Tobias Rieder is from Landshut, Germany. He’s an undersized center/winger (ISS lists him at “forward”) with terrific skill and plays the game with intelligence. Those words–skill, intelligence, speed–are hot button items for the Edmonton Oilers scouting department. There might be a slight hitch in one area the Oilers covet–speed–as Redline suggests he lacks an explosive first step.
That’s probably the reason a quality offensive prospect like Rieder fell on draft day. Redline had him as a late 2nd rounder, ISS had him as a mid-3rd rounder (and described him as having “excellent speed”–some disconnect in the scouting reports here), but Rieder lasted until late in the 4th round, 114th overall. Edmonton has had a lot of success in that draft zone over the years. Outstanding G prospect Tyler Bunz was plucked #121 a year ago; Liam Reddox went #112 in 2004; Jason Chimera #121 in 1997; Miro Satan #111 in 1993; Steve Smith #111 in 1981.
Rieder was taken deep in the draft, so it’s important that we temper expectations. Despite playing in the top prospects game, having impressive skills and performing well with Kitchener in the tough OHL (65, 23-26-49 35), the success rate for 4th rd selections dictates that Rieder is extremely likely to play fewer NHL games in his career than Liam Reddox. It’s quite possible that Rieder never plays in the NHL.
Christopher Boucher is an interesting young man with a fascinating system that he applied to Rieder for a game during this past OHL season. His description of Rieder as “an undersized, but quick skater who wins puck-battles with speed and a good stick, rather than size and strength” is very encouraging. He also describes Rieder as the winner of many puck battles during said game.
Rieder was listed at 5.10, 173 or 5.10.25, 169 depending on which service you read leading up to the draft. Rieder’s stats and scouting report are a nice comp for a WHL forward who is now emerging as an NHL player:
- Tobias Rieder (OHL) 65, 23-26-49 (.754)
- Dana Tyrell (WHL) 72, 30-26-56 (.777)
I think that’s a reasonable comparable. Solid role player, and someone who can help in multiple areas. Rieder’s speed lends itself to two-way play and his aggressiveness in puck battles will bode well should he continue to develop after turning pro.
The 2011 entry draft was very similar to 2002. That year, scouts told us that you could get a better player at 50 than you drafted at 20. The Oilers draft list that season (Niinimaki in the first round, and then JDD, Stoll and Matt Greene in round two) reflected it, and we should be prepared for that kind of outcome from this year’s Oilers draft list.
Rieder is a candidate to surprise. He doesn’t project as an offensive difference maker, but (as always seems the way) Stu MacGregor’s selection of this player is typical in that he:
- has a nice range of skills.
- displays intelligence.
- has an aggressive style.
- was taken by the Oilers in a slot that would not be considered a reach selection.
Stu MacGregor trusts his list. Tobias Rieder is a legit prospect, albeit unlikely to contribute at a high level offensively.