Kyle Platzer is gaining traction as a prospect, with a range of skills and a major spike in the boxcars as a kicker. For Oilers’ fans, it could mean a two-way center is on the way via the suddenly flourishing 2013 entry draft. He was part of the dizzying return in the trade of the No. 37 overall pick two years ago.
PREVIOUSLY NUMBER NINE ON THE WINTER LIST
- December 2004: G Devan Dubnyk (171)
- December 2005: L Tony Salmelainen (70)
- December 2006: D Jozef Hrabal (0)
- December 2007: G Devan Dubnyk (171)
- December 2008: D Cody Wild (0)
- December 2009: L Teemu Hartikainen (52)
- December 2010: C Anton Lander (94)
- December 2011: R Tyler Pitlick (10)
- December 2012: R Tyler Pitlick (10)
- December 2013: D Martin Gernat (0)
This has been a soft area over the last decade, the Oilers drafted Dubnyk in the first round in 2004 and he was No. 9 overall a couple of times during his progression. The list does highlight the ‘so close and yet so far’ nature of the MBS era, as Hartikainen, Lander and Pitlick have shown enough promise to receive NHL auditions. They have not delivered—at least not yet—and that is the story of the last five seasons at number nine.
WHAT THEY SAID ON DRAFT DAY
- Brock Otten, OHL Prospects: Platzer did absolutely everything London’s coaching staff asked him to do this year, including seeing some time on the blueline to cover for injuries. That’s why he managed to (mostly) avoid the carousel many of London’s other younger players had to ride (like Jammes, Liberati, Pawley, etc) in 2013. His numbers don’t jump out at you, and they won’t with the barely 10 minutes of ice time he saw a game. But you have to assess him based on what he was able to do with that ice time (similar to Remi Elie who’s rated higher). Platzer may not be huge (pushing 5’11), but he’s a skilled player who also can provide energy and persistence away from the puck. You might notice Platzer outworking opposing defenses along the boards, or beating them to loose pucks, but he’s also clearly a very intelligent offensive player who is capable of putting up higher point totals. He did lead his Waterloo GOJHL team in scoring as a 16 year old in 2012. The one thing I admire about London is their ability to make younger players work hard to stay in the line-up. Ice time is earned, not given. And Platzer earned every second of time he received this year.
- Redline Report: Platzer, while not as big and strong around the net as Elie, recorded five points (2G, 3A) in his first five playoff games, to go along with a +6 in the plus/minus category. Platzer, who had five goals all season in his 4th line role, uses speed and instincts around the offensive end to pop into openings and create dangerous chances.
POINTS BY DISCIPLINE, KYLE PLATZER
|PLATZER OHL 2012-13||65, 4-17-21 .323||65, 1-0-1||65, 0-0-0||65, 5-17-22|
|PLATZER OHL 2013-14||66, 12-11-23 .348||66, 9-3-12 .182||66, 1-0-1||66, 22-14-36|
|PLATZER OHL 2014-15||24, 6-10-16 .667||24, 2-9-11 .458||24, 1-1-2||24, 9-20-29|
Platzer was a depth player in his draft year, the Oilers reached to take him no matter the skill set (he didn’t play a lot, as described by Brock Otten above). In his draft +1 season it was more of the same until a trade to Owen Sound, where (as you can see) he got significant power play time. This season Platzer blossomed and is currently doubling last season’s EV offense and almost tripling the PP totals. That my friends is a nice curve.
PREVIOUS TOP 20 RANKING
- Summer 2013: 20
- Winter 2013: 21
- Summer 2014: 30
- Winter 2014: 9
The ranking reflects the enormous bump in offense and is also a tell about what is valued on this list. A complete player’s skills—offensive ability with an extra element like checking or power-play ability—represent a potential prospect treasure. Platzer’s development could be a big damn deal.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING THIS SEASON
- Klye Platzer on Kyle Platzer: “It’s a combination of skill and grit that I’m trying to incorporate. It just so happens that it has translated into more points.” Source
- Kyle Platzer: “I probably added about 20 pounds.” Source
- Kyle Platzer: “Some people need to work on their skill. My needs were definitely that physical maturity. I added some mobility to my workouts so I wasn’t just a big guy that couldn’t move. When you put on that much weight you still want to keep your speed.” Source
When a 19-year old junior player steps up offensively, the reaction is (and should be) ‘so what?’ but in the case of Kyle Platzer the are two items that are important. He didn’t play a regular shift on a big line in his draft year and was traded in year two. Added to the increase in size (the second item) and we may well be looking at a completely different player. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, he’s a 19-year old prospect whose NHLE (82, 9-21-30) doesn’t scream top 6F. On the other hand, a two-way center with some skill is always in vogue so Platzer’s progress is a real positive for the organization.
Platzer will probably sign with the Oilers in the spring and try his hand in the AHL fall 2015. If he ends up being a modern Kyle Brodziak? That’s my guess as an outer marker. It’s important for the Oilers to cash some of the group 2011-2013, as the 2010 draft looks like it may be only two deep (Hall, Marincin). One of these draft years needs to provide two or more value contracts. Kyle Platzer is an excellent candidate.
2013 NHL DRAFT
- Darnell Nurse, No. 7 overall. Good arrows, already played 2 NHL games. A bright future ahead. No. 2 overall prospect.
- Marco Roy, No. 59 overall. Injuries have impacted him since draft day. Inside the Top 20.
- Bogdan Yakimov, No. 83 overall. Mammoth Russian progressing smartly. No. 4 overall prospect.
- Anton Slepyshev, No. 88 overall. Slick Russian winger running in place in the KHL. Candidate for winter 20.
- Jackson Houck, No. 94 overall. Enjoying a good season. Candidate for winter 20.
- Kyle Platzer, No. 96 overall. Emerging as a quality NHL prospect this year. No. 9 overall prospect.
- Aidan Muir, No. 113 overall. Now in college, scoring a little. Candidate for winter 20.
- Evan Campbell, No. 128 overall. Scoring well in college this year. Candidate for winter 20.
- Ben Betker, No. 158 overall. Huge defender continues to progress. Candidate for winter 20.
- Greg Chase, No. 188 overall. Signed a contract, strong camp, weird WHL season so far. No. 6 overall prospect.
The 2013 draft is tracking very well after Year 1. Two players have made it to the NHL for a cup of coffee and men like Greg Chase and Kyle Platzer have jumped their draft number in the 17 months since draft day.