When I was a kid my Dad used to take me fishing, but only if I could wake up in time to go with him. My Dad believed fishing was only worth doing if you were sitting in a boat from about one hour before sunrise to about one hour after sunrise and then the same time at the end of the day. That was his prime time.
The Edmonton Oilers pick their forwards the same way: during prime time. In the last 10 drafts, the Oilers have called out the name of a defenseman in the top 50 seletions 8 times; this compares to 2 goalies and 14 forwards. Edmonton picks forwards in the top 50 selections just shy of 60% of the time.
The first round is even more pronounced: Since 2002 (10 drafts ago), Edmonton has performed thusly in the first round: 10 forwards, 2 defensemen and 1 goaltender. That’s a trend, and MBS is no different than KP: since 2008, the Oilers have taken 4 forwards and 1 defender in the first round.
All of this is a round about way of saying the Oilers are fishing for defensemen at High Noon and we shouldn’t be surprised if all or most of the longshots die on the vine.
Martin Gernat has good curb appeal. Despite being taken in the 5th round and 122nd overall–which is close to fishing in the Dead Sea for prospects–the Al Gore can’t wait to tell us good things about him. Edmonton has taken some good players in past 5th rounds, guys like Jussi Markkanen, Jason Chimera, Miroslav Satan, Peter White, Shaun Van Allen, Walt Poddubny.
There are a lot of similarities in the scouting reports I’ve read about Gernat. He’s a big, skinny kid who is an excellent, smooth skater. He’s Rip Van Winkle skinny but can move the puck up effectively and is already very good at reading and reacting. Gernat does get beaten physically, but with his frame (6.05, 8 pounds 8 ounces) that shouldn’t be a surprise. He’ll need to eat something soon. He’s confident with the puck and doesn’t waste any time impressing people. The word I’ve heard from those who follow the Oil Kings is that Gernat is going to have a big role on the team as a rookie and he may in fact be paired with phenom Griffin Reinhart to start the season.
He has posted some impressive crooked numbers since he was 15 years old and playing for Presov in the Slovak Jr (2nd tier) league.
- Stu MacGregor: “watched Gernat a lot. He’s a big guy, skates extremely well, 6’4″, still quite slim, passes the puck very well. Really quite excited about what he might be able to bring. “
- MBS also said they had Gernat in their top 35 overall. I hesitate to mention it because it is the kind of thing KP used to say, but MacGregor doesn’t seem to use hyperbole like a jackhammer so I’ll put it in here.
There are a couple of scouting reports in the previous post on Gernat, if you click on his name below the item will be just below this one.