Most Oiler fans were displeased with the selection of David Musil, feeling it was another example of the “Oild Boys Club” mentality that sees so many former Oilers in important positions within the organization. I’ve seen him enough to have an opinion (dangerous) and have him ranked #14 in the system.
PREVIOUSLY NUMBER FOURTEEN ON THE LIST
- December 2004: R Zack Stortini
- December 2005: D Taylor Chorney
- December 2006: C Kyle Brodziak
- December 2007: D Cody Wild
- December 2008: L Bryan Lerg
- December 2009: R Ryan Stone
- December 2010: C Chris VandeVelde
- December 2011: D Jeremie Blain
- December 2012: G Olivier Roy
Some nice players on the list, and the type of players (3rd round picks and later) that makes sense too, as you would think the 1st and 2nd rounders would have started higher and graduated within two or three winters. Stortini had a decent NHL career, Brodziak (both from the 2003 draft) is still going in the NHL and most of the rest are humming along in the minor leagues. Roy remains a prospect of interest, and the only 2nd rounders on the list are Chorney (too small for the NHL blue), Ryan Stone (speed, skill) and our man Musil (more about his gifts and challenges below).
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
TSN: Highly touted in the Czech Republic for several years, one of the rare players to compete in three U-18 championships. Good genes, being the son of a former NHLer and a tennis pro, and nephew of Bobby Holik. Strengths - Has good gap control and active stick. He can play a physical game given his size and strength. Has a hard shot, good character and leadership abilities. Weaknesses - Shot lacks accuracy, takes too long to shoot, feet are below average, hands aren’t great, not a puck carrier, dead ends himself. Could be more consistent with his physical play.
Redline report: His father, Frank, was a longtime NHL defenseman and currently a highly respected scout. David has excellent size and strength and plays a rugged brand of hockey with a bit of a mean streak. He reads developing plays well and uses anticipation to break up plays before they become dangerous. He’s got good hockey sense in all three zones, but his offensive upside is limited due to his mediocre point shot.
Redline on his comparable: Maintains great gap control and always squares up to the puckhandler. Has good poise, plays solid, mistake-free game in own zone and is excellent positionally. Reads and anticipates developing plays well. Good laterally, but 1st step and straightaway speed are average. Is not good as either a PP quarterback or trigger-man— has weak shot and makes poor decisions in puck distribution. Comparable to Ladislav Smid.
Vancouver Giants coach Don Hay: “David’s a real good player. He’s a dependable defensive defenceman who gets the puck up the ice. He’s very solid in his own end of the ice, he understands the game very well. We rely on David to be a shutdown guy and a penalty kill guy, he’s the same player as he was at 16, he’s just more mature now. He’s got a very good hockey IQ, he just needs to keep getting stronger, to continue to work on his skating, and being a little bit better on the offensive blueline.”
DAVID MUSIL, POINTS BY DISCIPLINE
|DAVID MUSIL 2010-11 WHL||62, 5-12-17||62, 1-6-7||62, 0-1-1||62, 6-19-25|
|DAVID MUSIL 2011-12 WHL||59, 1-12-13||59, 5-9-14||59, 0-0-0||59, 6-21-27|
|DAVID MUSIL 2012-13 WHL||62, 9-21-30||62, 0-1-1||62, 0-0-0||62, 9-22-31|
|DAVID MUSIL 2013-14 AHL||10, 0-1-1||10, 0-0-0||10, 0-0-0||10, 0-1-1|
This is kind of a funny hockey card, because you can see he came in with quite an offensive reputation (Musil was a very famous early as a prospect) but Redline had it nailed with the poor shot and minus decision-making. The even strength number looks right, although he did post some big numbers in 2012-13 because of time spent with a very talented Oil Kings group, but I think we have his offense surrounded and Laddy is a good comparable.
PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING
- Summer 2011: 8
- Winter 2011: 10
- Summer 2012: 13
- Winter 2012: 8
- Summer 2013: 15
- Winter 2013: 14
Musil earned the top 10 ranking based on being a second round pick (just outside the first round) but hasn’t been able to keep it. I ‘saw him good’ last winter and in ranking him #8 said “what Musil provides–reliable defense featuring an uncanny ability to defuse oncoming sorties, win battles along the wall and in front of the net, to calm the waters–he delivers consistently and effectively” and I still believe that to be true. Musil has moved down the list, but he’s not a forgotten prospect.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING THIS SEASON
- Jonathan Willis: There’s been a lot of doom and gloom around Musil’s status as a prospect, but his game has translated beautifully to the professional ranks. He generally alternates with (and occasionally plays beside) Martin Gernat on Oklahoma’s third pairing and seems comfortable playing on his off-side.
There are two trains on Musil, and I’ll explain them this way:
- So, I’m talking to this scout winter 2012 and he says to me Musil won’t have a career. I say, wow, ‘you’re that sure?’ and the response is ‘no doubt’ and you know he’s had some success (this is a scout for an eastern seaboard team) and what the hell do I know? So, you know, no matter how much you want to see a guy succeed that kind of information kind of stays with you. So I ask why he’s not convinced, and it comes down to foot speed, guy doesn’t think he’ll make the AHL as a regular. Now I’m really wondering what the hell here, because the Oilers spent a 2nd rounder on him, you know?
- I’m no scout, and believe me I know this is going to sound strange, but Musil impresses me with his defensive play. He’s really good at covering—now he gets beaten from time to time and does have skating issues—and is a beast physically at the junior level. I have a hard time seeing what Musil did in the WHL and believing this is the last level we’ll see him be that kind of player. Also, I do talk to people who know hockey and have asked them, and they all see what I’ve told you here (and have also mentioned the skating).
So, I’m putting this out there, because some day we’ll look back and know but right now I don’t think anyone is absolutely certain (aside from that scout I spoke to a year ago). This is a very unusual player, because he appears to be SO good at the defensive side of the game that he’s a genuine prospect despite two strikes (speed, puck moving ability).