THE CHASE IS ON!

The three major junior leagues have just completed their seasons, and for Oiler fans it’s a chance to look at progress. For many of the CHL players under the Oiler umbrella the 13-14 campaign has been a success. For Greg Chase, it’s been a revelation.

**NOTE: THERE ARE TWO WHL GAMES GOING THIS AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING. I WILL UPDATE STATS WHEN GAMES ARE COMPLETED. MOROZ, BETKER  AND KHAIRA NUMBERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

BOXCAR NUMBERS, 13-14 PROSPECTS IN THE CHL

  1. Greg Chase (18) 70, 35-50-85
  2. Mitchell Moroz (19) 70, 35-28-63
  3. Jackson Houck (18) 69, 34-27-61
  4. Darnell Nurse (18) 64, 13-37-50
  5. Jujhar Khaira (19) 59, 16-28-44
  6. Kyle Platzer (18) 66, 22-14-36
  7. Marc-Olivier Roy (19) 39, 14-21-35
  8. Ben Betker (18) 68, 7-14-21

It’s always nice to take a moment at the end of a long season to look at these players. Three men scored more than 30 goals, that’s an outstanding total in any league. It doesn’t confirm they’ll be top 6F in the NHL, but does suggest that there may be enough there for the trio to develop into NHL role players. The leaders in assists (Chase and Nurse) are probably the best bets for NHL careers here, although Moroz is going to get some long looks from this organization.

The club has signed Jujhar Khaira, Darnell Nurse and Mitchell Moroz, and I think we could see Marc-Olivier Roy signed this summer (and he may turn pro). Roy is the disappointment in the group (due to injury), and Platzer is just around .500 point-per-game and that’s not going to get it done. The verbal on Betker has been positive and Houck scored 34—hard to bitch about that total.

VOLLMAN’S NHL EQUVIALENCIES

Beginning this year, I’m switching over to Rob Vollman’s NHL equivalencies. No disrespect to Gabriel Desjardins, but Rob’s information is more recent and there are subtle but important differences. I’ve gone back and forth over these last months, but Desjardins’ NHLE is famous and available everywhere. The Vollman is similar and not yet widely reported.

CHL NHLE

  • The NHL equivalency likes Greg Chase plenty. His final WHL season will be an interesting follow, because he still isn’t getting a major power-play push. Some are comparing his rise to Brodziak, but NHL teams didn’t draft him at 17. Chase’s 18-year old season is very close to Brodziak at 19. He might be that very unusual player who arrives in the NHL as a regular via the 7th round (like Brodziak), but he’s tracking a higher trajectory at this time.
  • The other player of great interest is Darnell Nurse. His NHLE one year ago (82, 4-11-15) was good, and the slight uptick (helped by the PP) confirms he’ll likely be a two-way type should he play in the NHL. Oiler fans shouldn’t expect 40 points from Nurse, but 20-25 points a season seems reasonable. We know Nurse’s value has a lot of defensive elements, so this kind of production added to the defense will have a great deal of value. If he ends up being Jason Smith, would Oiler fans be happy with the player? That’s where he’s heading in my opinion.
  • Mitchell Moroz had a very good season, and there were times during the year where we might have been able to stretch a little and compare him to guys like Blake Comeau and Shawn Matthias. He fell below those numbers, and at this point I believe we’re looking at  a bottom 6 player. He’s clear of Gazdic by some measure, and perhaps is more comparable to J-F Jacques at this point. Stay away from back injuries, Mitch! I do want to mention that Moroz (to my eye) can take and make a pass, and that should have some real value in pro. It’s also true, however, that checking wingers like Ethan Moreau were dominant offensive juniors at 19 years old.
  • Jackson Houck is actually a more promising version of Moroz, despite a lesser pedigree. If we refer back to that ON article on Moroz, Houck (in season 1 after draft) lands between Milan Lucic and Colton Gillies. I am NOT saying he’s Lucic! However, Houck is a very interesting prospect, perhaps underrated due to a slow start and being a lesser draft pick. A must follow next year.
  • Marco Roy had a disappointing year, owing mostly to injury. He is among the few junior forwards who were taken in the second round and boasted a point-per-game or more in their draft year. That’s a rare thing, in fact only 15 forwards selected in the second round between 2009 and 2014 (five seasons) had a point per game total at 1/1 or above. Roy didn’t reach that level this season (but was close), so we’ll be looking for marked improvement should he remain in junior this year. Interesting side note: the man drafted right after Roy (William Carrier), had almost the identical falloff season over season. Something in the air this season in the QMJHL? Probably just luck and injury, but it’s a concern for Roy moving forward.
  • Ben Betker is never going to shine in this kind of view, but the scouting reports on him have been very good this season. Terrific size, good speed and he’s a better offensive player than first thought. A nice prospect.
  • I think it’s fair to suggest that Platzer and Khaira have some work to do as prospects based on their projected roles in pro hockey.

Most of these kids will spend the next few weeks in the playoffs, so we’ll continue to monitor progress.

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81 Responses to "THE CHASE IS ON!"

  1. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Missed the game (with the in-laws all day).

    Watched the replays… can someone explain the first goal? what happened. I can’t find video that explains why it wasn’t Lander’s goal.

    At any rate, how was Landy?

    Gagner looked gawd-awful on the first goal against. just stood there at the goal mouth starring at Scrivens and left Staal to his own devices.

