JUST A MOROZ?

Ask an Edmonton Oiler manager about ‘needs’ right now and it’ll take about 10 seconds to hear ‘size up front’ and ‘big forwards who can play with skill’ coming back; it is, at this point, a clear team need from the club point of view (I keep hoping they just bring in a ‘Bertuzzi’ type, an established NHL player with some assholery in the resume but who can play).

Since 2000, the Oilers have tried and tried and tried (off and on, mind you–there were times when drafting small guys was the wisdom of the day) to draft big men with some offensive ability. The 2003 entry draft saw them take J-F Jacques and Colin McDonald in hopes of finding this player, and they ended up whiffing on the generation’s best entry draft because of it.

What exactly are the Oilers looking for? Well, I think we can best describe this elusive character as someone who:

  1. has size and attitude
  2. can and will fight
  3. drives the opponent to distraction
  4. can think on his feet
  5. can make and take a pass
  6. displays a range of skills

That’s not a common set of skills for young hockey players. The recent Rieder-for-Kessy trade perfectly frames the issue: the Oilers dealt a guy who boasted #4-6 on his resume for a guy who has 1-3 skills. It’s a ‘chasing your tail’ trade and we’ve been down this road one million times, from Brad Isbister to Brad Winchester and on down the line.

Mitchell Moroz is the lightning rod prospect for this player type, as he was taken in the second round and represents perfectly the organizational desire to solve this problem. Moroz was #56 on Bob McKenzie’s list (late 2nd) and was chosen #32 (very early 2nd), and that has been the story line for this player since his draft day.

Redline Report

  • Big, edgy power forward plays an in-your-face style and looks to initiate hard contact all over the ice. A feared enforcer who picked up 20 fighting majors, yet skates and handles the puck well enough to take regular shifts. Coaches eventually rotated him into the top six to give scoring lines a boost – gives smaller, skilled linemates more room to work with his physicality. Has surprising offensive tools with a heavy snap shot. Puckhandling confidence is soaring and he’s willing to try things with the puck now he wouldn’t have dreamed of six months ago. Skating enables him to play in open ice and even has decent lateral agility. Spins off checks to find space and gets to open ice. Emerging force uses great size/strength to dominate below the circles and is impossible to move around crease. Development curve is heading straight up and has upside.

There’s a lot of skill projection in that report, a lot of “emerging” “development” “upside” “confidence is soaring” references that suggest good arrows. We did not see that kind of progress in the year after the draft for Moroz, with one of the reasons having to do with deployment (discussed here) on the roster. Scott Reynolds did a very nice article on Moroz last off-season (it is here) and it offers some hope for Moroz and gives us a strong idea about 2012-13 expectations:

  • Reynolds: “I think it’s safe to say that if he’s on a path to the NHL, we’re likely to see him score at something close to a point per game level in the upcoming season.”

Moroz did not emerge offensively, although he did improve (moving from .378 to .493) his point per game number. Let’s add in Moroz’ totals to Scott’s list from one year ago:

POINT PER GAME (THE REYNOLDS LIST)

PLAYER GPG PPG
MILAN LUCIC 0.44 1.05
SHAWN MATTIAS 0.58 1.04
ERIC TANGRADI 0.38 0.95
COLTON GILLIES 0.47 0.91
BLAKE COMEAU 0.44 0.90
BRETT CLOUTHIER 0.20 0.56
MITCHELL MOROZ 0.19 0.49
DANE BYERS 0.22 0.45

So at this point we’re looking at a ‘cup of coffee’ type player for NHL purposes, and a guy who might get a few more NHL games because of draft pedigree. The outer marker at this point for Moroz would be a faster Zack Stortini who is also a better fighter (Stortini scored .597ppg year after draft) based on these numbers.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?

I have suggested (and Bruce McCurdy verified my beliefs the other morning) that Moroz has seen very little opportunity overall in the ‘sweet spot’ for junior hockey–the power play. So, how would this graph look for even strength? Well, here it is:

 EVEN STRENGTH POINT PER GAME

PLAYER EV STATS GPG PPG
SHAWN MATTIAS 64, 24-22-46 0.38 0.72
MILAN LUCIC 70, 17-27-44 0.24 0.63
ERIC TANGRADI 56, 13-19-32 0.23 0.57
BRETT CLOUTHIER 65, 11-22-33 0.17 0.51
MITCHELL MOROZ 69, 10-17-27 0.14 0.39
COLTON GILLIES 58, 10-12-22 0.17 0.38
BLAKE COMEAU 65, 14-9-23 0.22 0.35
DANE BYERS 65, 5-6-11 0.08 0.17

Scott modified the numbers in the original graph to reflect scoring for leagues, I haven’t done that here. Moroz climbs over a couple of players who have enjoyed some NHL time, and knowing as we do his role (shutdown line with Travis Ewanyk and Klarc Wilson, then Edgars Kulda) I think there’s every chance Moroz is a little underrated by many in the fanbase and the Oilogosphere.

