilers sign Motin"

  1. jon k says:

    Part of the reason for Motin being signed so early is that he’s not getting enough playing time with his SEL team. Given that a defender of his type would benefit from acclimating to the NA game early on it makes sense to bring him over as soon as possible.

  2. Lowetide says:

    jon k: I don’t think he’s a lock to play in North America this season. I’d hope they bring him in, figure out what level he can best compete in for 09-10, and then place him there.

    Frankly, I’d prefer the organization’s best players stay away from the AHL team until they get things straightened out.

    And that could take more than a summer.

  3. jon k says:

    I can’t recall which interview exactly, but I do think that KP has stated that they intend to have him play for the AHL affiliate next season.

  4. Lowetide says:

    That would be difficult in terms of numbers. Should they sign Plante and Peckham plays in the AHL, that would mean the depth chart would include the following prospects:

    1. Peckham
    2. Wild
    3. Chorney
    4. Bisaillon
    5. Plante
    6. Hrabal
    7. Motin

    And that’s added to the veteran group (they’ll bring back a few of them among Roy, Young, Taylor, Gabinet).

  5. Showerhead says:

    Holy cow, they’ve sure got a lot of defensemen.

    I guess the right thing to do is use camp to suss out who is capable of playing where and each player’s background to suss out who is willing to play where. Play a quick game of people tetris, and hopefully everything works out.

    What I hope does NOT happen is an influx of each and every AHL-ready prospect to Edmonton’s farm team if whatever has been ailing it (honestly, I don’t follow, I have no idea) isn’t fixed. This is just a bit of extra concern on my part, but the public apology to Springfield and a promise to do better make me wonder if they won’t get a little bit desperate. The AHL should not be where kids’ otherwise viable careers go to die.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead: If I had to guess, Edmonton will probably bring in three veterans (two of those ugly buggers the AHL develops and then someone like Young) and then they keep Peckham (if he stays), Chorney and Wild.

    That’s 6. Then maybe they keep Motin and send Plante to the AHL/ECHL slipstream.

    Probably bad news for Hrabal and Bisaillon.

  7. PunjabiOil says:

    “Holy Mackeral! We’ve got a lot of defensemen!.


    Summer 2007 – what a painful time it was to be an Oilers fan.

  8. jon k says:

    Indeed there will be a logjam for the AHL D depth chart. There’s a strong possibility that we see a few of those players traded or let go.

    It might be prudent to check to see if Motin is under contract in the SEL for 2009-2010. I can’t recall seeing anything on it.

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    Peckham won’t be in the A next year, they can’t afford it to have both Smid and Staios on the bottom pairing…

  10. Lord Bob says:

    jon k: I don’t think he’s a lock to play in North America this season.Yes he is. You can’t sign two pro contracts at once: now that Motin’s signed, sealed, and delivered to the Oilers, he can’t turn around and also sign with a European pro team and the NHL hasn’t got an affiliation with any European teams.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: Then how did Hrabal end up in Europe this season? Or Mikhnov the season before?

  12. Mr DeBakey says:

    how did Hrabal end up in Europe this season? Or Mikhnov the season before?Loaned

    As Nillson will be next year if he’s not traded

  13. Lord Bob says:

    Indeed on the loaning. As you can tell, that’s a pretty rare occurance reserved only for – to put the matter bluntly – rejects. Not many blue-chippers for whom the Oilers are happy to pay their salary while letting them spiral out of their control.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: I don’t understand. Hrabal is useless and yet he’s coming back to camp? What for? Comedy?

  15. Lord Bob says:

    Comedy? Why not? Worked for Michael Henrich for an awfully long time!

    More to the point, Hrabel wasn’t getting his ice time, he had his big injury early in the year, and the AHL wasn’t a good place for him. So away he went. And what’s a training camp invite cost them?

    Now, I may end up being wrong about this. Frankly, LT, you know more about the Oilers than I ever will, but the guys the Oilers send out on loan never seem to be their priorities.

  16. jon k says:

    Despite some decent but unremarkable numbers in the some of the Euro leagues, I think we can safely write Hrabal off as a prospect of interest.

    He’s going to be 24 by the team season breaks and he’s under 175 lbs. Hockeydb has him listed as 165 and EdmontonOilers.com has him at 176. Given the low nature of the number, especially for a defenseman I think we can assume that the Oilers number is inflated. His low weight was probably less of a concern on the bigger, less physical playing field in the Euro leagues.