    Watch him on this sequence starting c. 1:47:

    http://video.oilers.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=578230&catid=4

    ooph.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Rom: Hendricks drove behind the net with/to retrieve the puck, Lander drove to the net with two Hurricanes along for the ride. It looked like Lander took a shot, but it apparently hit Jay Harrison only, and ended up deposited into the goal.

    Lander doesn’t get a point, but does deserve credit for doing the right thing offensively.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On Platzer, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t note the trade splits.

    http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/roster/show/id/9455

    LDN: 39 9-8-17 (.43589 PPG)
    OS: 27 13-6-19 (.7037 PPG)

    That’s a sizeable improvement post trade. huge really. If he played a whole season at a .7 PPG clip, we might not be in full ecstasy, but I imagine we’d be pretty happy with the player.

    Again, the lack of TOI, shots, discipline breakdown, usage, etc. really hampers these assessments.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I like this Betker plenty.

    I believe Stauff said he was eligible for an over-age year next year. (can anyone with knowledge of these things confirm?). If so, going back to defensive-haven Everett would be great for him IMO. Then minimum of two years in OKC and bam… I’m having fantasies already.

    Khaira’s injuries might be noted along side Roy’s. He’s also in a defensive system over there… but still disappointing season. I’m having dreams of Pitlick all over again. I really wonder about the move to sign and yank him out of college, like we all did at the time. I don’t have the answer… maybe he’s just not as good as last year suggested, or as bad as this year does… we’ll just have to wait.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Rom: Hendricks drove behind the net with/to retrieve the puck, Lander drove to the net with two Hurricanes along for the ride. It looked like Lander took a shot, but it apparently hit Jay Harrison only, and ended up deposited into the goal.

    Lander doesn’t get a point, but does deserve credit for doing the right thing offensively.

    ok. thanks.

    Well, I hope MacT and Eakins at least noted it. that’s what matters most.

    How did he look for the rest of the game. In the replay, the only other time I noted him was when he made a real strong play after the whistle to yank a Cane off of Scrivens. I bet that made Eakins/MacT happy. I perked up.

  6. gcw_rocks says:

    “If he ends up being Jason Smith, would Oiler fans be happy with the player? That’s where he’s heading in my opinion.”

    If the Oilers passed on Nichushkin and Ristolainen to draft Jason Smith then they are lost. Horribly, horribly lost.

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jason Smith Draft +1 (in the Dub)
    64 14-52-66

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=5044

  8. VanOil says:

    gcw_rocks:
    “If he ends up being Jason Smith, would Oiler fans be happy with the player? That’s where he’s heading in my opinion.”

    If the Oilers passed on Nichushkin and Ristolainen to draft Jason Smith then they are lost.Horribly, horribly lost.

    Would you settle for a less injury prone Elf-Bomb (for Rom) then?

    My biggest current concern with Nurse is that he is rushed. My plan would be for him: getting his 9 games in the NHL as long as he earns it. Then back to Jr to eat his Wheaties and hopefully get a shot at the WJC. Then a 1.5 years in the AHL.

    Player development is not all about the player learning it is some times about where and what he is learning.

  9. Acumen says:

    I saw Nurse as a Dylan Mcilrath level plug at the draft. I was livid that they didn’t draft Nichushkin. The uptick to his intelligence and offensive game that I learned about with a little research helped plenty, and I saw his ceiling looking more like someone cut from the Jason Smith – Willie Mitchell – Brooks Orpik cloth.

    I’d still rather have the Russian, but if he turns into one of those bonafide top pairing stay at home types I’m a happy man. Those are incredibly valuable players. If people are expecting Pronger, they’ll be sorely disappointed. I think absolute blue sky is somewhere between Coburn and Seabrook. That is still DAMN good.

    Jujhar Khaira is my favorite prospect right now, and while the season looks bad Constantine’s Everett team is a number-drainer and top players have struggled in the defensive Dub before. Proof: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=62622

    Greg Chase is an absolute home run. I’m looking forward to following him.

  10. Melman says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I get your point, but it’s not that easy to find a big, tough, hard nosed D who can take on the others team’s best for 22 mins. a night and provide leadership. Not sexy, but hugely valuable.

  11. sliderule says:

    The thing I like about Chase is he gets his points in close games and against some of the better teams.

    I believe he got two goals in a close game against the Russians in super series.

    I followed him on the Gore and I don’t remember a game were he ran it up in a lopsided win .

    That is a positive arrow.

  12. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Jason Smith Draft +1 (in the Dub)
    6414-52-66

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=5044

    In fairness that was a different time.Scoring was much higher in junior leagues until the trap came in.

  13. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule: In fairness that was a different time.Scoring was much higher in junior leagues until the trap came in.

    posted for context, not making a point one way or another.

  14. Rondo says:

    Re: Darnell Nurse

    Soo Greyhounds lost their top 5 scorers from last year . Nurses numbers could be excellent given the loss of the top 5.

  15. WeirsBeard says:

    Been calling Chase to Brodziak Oiler camp for months. Guy has just been delivering all year. Always appreciate these late round picks with an axe to grind.

  16. Lowetide says:

    In regard to Nurse/Smith comparison, a lot of Jason Smith’s value came from the defensive side of the game. He really was an effective defender, and that’s what we should hope Nurse becomes. Expecting 40-50 points or a Chris Pronger isn’t reasonable imo.

    An effective defenseman who can pass the puck, defend well, and play with an edge. That’s Darnell Nurse. Right?