Moroz was a reach, no argument. I do think his draft number has clouded the issue of his actual value as a prospect for the Oilogosphere. If we’re to be as good as we think we are, don’t we have to address bias in all forms?

I think we do. I think Scott Reynolds did exactly that over at C&B with Moroz, and encourage everyone to do the same.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

55 Responses to "JUST A MOROZ?"

  1. regwald says:

    I blame this reach pick on Phoenix. If they didn’t pick Henrik Samuelsson at 27, that would have been the Oilers pick at 32. Just saying.

  2. Lowetide says:

    It would have been a very good spot to solve the problem. It’ll be interesting to see if Moroz gets a top 6F role this winter. From the coaching pov, he might have more value on the shutdown line.

  3. RexLibris says:

    While I do like some of what Moroz brings to the Oil Kings, looking over that draft I am constantly left thinking “What the Frk was Tamebellini/MacGregor thinking?” Under MacTavish’s guidelines the Oilers would have taken a skilled player who, perhaps just maybe possibly, had actual experience playing with skilled players as a physical force and agitator in Martin Frk. Just a thought.

    Instead they went with someone who was “trending” on draft day. Because the NHL Entry Draft and Twitter share so many strategic similarities.

    Sorry, bitterness temporarily expunged…trying to move on now.

  4. regwald says:

    Lowetide:
    It would have been a very good spot to solve the problem. It’ll be interesting to see if Moroz gets a top 6F role this winter. From the coaching pov, he might have more value on the shutdown line.

    With the Oilers org helping call the shots with the OK, you would think it is possible he gets top 6 minutes, but … that has not been his calling to date.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Rex: No doubt in my mind the Moroz pick was an organizational one (no proof, however). I think this past draft (outside the first round selection) tells us the template is skill, skill, skill.

  6. Oilanderp says:

    This is where I wonder how much, if any, control the Oilers have over a prospect’s development. If they DO have control, wouldn’t they stick him on a top line with PP time and give the guy a chance to show what he can do?

  7. Logan91 says:

    http://www.hockeyrumorsandtrades.com/apps/blog/

    I’m not sure how credible this site is, but they say the Oilers have an offer on Brad Boyes, and they are hoping to land Dan Cleary. Also says they’ve been in touch with Brenden Morrow.

  8. Oilanderp says:

    Logan91,

    No offense, but how could it be credible? This blogger would have to be an insider for every single NHL team. Move along. Nothing to see here. Don’t cross the yellow tape please. I thought it was clearly marked.

  9. fuzzy muppet says:

    I still think Peter Meuller is worth a look as either a 3rd line winger or a possible 4C. A one year deal holds little risk, possibly with a nice upside.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Under MacTavish’s guidelines the Oilers would have taken a skilled player who, perhaps just maybe possibly, had actual experience playing with skilled players as a physical force and agitator in Martin Frk. Just a thought.

    I liked Frk.

    Mostly because I don’t like vowels.

    He as ranked top 10 at one point, got injured and slid far down.

    His draft year +1 was an impressive 1.50pts/gm (I don’t know where to get his 5v5, 5v4 splits)

    Playing with Drouin might help that a bit.

    6″0 203lbs. Beefy.

    Also,

    Doesn’t it also say something about the player when the coach doesn’t play him in the prime minutes?

    I know the Oil Kings had a very good team last year, but imo that’s says a lot.

    If he still doesn’t get there this year…..

  11. B S says:

    I think a lot of people underestimate Moroz’s actual skill level. I watched the Oil Kings during the playoffs last year, and on one of his goals Moroz tipped the puck midair from the right side of the goalie over to the left and batted it into the net. It wasn’t a fluke, he watched the puck the entire way. That took serious hand eye coordination. The guy can skate as well as almost anyone else in the WHL, and he can hit and he’s big enough to do some damage. I’ve been a fan of the way he plays and I think that if he can consistently use his skills he can be an incredibly effective 3rd line player with the ability to move up into the young Ryan Smyth role on occasion. (given that Ryan Smyth was giving him tips last season I suspect the Oilers see him the same way). Moroz’s single biggest flaw isn’t his skill set, or his grit, like most young players it’s his consistency.

