OIL KINGS V HITMEN 7.10.12

Edmonton Oil Kings are in action this afternoon, and it is a chance to catch up with the young Oiler prospects on the club.

Oiler picks Mitch Moroz (6, 0-3-3 +1) and Travis Ewanyk (6, 1-2-3 +1) are getting regular minutes and both are involving themselves physically (17 and 23 pims, respectively). Ewanyk is a year older and that makes a difference, but at this point I think they’ll get contracts.

The question for both (imo) involves taking and making a pass. MacT used to call it not letting the play die on your stick (JFJ didn’t get a top line assignment until Pat Quinn took over) and that’s maybe a better way of putting it.

All I know is this: if Mitch Moroz is playing with a skill center and can give and go, hit tape and settle a hard pass on the fly then he’s a player we can talk about as having a nice range of skills.

At the beginning of the season–from what we read–Moroz had some nice things going on. He was playing with St. Croix and Foster and getting PP time.

More recently Moroz has been on a line with Brandon Baddock and Edgars Kulda, youngsters and less likely to get a PP push. Should Moroz play the season with rookies, I would think the Oilers have a down arrow in regard to Moroz and his progress.

Take a pass, make a pass, and push your way up the depth chart. Surely that’s not too much for a 32nd overall selection? Or perhaps there’s a disconnect between the Oilers and Oil Kings?

We wait.

 

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36 Responses to "OIL KINGS V HITMEN 7.10.12"

  1. DSF says:

    Perhaps the real disconnect was drafting Moroz at 32.

  2. PaperDesigner says:

    Or maybe Moroz is just not that good, as a lot of people suggested when they drafted him?

  3. Lowetide says:

    That’s certainly possible. I’ll be interested to see Stu MacGregor’s take on Moroz if he scores 25 points again this season.

  4. jfry says:

    i’m off to the saddledome to watch this tilt. will report back later with some thoughts/notes. anyone to watch in particular?

    i think it’s possible to say the following about Stu and not be out of line, “perhaps some of his weakest picks have been from the leagues that he gets to watch the most.” I’m not sure what the whl/OK vs the world ratio is, but i’d say that outside the whl (the nuge not withstanding), he’s done better in the other parts of the world.

  5. sliderule says:

    At the development camp Moroz showed he can skate but more or less lost with the puck.

    It’s early LT but your phrase stick optional may cover this player.

  6. skidplate says:

    It is only 6 games in. Lets all settle down. Lots of time to try different linemates and plenty of season left to prove he is a player.

  7. jfry says:

    Skidplate, voice of reason or family?

  8. Hayek says:

    “but at this point I think they’ll get contracts.”

    Sorry Alan, if you are talking about Travis Ewanyk, I could not disagree with you to a high enough level. How this guy was a 3rd round pick to begin with should have been an absolute outrage to fans of the team. His offensive statistics:
    2009 2GP 0 PTS
    2010 42GP 5 PTS
    2011 72GP 27PTS
    2012 11GP 4PTS
    2013 6 GP 3PTS

    And this is all while playing in the WHL, not the Swedish Elite League, or some place where young players are not putting up numbers. Still confused what anybody sees in this guy. Even NHL grinders put up points while playing junior hockey.

    There is no way this guy will be signed by the Oilers.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Hayek: I think there was some question about his pro signability on draft day and said so.
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2011/06/harvest-moon-4.html

    I think his current role–he’s a regular and reports I’ve read have been positive–makes him a strong candidate for signing.

    I wouldn’t argue the wisdom of the pick–long time readers will know I always prefer skill over secondary items–but this is the player the club chose and they clearly see him as a checker/energy guy. His performance in the playoffs last season and early this year leads me to believe he’ll be signed.

    Could certainly be wrong, wouldn’t be the first time. :-)

  10. Hayek says:

    Although I can see where you are coming from, I disagree. First of all, I think reports are largely positive because this is a kid from St. Albert, and plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings. And as a disclaimer, I haven’t even seen him play more than a handful of games, and am just looking at his offensive production.