  17. The Great One says:

    Worth another look for those of us who thought Moroz was the wrong choice.

    Mitch Moroz – 35G 28A 63P

    Matt Finn – 14G 47A 61P

    One of these players is a defenseman.

  18. theres oil in virginia says:

    For anybody who thinks Patrick Marleau is any good:

    Patrick Marleau – 28G 32A 60P
    Erik Karlsson – 17G 43A 60P

    One of those players is a defenseman.

  19. The Great One says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    For anybody who thinks Patrick Marleau is any good:

    Patrick Marleau – 28G 32A 60P
    Erik Karlsson – 17G 43A 60P

    One of those players is a defenseman.

    Yeah, a Norris quality defenseman who is leading his team in scoring.

    Marleau scored 51 goals, 74 assists and 115 points in his final year in junior.

    Are you suggesting Mitch Moroz is the next Patrick Marleau?

  20. theres oil in virginia says:

    The Great One: Yeah, a Norris quality defenseman who is leading his team in scoring.

    Marleau scored 51 goals, 74 assists and 115 points in his final year in junior.

    Are you suggesting Mitch Moroz is the next Patrick Marleau?

    No need to get excited. I’m just noting how remarkable it is for a defenseman to score the same amount of points as a forward. It’s remarkable.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Yeah, a Norris quality defenseman who is leading his team in scoring.

    Marleau scored 51 goals, 74 assists and 115 points in his final year in junior.

    Are you suggesting Mitch Moroz is the next Patrick Marleau?

    I think he’s suggesting that the endless stream of near-random comparables you generate is as useless as an 8-track tape is to a cave man.

    But we all knew that’s what he meant. even you.

  22. The Great One says:

    theres oil in virginia: No need to get excited.I’m just noting how remarkable it is for a defenseman to score the same amount of points as a forward.It’s remarkable.

    Matt Finn, depending on the crooked development path of defensemen, is tracking like another 2nd round pick although Finn’s junior numbers are somewhat better.

    Same size, pretty much the same skills although Finn’s +57 this season is worth a look.

    Duncan Keith.

  23. Lowetide says:

    The Great One: Yeah, a Norris quality defenseman who is leading his team in scoring.

    Marleau scored 51 goals, 74 assists and 115 points in his final year in junior.

    Are you suggesting Mitch Moroz is the next Patrick Marleau?

    No, DSF. We’re just making jokes about your previous post.

  24. The Great One says:

    Lowetide: No, DSF. We’re just making jokes about your previous post.

    Of course you were.

    Isolating Oiler prospects without the context of how the prospects on other teams are doing is pretty hilarious.

  25. Lowetide says:

    The Great One: Of course you were.

    Isolating Oiler prospects without the context of how the prospects on other teams are doing is pretty hilarious.

    Hmmm. I’m thinking something about a pot and a kettle. Can you guess?

  26. delooper says:

    The game a day threads are getting inadvertently hilarious. All this negativity streaming forward about the oilers and they’re a little over 0.500 as of late and keep building on it. As far as I can tell, hurdle number 1 of Eakins rebuild is passed.

  27. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think he’s suggesting that the endless stream of near-random comparables you generate is as useless as an 8-track tape is to a cave man.

    Why Rom, I’m shocked! I would never suggest such a thing. I’m aghast I tell you! Completely floored! Or something like that.

  28. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. I’m thinking something about a pot and a kettle. Can you guess?

    A pot and a kettle walked into a bar…?

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Of course you were.

    Isolating Oiler prospects without the context of how the prospects on other teams are doing is pretty hilarious.

    Ummm… what?

    This is what a useful series of comparables looks like:

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/12/29/moroz-signs

    here’s another:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/1/9/georges-laraque-and-the-enforcer-who-can-play

    I’m sure there are many we could come up with. Not many would be as useless as those you’ve offered so far.

    But, please, continue to tell a group of people near-universally disappointed with the Moroz pick something they don’t know about a defenseman taken in his draft year. It is all very informative.

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    delooper:
    The game a day threads are getting inadvertentlyhilarious.All this negativity streaming forward about the oilers and they’re a little over 0.500 as of late and keep building on it.As far as I can tell, hurdle number 1 of Eakins rebuild is passed.

    whoo there cottonfox!

    let’s not start handing out passing grades for any one attached to the Oilers just yet…

  31. The Great One says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. I’m thinking something about a pot and a kettle. Can you guess?

    No.

    Do go on.

    Drafting Jason Smith and JF Jacques (your comparables) with the #7 and #32 picks is pretty much all you need to know about the quality of those selections.

    Nurse looks like a very good prospect who may some day may be a very good #2 or #3D if all goes well but he’s sandwiched between Monahan, Ristolainen, Horvat and Nichushkin, 3 of whom have already played in the NHL.

    If Moroz’ ceiling is a 3rd line winger, (who are among the most available free agents in the league) I would imagine a defenseman of Finn’s ability would likely have much more value.

    But that’s just me :)

  32. steveb12344 says:

    The Great One,

    You may be right about Finn, but if you look at the draft day thread you will see that pretty much everyone here also wanted Finn over Moroz. So I’m not really sure what your point is there.