    All that said, even I was surprised to see the Oilers take him in the 2nd round given the players still left on the board (as Rex pointed out Frk was an obviously better choice over Moroz) and I think it was a knee-jerk reaction to missing out on Henrik Samuelsson.

  12. VanOil says:

    Not trading (dithering) for Shawn Mattias last February, then playing with half a teams worth of Centers for a month, eclipses drafting Moroz in foolishness. Moroz should not be blamed for his draft position but he is already looking like a busted pick after his draft+1 season, which would be true even if he was drafted 82nd overall.

    What should the draft+2 seasons look like for this sort of player? Is it still 1+ ppg in the CHL still the goal or should players like Moroz and Khaira already be in the AHL if they were on pace?

  13. Logan91 says:

    Oilanderp,

    I guess I didn’t express my sarcasm enough when I said “I’m not sure how credible this site is”.

    With that being said Boyes and Cleary do seem like possible players Mac T could acquire before the beginning of the season. I think it was Willis who wrote a piece on Cleary not to long ago.

  14. B S says:

    VanOil,

    As is always the problem for junior players, there isn’t any information on TOI. The charts above are a good baseline, but I guarantee you that Lucic wasn’t being deployed as a shutdown forward when he was posting a point/game. As LT points out Moroz was almost exclusively deployed to shut down the other teams’ top lines and, along with Ewanyk, did an exceptional job. On a Vollman chart he’d be playing in the Horcoff zone. I suspect Moroz will play in the NHL at some point given his size and skating, so calling the pick a bust already depends on how you define a bust for a 2nd round pick.

  15. VanOil says:

    B S,

    I was declaring Moroz draft+1 season a bust based on LT’s 1.0 ppg target in the CHL. While role on the team and offensive opportunity are mitigating circumstances they can be looked at in two ways. Why was Moroz not able to force the coach/org into giving him those opportunities. Yes the Oil Kings were a good team but the Giants team Lucic played on was very good.

    His lack of comparative production when PP points are excluded is equally damning, even Horcoff got PP time on the Oilers. I buy the opportunity argument with regards to younger players, such as Nurse last year, but if Nurse does not claim offensive opportunity from his club this year will any of us be happy?

  16. LMHF#1 says:

    Moroz hasn’t ever pushed himself into consideration for top minutes for the Oil Kings. Also, while the team has been excellent, it hasn’t exactly been filled with world-beating scoring wingers. It’d be one thing if he was either great in front of the net or had a strong shot. He possesses neither of those attributes.

    The draft itself was a classic example of “my list of this type of player has him next”, which is a stupid way to draft. If they wanted a player like that so damn bad they should have traded up and picked Samuelsson. They could still go out and acquire the guy now. No need to draft the much worse version of the same guy who doesn’t have the scoring ability or the ability to really get under the other team’s skin. Moroz can hit and fight a bit, but doesn’t play the pest game like Samuelsson does.

  17. Jordan says:

    Curtis Glencross.

    That is all.

  18. B S says:

    VanOil,

    Careful with your expectations for Nurse. If (IF) he’s playing 24 EV and 4 PK per night, why, as a coach, would you then put him on the PP as well, especially if you have equally skilled PP guys who can’t hack it at evens the way Nurse can. This comes back to opportunity and role. If Moroz can shut down any forward, giving your other skilled forwards time against weaker opposition, do you move him against weaker op, thereby exposing your other forwards, just so he can net the same goals you would have gotten out of St Croix or Lazar? robbing Paul to pay George? I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that Moroz is more offensively gifted than either of those two, or Samuelsson, and if you move him from the shutdown role, someone needs to take his place.

    I actually agree with you, LT and the posters here that Moroz should be more offensive if he’s going to have an impact at the pro level, but to compare him with Lucic is unfair. Lucic had top line offensive minutes because of a difference in coaching strategy compared to Laxdal who relies on heavy roleplaying and strong 2-way systems. There is only one Lucic, and a maybe a Lindros as elite offensive powerforwards. The typical power forward is already on the Oilers and we broke him (Ben Eager). If Moroz gives us Ben Eager during the Hawks’ cup run (2010) we should be elated.

    LMHF#1,

    Read the scouting report, and watch him play. Moroz has a decent shot, and can be quite good in front of the net, he just hasn’t done much of each.

  19. Woodguy says:

    Jordan:
    Curtis Glencross.

    That is all.

    Not sure where you are going there. Glencross never played WHL so its tough to use his AJ or College numbers as a comp.

    I hold out hope for PItlick by pointing at Glencross’ early years in the AHL.