    The reason I don’t agree, is now he is an older player in the WHL, and has not achieved over a 0.5PPG clip at any point in his junior career. For a forward that is not a goon, I am going to make an assumption here that there are no more than a handful of players who play in the NHL who have not achieved 0.5PPG in the CHL.

    If you look at the Oilers 50 man roster, there aren’t any role players as forwards who lack offense. Even guys like Pelss who was a borderline signing has put up much better offensive numbers than Ewanyk. After letting Blain and Czerwonka go this year, I just don’t see the Oilers wasting a spot on Ewanyk who has virtually no offensive potential.

    Maybe I am wrong here, but this is a spot where I’d feel comfortable betting against the hometown guy getting an entry level deal.

  11. RexLibris says:

    Hakan Andersson apparently prefers to see a player no fewer than five or six times but never more than ten. He says that after that he tends to start picking apart the player’s game. I have to wonder sometimes whether something similar might affect MacGregor in the reverse. Sometimes familiarity can bring comfort and a level of confidence that isn’t entirely founded.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Hayek: Well, you’re kind of stretching there with the .500ppg clip. He scored 16 in his draft year and last season was lost to injury. Entering today, he had 3 points in 6 games and is getting PP time. I agree completely that Ewanyk was not draft value at his number, but we’re arguing his signability.

    I think he’s a good bet to get signed by Edmonton.

  13. Dave Casselman says:

    I`m with Hayek. Even though it`s early and things can change, he don`t look so good. IF he`s signed, which I doubt, he has career AHLer written all over him.

  14. Dave Casselman says:

    For that matter, Moroz aint lookin so hot either. If he`s not able to take a pass, if he`s lost with the puck, he and Ewanyk will be linemates in OKC.

  15. Dave Casselman says:

    It`s hardly all bad news though. Once Tambellini is gonzo, the Oil will hopefully have a GM that can actually make a decent trade or two. Thanks largely to draft position over the past 3 years the club has prospects coming out their ears. It won`t be a problem to swap a few of them for Big Club needs. With the talent the Oil have, 3-5 years from now they should at least be SC finalists. If they`re not, time to clean managerial house in its entirety.

  16. Kris11 says:

    “Once Tambellini is gonzo, the Oil will hopefully have a GM that can actually make a decent trade or two.”

    Well, Kevin Lowe can make a decent trade or two. But for every two decent trades, he makes three bad ones.

  17. DeadmanWaking says:

    I haven’t solely been shirking high theatre of the underemployed. My inlaws abruptly sold their 80 acre farm in the foothills after listing in the doldrums for a coon’s age. Turns out dold is an ancient word for stupid. I guess shaking your fist at a lazy sky won’t land you a lead role in Gladiator. Hard to complain in the doldrums as much as you’d like without looking foolish. Wikipedia tells me that “The doldrums gave rise to a place called The Doldrums in the Phantom Tollbooth inhabited by the Lethbridgarians who do nothing all day, a place where “nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes.” Recent weeks nearly took me through Lethbridge. From the number of giant white windmills stippled across the lumpy pancake horizon, it’s a darn blustery stillness. I had about 150 clicks in the tank when the 22 warned me of a 135 km nozzle embargo. Prudence detoured me to a southern extremity of the number 2 highway, where I don’t think I’d ever been as a child growing up in the Calgary region. The landscape is captivating if you’re the kind of sailor who notices changes in the colour of seawater or migrating stripes in bird markings.

    So–halfway through my online writing course–we get news of the farm sale, and make hasty vacation plans to dovetail with the inlaw caravan, meeting up with my brother on the outbound leg, and with my squeeze’s extended family on the return leg. The mostly southern BC loop took us though the Salmo-Creston (where we added a two-day camping leg), the southern Alberta foothills, Lake Louise (where I felt suitably nostalgic), Kelowna via the Coquihalla connector, and a couple of ferry rides. And all this through some of the most spectacular late September/early October weather anyone recalls. We had fifteen minutes of flurries at a high pass on the Coquihalla itself, then winter was cancelled.