    As far as Nurse goes, I’d bet huge that if the Oilers took another forward in that spot, you would have been all over it saying what idiots they are for taking another forward, when what they really needed was a big stud D-man

  33. theres oil in virginia says:

    Taking a look at that 2012 draft, it’s interesting that Samuellson was drafted so late. He’s tough, big body, he scores goals and assists. He’s leading the Oil Kings:
    65GP 35G 60A 95P

    It’s incredible that the likes of Jordan Schmaltz and Brendan Gaunce were selected ahead of him. I remember hoping that the Oilers would find a way to move up, but Tambi was the GM, so we all know how that turned out. Anyway, Moroz matched him in goals, behind only Lazar, so it’s hard to see that as anything but positive.

  34. OilLeak says:

    I remember reading somewhere that Khaira was getting a heavy offensive zone start push last

    season, probably isn’t getting the same treatment this season. Zone start push or not those are terrible numbers for draft +2, and I don’t recall him having much of a defensive game either.

    Has anyone watched Khaira this season?

  35. Alpine says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Gaunce was PPG in his draft year in 68 games, while Samuelsson was about 0.82 in 28 games. Both were seen as big, strong two way centremen projected to go in the latter half of the first round, with Gaunce pegged about 10 spots higher. Sure, Gaunce didn’t seem to improve much while Samuelsson went supernova but thems the breaks with the draft. Hard to project either way.

  36. Ducey says:

    I am not one of those that wanted Finn over Moroz. Here is what Pronman had to say about Finn in September:

    4. Matt Finn, Defense
    2011-12 Ranking: 3rd
    Date of birth: 02/24/1994
    Age: 19
    Height: 6’0”
    Weight: 207
    Shoots: Left
    Statistics: 41 GP, 11 G, 31 P (Guelph, OHL)
    Acquired: Second round, 35th overall in 2012 by Toronto

    Year in Review: Finn had a fine 18-year-old season. He suffered from mononucleosis, but performed well considering. His game did not take significant strides forward; he more or less held steady from the season before.

    The Good: Finn is a really smart two-way player, with his value more geared towards his puck-moving skills, as he is a great passer. He is a calculating player on the backend, but he can make quick, efficient decisions with the puck, and he knows what to do in different situations. He is a good stick checker who can make defensive stops. He has above-average puck skills to go along with quality on-ice work ethic.

    The Bad: Finn is a little small, although he made significant gains in strengths last season, something he should continue to do going forward. His skating earns divided opinions, as scouts like or dislike it, with more leaning towards the latter, hence why it is placed here in the “bad” category.

    Projection: He could be a second pairing defenseman.

    Pretty meh to me.

  37. The Great One says:

    steveb12344:
    The Great One,

    You may be right about Finn, but if you look at the draft day thread you will see that pretty much everyone here also wanted Finn over Moroz.So I’m not really sure what your point is there.

    As far as Nurse goes, I’d bet huge that if the Oilers took another forward in that spot, you would have been all over it saying what idiots they are for taking another forward, when what they really needed was a big stud D-man

    I would never draft a defenseman in the top 10 unless I was absolutely sure he would be an impact top pairing D.

    Never.

    The draft history of the best D in the league shows they come from all sorts of draft positions.

    If drafting in the top 10…take a forward.

    If it’s even close…take a centre.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Stats are updated, Khaira and Betker both getting points tonight. I’m very interested in seeing Khaira and Moroz as pro’s. The Oilers have Pitlick and Ewanyk who have gone through recently, but these two are coming into an organization that will give them every chance. Yakimov too.

  39. The Great One says:

    That’s a spectacular season for Chase.

  40. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: On Platzer, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t note the trade splits.http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/roster/show/id/9455LDN: 39 9-8-17 (.43589 PPG)OS: 27 13-6-19 (.7037 PPG)That’s a sizeable improvement post trade. huge really. If he played a whole season at a .7 PPG clip, we might not be in full ecstasy, but I imagine we’d be pretty happy with the player. Again, the lack of TOI, shots, discipline breakdown, usage, etc. really hampers these assessments.

    Agree 100%. London had him buried on the 4th line. TOI and linemates make a huge difference in the CHL, as we’ve all seen numerous times. Platzer and Roy get do-overs, in my opinion, before we should extrapolate into their futures.

    * * * * *

    There’s not a lot of offense promised by either Klefbom or Nurse. Marincin maybe a little more. MacT had better be careful if he’s trading Jultz this off-season, because there’s no one else with his skills in the org. If PK is coming back then sure, fine, but it has to be someone who can replace what 19 does.

  41. spoiler says:

    Add the first powerplay goal of the season from the point to the list of recent genetic mutations.

    I’m not saying the jetliner genetically mutated, although that’s worth considering, but maybe Godzilla ate it, or something.

  42. Maggie the Monkey says:

    On a related note, here’s a recent article I just stumbled across about young Oiler prospects:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/104173/darnell-nurse-takes-top-spot-in-edmonton-oilers-top-20/

    Almost all of the opinions are similar to LT’s and those of this blog, but it’s still good to read the viewpoint of another outside eye. (It’s also good to read a woman’s writing about hockey – there are far too many dudes around here.)

  43. Doomoil says:

    It’s always nice to see the Edmonton MSM double down on their anti stats stance.

    Three separate times “doesn’t get the stats but if you actually watch the game” type comments made in the post game interviews.

    Eakins continued play and continued praise of Fraser is getting more and more worrisome. I think he’s serviceable as a 6-7 but 15 to 20 minutes a night is just bonkers.

  44. The Great One says:

    spoiler: Agree 100%.London had him buried on the 4th line. TOI and linemates make a huge difference in the CHL, as we’ve all seen numerous times.Platzer and Roy get do-overs, in my opinion, before we should extrapolate into their futures.

