The Edmonton Oilers have traded unsigned F prospect Tobias Rieder to Phoenix for rugged forward Kale Kessy. He is a player we looked at briefly before the 2011 entry draft, and Kirk Luedeke did a nice piece on him (found a scout who called Kessy a “poor man’s Milan Lucic”).
My feeling is this: Rieder is the better prospect, but the Oilers:
- felt they didn’t need another 5.11 forward in their system
- felt Rieder’s offense this year was more reflective of his actual ability than last year’s eye popping totals.
In Kessy, they got a big, tough and filthy forward. At 20, Kessy has played 60 WHL games (21-22-43) with 106 pims, and has caught fire in the post-season with 4 goals in 4 games for Kamloops. He is 6.03, 202 and served a 12-game suspension (he has had 7) early in the 2012-13 season for a vicious elbow that landed flush on the head of Lethbridge defenceman Ryan Pilon.
I would put him offensively on the better side of Travis Ewanyk and the poor side of Mitchell Moroz, and I don’t think the Oilers have a player in their system with the kind of edgy rep that Kessy possesses.
In trading for him earlier this season, Vancouver Giants GM Giants Scott Bonner said “Kessy is a guy, I think, when he plays the game, he’s a very effective player. He is just going to have to play hockey, be a big, strong guy who goes to the net and takes the body but does it clean. I’m assuming he’s going to bring some courage to our guys and allow them to play the way we need to have some success. We have a younger group and, at times, a timid group and I think people like Kessy make those types of players feel comfortable.”
Neither player has a signed pro contract at this time.