AIDAN AND ABETTING

Aidan Muir turns 18 tomorrow, meaning he was one of the very youngest players available in the June entry draft. Muir showed well at the summer prospect camp, despite being the only 17-year old on the ice. Not much is known about the young man, but each brush stroke that appears on the canvas indicates a stronger-than-first-thought prospect.

Why did the Oilers draft him? Well he was certainly trending late in the spring lead up to draft day:

muir1

And he ended up being the 91st North American kid taken in the 2013 entry draft, out of that hockey factory known as Victory Honda. I fired up the Al Gore and went in search of Aidan Muir, reminded of the golden moments that were the Alexei Mikhnov and Jesse Niinimaki ‘searching Mr. Google’ boondoggles.

MUIR THE GOOD

Bruce McCurdy “saw him good” at the Oilers Summer Development Camp in Sherwood Park and posted the following:

  • McCurdy: Aidan Muir: Oilers went way off-the-board in selecting him out of the Midwest Elite Hockey League (wazzat?), and are surely prepared to wait for him, given he’s got at least a year in the USHL before going the NCAA route. Still just 17 with an Aug 21 birthday, Muir was the youngest player at camp by nearly six months, but kept catching my eye in a positive way with his strapping frame (listed at 6’3, 191) and decent straight-ahead speed.

In February, Western Michigan coach Andy Murray seemed pleased to secure the teenager for his school and the best scouting report came from Chris Dilks:

  • Chris Dilks: Muir is a 6’3″ 180 lbs. power forward. He’s a decent skater for his size, though there is still some room for improvement. With his frame, there’s also the potential to add a little more strength. His biggest attribute is his grit and toughness in the dirty areas of the ice along the boards and in front of the net, and that he has the hands to make plays in tight spaces. He’s also a very high energy player and a tireless worker. I’d begin looking at selecting Muir somewhere in the late third to early fourth round of the draft, though wouldn’t be shocked a team was interested in him even earlier than that.

Dilks pretty much nailed it, as Muir went later in the fourth round. Muir was the 1st overall selection of the USHL’s Indiana Ice, and that’s where he is expected to play this coming season. There really isn’t much on this kid, but there’s certainly more of a buzz about him now than on draft day.

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24 Responses to "AIDAN AND ABETTING"

  1. RexLibris says:

    Hall – Nugent Hopkins – Yakupov – Muir. Another 1st overall!

    We can skip over the details and just call him that, right?

  2. yawto says:

    Rex, if you are going to count firsts, correct me if I am wrong but you need to add marincin to that group as well. #justsayin

  3. RexLibris says:

    yawto:
    Rex, if you are going to count firsts, correct me if I am wrong but you need to add marincin to thatgroup as well.#justsayin

    Correct!

    And Nugent-Hopkins was drafted 1st overall twice, so that counts too, right?

    I see Hall and Yakupov both went 2nd overall in their CHL drafts. I wonder how those scouts feel?

  4. Lowetide says:

    I’m just astounded that he’s 6.03, 180 BEFORE turning 18. If he has any hands at all Muir is going to be a very interesting prospect to track. We can track the USHL for equivalency purposes, it’ll be interesting to see if he can post enough offense.

  5. bendelson says:

    LT – your last post on your top 20 from 10 years back had me wondering…
    When did you start The Lowetide experience? I know you were off and running during my pitstop in Kamloops (2004-05) but when did the magic actually begin?

  6. Lowetide says:

    bendelson:
    LT – your last post on your top 20 from 10 years back had me wondering…
    When did you start The Lowetide experience?I know you were off and running during my pitstop in Kamloops (2004-05) but when did the magic actually begin?

    Sometime in 2004 iirc. It would be coming up on 10 years with the blog had I not deleted the damn thing. The 2003 list you saw in the last post came from the hf boards days though.

  7. bendelson says:

    Back in the day, your early work quickly became an important link to the Oilers as I moved around in Canuck country.
    Thank you for that.

  8. Ice Sage says:

    Hmmm – what’s his MEHL to NHL equivalents? I’d say 0-0-0. This kid should be absolutely ripping it up, Gretzky-in-peewee-like, in that league to have a hope of traction to a hockey career. At least the Oilers’ ‘jankowski’ was a 4th rounder.

  9. Lowetide says:

    bendelson:
    Back in the day, your early work quickly became an important link to the Oilers as I moved around in Canuck country.
    Thank you for that.

    That’s very kind. I’ve always felt the blog was kind of an exchange. We laugh and trade drink and food recipes, and then challenge/aid hockey questions. I’m much smarter about hockey courtesy hundreds of different posters here over the years.

    Thank YOU for that. :-)

  10. dessert1111 says:

    This guy is probably my favourite new prospect. He was scoffed at by a whole lot of people on draft day because of the league he plays in (and possibly the Oilers have some shaky long-shot draft bets), but a little digging, along with reports from people who have actually seen the guy play, and suddenly the pick makes a lot of sense.

    A lot could go wrong, but if this guy makes it, could be a very important player.

  11. Manitoba Oilers says:

    yawto:
    Rex, if you are going to count firsts, correct me if I am wrong but you need to add marincin to thatgroup as well.#justsayin

    Hall went 2nd because he wasn’t going to report to Erie

  12. Kris11 says:

    Also, Honda makes a respectable car.

  13. jfry says:

    Wasn’t slepyshevs drafted 1st overall in the khl entry draft?

  14. Kris11 says:

    Love the blog LT. Am getting itchy to actually see hockey, or at least camp or some trades. Damn season should start in september and end earlier.

  15. Kris11 says:

    Man, I want the two young russians to make it, so they can ice the “Slappy and the Yaks” line.

