SVERIGE

Magnus Paajarvi was taken in the 1st round (10th overall) 2009. He represents the highest draft pick from Sweden in Oilers history and may benefit heavily from a change in coaching.

Edmonton did not pick up on the Swedish invasion’s first wave, nor the second. Between 1980 and 1989, Calgary drafted 10 kids from Sweden (including Hakan Loob) while Edmonton drafted two in the same time frame (Lars-Gunnar Pettersson, 9th rd in 1980 and Peter Eriksson, 4th rd in 1987). Between 1990 and 1999, the Flames selected 11 more Swedes, the Oilers two more (Jonas Elofsson, 4th rd in 1997, Tomas Groschl, 9th rd in 1999).

It has been suggested that I notice “draft trends” where there are really only random events,  so allow me to rephrase: the randomness of the draft sure as hell impacted Edmonton’s Swedish connections. From their entry to the NHL through 1999–21 drafts–they spent two 4th rd picks and two 9th rd picks on kids from Sweden.

When Barry Fraser left the organization, random events and the luck of the draft swung in Sweden’s favor. Under the KP regime–2001 to 2007, a 7 year span–Edmonton drafted 9 from Sweden:

  1. Mikael Svensk, 6th rd in 2001
  2. Fredrik Johansson, 9th rd in 2002
  3. Mikhail Youkov, 3rd rd in 2003
  4. Kalle Olsson, 5th rd in 2003
  5. Dragan Umicevic, 6th rd in 2003
  6. Bjorn Bjurling, 9th rd in 2004
  7. Fredrik Pettersson, 5th rd in 2005
  8. Linus Omark, 4th rd in 2007
  9. William Quist, 6th rd in 2007

The Youkov pick was especially interesting in that Edmonton used a 3rd rd selection to get him. Since Stu MacGregor was elevated to the top scouting job, Edmonton’s attention to Sweden–especially  in the early stages–is solid random:

  1. Johan Motin, 4th rd in 2008
  2. Magnus Paajarvi, 1st rd in 2009
  3. Anton Lander, 2nd rd in 2009
  4. Oscar Klefbom, 1st rd in 2011
  5. Erik Gustafsson, 4th rd in 2012

Tre Kronor lives these days right beside donairs, snow, the north wind, demon liquor, beautiful women, Katz’ Batman house and dog parks.

Back to Magnus. In the RE series after the season, I suggested the Oilers needed to acquire a mentor–a Pisani–to show him the way. I’m now thinking the mentor may actually be the coach, Ralph Krueger. His unique life experience may be ideal for Paajarvi and this season there should be fewer roster questions going into the season (Smyth’s role is clear, for instance).

I’m reminded of a wonderful exchange between Gilles Tremblay and Toe Blake. I can’t find the actual item, but Tremblay once told the story that the coach (Blake) and the young prospect had a conversation early in his career. The player told the coach he could count on his in defensive situations (Tremblay as a LW) but he wasn’t a scorer. Blake told the pupil not to worry, he would teach him some things about positioning in the offensive end and where to be to cash.

I’m hopeful Krueger and Paajarvi can have the same kind of relationship, one that will one day see a quote like this from MP’s center:

  • Jean Beliveau: Giles’ career with us would last only nine short seasons, abbreviated by an asthmatic condition that robbed the league of one of its most exciting players. Like Ludger (Giles’ older brother), Giles was blessed with unusual upper-body strength and fantastic speed. He had great natural talent and was second only to Bobby Hull at his position. Giles could forecheck and backcheck with the best defensive players in the league, but when the situation required it, he was most dangerous offensively. Toe was once quoted as saying he would not trade Giles straight up for Frank Mahovlich. Giles and I worked a break-in play to perfection. Whenever the slightest opening arose, I’d throw the puck up the left side and let him take it in full stride. Once he got a step ahead of a defender, Giles would leave all but the fastest players in his wake. And while Claude Provost often played Bobby Hull to a standstill, Giles Tremblay could do the same with Gordie Howe…I got more than my share of assists in those days with Giles on my left and Yvan Cournoyer, perhaps the only player in the league who could outskate him, playing right.

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35 Responses to "SVERIGE"

  1. sliderule says:

    If Toe were to advise MPS I think he would tell him to go to front of net rather than throwing muffins from just inside the line.He has the speed that allows him to gain the zone but he has to find some other moves rather than give the puck away with a weak shot.

    I had lost faith in him till I looked at Sedins record.They were 26 before they started to breakout.

  2. TypeA says:

    ‘Though it looks as if all H.O.P.E. is lost,we still have H.Y.P.E which keeps Magnus in the mix (I hope).

  3. Destroyko says:

    TypeA:
    ‘Though it looks as if all H.O.P.E. is lost,we still have H.Y.P.E which keeps Magnus in the mix (I hope).

    Don’t worry. Everything will be P.H.Y.N.E.

  4. cdean says:

    I’m H.Y.P.E.R about next season.

  5. nathan says:

    Destroyko,

    Thank goodness MBS drafted Eberle. Better to be P.H.Y.N.E. than P.H.O.N.Y. The kids are gonna be P.H.Y.N.E.

