The Oil Kings are in action tonight against the red hot Kamloops Blazers. Injuries and inconsistency are taking their toll, and I imagine there’s the usual championship hangover that seems to come with success (have no idea if true, just read it a lot).

Two of my favorite Oiler bloggers have written in recent times about Mitchell Moroz. He’s a favorite subject here for a few reasons: the author of this blog is a fan of Stu’s bunch, the author of this blog is a fan of ‘guys with size who can actually play’ and of course as an Oilers fan I want all of the draft picks to be Hall of Famers.

My feeling about Moroz is this: he was a fairly large reach pick (BM had him #56, he went #32) and the Oilers clearly liked him a lot.

  • My point on draft day: The pick at 32 was somewhat disappointing. The players we talked about this morning were available at that number. My picks were Pontus Aberg, Dalton Thrower and Matt Finn–you may have had other names.

It is a subject I’m interested in: what are the elements that made a risk averse fellow like Stu MacGregor and his staff go walkabout. Since taking over as the scouting director, MacGregor has gone off the charts twice in the top 40 (Lander and Moroz) using McKenzie’s numbers.

Anyway, one of my favorite bloggers (Scott Reynolds) wrote an item on Moroz and comparables this summer. It’s interesting because it shows a big of a track record for this type of pick. The other terrific blogger (Jonathan Willis) recently wrote about the early part of Moroz’ season.

At some point, opinions don’t matter: Moroz will succeed or not and opinion will give way to fact. Marc Pouliot is a favorite of mine–hell I’m still cheering for him–but you can’t say he was a strong pick in 2003. Reasons don’t matter, facts are facts and as a group we pass judgement as time rolls.

In Reynolds item, he lists the comparables. I thought it might be interesting to list their performances in their first year after draft:

  1. Shawn Matthias 64, 38-35-73 1.14
  2. Eric Tangradi 56, 24-36-60 1.07
  3. Milan Lucic 70, 30-38-68 .971
  4. Colton Gillies 58, 24-23-47 .810
  5. Blake Comeau 65, 24-23-47 .723
  6. Brett Clouthier 65, 13-26-39 .600
  7. Mitch Moroz 10, 0-4-4 .400
  8. Dane Byers 65, 11-9-20 .308

As Jonathan detailed, Moroz has had a slow start. It isn’t over, but the early returns suggest Byers is a better comp than Lucic.

Lets hope for better days.

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9 Responses to "OIL KINGS V BLAZERS 17.10.12"

  1. RexLibris says:

    I liked your question about the factors that made a risk-averse MacGregor make a reach pick with Moroz. It is one that I’ve been turning over in my mind to see if I can answer. The language surrounding Moroz on draft day was that he was “trending”. I’m sorry, what?! Trending? So is Gangnam Style, I still wouldn’t play it walking down the aisle.

    From nearly everything that I have read and written on, when management interferes in the decisions of their employees, be it owners overriding GMs contract negotiations, or GMs making off-the-board draft calls against the opinions of their scouts, the results are almost always bad. The best managers know when to lead, when to follow, and when to get the hell out of the way.

    That being said, there is the chance that Moroz was recommended by the Oil Kings’ management, and there is a history of collaboration between the two (MacGregor and Bob Green). If that is the case, then I am far more willing to forgive. Unless Martin Frk becomes a franchise winger. Then I’ll curse and rue the day!

    Moroz scores the tying goal on the powerplay. Maybe things aren’t all bad there after all. ;-)

  2. Lowetide says:

    goal for Moroz in the third. Look out Clouthier!

  3. RexLibris says:

    Moroz seems to have some decent chemistry with Klarc Wilson. Based on that, might he also find some success with players of a similar style? An eventual line of Moroz Pitlick and perhaps Khaira or somesuch player is intriguing. Certainly would be popular amongst some of the fans.

    Can we draft Lazar yet?

  4. RexLibris says:

    I see Reider has 7pts in 8gp, -2. Slow start, and the +/- isn’t terrific, especially on that stacked a team. Do we have any news about which line or role he is playing? What I wouldn’t give for a Behindthenet site for the CHL.

  5. RexLibris says:

    Can I take solace that an Edmonton-born player wins the game in the shootout while the Flames prospect has a less-than-stellar game?

    I thought not.

  6. ohhell says:


    Kitchener has scored 17 goals this season which has them firmly planted in last place well clear of all other under-achievers. Not sure what the funk is that has a hold of that team but definitly not a prolific offense. Perhaps the coach is focusing on defense-first. I presume this malaise will migrate towards the mean. Not worried about Reider.

    The Moroz pick is another matter. Perhaps having a local affiliate team is problematic. I felt that way about the Ewanyk pick and more so with the Moroz pick. Time will tell, but my spidey senses are not good on this one. And that’s based on what I have seen at several OK games – nothing much stood out except for the occasional big hit. Fingers crossed but expectations low.

  7. dessert1111 says:

    I saw the Kitchener Rangers game this past Sunday in Ottawa and watched Rieder each time he was on the ice. I’ve been thinking of doing a write-up on it (most Edmonton fans don’t live in Ontario and get a chance to see the OHL prospects) but am figuring out an appropriate venue.

    To put it relatively concisely, Kitchener’s team was vastly outplayed by an Ottawa squad that is not supposed to be a great team from what I understand. To my eyes, and I do have a bias, Rieder by far was the most complete player on the Kitchener team. He didn’t play for the last half of the third period and I still don’t know why–maybe getting younger guys some ice time? He scored a goal in the first period from behind the Ottawa net just by bringing the puck in front and banging it in, which is something I really liked seeing because the biggest knock on him that I hear is size. He played on a line with Radek Faksa who I was very disappointed with considering my expectations of him. The other good players Kitchener has are Matt Puempel and Ryan Murphy, and the skill those two had was evident but they also were not as solid as Rieder.

    What I really liked about Rieder was that he is very good in neutral ice on the transition. He broke up Ottawa’s rushes in the neutral zone and was able to advance the puck himself by either passing or skating it up himself. He probably wasn’t the most skilled guy on the ice, but he was one of them, and he certainly worked harder than most. Just from his playing style, he doesn’t seem like the type of guy who needs to be in a feature offensive role to succeed and 3rd line winger I would suggest seems like it would fit him quite well, but he could also move up the lineup. He also didn’t cheat for offense and would cover his man all the way to the goal crease.

    To put it simply, he’s not scoring quite as much as I’d like him to but he also didn’t look like he was getting much help. Perhaps more importantly, he has other elements to his game that are quite well-developed, so even if his boxcars don’t soar I would suggest he’s absolutely still a player of interest.

  8. dessert1111 says:

    Regarding the Moroz pick: I’ve always had the feeling that scouts were told to pick a handful of wingers in the Moroz mold. They probably liked Moroz better than other similar players and took him when Samuelsson came off the board. I think it’s super foolish and will bite them in the ass when there was that much defensive talent still around, but it doesn’t look to me like something that can be pinned solely on the scouts. Could easily be wrong, though–maybe Stu & co. see something in them that most others don’t.

  9. RexLibris says:


    I would love to read anything on a viewing of Reider, personally. The numbers really only tell you so much.

    Great to hear that his game is fairly mature and, from the sounds of it, both physical and cerebral. Especially the neutral-zone stuff. If there is anything a coach loves to see it is defensive awareness from a forward.

    As for the Moroz pick, I’m not sold, but I’m also trying to be patient. It is almost a shame he’s playing here in Edmonton, the microscope, especially in a lockout and with Gernat injured, is firmly trained on him.

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