    Bookmarking both ends, the inlaws camped out in the spare bedroom. First on a house-hunting expedition (a week of kicking tires ended with an offer accepted less than twelve hours after singling out a likely prospect from the MLS onslaught); then a lull for the moving truck to show up with the master suite and a crated harp (the mover was dying to find out what was in King Tut’s diagonal box).

    I coped with all this according to tradition: I bought a toy. My first ever cellphone. A flagship Droid from the previous duodecimade (“duodecim” is Latin for twelve, which I’ve wine paired with the hind quarters of “decade”). In other words my phone is an over-the-hill former hottie, whose age has now lapped the clock face (midnight strikes on the 24′th birthday). Do not fear, my princess Droid, the next six years build character (however, a month is roughly a Droid-year, and there’s already born somewhere in China a three year old child who will soon have nimble fingers to pick over your bones).

    My Princess Droid navigated me relatively successfully though a bit of a rat’s maze in Calgary, shooing me successively to the left fork (does anyone remember Dragon’s Lair?) until I passed beside McMahon stadium on what must have been the Crowfoot, or its resurrection. My father reminded me that the Crowfoot was the new girl in town back in the day. Now she’s a painted lady, with six layers of rouge (multiple sailing wait traffic lights) and coronary bypasses, and also a rather conspicuous public transport stent circa the University of Calgary, which I’m sure contributes to any successful flow at all down the aging artery. We fell in love. Then the battery conked out at the last critical decision point. Glowing so brightly on a shimmering Indian summer afternoon tires a girl out well before refreshments are served. Our public facade now dims, but we struggle along in understated harmony.

    Fear not, my Princess Droid, your sheen will brook no discontent until the sun transits the orbital antipode (7 April, book it). But Oh! that my shiny Mayfly might live and die and never a post-game boxcar have passed her lips.

    BTW, I do like the Salmo-Creston. It’s like the Coquihalla restitched with all the flat spots removed. Imagine finding a wheezy and water-damaged accordion up in the attic, then cutting out all the collapsed ribs, then stitching it back together to match a child’s hugspan, but with oversized lungs. A small pickup laden with 500 lbs of Okanogan apples and pears (with a half mile following distance to the next vehicle) can coast to an effortless and law-abiding 125 km/h in the valley run-outs. No, that can’t be right. I really need to get that needle fixed.

  18. Woodguy says:

    . I had about 150 clicks in the tank when the 22 warned me of a 135 km nozzle embargo

    When I lived in Calgary part of my sales territory was a 3 day hike starting in Pincher Creek, west to Cranbrook and North to Golden, with all points in between.

    That stretch of the 22 is one of my favorite drives the world. Especially at 6:30am on a summer weekday morning when you may not see more than 6 cars in that stretch.

    Green Day had just released Dookie and every time I’d get to Longview, I’d que up “Longview” and crank it then see how fast I could go.

    Great drive.

  19. DSF says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    I haven’t solely been shirking high theatre of the underemployed.My inlaws abruptly sold their 80 acre farm in the foothills after listing in the doldrums for a coon’s age.Turns out dold is an ancient word for stupid.I guess shaking your fist at a lazy sky won’t land you a lead role in Gladiator. Hard to complain in the doldrums as much as you’d like without looking foolish.Wikipedia tells me that “The doldrums gave rise to a place called The Doldrums in the Phantom Tollbooth inhabited by the Lethbridgarians who do nothing all day, a place where “nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes.”Recent weeks nearly took me through Lethbridge.From the number of giant white windmills stippled across the lumpy pancake horizon, it’s a darn blustery stillness.I had about 150 clicks in the tank when the 22 warned me of a 135 km nozzle embargo.Prudence detoured me to a southern extremity of the number 2 highway, where I don’t think I’d ever been as a child growing up in the Calgary region.The landscape is captivating if you’re the kind of sailor who notices changes in the colour of seawater or migrating stripes in bird markings.

