Winter 2009: NR
Summer 2010: #19
Winter 2010: #19
Jeremie Blain has been injured for much of this season. That would normally mean he’d be at the end of this list, but in the case of Blain there are a couple of reasons to make an exception.
Why? Blain hurt his foot late September when blocking a shot and it took him forever (mid-December) to return. Having said that, foot injuries are somewhat commonplace for defensemen and are not among the items we generally associate with impact injuries (concussions, knees, ankles, hands). Over a long career, foot injuries can slow a player and affect mobility, but this injury doesn’t appear to be one that will impact his career. The X-rays came back fine (and although it took quite a long time to recover) he’s good to go. We’ll put it on his resume, but the blue have to deal with this kind of thing from time to time.
I have no pre-draft scouting reports so will list the words that were written right after the draft from the Oilers:
- Steve Tambellini: “He’s 6.03, they think he’ll play around 220. He’s a right hand shot, and he plays with the edge, he’s a hard guy to play against and he scored 40 points last year. Not a lot of people talked about him, but he (Oiler scout Bill Dandy) was passionate about. We waited a little one extra pick, but we got him. I’m happy about this pick.”
- Stu MacGregor: “Good size, very strong, competes hard and plays with an edge. A guy we really liked, Billy Dandy really pushed him hard. When I saw him play, the kid played on a terrible team but played hard every shift. We feel we gto some more size there and we got some grit.”
I think it’s pretty clear this was an area scout (Dandy) draft and a case of “saw him good.” Happily the math agrees with the selection (Blain was taken #91, you can still draft NHL players in that range) as Blain had a breakout season with Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) in 2009-10.
Blain’s numbers for last season and this:
- 09-10: 64gp, 4-34-38 (.594) -22
- 10-11: 8gp, 0-6-6 (.750) +3 (+12)
I can’t find last season’s PP/PK numbers for Acadie-Bathurst in 09-10 (the Q site is a bollocks, they should fire the company that did the CHL webovers) but can say that last year’s team was -78 overall. So in both cases (and with limited knowledge for 09-10) it seems Blain is “in the range” for plus minus. One other item: EVERY article about the Titan this season has mentioned Blain was injured, so he appears to be a player of importance to them.
I think there’s one other thing we can agree on with regard to this player: he was drafted for need. Never a good idea, it’s especially galling to do it early in the draft (ala Cameron Abney). I don’t think it’s a huge crime to have taken this player at 91 and he does appear to be covering the bet early.
Here’s what the Oilers site said about Blain on draft day:
- At the urging of Oilers QMJHL Scout Billy Dandy, Blain went to the Oilers after turning heads on an Acadie-Bathurst team that finished 31-37 last season, in spite of his contributions. The team’s scoring leader among defencemen (34 points in 68 games), his bread-and-butter style is an edgy, physical brand of play with an aggressive style every shift. A Montreal native and bilingual, Blain compared his playing style to his boyhood idol, Andrei Markov.
I’ll tell you the names of the players I considered for this slot. Since this is in fact the 20th prospect listed, I’ll be adding one (tomorrow) for number 20 overall. Under consideration:
- Shawn Belle: a nice blend of size and speed.
- Ryan O’Marra: Good on faceoffs, he’s a perfect fit for the current team.
- Johan Motin: The forgotten AHL defender may be a little shy.
- Tyler Bunz: Having a nice season. 5th in WHL SP.
- Milan Kytnar: Some evidence he’s a defensive savant.
If there are any others who warrant consideration, please let me know and argue your case.