Tall Tree from Minnetonka

During the 2009 entry draft the Edmonton Oilers were doing their usual job of drafting people who weren’t well known in the third round. Colin McDonald was that kind of player, Jeff Petry too believe it or not, and Troy Hesketh would certainly fall into that category.

I promised we’d look more closely at the secondary draft picks as time went on and can now say it’s safe to divide this year’s draft into two specific categories:

  • Prospects with a legit resume: Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, Anton Lander, Toni Rajala, Olivier Roy.
  • Prospects who were “off the board”: Troy Hesketh, Cameron Abney, Kyle Bigos.

The most interesting player from the second group is Troy Hesketh. My draft day notes are sketchy and a little “too good” in terms of talent level (late growth spurt, mobile, impressive wingspan, intelligent player–it began to sound like Sidd Finch’s boy took up hockey). Since late June some more information has come available so I thought it might be time to pass it along.

  • He’s 6.02, but should grow at least a couple more inches. His father is 6.08 and he has a brother who is 6.09.
  • He describes himself as a “stay-at-home” type defender who will jump into the play when the situation requires.
  • He’s currently 188 pounds. I suggest a nickname like “the Pencil” in honor of Carroll Sembera.
  • He plans on playing another season of high school then heading to the USHL before attending college at Wisconsin in fall 2011.

Stu (magificent bastard) MacGregor:

  • “Pretty excited about Hesketh. He’s going to play high school again next year. He already has a verbal scholarship to Wisconsin. He’s a player that has some long term potential. He’s a guy that Mike Peluso had extreme passion for, the way he’s a solid defender and smart in his defending skills, his angles in taking away ice on the puck carrier. We think he has a real upside and he will get some significant training in Wisconsin. They’ve done a great job with defencemen.”

More from MacGregor:

  • “He was a player that after the draft was done, other guys were coming up to us and saying ‘you guys snuck one here!’ New Jersey runs their own scouting combine and we knew that they’d had him in there and a number of other teams were on the radar for him right around that area so we knew we had to step in there and get him if we wanted him. Wisconsin has been recruiting some of the finest defencemen in college hockey over the last number of years now and they are extremely excited about him as a player. His brother and father are both much taller than he is so we think there is still some physical development to come.”

Since the turn of the century the Oilers have invested several top 100 selections in kids playing American high school hockey or junior leagues like the EJHL and USHL. Among the names since 2001 are Eddie Caron, Matt Greene, Colin McDonald, Geoff Paukovich, Taylor Chorney, Robby Dee, Chris Vande Velde, Jeff Petry and now Troy Hesketh.

Here’s hoping he hits 6.06 or better.

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