    * * * * *

    There’s not a lot of offense promised by either Klefbom or Nurse.Marincin maybe a little more. MacT had better be careful if he’s trading Jultz this off-season, because there’s no one else with his skills in the org. If PK is coming back then sure, fine, but it has to be someone who can replace what 19 does.

    Schultz is currently 42nd in the NHL among defensemen in points scored, (just behind the much lamented Tom Gilbert).

    I wouldn’t get my knickers in a twist about missing his offence.

  45. wheatnoil says:

    There’s a lot of things we don’t know about these junior players when it comes to points. We have to keep that in mind with any comparables we come up with. Time on ice, zone starts, quality of competition, quality of teammates, powerplay time, penalty kill time… all these things are only known obliquely or anecdotally. That’s part of the difficulty with projecting these kids.

    I think all we can say about Nurse is that his points are ‘in the range’… he’s got enough of an offensive component to his game to potentially hold water at the NHL level, but not enough to count on him being a point-producing dynamo… I’m pretty sure that’s what the scouting reports said about him on draft day… basically a solid defender with two-way upside.

    That said, before we discount Nurse’s offense, let’s keep in mind that Marincin looks lovely so far at the NHL level as a puck mover and has the potential to bring some offense to the game (not J. Schultz offense, but offense) and he never cracked the PPG barrier in Junior in either his Draft + 1 or Draft + 2 seasons).

  46. spoiler says:

    The Great One: Schultz is currently 42nd in the NHL among defensemen in points scored, (just behind the much lamented Tom Gilbert).
    I wouldn’t get my knickers in a twist about missing his offence.

    I am so very sorry that in your world lines can only be straight.

    If it helps, imagine plotting points of data that slowly rise to the right in a zig zag manner and then picture a straight line running through their midst, delineating the mean.

  47. RexLibris says:

    The Great One: I would never draft a defenseman in the top 10 unless I was absolutely sure he would be an impact top pairing D.

    Never.

    The draft history of the best D in the league shows they come from all sorts of draft positions.

    If drafting in the top 10…take a forward.

    If it’s even close…take a centre.

    I tend to agree and was in the Seguin camp in ’10, although I do admit that Hall was probably the better selection as of today. I know we’ll disagree there, so let’s not dwell on it.

    In ’11, Nugent-Hopkins was, in my opinion, the best bet and I was leaning towards him heavily from December of 2010 onwards ahead of Couturier.

    In ’12 I was hoping that the Oilers would take Galchenyuk, knee be damned. He could play C or W and had some incredible numbers in his previous year. At the time I argued that the Oilers, failing the option to trade down, could afford to leave a little skill on the table and take someone perhaps nearly as good but with attributes and of a position more towards their roster needs.

    Last year I would have loved to have drafted Monahan, but when they took Nurse I thought it was probably for the best, long-term. Maybe he tops out as a 2-3, maybe he becomes like another defenseman taken 7th overall in a highly-regarded draft, Ryan Suter. We’ll have to give him time to see.

    With regards to Matt Finn, let’s not forget that the Oilers have drafted a lot of defensemen the last few years in Marincin, Gernat, Musil, Klefbom, Simpson, Hesketh, Bigos, Blain, Davidson, Gustafsson and Laleggia. Fifteen forwards, including the three 1st overalls, compared to nine blueliners and three goalies.

    We can argue about the calls they made and names they chose, but the ratio seems about right for an organization looking to restock, and when most of those names discussed are called after the top 35 prospects the difference from one to the other can quickly seem subjective.

  48. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I am so very sorry that in your world lines can only be straight.

    If it helps, imagine plotting points of data that slowly rise to the right in a zig zag manner and then picture a straight line running through their midst, delineating the mean.

    Etch-a-sketch! We’re getting DSF one for Christmas!

  49. The Great One says:

    spoiler: I am so very sorry that in your world lines can only be straight.

    If it helps, imagine plotting points of data that slowly rise to the right in a zig zag manner and then picture a straight line running through their midst, delineating the mean.

    Imagine plotting the lines of a players ACTUAL production as opposed to what you might think will happen.

    It’s far more instructive than thinking every zig is followed by a zag and then you can draw a line through them thinking you’re on to something.

    Perhaps the next zig will be followed by another zig and then another zig before the next zag occurs.

    Then what?

  50. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil,

    The media and those around the team in Prince George, where Marincin spent most of his junior career, said that he was, at that stage in his development, further along than their most famous alumni – Zdeno Chara.

    Marincin isn’t about to become Chara, and heaven help the young man if anyone expects it of him. But it is worth noting that those who saw both at the same age gave a positive report about our young #85.

    If only development went in straight lines…

    :)

  51. RexLibris says:

    The Great One: Imagine plotting the lines of a players ACTUAL production as opposed to what you might think will happen.

    It’s far more instructive than thinking every zig is followed by a zag and then you can draw a line through them thinking you’re on to something.

    Perhaps the next zig will be followed by another zig and then another zig before the next zag occurs.

    Then what?

    You would have Dany Heatley?

  52. OilClog says:

    They’ve replaced Smid with Fraser essentially then.. Owwwwwwwww

  53. nycoil says:

    I think the Moroz pick has been panned near universally on this blog as being a reach way too early. Considering how bad he looked last season scoring-wise, it is a small positive to see him score more this year in a bigger role. I think that is the only point anyone is making. Not that the Oilers were right to take him then. They weren’t. And I don’t see anyone arguing that.