  6. nathan says:

    A bit meta but if we use both initials from the hyphenated one from E+P+H+NH+Y you get H.Y.P.H.E.N.

  7. uni says:

    Am I the only one who wishes Pajaarvi’s name was Majaarvi?

  8. commonfan14 says:

    sliderule: I had lost faith in him till I looked at Sedins record.They were 25 before the rules changed in their favour and they started to breakout.

    Fixed.

  9. remlap says:

    uni: Am I the only one who wishes Pajaarvi’s name was Majaarvi?

    I see what you did there…

  10. Beaker says:

    remlap,

    I see what you saw there…..

  11. striatic says:

    what was PRV’s penalties drawn stat last year?

  12. rickithebear says:

    Grigorenko signs in buffalo!

  13. Cactus says:

    Lowetide,

    Thanks LT, that’s a lot of interesting stuff on the Oilers. I like the idea of a defensive system but an allowance for more improvisation offensively.

    The forward pairing idea is also interesting. Clearly RNH-Eberle and Gagner-Hemsky is a good start, but what other pairings might we see? Horcoff-Smyth?

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Does the thought of Krueger solving the MP sophomore slump suggest the Harti push is going to take a backburner? Or that both will start the season in Oiler silks?

    ps. Any situation that comes up “solid random” is worth taking note of…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbInZ5oJ0bc

    pps. has H.Y.D.R.A. taken over the comment section today?

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    uni:
    Am I the only one who wishes Pajaarvi’s name was Majaarvi?

    Fun fact: the letters in my full name can be re-arranged to spell “primate’s hymen hurts”.

    This is by far the most interesting thing about me.

  16. jamesvanderwoude says:

    Murray!

  17. "Steve Smith" says:

    jamesvanderwoude,

    That’s as impressive as it is pathetic, which is to say “fairly”.

  18. FPB94 says:

    "Steve Smith",

    Somebody got sand in his ladyparts.

  19. uni says:

    “Steve Smith”: Fun fact: the letters in my full name can be re-arranged to spell “primate’s hymen hurts”.
    This is by far the most interesting thing about me.

    If true that replaces “amoral scum” as my all time top anagram for a person’s name. Now I’m going to be up all night trying to figure out what your actual name is…among other things.

  20. Destroyko says:

    “Steve Smith”: Fun fact: the letters in my full name can be re-arranged to spell “primate’s hymen hurts”.

    This is by far the most interesting thing about me.

    My name is an anagram for “horny raper tricked hobos”, which is by far the most terrifying thing I’ve learned about myself today.

  21. uni says:

    Destroyko,

    Oh come on, now you guys are just making shit up.

  22. Henry says:

    When does the season start?

  23. bendelson says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Hmm… So you are not a SteVe!

    It’s the apostrophe that makes your fun fact interesting. Red herring perhaps?

    (the offseason is way too long)

  24. Mr DeBakey says:

    That’s sad news about Murray’s hymen.

  25. FPB94 says:

    LT: On a baseball sidenote, do you remember someone beginning his career like Mike Trout?

    ,359, 13 HR’s, 30 SB, Golden Glove consideration. What on good earth is going on.

  26. jonrmcleod says:

    FPB94,

    Fred Lynn. ROY and MVP in 1975.

  27. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: Fun fact: the letters in my full name can be re-arranged to spell “primate’s hymen hurts”.

    This is by far the most interesting thing about me.

    Hard as I try I simply cannot create “sphincter faced doofus” no matter how I juxtapose. Can I buy a letter?

  28. cabbiesmacker says:

    jamesvanderwoude:
    Murray!

    Reminds me of a favorite joke

    A grasshopper walks into a bar
    Bartender sees him and says “heyyy, we make a drink here with the same name”
    Grasshopper looks around puzzled and says….”Murray?”

  29. stevezie says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    Classic. Reminds me of my favourite bar joke.

    Horse walks into a bar.
    The bartender says, “Why the long face?”
    The horse says, “My mom has cancer.”

    Anyway, MPS. Too many raw tools to disregard him now, especially considering defence can be taught. I really can’t see how someone who skates that well doesn’t at least become a very good bottom six player.
    To those who question his confidence, remember that this is the kid who claimed that Canada would “shit its pants” once Sweden scored the first goal. He’s got some fire.

  30. Gret99zky says:

    NHLSourcesSay‏@NHLSourcesSay

    The MOST important thing here is me & @HockeyyInsiderr can confirm Gagner has AGREED to terms and avoids arbitration. #DoneDeal

    If this turns out to be true and #CONFIRMED, Dreger is gonna be pissed.

  31. cabbiesmacker says:

    stevezie:
    cabbiesmacker,

    Classic. Reminds me of my favourite bar joke.

    Horse walks into a bar.
    The bartender says, “Why the long face?”
    The horse says, “My mom has cancer.”

    Haha. Excellent. I’ve only heard the two line version prior.

  32. "Steve Smith" says:

    cabbiesmacker: Haha. Excellent. I’ve only heard the two line version prior.

    I’ve only heard the third line, myself.

  33. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”: I’ve only heard the third line, myself.

    You’re a priest?

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