    22 years old 9pts 51gp
    23 years old 25pts in 41gp
    24 years old 52pts in 61gp

    Light goes on later for some players.

    For every Glencross there are hundreds who’s name you don’t know to look up on hockeydb because they never made it.

  20. LMHF#1 says:

    B S,

    Read the scouting report, and watch him play. Moroz has a decent shot, and can be quite good in front of the net, he just hasn’t done much of each.

    I don’t need to read the scouting report again and have watched him play. Notice I said strong shot (as in Bill Guerin strong), not decent.

    He’s no Dino Ciccarelli in front. He can screen well enough but doesn’t react to the puck the way he needs to.

    These two things could compensate for the rest of his game if they were plus-plus attributes but they are not.

  21. OilTastic says:

    RexLibris,

    I liked the Moroz pick, I just thought he went much too early, especially when a guy like Frk, who they should have taken, was still on the board. sort of a Moroz type I guess, but probably won’t drop the gloves much and has much more offensive talent.

  22. Colonel Obvious says:

    Frk had more points as a 16 year old than Moroz had as an 18 year old. That is all you need to know about how terrible this pick was.

    It was monumentally stupid and indefensible. The kind of thing only a team who thought they had too much skill would do. As if there were such a thing.

    There aren’t two sides to this debate. This was a terrible pick at the time that has turned out worse than expected.

  23. Jordan says:

    Woodguy,

    Hey WG.

    Has nothing to do with junior numbers. Has nothing to do with projections.


    Ask an Edmonton Oiler manager about ‘needs’ right now and it’ll take about 10 seconds to hear ‘size up front’ and ‘big forwards who can play with skill’ coming back; it is, at this point, a clear team need from the club point of view (I keep hoping they just bring in a ‘Bertuzzi’ type, an established NHL player with some assholery in the resume but who can play).

    Since 2000, the Oilers have tried and tried and tried (off and on, mind you–there were times when drafting small guys was the wisdom of the day) to draft big men with some offensive ability. The 2003 entry draft saw them take J-F Jacques and Colin McDonald in hopes of finding this player, and they ended up whiffing on the generation’s best entry draft because of it.

    What exactly are the Oilers looking for? Well, I think we can best describe this elusive character as someone who:

    has size and attitude
    can and will fight
    drives the opponent to distraction
    can think on his feet
    can make and take a pass
    displays a range of skills

    This player’s name is Curtis Glencross. He was here. The Oilers didn’t re-sign him.

    They had another player who had 4 of those 6 tiems, and had great wheels too in MP, and they traded him for an upgrade in skill and a downgrade in size. The value of that move has yet to be determined.

    Colin MacDonald was sent away and has become a guy who can do most of that.

    My point is that the Oilers are very bad at judging and retaining these guys. Period. While its easy enough to talk about how to judge young players who could fit this mold, when the Organization doesn’t want to keep the players they have who do, what’s the freakin point?

  24. Woodguy says:

    Jordan,

    This player’s name is Curtis Glencross. He was here. The Oilers didn’t re-sign him.
    They had another player who had 4 of those 6 tiems, and had great wheels too in MP, and they traded him for an upgrade in skill and a downgrade in size. The value of that move has yet to be determined.
    Colin MacDonald was sent away and has become a guy who can do most of that.
    My point is that the Oilers are very bad at judging and retaining these guys. Period. While its easy enough to talk about how to judge young players who could fit this mold, when the Organization doesn’t want to keep the players they have who do, what’s the freakin point?

    Got it.

    Good point.

    Glencross wanted to re-sign here, but 6 Rings (6!!) was busy chasing Whales and navel gazing.

    Then they spend a pile of quality draft picks for the next 6 years trying to find him again and talk about how rarely that type of player hits the open market.

    Thank god 6 rings really shit the bed at the original MacT presser.

    You know now that MacT pretty much has the last say on players.

    That being said MacT almost made a big blunder by offering Clarkson the Sun, Moon, and Stars for the rest of eternity.

    He’ll be a good player, possibly very good for the next 2-3 years, but then would have been a millstone that may have necessitated sending out one of the talented kids due to cap issues.

  25. B S says:

    LMHF#1,

    Firstly, you’re talking about power forwards that only appear 2 or 3 times in a generation. You can’t get those with 1st round picks. If that is what it takes to make a 2nd rounder a hit, then you will be eternally disappointed.
    Secondly, the game has changed, when I say skill, I’m talking about physical ability, not the whole package. Moroz as he is now could skate circles around Ciccarelli, his hand eye coordination is as good as anyone in the bottom 6 on the Oilers now (excepting Hemsky and Omark). But what he lacks is the confidence and sense of timing to use it, and systems heavy way hockey is coached now, forechecking at the wrong time, or shooting when you should have dumped gets you benched. Ciccarelli knew when to drive to the net, when to check a defenceman in the corner, and how much he could push the goalie around before he would get called, but that’s because he had years to learn it. Moroz hasn’t been given that chance.

