A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JACKSON HOUCK

This begins the series on 2013 draft picks and filling in the blanks a couple of weeks after draft day. The draft buzz has gone away and we’re left with a large group of prospects to sift through and discuss. I’m starting with Jackson Houck because of his interesting ties to the Oilers, his skill set and the very nice things I’ve read about him online.

Redline Report: #40 overall

  •  Highly underrated! Showed leadership carrying his young team on both offence and defence following a major roster overhaul. Blossoming power winger uses size to establish and hold position around crease. Already tough to move off the puck and has a frame that could still add 20 pounds. Has a great understanding of how to lean on defenders and use his frame to separate them from the puck. Fearless and loves to initiate contact. Goes into traffic with speed and can clear out contested areas. Aggressive style draws defenders to him and opens up ice for ‘mates. Accurate, heads-up passer distributes well in role of setup man. He’s a 200-foot player who puts in the same tireless effort at both ends. Also a willing combatant who will take on anybody. Can change the momentum of a game with a big rush, big hit, or a big goal. Skating is the one knock – lacks initial explosion and top end gear.

COREY PRONMAN: #91 OVERALL

  • Houck entered this season known for his intangibles and physical play, and he added a scoring touch to his repertoire, leading the Giants in points. He has just average size, but he still displays notably above-average physical value, delivering big hits and winning a lot of battles through his effort. He has the heart and soul elements desirable in a good penalty killer. His offensive upside, however, draws some divide among scouts. One says he is very average, while another says his puck skills enable him to have potential in that area. He protects the puck well, drives the net, and has solid creativity. Skating will be his main issue. He plays with good energy, but he struggles to get to where he wants to go.

houck1

 THE DRAFT: #94 OVERALL

  • Houck: “It’s a little weird if you think about it…Chris Chelios used to babysit me.” Story is here.
  • Houck on role models: “I really like to watch [Milan] Lucic [of the Boston Bruins]. I like to watch him and [the Montreal Canadiens' Brendan] Gallagher because Gallagher was my role model last year when he was with the Giants and I was a 16-year-old. Watching Lucic and Gallagher, knowing where they started [with the Giants] and seeing where there are now, tells you what’s possible. Lucic, he’s a fun player to watch, he’s physical. Gallagher, he works his bag off.”
  • His father was taken by the Oilers in the 1981 entry draft (#71 overall). Despite Houck the younger being selected later (#94), I’d argue his draft day was a better one. A nice story about the family is here.
  • Houck on next season in the WHL: “I think I’ll have more of an offensive role. They didn’t put that much pressure on me to score this year, second half of the season they kind of did. Offence will be a big part of it, along with being part of the growth of the team, maybe wearing a letter.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Jackson Houck
  • Feb 27, 1995
  • RW
  • 6.0, 186
  • 69, 23-34-57 (Vancouver, WHL)
  • NHLE: 82, 8-12-20
  • Led his team in points this season
  • Acquired: Oilers acquired #94 (Houck), #83 (Bogdan Yakimov) and #113 (Aidan Muir) from St. Louis for #57 overall (William Carrier).

FINAL COMMENTS

Remember when Stu MacGregor talked about MacT’s draft emphasis?

  • MacGregor: “Well with Mac, skill is really important to him. That’s something that he’s looked for. Obviously the other intangibles of character, hard work, quality of people and players who are passionate to play the game are important, but he really has a high regard for skill.

I think that’s the story here, the club aimed a little higher than in previous seasons in the skill department. Let’s compare Houck’s stats with recent WHL forwards drafted in the MBS era:

  • Houck 69, 23-34-57 (.826 points per game)
  • Mitchell Moroz 66, 16-9-25 (.379 points per game)
  • Travis Ewanyk 72, 16-11-27 (.375 points per game)

Houck’s PIM total is about half of the number posted by both Moroz and Ewanyk but he’s also clearly more skilled than the other two at the same age. As a matter of fact, Houck’s 17-year old (draft) season is the best offensive season posted by any of the three prospects (Ewanyk is now at pro level and Moroz has one season of eligibility left).

Jackson Houck has issues all his own (skating is an obvious one) but projects to play farther up the lineup than Ewanyk or Moroz should he develop into an NHL player. I ranked Houck as the #13 overall prospect in the summer top 30.

Which draft prospect would you like to read about next?

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33 Responses to "A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JACKSON HOUCK"

  1. alice13 says:

    Moroz had … Twenty-Five points and was drafted 32nd?
    As a Forward??

    I remember it was bad, but didn’t remember it that bad. Jebus.

  2. jfry says:

    I wouldn’t mind more info on Muir. He had some nice reviews from the prospects camp.

    Nice to see us actually pick someone from the dub that can put up a fee points

  3. Lowetide says:

    jfry:
    I wouldn’t mind more info on Muir. He had some nice reviews from the prospects camp.