    So–halfway through my online writing course–we get news of the farm sale, and make hasty vacation plans to dovetail with the inlaw caravan, meeting up with my brother on the outbound leg, and with my squeeze’s extended family on the return leg.The mostly southern BC loop took us though the Salmo-Creston (where we added a two-day camping leg), the southern Alberta foothills, Lake Louise (where I felt suitably nostalgic), Kelowna via the Coquihalla connector, and a couple of ferry rides.And all this through some of the most spectacular late September/early October weather anyone recalls.We had fifteen minutes of flurries at a high pass on the Coquihalla itself, then winter was cancelled.

    Bookmarking both ends, the inlaws camped out in the spare bedroom.First on a house-hunting expedition (a week of kicking tires ended with an offer accepted less than twelve hours after singling out a likely prospect from the MLS onslaught); then a lull for the moving truck to show up with the master suite and a crated harp (the mover was dying to find out what was in King Tut’s diagonal box).

    I coped with all this according to tradition: I bought a toy.My first ever cellphone.A flagship Droid from the previous duodecimade (“duodecim” is Latin for twelve, which I’ve wine paired with the hind quarters of “decade”). In other words my phone is an over-the-hill former hottie, whose age has now lapped the clock face (midnight strikes on the 24′th birthday).Do not fear, my princess Droid, the next six years build character (however, a month is roughly a Droid-year, and there’s already born somewhere in China a three year old child who will soon have nimble fingers to pick over your bones).

    My Princess Droid navigated me relatively successfully though a bit of a rat’s maze in Calgary, shooing me successively to the left fork (does anyone remember Dragon’s Lair?) until I passed beside McMahon stadium on what must have been the Crowfoot, or its resurrection.My father reminded me that the Crowfoot was the new girl in town back in the day.Now she’s a painted lady, with six layers of rouge (multiple sailing wait traffic lights) and coronary bypasses, and also a rather conspicuous public transport stent circa the University of Calgary, which I’m sure contributes to any successful flow at all down the aging artery.We fell in love.Then the battery conked out at the last critical decision point.Glowing so brightly on a shimmering Indian summer afternoon tires a girl out well before refreshments are served.Our public facade now dims, but we struggle along in understated harmony.

    Fear not, my Princess Droid, your sheen will brook no discontent until the sun transits the orbital antipode (7 April, book it).But Oh! that my shiny Mayfly might live and die and never a post-game boxcar have passed her lips.

    BTW, I do like the Salmo-Creston.It’s like the Coquihalla restitched with all the flat spots removed.Imagine finding a wheezy and water-damaged accordion up in the attic, then cutting out all the collapsed ribs, then stitching it back together to match a child’s hugspan, but with oversized lungs.A small pickup laden with 500 lbs of Okanogan apples and pears (with a half mile following distance to the next vehicle) can coast to an effortless and law-abiding 125 km/h in the valley run-outs.No, that can’t be right.I really need to get that needle fixed.

    Good writing is characterized by short, declarative sentences with powerful verbs.

    I can’t imagine how you would mangle a powerful message like…”.I have a dream.”

  20. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’m not wild about Ewanyk’s sign-ability if he doesn’t do better than 40 points this year. At that level, it’s relatively safe to say he probably doesn’t have enough offence for the NHL, so there’s not much point. But, then they signed Pelss and he was just a smaller 50-point guy. With that said: it’s six games, and last season was a write-off.

    As for Moroz, I’ve never been sanguine about his chances, but again: six games. Personally, I expect him to finish ~40 point range, at which point we can stop talking about him as a potential top-six option, but then if everything just happened the way I expect they wouldn’t need to play the games. Hopefully for the team and the prospect, he can find a role on a skill line and surprise people like me.

  21. Hayek says:

    Agree with you Jonathan. Pelss put up 63GP 14-19-33 in 2011 and 63GP 28-22-50 in 2012 previous to getting signed to an entry level deal. Ewanyk is nowhere close to this. Even grinders in the AHL who are signed to 2-way deals must possess a certain level of offence. I don’t get why when Pelss getting signed last year was a shock to most, on to this year and how it’s said to be likely that Ewanyk is signed.