  16. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Quite a difference to be scouring the web for some info, any info, on a pick in the 4th round vs the 1st round. In the 4th rd it’s kinda interesting, in the 1st it’s more than a little concerning.

    In terms of the NHLE for the USHL: What is the league NHLE? And what do you think would be a reasonable expectation for Muir there this year?
    I don’t have a very good grasp how many future NHLers pass through there. Just looking at the top scorers though, it’s a tough league to score in. 64 game schedule and over the last 10 yrs only 1 guy has put up 100 pts, and only 2 others have topped 90. On average less than 10 players a year getting to 64 pts. Guess a PPG for Muir would be pretty decent?

    Lastly, I only discovered this site a couple of years back, but I’ve read every single post since then. Your work is really appreciated.

  17. Lowetide says:

    JP: .27 is the USHL NHLe, so Muir would be on track with a 75+ point total in a full season imo.

  18. Ducey says:

    Muir at 6’3″ is going to be a giant in the USHL. A review of the top point getters from last year looks like smurph city.

  19. Ice Sage says:

    I’d be interested in hearing about other legit NHL players who emerged from the USHL… in speaking with junior-aged kids, it’s considered somewhere around Canadian Junior A in terms of competition. / development. Maybe this kid is a late-bloomer or didn’t have the resources to play CHL but I wouldn’t hold my breath until he’s proven himself, night in, night out, with kids his own age or older in a league worth something.
    It is fun to have a few penny stocks in the portfolio, though

  20. Young Oil says:

    Ice Sage:
    I’d be interested in hearing about other legit NHL players who emerged from the USHL… in speaking with junior-aged kids, it’s considered somewhere around Canadian Junior A in terms of competition. / development.Maybe this kid is a late-bloomer or didn’t have the resources to play CHL but I wouldn’t hold my breath until he’s proven himself, night in, night out, with kids his own age or older in a league worth something.
    It is fun to have a few penny stocks in the portfolio, though

    Here’s a short list of notable current NHL forwards who started their careers in the USHL, along with their points and games played in their first seasons in that league:

    1. Justin Abdelkader: 52P 60GP
    2. David Backes, 21P 30GP, then 69P 57GP
    3. Jared Boll: 14P 57GP, then 47P 59GP
    4. Adam Burish: 57P 61GP
    5. Ryan Carter: 36P 55GP then 45P 59GP
    6. Erik Cole 64P 48GP
    7. Sam Gagner 46P 56GP
    8. Martin Hanzal 19P 19GP
    9. Tim Jackman 17P 23GP
    10. Tim Kennedy 19P 56GP, then 61P 54GP
    11. Chad Larose 55P 54GP, then 33P 24GP
    12. Trevor Lewis 22P 52GP, then 75P, 56GP
    13. Ryan Malone 36P 51GP
    14. David Moss 38P 51GP
    15. Andreas Nodl 16P 44GP, then 59P 58GP
    16. Kyle Okposo 58P 50GP
    17. Max Pacioretty 63P 60GP
    18. Joe Pavelski 69P, 60 GP then 52P 54GP
    19. Chris Porter 35P 59GP
    20. Teddy Purcell 67P 58GP, then 71P 55GP
    21. Matt Read 62P 58GP
    22. Brandon Saad 26P 24GP
    23. Patrick Sharp 43P 55GP, then 55P 56GP
    24. Paul Stasny 30P 57GP, then 77P 56GP
    25. Blake Wheeler 47P 58GP
    26. Tommy Wingels 28P 47GP

    I must note that I did not check which age those players put up those numbers, I apologize.

    So, all of these players have had varied success in their careers, and obviously have different sizes and styles of play. From this list, and considering Muir as a power forward, it seems as if an 18 year old Muir puts up a PPG of 1.0 or above, he has a chance of having an NHL career. Maybe in the 0.8 PPG range if he is very good physically, or develops a two way game. Anything much lower, and he’d be lucky to be an NHL/AHL tweener. Best of luck to this kid, hope he shows well, but none of us should get our hopes up!

  21. supernova says:

    LT,

    Have you ever looked into which teams are big believers in “fancy stats”

    I have heard a lot about San Jose in the NHL and that Kyle Dubas of the Soo Greyhounds.

    I wonder if you might be able to grab him for “lowdown” and talk to him about advanced stats in junior.

  22. rickithebear says:

    Young Oil: Here’s a short list of notable current NHL forwards who started their careers in the USHL,

    I must note that I did not check which age those players put up those numbers, I apologize.

    Age @ production is just as important as point total when establishing expected NHLE.

    we know youngest 16 to start of sep draft season to oldest 18 in sept of draft year season.
    there is a 33.3% expcted reduction in final NHLE.
    Post draft season there is 13.3% point reduction
    draft season + 2 there is a 6.6% reduction

    points being equal:
    a player turning 17 in sept of draft season
    should get 3.5 times the points
    as a player turning 20 in sept of draft year plus +2

    3.5 times as much by history.

  23. Ice Sage says:

    Young Oil,

    Hey, thanks – that’s more encouraging than I’d thought but many of the stars who passed thru were 1 or 2 years younger… Here’s to muir becoming the next Wingels!!!!

  24. Wolfpack says:

    I am late to the party as usual, but this is the player type that I like to see the Oilers drafting as a long shot with their picks from the 4th round and beyond. (Sounded a bit like Buzz Lightyear there for all you dads).

    I hope they learned a lesson from drafting mistakes like Cameron Abney.

    With Muir, they drafted a kid who might be a bit of a late bloomer. As a result he flew under the radar because he was playing in a lesser league. But as he adds weight and strength, and with hard work improves his skating, all of a sudden they’ve got a legitimate prospect for the 3rd/4th line.

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