    The difference between Moroz and a star player like Ciccarelli is not physical ability, but rather that one of them has experience and the confidence/arrogance to succeed. If Moroz turns into a reliable 3rd line option, then the pick wasn’t a waste. If he turns into a persistent top 6 PF then we should be elated, and if we get a minor leaguer or a 4th line pugilist (which is where his EV numbers seem to have him) then the pick is a bust.

  26. OilLeak says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Frk had more points as a 16 year old than Moroz had as an 18 year old.That is all you need to know about how terrible this pick was.

    It was monumentally stupid and indefensible.The kind of thing only a team who thought they had too much skill would do.As if there were such a thing.

    There aren’t two sides to this debate.This was a terrible pick at the time that has turned out worse than expected.

    I’m in 100% agree with you, Moroz and Ewanyk types have to bust their ass just to look competent in Major Junior and are already pushing the limits of their respective skill-sets. Hamilton/Pitlick/Martindale have all been disappointing and struggled with the pro game, all three were considered decent offensive prospects. If Moroz posts decent totals in junior this year it’s not going to matter much, he’s already a man playing in a boys league, he needed show something last season. As for Ewanyk/Kessy they were not decent offensive prospects in Junior either, they were marginal or non-existent at best. I think it’s best we prepare for the reality that they’ll be Bakersfield regulars by Christmas.

  27. OilLeak says:

    OilLeak,

    Quick Summary: Moroz Sucks, Ewanyk sucks, Kessy Sucks. Hoping bit players in Junior will somehow emerge as legitimate NHL players is foolhardy and sets us fans up for long-term disappointment.

  28. prairieschooner says:

    If these Lucic type players are so hard to find how many resources should we spend on finding them?
    If the Oilers manage are asked that question, should the follow up question be “why did the club sign Omark”?

    (I like Omark )

  29. Lowetide says:

    prairieschooner:
    If these Lucic type players are so hard to find how many resources should we spend on finding them?
    If the Oilers manage are asked that question, should the follow up question be “why did the club sign Omark”?

    (I like Omark )

    That’s my point. Detroit solves these problems by getting a Bertuzzi or similar. Why use draft assets?

  30. Woodguy says:

    If the discussion is Power Forwards, then this piece by Zona at C&B is required reading:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/8/18/4625210/power-forwards-in-the-nhl-rare

  31. PunjabiOil says:

    A little off topic, but Yakupov looks a little overweight with a belly. A little uncharacteristic for a guy known to be big on fitness and the gym.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BTCegGxIEAAr2Cg.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BTCdu2oIIAAhwdI.jpg

  32. jake70 says:

    Watching the golf FedEx playoffs. DeLaet is having a fantastic day. The NBC guys keep referring to all the hockey he played growing up. Maybe the Oil should look at him for a bottom 6 role..;-).
    He’s got the playoff beard going pretty good too.

  33. B S says:

    PunjabiOil,

    I wouldn’t be too worried. Matt Dumba has a big belly too, it is from all the core muscles he developed. As long as Yak doesn’t show up to training camp with a muffin top I won’t be concerned about his fitness.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Power forward as defined by Derek is a very narrow view. The Habs used John Ferguson on their top line during the Beliveau era and he wouldn’t have qualified (but was the original PF).

  35. Marc says:

    Lowetide: That’s my point. Detroit solves these problems by getting a Bertuzzi or similar. Why use draft assets?

    You can make that argument about drafting undersize forwards outside the first round though. They are extreme outliers. There are maybe 5 current forwards under 5’10” who were drafted outside the first round/undrafted that you might reasonably call a good NHL player (Roy, Sullivan, Cammaleri, Gionta and St Louis). Why even bother?

    There is a strong correlation between a prospect not scoring in junior and that prospect not making the NHL – this is pointed out often on here. But there’s also a very strong correlation between a prospect being very small and that prospect not making it. If you are going to start excluding certain classes of player from being drafted on the grounds that players like them rarely make, one of the first groups you would logically exclude is guys that are shorter than 5’10”

    St Louis is as much an extreme outlier as Lucic, but for some reason a lot of the same people who deride taking a Moroz or Ewanyk in the hopes of getting of a Lucic are happy to spend picks on guys like Omark and Rajala, when the odds of them turning into St Louis are just as infinitismal as Moroz or Ewanyk becoming Lucic 2.0.