    I hope Chase keeps proving his doubters wrong. Very nice season for him.

    Khaira, despite all the caveats about the system he plays in, I am a little worried about his offence at this point. However, development is rarely linear so he still could bounce back.

    As was mentioned a few times above, if Nurse turns out to be Jason Smith, that’s good, but may turn out to be disappointing considering how strong that draft is looking to be. For example, would Ristolainen (LT’s pick ahead of Nurse) and Ekblad look better? Ristolainen and Bennett/Reinhart/Draisatil, Horvat and Ekblad? Nichushkin and Ekblad? Or Nurse and Bennett/Reinhart/Draisatil, Nurse and Ekblad. No way to know that now. We will have our answer by around 2017, I reckon.

  54. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Etch-a-sketch! We’re getting DSF one for Christmas!

    Interesting story about the Etch-A-Sketch and its creator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etch_A_Sketch

    Was almost passed over but given a second chance.

    Great part of the story is that the toy they nearly passed on came back to save the company, twice, when it was featured in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ohio_Art_Company

    There’s probably a moral in there somewhere that relates to the Oilers’ prospects. ;)

  55. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Nurse really lost the pace through the second half of the season.

    Is another year in junior is called for based on that alone? Perhaps he can’t last 82 games yet.

  56. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Interesting story about the Etch-A-Sketch and its creator.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etch_A_Sketch

    Was almost passed over but given a second chance.

    Great part of the story is that the toy they nearly passed on came back to save the company, twice, when it was featured in Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ohio_Art_Company

    There’s probably a moral in there somewhere that relates to the Oilers’ prospects. ;)

    Marc Pouliot! The etch-a-sketch of prospects!

  57. RexLibris says:

    It is probably also worth noting that my preferred selection ahead of Moroz was Martin Frk who has played 38 games this season for the Grand Rapids Griffins for a grand total of 2-6-8, 20PIMs and is -12.

    So let’s see how Moroz does next season, likely in OKC, and then compare that against Frk’s first AHL season to keep things in perspective.

  58. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Marc Pouliot! The etch-a-sketch of prospects!

    I’ve got it! You’re his agent! This is all about royalty cheques. It’s all so clear to me now!

    ;)

  59. Ducey says:

    Lowetide: Marc Pouliot! The etch-a-sketch of prospects!

    Nah. He is more like the original Easy Bake oven. Nothing he did in the NHL ever turned out right.

  60. The Great One says:

    The NCAA free agent class:

    “Bryce Van Brabant, LW
    Junior, Quinnipiac University (ECAC)

    There aren’t many players in the NCAA who are as punishing as Bryce Van Brabant, who doles out some of the hardest checks in all of college hockey. And it is that ultra-aggressive style along with his vastly improved offensive game that has made Van Brabant one of this season’s most coveted collegiate free agents. Among the NHL teams vying for the junior winger are the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. Van Brabant attended both teams’ prospect camps this past summer.

    The Morinville, AB native has posted 20 points (14 goals, six assists) in 36 games to date for the Bobcats. Where Van Brabant has been especially dangerous this season has been on Quinnipiac’s power-play. Of his 14 goals, nine have come with the man advantage, which ties him for the most on the team. Furthermore, his 14 goals are nearly triple his total from last season.

    Van Brabant is a 6’3”, 205-pound power forward who thrives in the physical side of the game. He currently leads the nation with 105 penalty minutes. While he has established himself as one of the NCAA’s toughest players, he uses his size and strength very effectively in other areas, as well. Van Brabant’s strong frame and tenacity on the puck makes him difficult to move off of the puck, which is evident in his play in front of the net.

    Van Brabant’s increased point production can be attributed to his persistence in gaining and maintaining puck control and his improved cycling ability. Van Brabant has also developed more foot speed and his strides are smoother. One area where Van Brabant continues to be quite good is on the defensive side. He uses his frame and long reach advantageously in stripping pucks and slowing down opponents.”

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/104605/carey-morrison-among-top-available-ncaa-free-agents/

  61. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    It is probably also worth noting that my preferred selection ahead of Moroz was Martin Frk who has played 38 games this season for the Grand Rapids Griffins for a grand total of 2-6-8, 20PIMs and is -12.

    So let’s see how Moroz does next season, likely in OKC, and then compare that against Frk’s first AHL season to keep things in perspective.

    I wanted Pontus Aberg, who is now in the Hall of Fame

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/06/2012-entry-draft-day-two-stu-and-the-scouts.html

  62. The Great One says:

    Just a note…the Rangers have already signed Ryan Haggerty and Vancouver has already signed Mike Zalewski from RPI.

    http://www.sbncollegehockey.com/2014/3/14/5509958/rpis-mike-zalewski-signs-with-vancouver-canucks

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Maggie the Monkey:
    On a related note, here’s a recent article I just stumbled across about young Oiler prospects:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/104173/darnell-nurse-takes-top-spot-in-edmonton-oilers-top-20/

    Almost all of the opinions are similar to LT’s and those of this blog, but it’s still good to read the viewpoint of another outside eye.(It’s also good to read a woman’s writing about hockey – there are far too many dudes around here.)

    Thanks for the link.

    I like the list for the most part.

    One thing though… the two ranking systems (numerical and alphabetical) both seem like arbitrary BS to me… there doesn’t even appear to be an attempt to game them out… they are just tarting up their intuition

  64. VOR says:

    The thing about comparables for Moroz is that they usually don’t include any of the obvious candidates.