    Maybe the Barons bring him in for a tryout and he earns an AHL deal, but being signed to an NHL 2-way contract should seem more unlikely than likely. Ewanyk’s best season was putting up 0.375ppg in the WHL. Let’s face if, if this guy wasn’t an Oilers draft pick, and we were looking at him being part of the Flames organization, we would be laughing if he was signed to an entry level deal.

  22. fifthcartel says:

    If Cameron Abney gets signed, I’m sure they’ll both get signed, sadly.

  23. jp says:

    Hayek:
    Agree with you Jonathan.Pelss put up 63GP 14-19-33 in 2011 and 63GP 28-22-50 in 2012 previous to getting signed to an entry level deal.Ewanyk is nowhere close to this.

    First off, I think Ewanyk is an extreme long shot for even a 4th line cup of tea in the NHL due to his lack of offense. That said, injuries have had a huge impact on his Jr. production so far, and I don’t think it’s fair to write him off completely just yet (at least as far as him being able to earn a contract). His offense is “no where close” to Pelss? Pelss played in Belarus in his draft year, then put up the 2 seasons you mention above in his draft +1 and +2 WHL seasons. Ewanyk scored 72-16-11-27 in his draft year, very close to Pelss’s draft +1 scoring. Last season was an injury writeoff, and this is his draft +2 season where he’s 7-1-2-3 so far, with lots of games to play. I don’t think the gap between the two is all that big. There’s a good chance Ewanyk still gets to 40 pts this year and gets a contract. I don’t disagree that it still might be a wasted contract though, as he (and Pelss for that matter) has little to no chance of ever being a regular NHLer.

  24. Hayek says:

    You make some reasonable points JP. Pelss accomplished the two seasons with the Oil Kings after he got drafted. However while Ewanyk was injured, and could be given a little slack, he still only put up 11GP 1-3-4 in the regular season in his comparable season, and 20GP 3-2-5 in the playoffs. I understand the injury aspect could affect him, however for the games he played in 2011-12, this equates to 0.29ppg. Such horrible offensive output (worse than his draft year) does not indicate any progress.

    In the 2nd year after being drafted Pelss put up 63GP 28-22-50. Ewanyk after 6 games is 6GP 1-2-3. So even continuing at this pace, is nowhere close to Pelss at a similar point. *6 games in, so I completely understand it is too soon to judge.* However with someone like this, the default opinion should be that he is a bust, and needs a strong season to prove otherwise (NOT VICE-VERSA)

  25. Lowetide says:

    I see we’re typing in caps now so suspect the time for reason is gone, but in the interests of making sure we all understand each other lets go back to draft day and review what MBS said:

    ”Ewanyk is gritty, edge to his play, good hockey sense, and he knows how to fill a role. The thing that really impressed me is that this guy will dive in front of the puck. He’ll get the puck out of the zone in the last couple of minutes. He kills penalties. He does the things that need to be done to help you win.”

    I think the Oilers will sign him. He’s playing a regular shift this season, and from what we hear and read he is playing well. If the Oilers were on the ‘points per game’ train, surely they would have signed Czerwonka after last season?

    I suspect the Oilers still like the things about Ewanyk now that caused them to draft him.

  26. Dipstick says:

    I believe that it was primarily due to Ewanyk being in the pipeline that caused the Oilers to decline signing Czerwonka. Even though he did not play most of last season, they were comfortable enough with him to make that decision. If only the building blocks that make a Lucic were easily identifiable at the age of 18, those players would be drafted a lot earlier than 3rd round (or later).

