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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15 Responses to "Tall Tree from Minnetonka"

  1. spOILer says:

    A branch from the tall tree tree?

    If he grows another 4 inches so late in life, can I suggest we be patient and expect a long development curve? He's bound to be clumsy as hell while he does his Reed Richards imitation.

    Although, another high school year and a full NCAA career will put him 5 years away from the A anyway. So hopefully its all good and one day Randy Gregg appears.

  2. woody says:


    6' 2" and 188lbs is an excellent frame to grow around if he has another year of HS yet to go. If he were much heavier at that height/age it would be a lot of 'bad' weight and changing his body fat to lean muscle mass ratio can be a long and difficult process depending on his metabolism and natural sematotype. If he were a lot leaner, he'd be Riley Nash, and we'd raise eyebrows everytime we get an update that he hasn't gained significant weight from the time he was drafted. I think Hesketh is in a good situation. Given his gene pool and current vitals, he could easily finish at 6' 6" and 230lbs. CFP territory, size mind you, but still…He's one to keep an eye on for sure.

  3. Lord Bob says:

    I'm a little iffy on any legitimate prospect spending an extra year in high school, even at one of the good American high schools.

    That said, Hesketh does seem like one of those projects we keep hearing about, so if anyone could use it, it's him. Better that he play a lot in high school than he rot as a true freshman at Wisconsin.

    Also, I'd be careful writing the name "Eddie Caron", LT. If you don't take care he'll eat the rest of the words.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Eddie Caron after one semester at Yale: "I obviously gave it a chance and tried to assimilate myself ( to Yale) and I had some early success with that, but as the semester went on it became more and more apparent that my heart was in Durham but I was in New Haven, Connecticut. I miss everything about the University of New Hampshire."

    Haven't heard much about him since reading this:


  5. raventalon40 says:

    I still wonder about Bigos and Abney.

  6. Mr. Bugg says:

    I'm hoping for a bigger Paul Martin.

    Martin, 17/18- 24 GP, 9-11-20
    Hesketh, 17/18- 21 GP, 5-11-16

    Martin was passed over his first year eligible, but netted 50 points in 24 games in 1999-00. That's a good line in the sand.

  7. Guy Flaming says:

    Contrary to Oiler reports, his dad and brother are not actually wookies. They are 6'5 and 6'4. Apparently that one got a little 'fish tale' and was blown out of proportion.

    Also, Eddie Caron is apparently battling colon cancer. And no, that's not a joke.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Sorry to hijack this, but have you seen the state of the cab driver Kane and his punk cousin beat up? The poor guy looks around 65 years old.

    Nice going Kane, you've just replaced Eric Lindros as my most wanted hockey player to wake up in hell list.

  9. Lord Bob says:

    Innocent until proven guilty, hunter.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    I assume Lord Bob must be a big fan of OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson.

  11. Showerhead says:

    Contrary to Oiler reports, his dad and brother are not actually wookies.

    That line made me smile. Wookies are the cute, socially acceptable Star Wars reference.

    Now if you'd said his dad and brother are not actually AT/ST walkers… well then you'd just look like a huge nerd ;)

  12. Ribs says:

    That really sucks to hear about Caron. Fuck Cancer. That's all I can say about that.

    On Hesketh, I have to agree with woody that his weight sounds about right. He will get bigger.

    I'd rather sign veteran stay at home guys than try to develop them but I suppose you have to balance your picks as you would your roster sometimes. Nothing really seems to stick out about this guy other than his projected size….which sounds like it could be exaggerated some. He's still a question mark in my mind.
    We'll see.

  13. Peter says:

    "He plans on playing another season of high school then heading to the USHL before attending college at Wisconsin in fall 2011."

    I'm all for letting a kid develop in junior, college, or the AHL, but high school??? How can a 3rd round pick be playing high school? Even playing in the USHL at age 19 is pretty questionable. Most good prospects are already in their 2nd season of college by then and are showing whether or not they have pro potential. If the Oilers are unhappy with Nash choosing Cornell, I can't see how they'd be happy with the choices this guy has made.

  14. godot10 says:

    //I'm all for letting a kid develop in junior, college, or the AHL, but high school??? How can a 3rd round pick be playing high school? Even playing in the USHL at age 19 is pretty questionable.//

    Maybe because he has a year of high school left? And you need to finish high school to accept a scholarship to Wisconsin? Playing a lot in the USHL is probably better than not playing much as a freshman at Wisconsin.

    You realize that the year after the Oilers took Petry, the best USHL defensemen started being drafted a round sooner…the league was re-rated.

  15. RiversQ says:

    Oh yeah I'm sure the oilers set the trend there.

    Truthfully I lost all respect for Oiler scouts when I saw that mindless video on the official site around draft time. You know the one where they went around the table saying "Tavares or Hedman?" Seriously some of thedumbest answers I've ever heard – like an interview from Spinal Tap.

    Anyway, it's clear MacGregor learned his bullshit from Prendergast.

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