    Nice to see us actually pick someone from the dub that can put up a fee points

    I wrote something about him here
    http://oilersnation.com/2013/7/7/it-came-out-of-the-sky

    and will have a post on Muir at this blog in the next week or so.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “I really like to watch [Milan] Lucic [of the Boston Bruins]. I like to watch him and [the Montreal Canadiens' Brendan] Gallagher”

    Weird mix of players… if only aesthetically.

    I love this moment. week plus after the draft. you’ve settled into the player. you cheer like hell for him in earnest. he is family now.

  5. jfry says:

    Totally OT

    But the work that brodziak is outing in right now is amazing. Why did we ever get rid of him? I would love to understand that decision better

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/6/24/which-nhl-teams-employ-zone-matching-the-most

  6. supernova says:

    Seems an interesting choice, I like the fact he is physical and can score.

    I always try to match a style of game to a prospect,

    Who does he remind you of?

    Greg Chase is a pick I would like to get more info on, the fact that he was a 7th rounder blows me away, I watched him a few times and man can he get under the opponents skin, I heard lots of places pre-draft say they could see him going 3rd round.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Random thoughts:

    1) great first name. I’ve always liked “Jackson” as a first name. solid. classic. manly.

    2) is anyone else a little disturbed that oft-times the only viewing we get of these kids is of them punching each other’s faces? what a crappy culture hockey is attached to. just depressing.

  8. supernova says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I agree I cheer like hell for all oilers picks for their whole career.

    I think lots of oiler fans turn on guys about year 4 or after a big contract.

    I cheered like hell Jason Arnotts whole career.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Rom: SO true. I actively look for video with skill and believe me if a prospect has been in 5 or more fights there’s nothing on him that involves a pass. And the AUDIO is often just awful on these clips. Frustrating.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Which draft prospect would you like to read about next?”

    Fever-Bog

  11. Ducey says:

    I’d like to know something more about Betker. He blocks out the sun; can he skate a little?

  12. fifthcartel says:

    These 2013 prospects don’t seem like the typical coke machines drafted in prior years. Maybe now they are more like ‘Dr. Pepper floats’? Seems like Houck has some actual skill instead of just overt toughness.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: SO true. I actively look for video with skill and believe me if a prospect has been in 5 or more fights there’s nothing on him that involves a pass. And the AUDIO is often just awful on these clips. Frustrating.

    I remember trying to find something on Jordan Bendfeld last year or the year before (aimless curiosity about past Oiler picks and their whereabouts)… google and youtube conspired to sum up this young man’s hockey career with this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdJglSMd5iQ

    he once fought Lucic. what a depressing legacy.

  14. Lowetide says:

    supernova:
    Seems an interesting choice, I like the fact he is physical and can score.

    I always try to match a style of game to a prospect,

    Who does he remind you of?

    Greg Chase is a pick I would like to get more info on, the fact that he was a 7th rounder blows me away, I watched him a few times and man can he get under the opponents skin, I heard lots of places pre-draft say they could see him going 3rd round.

    WHL from Above compares him to Jannick Hansen:

    Houck is an energy forward for the Giants. He’s quick, plays aggressively all over the ice and has a good shot. His best asset is that he never takes a shift off, knows his role and fills it to a tee. Put up a good year offensively, but he will need to continue to work hard on that part of his game if he wants to carve out a top 6 pro career. Has some value towards the back half of the middle of the 2013 draft.

    NHL Style Comparable: Jannick Hansen

  15. supernova says:

    Lowetide: WHL from Above compares him to Jannick Hansen:

    Houck is an energy forward for the Giants.He’s quick, plays aggressively all over the ice and has a good shot.His best asset is that he never takes a shift off, knows his role and fills it to a tee.Put up a good year offensively, but he will need to continue to work hard on that part of his game if he wants to carve out a top 6 pro career.Has some value towards the back half of the middle of the 2013 draft.

    NHL Style Comparable: Jannick Hansen

    Thanks,

    Is WHL From Above the next Corey Pronman? He seems pretty on the ball

  16. Lowetide says:

    supernova: Thanks,

    Is WHL From Above the next Corey Pronman? He seems pretty on the ball

    Extremely bright guy.

  17. Ray says:

    I vote for yak the second for the second prospect feature!

  18. supernova says:

    Lowetide,

    Maybe it’s the wrong forum but I really can’t see how those guys ( Pronman, nickolet) have a chance to make it without getting burnt out long term.

    They are getting paid per views on sites like ESPN, and that can’t be a lot and they have hundreds of players to be on top, if they don’t keep on top of them they lose their appeal, because the are less accurate.

    There are several scouting services now. I value these guys and don’t want to lose them but don’t understand their business model.

  19. jb says:

    Ray:
    I vote for yak the second for the second prospect feature!

    Agreed, I can’t put a ceiling on Yak’s potential… Does he even have one?

  20. Lowetide says:

    supernova:
    Lowetide,

    Maybe it’s the wrong forum but I really can’t see howthose guys ( Pronman, nickolet) have a chance to make it without getting burnt out long term.

    They are getting paid per views on sites like ESPN, and that can’t be a lot and they have hundreds of players to be on top, if they don’t keep on top of them they lose their appeal, because the are less accurate.