  36. B S says:

    Lowetide,

    How would you define a Power Forward? I consider it (in the modern league) a player larger than 6’01″ at least 220 lbs who regularly hits, scores at a pace that places him in the top 7 forwards on his team, and will fight at least a few times a season. From a less tangible perspective, other players should have their heads up whenever he is on the ice, and he should exude an aura of intimidation. By this definition there aren’t many who qualify. (Sam Gagner is the closest the Oilers have currently).

  37. LMHF#1 says:

    B S:
    LMHF#1,

    Firstly, you’re talking about power forwards that only appear 2 or 3 times in a generation. You can’t get those with 1st round picks. If that is what it takes to make a 2nd rounder a hit, then you will be eternally disappointed.
    Secondly, the game has changed, when I say skill, I’m talking about physical ability, not the whole package. Moroz as he is now could skate circles around Ciccarelli, his hand eye coordination is as good as anyone in the bottom 6 on the Oilers now (excepting Hemsky and Omark). But what he lacks is the confidence and sense of timing to use it, and systems heavy way hockey is coached now, forechecking at the wrong time, or shooting when you should have dumped gets you benched. Ciccarelli knew when to drive to the net, when to check a defenceman in the corner, and how much he could push the goalie around before he would get called, but that’s because he had years to learn it. Moroz hasn’t been given that chance.

    The difference between Moroz and a star player like Ciccarelli is not physical ability, but rather that one of them has experience and the confidence/arrogance to succeed. If Moroz turns into a reliable 3rd line option, then the pick wasn’t a waste. If he turns into a persistent top 6 PF then we should be elated, and if we get a minor leaguer or a 4th line pugilist (which is where his EV numbers seem to have him) then the pick is a bust.

    You’re not getting what I’m saying when I talk about those attributes.

    Moroz has nowhere near the complete game of those two players. He never will.

    BUT

    If he had the small bits of their game that I noted, he could be a secondary or tertiary player despite his shortcomings. He doesn’t have these things. To be even a reliable third liner you need something special.

  38. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: That’s my point. Detroit solves these problems by getting a Bertuzzi or similar. Why use draft assets?

    Detroit traded a PF prospect to get Bertuzzi, Shawn Mattias. He looks promising.

    But your general point I agree with a player like Shawn Mattias can be picked up for very little if you don’t dither and pick them up post development and pre breakout season. Hopefully MacT has pull this off with Joensuu, even if he hasn’t it was a better gamble than Moroz.

  39. Lois Lowe says:

    PunjabiOil,

    Really? Really?

    That’s not off topic. It’s off base; the kid looks fine to me. Talk about overzealous fans trying to find faults…

  40. Lowetide says:

    B S:
    Lowetide,

    How would you define a Power Forward? I consider it (in the modern league) a player larger than 6’01″ at least 220 lbs who regularly hits, scores at a pace that places him in the top 7 forwards on his team, and will fight at least a few times a season. From a less tangible perspective, other players should have their heads up whenever he is on the ice, and he should exude an aura of intimidation. By this definition there aren’t many who qualify. (Sam Gagner is the closest the Oilers have currently).

    My definition of a PF is someone who can:

    1. provide a physical element on a skill line. I’ve never counted hits, but a guy like Lucic, or Iginla, or Messier in his prime at the top end, and then a guy like Glencross at the other. Glencross is mentioned above, he’s a helluva hockey player.
    2. who can play with skill. Take a pass and make a pass, carry the puck, make someone miss once in awhile.

    The Habs one fall had Murray Wilson, Yvon Lambert, Chuck Lefley all arrive within about a year of each other to replace Frank Mahovlich and John Ferguson (who had retired in 1971). ALL of them provided a physical element, and I don’t know that any of them ever had more than 100 pims in a season.

  41. gd says:

    To me the concern with the Moroz pick, is you would hope that our scouts would have a great feel for OK kids strengths and weaknesses, and yet it appears they majorly overrated Moroz’s skills. The one thing that makes the reach pick defensible is it does appear that 2012 was a very weak draft year (record number of overagers picked) and Frk is really the only guy I see in the 2nd round that I really wish we had (and he was picked 49th). Moroz does seem to be a better PF pick than Sutter, and the rest of the 2nd round seems to be a bunch of Dillon Simpson equivalent Dmen and tweener forwards.

  42. PunjabiOil says:

    the kid looks fine to me. Talk about overzealous fans trying to find faults

    Yeah other than the belly

  43. B S says:

    LMHF#1: You’re not getting what I’m saying when I talk about those attributes.