    He and Wild are probably good examples of the numbers games being misleading sometimes.

  17. RiversQ says:

    The most recent example is Theo Peckham, but finding DD’s (defensive defensemen) is an organizational strength that goes back to Jan Hejda, Steve Staios, Igor Ulanov and beyond.

    I’m going to quibble with this one.

    The Oilers’ organizational strength has been finding veterans, not so much with drafting and developing this type of player. Your list of examples pretty much proves that.

    So far I’d say the list is really short and includes pretty much just Matt Greene. The jury is definitely still out on Peckham, although he could be the second in Lowe’s entire tenure. That’s hardly a strength.

  18. misfit says:

    Niklas Hjalmarsson in Chicago seems like a pretty good comparable for Motin as far as current NHLers go.

    I was pretty high on Hrabal too, but I think Motin could really strive in the AHL next year, though probably not offensively. That’s just not his game.

  19. Lord Bob says:

    Loved it, Bookie.

  20. Smarmy Boss says:

    Its kind of funny because the Oilers could have really used another dependable defensive defenseman.

    I guess we have a few in the pipeline. Including, hopefully, Plante. I’m actually not much of a fan of him in seeing him live a couple of times but I think they Oilers should still sign him and see what they can do with him.

  21. Scott says:


    Hejda wasn’t young, but he was NHL-young. Grebs was young, too, not that he qualifies as a defensive defenseman (he was also a draft target in his year). We demanded Gilbert in the Salo trade when they offered a lesser prospect.

    I think it’s fair to say that the Lowe era has found d-men young and old.

  22. Bruce says:

    … and we held out for Smid in the Pronger auction …

    * ducking and running *

  23. doritogrande says:

    Bookie, you’re seven sorts of asshole for that one. I bought it hook, line and sinker.


    On Motin, I’d be much more inclined to have him full-season ECHL at this point. The team has a proven track record, and the Swede’s young enough IMO that a season in Stockton shouldn’t be considered to be a failure. He gets the playing time necessary to develop into a defensive specialist that he certainly would not get in the AHL with the big list of names LT mentioned.

    Also, on the subject of signing juniors, why the hell hasn’t Kytnar been signed yet? A point-per game player (in his final season) in the Dub while taking on the other team’s toughs, that’s someone worth a looksee at the pro level.

  24. Scott says:


    I thought about that one too. If Smid hadn’t been one of the famous five assets, we wouldn’t look at him the same.

  25. bookie says:

    This blog isn’t about the Tulsa Oilers? What the hell it sure fit the bill, losing team, bad coach, no compete level, not tough enough, etc… sure sounds like our Oilers!

  26. LMHF#1 says:

    I get incredibly nervous when the first thing mentioned about a guy is skating.

    Few and far between are the guys who have skating as their noticably top asset and can turn that into a really good career.

    Joni Pitkanen was one of the most efficient skaters I’ve watched in an Oilers uniform, but you’d never mention it as his top asset. Good players tend to overshadow their skating.

  27. Bruce says:

    LMHF: Paul Coffey was one of the strongest skaters I’ve watched in an Oiler uniform, virtually everybody mentioned it as his top asset from the first scouting report to his Hall of Fame induction.

    Glenn Anderson and Mark Messier were also renowned for their sheer speed as young players, although eventually they became more recognized for other things, namely “clutchness”, leadership, winning. But their success was predicated on speed.

    You’re right such players are few and far between. A superb skater like Nick Lidstrom is recognized for his all-ice game, but without that peerless skating he couldn’t possibly make it appear so easy. OTOH I can’t tell you how many beautiful skaters I’ve seen who never did amount to much; there have to be other dimensions, many of them residing in the head rather than the feet. But strong skating skills are a wonderful foundation.

  28. LMHF#1 says:

    Bruce, I agree that skating is a strong foundation. That’s one of the reasons I was in power skating from the ages of about 8 to 17, and why I insist on it for any player who wants to make something of themselves. Proper technical skating especially can still give a huge edge, even over guys in really high levels of hockey.

    It just shouldn’t be the main thing you pick out in a high prospect. If it is; I tend to wonder what he’s not doing. *cough*SteveKelly*cough*.

    Cogliano’s proving the theory wrong on his count, but I’d rather pick a guy who can really fire the puck, or really hits technically well and doesn’t come out of position, or is a positional genius…etc, than a guy who can “really skate”. Make sense?

    That said, I’m completely against drafting the “coke machine” type. Completely.

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