#18 Prospect: Brandon Davidson

Winter 2009: NR
Summer 2010: NR

Winter 2010: #18

Years ago, the Oilers paid Kenta Nilsson to drive his SAAB around Europe looking for prospects. Frank Musil would join in when he could get the Lada Hitschmanova going (“56 Sparks Street”) and throughout the KP era Edmonton drafted obscure Euro’s.

From Alexei Mikhnov to Jesse Niinimaki and Mikhail Youkov and beyond, the Oilers plucked kids whose photos were not available to the Hockey News for their draft issue (Mikhnov), whose scouting reports were barely available on the Al Gore (Niinimaki) and whose names had more correct spellings than Carter has pills (Zhukov, Youkov).

The current Oilers procurement group–led by Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor–prefer North America and specifically the WHL. Here are the Oilers draft trends since MacGregor took over in time for the 2008 Entry Draft:

  1. WHL 7 (Eberle, Hamilton, others)
  2. Sweden 3 (MPS, Lander, Motin)
  3. QMJHL 3 (Roy, Cornet, Blain)
  4. OHL 2 (Hall & Martindale)
  5. Finland 2 (Hartikainen, Rajala)
  6. BCJHL 2 (Bigos, Kellen Jones)
  7. USHS 1 (Hesketh)
  8. NCAA 1 (Pitlick)
  9. Slovakia 1 (Marincin)
  10. Belarus 1 (Pelss)

That’s 23 picks; 52% of MBS’s picks come from the CHL (30% WHL; 13% QMJHL; 9% OHL) with the Swedes and Finn’s making up 21.7% of the group (Swede’s 13%; Finn’s about 9%). It’s a huge change in direction from the KP era, with US high schools, the USHL and NCAA all losing their previous appeal to the organization.

The results of the Oilers attention to the CHL have been impressive so far. From Hall to Eberle to Hamilton and beyond, the organization has done their homework in their own back yard and the results are impressive.

  • Mike Remmerde/Redline Report: I usually like late bloomers who come out of nowhere, but this guy’s skating bothers me too much. Has big trouble with pivots. But he’s got really good hockey sense and is a very good puck mover. Probably goes way higher than I like, but if somehow he lasted until the 5th round, I might be interested. (Note: Oilers took him in the 6th round).
  • International Scouting Services: Davidson was listed by the Pats after last seasons Mac’s Midget Tournament. He has not missed a beat and has added some offensive flair to the Pat d-core. He moves the puck very well and is a key contributor to the PP. He has great mobility and vision with the puck. He has made an easy and smooth transition from Midget AAA to the WHL. Not often is there an 18 yr old rookie who has the impact that Davidson has had this season.

Davidson did have some knee problems a year ago, but the scouting reports above (puck mover with decent size: 6.02, 194 now) give us a nice idea about him. Stu MacGregor after the draft: “We were looking for a puck mover, and Davidson certain is that. We were surprised he was there, he’s a talented kid. He did have an injury problem with a knee just after Christmas; we feel he has a legitimate chance to be a solid guy for us in our organization.”

He ranks 5th in WHL scoring among defenders and is having a fine year compared to last season:

  • 09-10: 59gp, 1-33-34 (.576) 37pims +15
  • 10-11: 33gp, 5-22-27 (.818) 32pims -4

The Pats are 70-106 at even strength this season (-36) so if Davidson is playing average minutes at even strength (and the Pats roll three pairings) his plus minus should be -12 (and it’s -4). Last season, his +15 came on a team that was -11 overall, so he’s no stranger to a strong plus minus.

Since they’re in the same league, I thought it might be an idea to compare Davidson with Martin Marincin. When are they scoring points? Are they posting impressive EV numbers? What about the PP?

  • Marincin’s boxcars: 32gp, 9-24-33 (1.03)
  • Davidson’s boxcars: 33gp, 5-22-27 (.818)
  • Marincin’s EVs: 32gp, 3-10-13 (.406)
  • Davidson’s EVs: 33gp, 2-14-16 (.485)
  • Marincin PP: 32gp, 6-14-20 (.625)
  • Davidson PP: 33gp, 3-8-11 (.333)

Marcincin’s PP number is a very good one, Davidson’s no slouch either. Both of their EV numbers are solid, I wouldn’t take too much from Davidson’s superior number. Defensenen don’t drive the bus at Evs and three points in 32-33 games is covered by luck at least once.

I like Davidson a lot, his numbers are impressive. One thing that stands out: Marincin has had a hand in 20/30 PP goals for his team. I don’t know if that’s sustainable, but it stands out. I had to check it twice. Not really about Davidson, but there you go.

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