Among the biggest surprises on 2013 draft day was the selection of Greg Chase by the Oilers. The player selected wasn’t the surpise, but the number (188 overall) was a complete shock.
REDLINE AT #70
- “A real Red Line favourite who flies under the radar. He’s a fine puck distributor who shows great patience and possesses the touch to constantly find linemates off the cycle. Keeps feet going after making a pass to sustain pressure in offensive zone. Versatile forward has spent time on every line and been effective in every role. Shows up every shift and his play away from the puck is impressive, makes things happen by constantly filling open ice. Refuses to back down in contested areas; first player into the corners. Wide skating stance helps him maintain balance and uses edges well to maximize glide. Hungry player has a great compete level and looks to make a difference every shift. Not as dynamic offensively as other prospects on this list, but plays a well-rounded, consistent game.”
PRONMAN AT #99
- “Chase entered the season with a decent amount of hype and he figured to make a push to be drafted in the top two rounds. While he was somewhat underwhelming, his skills make him worth knowing, the best of which is his hockey sense. Scouts praise his offensive mind and vision. He can slow the game down when he has the puck, hit targets through small lanes, and move the puck quickly when need be. He also has good hands, and when he is on, his offensive upside is apparent. His skating earns divided opinions, with one scout calling it a positive, and another saying his first steps can be a tad sluggish. His physical game and consistency are areas of concern as well. He has average size, but he does not tend to be imposing with his board work. Finally, his game-to-game on-ice work ethic could use improvement, especially in the defensive end.”
CODY NICKOLET, WHL FROM ABOVE
- “I’m not the only one expecting big things from him this coming season. He’s the kind of player you simply notice when he’s on the ice. He’s a fairly good skater, has good offensive instincts, thinks the game well and goes out of his way to have a physical presence on the ice.”
RYAN PIKE, THE HOCKEY WRITERS
- “Chase has progressed well during his two seasons with the Hitmen. He has made the leap into the team’s top-six group and been effective both in even-strength and power-play situations. It’s with the extra man (and extra space) that Chase seems to really excel; he’s got very good vision and is a strong passer. On quite a few occasions, he’s set up very nice scoring plays by head-faking a defender one way and then unleashing a tape-to-tape pass to the other side of the ice. When Chase is on his game, he’s visible and creating opportunities on almost every shift. However, Chase has a few rough spots in his game. He’s got a fairly good frame but can get out-muscled in board battles and in traffic. He’s a smooth skater but takes a bit of time to get up to top speed. His shot is good but not amazingly accurate yet, although it’s clear that he’s been working on it.”
LISA MCRITCHIE, KUKLA’S KORNER
- (April 2012) Being from Sherwood Park [Edmonton] and growing up hockey, Chase’s favourite team was and still is the Oilers but Chase was able to put his feelings and preferences aside when it came to being drafted. Like me, he had to make the move from Edmonton to Calgary for work. “It was pretty exciting getting drafted, and being drafted here, it was still close to home. It is Calgary, and it is the Flames, but I’ve learned to cheer for the Flames too, and the Oilers, but mostly the Oilers. I just hope that the Flames do well too. Not as good as the Oilers” Chase explained with a laugh. He couldn’t help but laugh since my eyebrows rose as soon as he said he wished the Flames well. Chase is a very intelligent young man; he will always know what to say and how to phrase it throughout his hockey career. I knew exactly how he must feel though; he is now a member of the extended Flames family and you can’t help but have warm feelings for your family. Well, most times. (this article was about one year before the Oilers drafted Chase).
THE DRAFT #188 OVERALL
- Chase: “I didn’t even watch (the draft) because I was so nervous. I was at my lake and we were all sitting around. When I got the phone call, it was pretty incredible celebrating that proud moment with my whole family.”
- Chase: “With the skill and talent that Edmonton has, not only on their team now, but in their system, I think I have to be a player who can play a second or third line role. One who is a little grittier and who adds some aggression to the lineup. I think that is exactly what this team needs and that’s what they have been saying. If I can bring that, it would be awesome. One player I try to model myself after is Brad Marchand. I think any team would love to have a player like that.”
BY THE NUMBERS
- 69, 17-32-49 (Calgary, WHL)
- 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.”
Redline compares this player to Chris Kelly of the Bruins, and based on viewings that appears to be an accurate style comparison. I liked him before the draft, and would have been happy with him in the third round. Based on his scouting report and boxcars, Greg Chase is a far more promising draft pick than previous selections Mitchell Moroz and Travis Ewanyk.
A quality pick where Redline and Pronman had him, an outstanding selection at #188 overall.