    Moroz has nowhere near the complete game of those two players. He never will.

    BUT

    If he had the small bits of their game that I noted, he could be a secondary or tertiary player despite his shortcomings. He doesn’t have these things. To be even a reliable third liner you need something special.

    I’m not claiming Moroz will ever reach their level, but if we’re talking about tool kits, then Moroz has hands, speed and toughness comparable to any of his contemporaries. I’ve watched both him and Hartikainen play and Moroz has better hand-eye coordination and similar to slightly better speed. Hartikainen’s advantage is he uses what skills he has more often. Moroz has the tools, he just doesn’t know what end to hold or when to use them. For me the question is whether the Oilers should wait it out and see how long it takes him to figure out the offense and how to use those hands, or do they cut the line and cast for another powerforward (assuming that they inexplicably MUST have one). If he does learn how to use the tools he has he could be extremely effective, but it could take him years to figure it out.

  44. B S says:

    Lowetide,

    So, Sean Avery? Matt Cooke?

    Also, does Yak count then? top 10 in hits on the team and guys are starting to look around when he’s on the ice and they have the puck. (as a side note, looking up stats, Nuge had twice as many takeaways as giveaways last season, that kid is phenomenal, and we’re so screwed without him)

  45. Clarkenstein says:

    Some “assholery”?? Love it… but that position in the organization is taken at the moment.
    Team President.

  46. FastOil says:

    Marc: Marc

    This is not a popular opinion for many stats lovers but I think on the money. For many the idea that skill is most important seems to blur the fact to them that there are only a handful of really small guys in the league.

    MacT seems to have corrected the extremes in size and seems to want that everyone can actually skate which is extremely important if you can’t cheat. And have skill. Sweet balanced decisions.

  47. stevezie says:

    FastOil,

    Stats guys don’t care about skill- that’s another bias fans have (size, skill, heart… whatever).

    Stats guys care about results. They don’t care about how big you are, or how good you look doing it, you just either get results or you don’t. The pure stats guy doesn’t even want to know what the player looks or plays like. Just show me his results.

  48. Lowetide says:

    I still like Pouliot.

  49. FastOil says:

    stevezie:
    FastOil,

    Stats guys don’t care about skill- that’s another bias fans have (size, skill, heart… whatever).

    Stats guys care about results. They don’t care about how big you are, or how good you look doing it, you just either get results or you don’t. The pure stats guy doesn’t even want to know what the player looks or plays like. Just show me his results.

    For sure. The point being tiny guys don’t get results enough or there would actually be some in the league ;)

    For the record, I don’t consider 180 players tiny, they are small and there are and have been quite a few always playing. It’s the guys well under that I believe Marc was and I refer to. The antimatter to 240 lb guys that can’t move and can barely put stick on puck.

    Someday another 160 lb player will hit the league – problem is the outlier thing, sign one if you want him, donèt waste draft picks.

  50. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    I still like Pouliot.

    Pouliot rocks!

  51. VOR says:

    The truth is writing off Moroz as a useful player and a good pick is more than a little premature. There are at least three ways Moroz can stick in the NHL for years and contribute. In fact, he has better odds than many highly skilled players.

    The first way Moroz can stay is as a goon. By all accounts he is a skilled and willing fighter. So like Dave Semenko who was taken 25th OV he might stay by being an enforcer.

    The second way is by combing his enforcing with the ability to fore check. The Oilers desperately need a tough guy who can fore check. How about 31st OV Georges Laraque? Or maybe, not that he was drafted in the 2nd round, he is Mike Grier.

    The third way Moroz can stick is by being able to do it all. Kick in a goal or two, win some fights, kill penalties and check the crap out of the other team’s best wingers. Like say #42 OV, Dave Scatchard.

    My point is that all these guys were equally bad or worse than Moroz at the same age (this year coming up was the year Grier, Laraque and Semenko announced themselves, and it would be fair to say Scatchard never did. His offence just translated to the NHL better than most. However, none of these guys were drafted by a team thinking they were offensive dynamos. I am sure the Oilers don’t expect Moroz to be either.

    On the other hand I am willing to bet nobody here would turn their noses up at a young Grier, Laraque, Semenko, or Scatchard just because they couldn’t score or didn’t get the chance before arriving in the NHL.

  52. maudite says:

    If we drafted laraque or semenko with that 32nd pick, I’d be screaming bloody murder.

    Game has changed, only a handful of out of date management teams have roster spots designated for enforcer. Hitting, going to the net a d being a bit of a pest, sure. Fighting should be almost nonexistent on the reasons to draft anyone card.

