Stu MacGregor and his staff have fired 32 bullets since 2008′s entry draft, and regular readers of this blog know I’m impressed with the results. Not just the two #1 overall selections, or even the MPS and Eberle picks. Not even the 2nd round picks like Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Marincin, Curtis Hamilton and David Musil. Those are solid names, and along with Oscar Klefbom (another first rounder) should form the heart of the Oilers rolling out over the next decade and beyond.
Along with those selections, MBS and group have gone deep into the draft to find some gems. Temmu Hartikainen, Tyler Bunz, and now Martin Gernat. How good will he be?
Over the years, the Oilers have been known for massive amounts of hyperbole in regard to their draft picks. So most fans take statements like “we had him in our top 35″ with a grain of salt. After all, when you select a young man #122 your list is probably exhausted and the “reach list” might be on the table.
In the case of Martin Gernat, the MBS statements may be true.
- Stu MacGregor after the draft: “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. “
The kid is a tall tree and he has some magic moves, plus he can play the position. His WHL numbers (6gp, 5-5-10 +6) are stunning. He is tied for 6th in overall points, leads all defensemen and all rookies. It’s also worth mentioning that the Oil Kings have scored 18 goals overall, meaning Gernat is in the mix on a lot of goals. He’s 2-2-4 on the PP, meaning he’s at a point-per-game at even strength.
It’s important not to get ahead of ourselves, this is a depth pick and his last two weeks might be the highlight of his career. Still, this is an astounding debut and a delightful result for the Oilers and their fans. Martin Gernat could be a player. A real one.
Nation Radio is on the air at noon Edmonton time today. You can listen live on Team 1260 (the prompt is on the upper right) and of course the podcast will be up later at ON. Scheduled to appear:
Former Oiler Sean Brown will drop by to talk to me about the Taylor Fedun injury and changing that nasty icing rule. We’ll also touch base on his time as an Oiler, his experience in Europe and what he’s up to these days.
Timo Seppa from Hockey Prospectus will join me to talk about the HP Annual. It’s getting a lot of play as a “must read” and reminds me of the old Bill James Abstracts. The Oilers section alone is exceptional.
Thomas Drance, who interviewed Elliotte Friedman this week about his newfound interest in advanced stats.
Matt Bugg from dobber hockey will talk to us about getting an early read on the 2012 entry draft. I’ve been hearing that it’s a very good draft, and will ask Bugg for his opinion. We’ll also discuss Gernat and his ability.
Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP man will discuss Gernat, the Oil Kings solid start, the lack of scoring from the usual suspects and the pure joy of a WHL road trip.
Email questions and comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org and tune in if you have time. Happy Thanksgiving!