    Consider this guy, another left wing, similar size, played in the WHL, feared fighter, mostly scored at evens, didn’t exactly blossom post draft – 49 points in year 1 and 47 in year 2 versus Moroz’s 34 and 63. Obviously not going to have an NHL career I guess. Got sent back to junior to play his 20 year old season – and tore it up – 102 points. Oilers, according to blogs and media, have been really interested in him.

    I am of course talking about Troy Brouwer.

    I can’t understand why we wouldn’t like a 15 to 20 goal a year, tough as nails forward, who can and will fight and who can hold his own in the upper left quadrant of a player usage chart? Because that is what Moroz may well be. I am sure he isn’t going back to the WHL next year so we won’t see if he can have a 102 point season as a man amongst boys but he is certainly on pace to be Troy Brouwer (who by the way can take and make a pass).

  65. Lowetide says:

    VOR:
    The thing about comparables for Moroz is that they usually don’t include any of the obvious candidates.

    Consider this guy, another left wing, similar size, played in the WHL, feared fighter, mostly scored at evens, didn’t exactly blossom post draft – 49 points in year 1 and 47 in year 2 versus Moroz’s 34 and 63. Obviously not going to have an NHL career I guess. Got sent back to junior to play his 20 year old season – and tore it up – 102 points. Oilers, according to blogs and media, have been really interested in him.

    I am of course talking about Troy Brouwer.

    I can’t understand why we wouldn’t like a 15 to 20 goal a year, tough as nails forward, who can and will fight and who can hold his own in the upper left quadrant of a player usage chart? Because that is what Moroz may well be. I am sure he isn’t going back to the WHL next year so we won’t see if he can have a 102 point season as a man amongst boys but he is certainly on pace to be Troy Brouwer (who by the way can take and make a pass).

    VOR: Moroz was compared to those players because of a series of things, including draft number. Brouwer was excluded for those reasons. His career isn’t really a comp for lots of players, as he is an outlier.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    sliderule: In fairness that was a different time.Scoring was much higher in junior leagues until the trap came in.

    Just saw this at the WHL website which rather anecdotally supports your point in an extreme fashion:

    Previous WHL Tie-Breaker Games

    1980-81: Spokane wins fourth place tie-breaker game vs. New Westminster 10-9.

    1983-84: Calgary wins sixth place tie-breaker game at Saskatoon 8-7 in OT.

    1989-90: Swift Current wins sixth place tie-breaker game vs. Brandon 5-4.

    2008-09: Edmonton wins eighth place tie-breaker game vs. Prince Albert 2-1 in OT.

    All one-goal games. I’m looking forward to Tuesday. Even if it seems predestined to end 1-0, perhaps in multiple OTs. :|

  67. mumbai max says:

    I know this is old news, and about the Oilers, not the Oil Kinds but just staring at the stats page again today and wanted to comment

    First 21 games – 4-16-1.

    Next 48 games – 20-20- 8 .

    The should have 69 points and be 5 points out of a playoff spot

    The only reason this is important is that the criticism of the team is based on the total which includes a 21 game stretch of amazingly bad goaltending and bad luck. AND that stretch was at the beginning.

    Since then, for almost 50 games they are playing .500. Not brilliant, but also not worthy of the current scorn.

    Surely the team (players, DE, MacT) deserve some credit for the last 48 games? There is no denying that the results of the last 48 are ‘in the range’ of what was expected this season.

  68. VOR says:

    LT,

    I’d say you started with the perfectly reasonable assumption that the question was whether or not Moroz was a good pick in the high second round. I’d say we are now far past that and legitimately able to ask what sort of NHL player is Mitch Moroz going to be? In which case you need to look at other comparables regardless of draft order.

    I think Troy Brouwer is a very reasonable comparable since we know that is the sort of player the Oilers pray Moroz becomes. They want a tough guy who can play a regular shift. Can Moroz be the player the Oilers expect him to be; upper left quadrant, fighter, who can score? In other words Troy Brouwer and others like him. So can he? certainly based on their junior records to the same age he can. The way Moroz has played this year would also support a Brouwer like career arc.

    I think the entire point of reach picks is that the team’s are looking for unicorns, outliers. So you need to look for other unicorns and see if Moroz looks like them. For example, Moroz’s numbers are remarkably similar to this guy (in fact if you look at league and era effects Moroz is quite a bit better offensive player) – 20 pts, 49 pts, 65 pts, at the same age as Moroz went 25, 34, 63. I am not comparing them, Terry O’Reilly went much higher in the draft, and in an era where toughness had more value. But from the numbers alone you can’t say Moroz couldn’t be O’Reilly or for that matter Bob Gainey or Martin Erat.

  69. Lowetide says:

    VOR: The overage season really came out of nowhere. It makes him an outlier. Moroz is a better player leading up to his current age (As a comp) but his kicker is a monster. I don’t think that’s a fair leap to assume.

  70. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide,

    Before this year, Moroz played on a checking line along with a center who never scored well in junior.
    He would have had better numbers last year if he was not on such a good team.

    But his defensive role last year will be beneficial when he does make the show in two or so years down the road.

  71. Ivan says:

    RexLibris,

    Rex,
    I was working on a project in Prince George the winter of 96/97, and boy, was it fun to watch a defensive pairing of Chara and Eric Brewer play! In the beginning, there was a lot of giggling about how ungainly Chara looked, it was really pretty funny, but then you noticed how he could skate, and stop , and turn, and freaking HIT>! Brewer was a great complement to him, laser passes, great skateout. Fun times.
    If big Marty can continue his trajectory, the future looks better, lots better.