    VOR:
    The truth is writing off Moroz as a useful player and a good pick is more than a little premature. There are at least three ways Moroz can stick in the NHL for years and contribute. In fact, he has better odds than many highly skilled players.

    The first way Moroz can stay is as a goon. By all accounts he is a skilled and willing fighter. So like Dave Semenko who was taken 25th OV he might stay by being an enforcer.

    The second way is by combing his enforcing with the ability to fore check. The Oilers desperately need a tough guy who can fore check. How about 31st OV Georges Laraque? Or maybe, not that he was drafted in the 2nd round, he is Mike Grier.

    The third way Moroz can stick is by being able to do it all. Kick in a goal or two, win some fights, kill penalties and check the crap out of the other team’s best wingers. Like say #42 OV, Dave Scatchard.

    My point is that all these guys were equally bad or worse than Moroz at the same age (this year coming up was the year Grier, Laraque and Semenko announced themselves, and it would be fair to say Scatchard never did. His offence just translated to the NHL better than most. However, none of these guys were drafted by a team thinking they were offensive dynamos. I am sure the Oilers don’t expect Moroz to be either.

    On the other hand I am willing to bet nobody here would turn their noses up at a young Grier, Laraque, Semenko, or Scatchard just because they couldn’t score or didn’t get the chance before arriving in the NHL.

  53. VOR says:

    Maudite,

    Whether I agree with you or not regarding fighting (and as it happens I do but the NHL apparently doesn’t agree with us) all these guys had other skills that are still valued in the modern game. Grier and Scatchard could play the game however you wanted it played. Semenko, despite his psycho reputation, which was well earned, could play hockey well enough to keep it in the offensive zone and Laraque would by todays terminology have massive + Corsi numbers. All of the players I mentioned had longer and more important careers than an average 2nd rounder.

    In terms Craig MacTavish would use, “it isn’t what you create, it is what you leave.” These guys weren’t any of them superb creators in the conventional sense but by and large they created more than they left. On top of which, if the situation arose they could go to the aid of a team mate who was facing an attack from an opponent who didn’t get the memo about how there is no place for fighting or general goonery in today’s NHL.

    If Moroz can outplay, and his history in the WHL would suggest he is currently badly outplaying his opponents who are the best players in junior, then his toughness and ability to be there when the shit hits the fan will guarantee him a long NHL career.

    Moroz can backcheck. He can fight. He can skate. He can forecheck. He wins puck battles. You go to an Oil Kings game and it is hard to miss Moroz’s current role, shut down the other teams best players and get the hell off the ice. Right now Mitch Moroz is living the WHL version of Kelly Buchberger’s NHL career. That has real value to the Oil Kings but doesn’t appear to impress the Oilers fan base too much.

    It is hard to figure out how good a scorer Moroz might be because not only isn’t he get the minutes he is seeing hard ice. Yet he outscores at evens and by an increasing margin each year. He might well be capable of doing the same thing at the NHL level with experience. The assumption seems to be that if he can’t get the offensive ice time it must be because he isn’t very good. What if the rest of the team can’t play defense well enough to be out there against the toughest competition? What if Moroz is simply to valuable in a shut down role to waste in a scoring role on a team that scores in bunches?

  54. OilTastic says:

    Glencross wanted to re-sign here, but 6 Rings (6!!) was busy chasing Whales and navel gazing.

    Then they spend a pile of quality draft picks for the next 6 years trying to find him again and talk about how rarely that type of player hits the open market.

    Thank god 6 rings really shit the bed at the original MacT presser.

    You know now that MacT pretty much has the last say on players.

    That being said MacT almost made a big blunder by offering Clarkson the Sun, Moon, and Stars for the rest of eternity.

    He’ll be a good player, possibly very good for the next 2-3 years, but then would have been a millstone that may have necessitated sending out one of the talented kids due to cap issues.

    @Woodguy….after seeing the presser with 6 rings and MacT, the much more articulate and well spoken MacT made 6 rings look like a doofus! there is no question in my mind that 6 rings is the problem with this franchise, though I had no real problem with him hiring MacT. and i’m hoping Lowe is let go soon and I would have no problem seeing MacT promoted to president. unfortunately, Katz probably won’t fire his friend.

  55. russ99 says:

    I’m hoping MacT has put an end to the Lucic-hunt, and the Oilers end up drafting big guys who can play.

    This year’s rookie camp forward roster is the result of Tambellini’s multi-season focus on size alone (hoping one of them turns into Lucic), and I don’t see one NHL player among the big checking guys.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca