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.