  72. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Lowetide,

    Before this year, Moroz played on a checking line along with a center who never scored well in junior.
    He would have had better numbers last year if he was not on such a good team.

    But his defensive role last year will be beneficial when he does make the show in two or so years down the road.

    Sure, agreed. As with Nurse, there are elements of his game that we can’t measure via NHLE. In Nurse’s case, it’s a very large part of his game. With Moroz, there’s no doubt he was part of the designated shutdown line for much of his OK career.

  73. nelson88 says:

    The Great One: Worth another look for those of us who thought Moroz was the wrong choice.Mitch Moroz – 35G 28A 63PMatt Finn – 14G 47A 61POne of these players is a defenseman.

    Could the same not be said for Brendan Gaunce? Or are you no longer a canucks fan; or was it just a Gillis infatuation that was fleeting?

    I am all for you staying on the blog as your trolling is usually entertaining and your posting is sometimes informative. However; I think at the end of pre-season you should have to declare your team(s)/genius gm(s) of the year. You’re so fickle and the jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon is tiresome to follow.

  74. russ99 says:

    There would be big red flags if an overage Moroz didn’t put up those kinds of numbers on a non-checking line on a quality WHL team.

    IMO, this year’s results puts him back in the conversation until we see him able to do the same vs. AHL competition.

    I still think his ceiling is somewhere between Gazdic and Stortini. To continue to pin Lucic-like hopes on the kid is kind of off base.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    VOR: The overage season really came out of nowhere. It makes him an outlier. Moroz is a better player leading up to his current age (As a comp) but his kicker is a monster. I don’t think that’s a fair leap to assume.

    If the birthdate cut off was Sept 15 in 2003 to be drafted, you also need to note that Brouwer was passed over in his first draft eligible year as he was drafted in 2004, but is a August 1985 birthdate.

    That means on his draft year, draft +1 year etc, he’s a full year older than Moroz.

  76. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    russ99:
    There would be big red flags if an overage Moroz didn’t put up those kinds of numbers on a non-checking line on a quality WHL team.

    IMO, this year’s results puts him back in the conversation until we see him able to do the same vs. AHL competition.

    I still think his ceiling is somewhere between Gazdic and Stortini. To continue to pin Lucic-like hopes on the kid is kind of off base.

    Was this an over-age season for Moroz? If so, I didn’t realize that.

    Is anyone here actually harboring Lucic-like hopes? (maybe we should deal with the modest hopes actually occurring on this blog, rather than otherwise)

  77. nelson88 says:

    Marincin has been a breath of fresh air. I don’t get to watch all the games due to time differences but the patience and lack of panic in his game are a very pleasant surprise given his age. He will never be Chara ( never be that big) but a high end #2 D in the next 3-5 years is certainly not out of the question.

    Klefbom needs a lot more seasoning. To be expected given his recent arrival in N.A. and injury history but I can’t help having the nagging feeling the “hockey sense” portion is going to be painfully slow to develop. The D prospect I would try and “sell high”.

    Keep Lander through Wednesday’s game and then send him down to OKC for the remainder of the season. Playoff experience for the prospects should be a higher priority for the organization than this “audtion”. Admittedly I am a Lander fan and think a 22 year old pt/game AHL player who has improved every year since he was drafted (minus the Oiler experience) and has worn a C or an A on every team he has played on is a very low risk, one way signing. Unfair to the player? He is a stand up guy and the captain of the Barons. His salary hit will be about $80K. Add $75K/year to the reasonable 3 year one way contract they should be placing in his blazer pocket on the way to the airport. Problem solved.

    Love Yak but the kid is absolutely lost and a quagmire for his linemates. That is on the coaching staff.

  78. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    On older CHL players… what about that Holmberg, huh?

  79. supernova says:

    nelson88: Could the same not be said for Brendan Gaunce? Or are you no longer a canucks fan; or was it just a Gillis infatuation that was fleeting?

    I am all for you staying on the blog as your trolling is usually entertaining and your posting is sometimes informative. However; I think at the end of pre-season you should have to declare your team(s)/genius gm(s) of the year. You’re so fickle and the jumping from bandwagon to bandwagon is tiresome to follow.

    nelson88,

    The Great One,

    I have called him out many times for this as well. Never to get a reply.

    I don’t get why he spends so much time on oiler fan boards just to be a heel.

    He calls for accountability but doesn’t provide any himself.
    Calls for comparisons to be equal but doesn’t do the same.

    Has a love affair with all things Gillis, and Vancouver. Now never admits to them.

    Recently has been talking about buffalo and their stable of prospects, but for the last few years has blasted oiler fans for this.

    I just wish he would cheer for Chicago at least he could have something credible.

    Waste of time trying to discuss anything

  80. G Money says:

    supernova: I don’t get why he spends so much time on oiler fan boards just to be a heel.

    I have dubbed The Grate One InfiniTroll(R).

    We’re stuck in an InfiniBuild. Why shouldn’t we have our own InfiniTroll? The Hockey Gords have made it clear that we can’t have nice things!

  81. aspin says:

    Lowetide, I think you are not painting the picture for Platzer very accurately. When he was in London he was on a stacked team and did not play much at all. Since he has moved to OS his numbers are a lot better. I have a lot more hope for him than you do.

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