    There are several scouting services now. I value these guys and don’t want to lose them but don’t understand their business model.

    Pronman delivers a lot of content and that has tremendous value. He’s very dedicated to the whole thing, so I imagine he’s either very well paid or will be at some point. Same with Cody, I think he’s pretty brilliant. If I were in my 20s doing what they’re doing would certainly be something I’d consider.

  21. regwald says:

    supernova:

    Greg Chase is a pick I would like to get more info on, the fact that he was a 7th rounder blows me away, I watched him a few times and man can he get under the opponents skin, I heard lots of places pre-draft say they could see him going 3rd round.

    I vote for Greg Chase too. When’s the last time the Oilers had a true shit disturber who got under the other team’s skin. We saw it a few times from Stortini, but not often enough.

  22. dessert1111 says:

    Several players from this draft interest me: Slepyshev, Roy, Yak II. My vote for next goes to Muir though — very unique story, and early reports suggest he might actually be a player of interest.

  23. Hammers says:

    Also Greg Chase .

  24. Melman says:

    How about a full report on Scarlett? ;-)

  25. Vince says:

    just popped in the DVD of game 5 1984 and thinking by any modern statistical measurement the Isles are killing it…all of a sudden Flatley dumps it in to change and Gretzky is already headed in the opposite direction; Kurri makes the outlet pass at the goal line to Gretzky who is ahead of every Islander before he hits the red line and goes in to score….I was 4 years old.
    i wonder could there ever be a player today or in the future who on seeing a dump-in from the other team immediately starts sprinting in the opposite direction awaiting a pass? as some one who was 8 when Gretzky was traded my mind is blown.

    off to watch the rest of the game……..

  26. Vince says:

    weird thing is it was a 5v5 goal but but it was Coffey and 4 forwards on the ice….gretz, kurri semenko and linseman. 2nd goal was great too… 2 on 1 kurri and semenko, kurri hesitates and dishes to 3rd man in the zone gretzky who scores.

    Charlie Huddy is a beast.

  27. Vince says:

    and just as i notice Huddy his shot rebounds to Linseman for an assist on the 3rd goal to start the second….i know to some who were there these comments might seem redundant but i’m loving this. how does Smith get pulled for a 2-0 first period? things were different back then. Poor Lafontaine; love that guy but I assume he never got a sniff after this game.

  28. DeadmanWaking says:

    Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em? Are you sure about that?

    First question: cigarrette or cigar?

    As usual in these matters, Jack got there first. “I mean, whoever heard tell of a man gettin’ too much poozle?”

    This guy. Al Vernacchio: Sex needs less baseball. Only for him, it’s not “poozle”, it’s pizza–and it is possible to consume too much.

    Funny lines.

    “You can’t just get to second base and say ‘I like it here’.” He never met Tambi.

    “There’s a million different toppings. There’s a million different ways to eat pizza. And none of them are wrong …”

    Oh yeah? Trump Eats Pizza.

    “It’s, uh, good convenience pizza. Back in the eighties there weren’t a lot of options in Times Square. It was either Famiglia’s pizza or scarfing down some edible underwear from one of the porn shops.”

    “I just thought Captain Comb-over could have pulled that one off.”

    The real fun starts at 3:40.

    “You think you can go around layering anything you want to layer.”

    “Why don’t you take your !@#@# Fiorello La Guardia’s hat and feed it to Joe DiMaggio’s crying ghost on Staten Island?”

    In the land of the free, it always comes back to baseball.

  29. Vince says:

    Coffey to Kurri 4-0, islanders look bemused at his point…..i wanna watch this game again just to focus on Potvin i know he’s not super old at this point but no wasted movement….lidstromesque

  30. Woodguy says:

    Vince:
    just popped in the DVD of game 5 1984 and thinking by any modern statistical measurement the Isles are killing it…all of a sudden Flatley dumps it in to change and Gretzky is already headed in the opposite direction; Kurri makes the outlet pass at the goal line to Gretzky who is ahead of every Islander before he hits the red line and goes in to score….I was 4 years old.
    i wonder could there ever be a player today or in the future who on seeing a dump-in from the other team immediately starts sprinting in the opposite direction awaiting a pass? as some one who was 8 when Gretzky was traded my mind is blown.

    off to watch the rest of the game……..

    Mike Parkatti looked this game in depth and did the fancystats for it:

    http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/05/28/game-stats-oilersislanders-game-5-stanley-cup-finals-may-19-1984/

  31. Lowetide says:

    Billy Smith wasn’t right in that game, Arbour only started him because Smith had been the man for so long during that run. Bossy was hurt badly too btw, his back was killing him. And re: Potvin, it’s the damndest thing. He kind of arrived that way–perfect. He was smooth and outstanding and I do think overlooked because he was so naturally gifted.

    And filthy. Absolutely filthy.

  32. justDOit says:

    Lowetide,

    There should be heaps of empathy around here for a team in the finals, with their #1 goalie being less than 100%.

    In other news, the Blues have hired Conklin as their goalie coach.

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