  27. jp says:

    Hayek,
    I am giving Ewanyk a complete mulligan on last years ppg numbers due to just returning from injury. Many/most guys coming off injury get off to a slow start (1 recent example is Sam Gagner who started last season 13-0-2-2 after missing most of TC and the start of the season, then went 62-18-27-45 the rest of the way). I do agree that Ewanyk is unlikely to put up the 28-22-50 line that Pelss did last year, though I think he’ll show more progress than we’ve seen so far and earn a contract. I still don’t think that will be enough for an NHL job, but you never know. As LT pointed out, offense has never been in his job description. I personally don’t see either of Pelss or Ewanyk as “real” NHL prospects (that is, I have a difficult time envisioning a scenario where either of them is a regular in the Oilers lineup at any point), so it’s debatable whether they deserve ELCs. I’m kind of impartial, I’m not expecting much out of them at the NHL level, but I don’t mind filling out the OKC roster with these guys so long as they’re not taking a job from a better prospect (which likely won’t be the case).

  28. RexLibris says:

    The only thing that really galls me about the Ewanyk pick was that, if Sutter hadn’t been so canny, it could have been Max Reinhart as the pick in the Staios deal.

    That being said, if Ewanyk tops out as a sort of MacTavish kill the clock center, would that be a terrible waste of a 3rd round pick?

    I think the value of many of these players will ultimately end up being determined by how we look back on them. Not because hindsight is always 20/20, in fact it is often quite wrong, but rather because if the results are there at the end of the day, so to speak, and the team wins some big shiny silver thing in a few years, and Ewanyk had something to do with it, then we’ll all be quite happy with the pick.

    Dionne or Lafleur? The right answer turned out to be Lafleur because he won with the Canadiens. It might just as easily have been Dionne because it was the team that won.

    I’d still rather have Reinhart, though. Just don’t tell any Flames fans that.

  29. Hayek says:

    You guys all make fair points. I don’t disagree with much that you say. My main argument is only that I believe the default situation is this guy is not getting an entry level contract. If he puts up 50 points this year, he probably will. However up to this point, there is no reasonable prediction showing that this will be the case.

    I do disagree when I hear things such as when Rex talks about Ewanyk having potential as some sort of “kill the clock center.” As far as I know, even role players in the NHL have typically put up a lot of points in junior. There are enough inidividuals in the talent pool to turn offensive players that can’t cut the top 6 into these bottom 6 role players. It’s pretty rare that a player who puts up few points in junior or the AHL make their way to an NHL job (without being a goon). Even guys like Chris Vande Velde put up a lot of points through college before settling in to an AHL job. Please feel free to provide examples if I’m wrong here, so I can be corrected.

  30. jonrmcleod says:

    I wish the Oilers had a couple of prospects in the QMJHL. I have season tickets to the Halifax Mooseheads, so I guess I’ll have to scout Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Zach Fucale for the Oilers. Halifax beat St. John (with Huberdeau) 11-2 on Saturday.

  31. jonrmcleod says:

    Jonathan Willis,

    “I’ve never been sanguine about his chances….”

    Breaking out the thesaurus for a Lowetide blog comment?

  32. Bar_Qu says:

    jonrmcleod,

    You do realise Deadman has by his appearance made all vocabulary short of ‘sesquipedalian’ seem tame right? (spelled it from memory, booyah)

    And I agree with WG, the stretch of the 22 south of Longview is as perfect a drive as exists anywhere in the world. Its a balm to my soul even when the traffic is bad.

  33. Jonathan Willis says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Weirdly, I actually remember learning the word “sanguine.” I was about eight years old, and reading the book version of “Star Wars,” where C-3P0 used the word. My dad was kind of enough to enlighten me as to its meaning, and it’s been an occasional vocabulary option ever since :)

  34. Lowetide says:

    All I learned from Star Wars was a line that killed at parties. “Incomplete was your training. Not ready for the burden were you”

  35. jonrmcleod says:

    Bar_Qu,

    I usually don’t read comments that are longer than one paragraph.

  36. gcw_rocks says:

    Its 6 games, but if Moroz’s quality of linemmates is slipping already, that’s not good.

    My money is still on this kid being a bust. My faith in Stu is toast.

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