Training Camp Hopeful #1: Johan Motin

Over the next few days I’m going to post about a few players in the Oilers organization who might surprise in training camp. These players will be outside the mental depth chart most of us carry around all day (“if Staios were injured, would they move Strudwick up or make a call to Springfield for Peckham?”) but have a legit chance to improve their standing over the next 12 months.

The first player: defender Johan Motin.

  • How did they get him? A very solid draft pick, he was chosen 103rd overall in 2008. Based on what we knew before the draft that should be considered an excellent “value” pick along the lines of Rajala this past season.
  • What is his style of play? 6.02, 201 stay-at-home type who plays a physical game and possesses a mean streak. He lacks consistency, which makes sense based on the fact that he’s very young for the league he’s in (SEL last year, he’s 20 years old in a couple of weeks). He’s not going to add much offensively.
  • What are his negatives? Mobility and foot speed are going to be the hurdles, along with the usual things young defensemen struggle with (reading, reacting and recovering).
  • Where has the organization slotted him? Haven’t much idea, although the rumblings are that he’ll play in Springfield this season.
  • If you had to guess where he’ll be on the depth chart, where would you slot him? I’d put him behind the 7 men who’ll play in Edmonton, and also behind Falcons Peckham, Arsene and Jake Taylor. He’s in a group with AHL vet Bryan Young and the former college kids Wild and Chorney. I’ll say he’s the #4 defender on the Falcons, so that’s 11th on the overall depth chart.
  • Using words Rob Schremp would use, why the fuck should we care about him? A few reasons. The Oilers can find quality players of this type at midnight in a snowstorm, they’ve been able to do it for years. Also, Motin has played pro hockey for quite awhile (102 games in the Elitserien) and that should help him this fall.
  • Isn’t this exactly what you said about Josef Hrabal? Yes. Hrabal got hurt early last season and it derailed his year and his Oiler career. That can happen, injuries are a huge deal in this game. On the other hand, Hrabal was a pencil, very thin. This fellow has some bulk.
  • Is he better than Alex Plante? Right now he is, or at least that’s my bet. It’ll be interesting to see how these two players adjust this fall. One has been playing in a high pro league and the other in a very good junior league, possibly the best available. My bet is on the Swede but it’ll be fun to watch them progress.
  • You mention the SEL, did he play much? Quite a bit for his age and position. 11:19 a game, he was +3. The TOI total ranked well below the top 6 defenders but I`d say he was the first option after that during the 08-09 season. He played about the same number of minutes per game as MPS.
  • Then you think he`ll play in the NHL next season. Unlikely, but he might get a 1 or 2 game look if things go well on the farm.

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12 Responses to "Training Camp Hopeful #1: Johan Motin"

  1. Bar Qu says:

    So, because defenders develop like glaciers (as you say) we should look forward to the new Matt Greene making his reg-NHL debut in 2011? (as a number seven or eight guy)

    Or does this guy have the trajectory to make the jump in the same year as Peckham should arrive (2010)?

  2. flamingpavelbure says:

    I would say Screw Strudwick, and bring in one of the young guns.

    As for Motin, (question for Lowetide) do you think he developed real good to reach out the value of a first rounder, or Alex Plante dropped down to a 4/5th rounder. Or are they Crossroads at 2/3rd rounders?.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Bar Qu: We really don't know, because they all develop differently. I wouldn't be surprised if he spent two full seasons in the AHL, though.

    flaming pavelbure: I think Plante was always a risk pick for a 1st rounder on all kinds of levels. His skill set was raw, he's a defenseman and not a pure puck mover. He was an unusual pick for that time in the draft, not like a kid like Ian Cole (as an example).

    So, I'd say Motin is better than his number and Plante is a guy who could wander for 5 years before looking like a good selection.

  4. flamingpavelbure says:

    Well in defense of your scouts i would say that the next 4 picks.

    Cherepanov : Dead (Arguably the best of them all)
    Gilies: 30 Points in that drafted year…?
    Macmillan: BLOWWWWW
    Esposito: Semi Blow.

    Now for Nash

    Pacioretty: Already NHL ready
    Blum: Best WHL Defender
    Backlund: Part of the St-louis Core
    White: Blow
    Perron: Part of the St-louis Core

    Nash seems to be the biggest blowout out of the top 25.

  5. Lowetide says:

    What are you talking about? Nash is on track, he'll be a solid NHLer if he continues to develop (a good comp for career progression at this point is Chris Higgins).

    The big bust so far from that draft is without doubt Zach Hamill.

  6. Lord Bob says:

    Of course, LT, Plante had a nasty injury too. My main objection with drafting him was that he was the second-best defender on his junior team and didn't do anything particularly well: it seemed he had a higher-than-usual chance of simply riding on Alzner's coat tails.

    I think he's taken steps towards proving me wrong on that front. But that injury essentially robbed him of a year of development, and we all know what that did for Marc Pouliot's curve.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: Good point in regard to the injuries. He's one of the players I'm looking forward to seeing at camp, just to see where he is in terms of development. The ECHL is probably possible at this point but who knows?

  8. Jonathan Willis says:

    Great article, LT. I love the style, and I had to laugh at the Hrabal question.

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    Pavel Bure:

    Except of course that all those picks listed after Nash also came after Plante.

  10. ASRC says:


    You're thinking of the wrong player. Backlund was drafted by Calgary. Berglund was drafted by St. Louis in 2006.

  11. Bar Qu says:

    wouldn't be surprised if he spent two full seasons in the AHL, though.

    With all the quality prospects in the system, I am really looking forward to cheering for the 2012-13 Oilers. Maybe Hemsky might even still want to play for that team. ;)

  12. Coach pb9617 says:


    By that time, Hemsky will be one of the most overpaid wingers in the NHL, wishing and hoping that Horcoff was still covering for his ass.

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