It seems every year there’s one prospect Al Gore refuses tell us about in a satisfactory way. This season’s winner was definitely Erik Gustafsson.
Thanks to all kinds of digging and some extra effort from guys like Jon Willis and Corey Pronman, the picture is coming into view.
- Jonathan Willis: Not only does it seem that Gustafsson is a little bigger (6.00, 203) than initially advertised, he also is capable of playing an agitating game. Teammate Philip Holm, asked which player would spend the most time in the penalty box in 2012-13, nominated Gustafsson (quote via Google Translate): Gustafsson used to sit a lot. He has a little temper, talking a little trash talk like that. He will probably have to sit some minutes.
- Pronman: “I was able to catch a game of Oilers 2012 draft pick defenseman Erik Gustafsson in a recent European Trophy game. I did not comment on him at the draft or in Edmonton’s organizational write-up due to lack of notes. Mind you it was only one match, but from what one can gather from a singular game, I understand why Edmonton used a fourth round pick on him. Gustafsson, who was in his third draft eligible season, certainly has a fair amount of skill and mobility. Several times he showed the ability to be an effective puck carrier who can make impressive plays and be a starting point for offense. He’s a little undersized which won’t help him, but considering that I thought he defended at an ok level as his reads were fine.”
- Stu MacGregor: “Offensive, skilled defenceman. Again, a puck-mover we can hopefully fit in with the rest of our group to give us some puck movers and some size.”
- Elite Prospects: A skilled defenseman with some nice offensive skills. Can quarterback the powerplay and able to log big minutes. Has good vision and an edge to his game. Good release.
So now we’re getting a much different view than a stringbean with middling boxcars, which was the view on draft day. MacGregor’s quote makes much better sense, and Jon throws in the possibility of some edge. Pronman throws in the skill and offensive potential, and we’re left with the impression that Edmonton has taken a guy who might end up being a player.
My understanding of the Oilers’ European amateur scouting department is that it consists of Pelle Eklund, Robert Nordmark and Frank Musil. If this fellow ends up being a player, we’ll have these gentlement to thank for it.