We knew before day two of the draft that the Edmonton Oilers had an interest in Mitchell Moroz and big wingers. The question we’re left with now is what kind of player is Moroz?
I discussed Moroz as an option for the Oilers in the 10 days leading up to the draft. As it turned out, more teams than Edmonton appeared to be looking at him as the final draft list before the actual event–the McKenzie–had him 56th and trending. When Lisa McRitchie spoke to Steve Tambellini after the first round he indicated it would be draft for need and that the club was content with their stockpile of defenders.
After the draft, Stu MacGregor expressed they liked Moroz and stepped up to get him before he was plucked later in the second round. Jason Gregor–who was at the draft–confirmed to me that Moroz was indeed on the radar and certainly would have been taken before Edmonton drafted again in round 3.
What kind of player is Mitch Moroz. Quite a bit different that some of the other power forwards taken in the top 50 picks this season. I chose Tom Wilson and Lukas Sutter to compare Moroz to, in order to see what the tale of the tape and in game usage told us about each player.
- Mitchell Moroz 6.175, 209
- Tom Wilson 6.35, 203
- Lukas Sutter 5.1175, 214
Those are the Central Scouting Numbers so are the best available to the fans. Moroz still has some time to grow, but based on footspeed and age can be considered a “load” at this point in time.
Moroz is most comfortable as a fighter. I counted 19 regular season 5-minute majors and there must be at least 15 on youtube. Here’s a breakdown (there may be a couple of mistakes, this is among the more tedious things to do) of penalties by each of the three players we’re discussing:
Moroz fought twice as often as the other two forwards and both Sutter and Wilson took a lot more minor penalties than the young Oil King. A couple of obvious reasons come to mind: Moroz wasn’t playing as much as either Sutter or Wilson, and I do think there’s some evidence that both of them have a lot of “disturber” in them as players.
Some evidence of the latter comes in the “type of foul” performed to gain these minors. Here’s a list of infractions and the number by each player:
- Roughing (Sutter 18, Wilson 15, Moroz 1)
- Charging (Wilson 5, Sutter 1, Moroz 0)
- Checking from behind (Wilson 4, Sutter 1, Moroz 1)
- Check to the head (Wilson 4, Sutter 3, Moroz 0)
- High sticking (Wilson 4, Sutter 2, Moroz 2)
- Boarding (Wilson 2)
- Cross Checking (Wilson 3, Sutter 2, Moroz 0)
- Goalie Interference (Sutter 3, Wilson 2, Moroz 1)
- Slashing (Sutter 6, Moroz 2, Wilson 1)
Again we have to factor in games played and time on ice, but Moroz is clearly not in the same ballpark for these infractions. Some is ice time but I’m not certain we can explain all of it with TOI. Moroz is no angel but does appear to be a “protector” or “enforcer” as opposed to a disturber. I’m not certain my read is correct but there does seem to be a difference there.
Sutter has the most offensive talent based on these numbers (again lack of TOI is the devil here) and is the one you’d expect to have the best pro career. Interesting that he was drafted third in the group.
I had a look-see at Moroz’ powerplay goals and they all appear to be later goals in blowouts and times of the game that would be consistent with a 4liner getting a push.