I am always interested in knowing which scouts uncovered what players. It probably goes back to my baseball fascination, but gems taken late must have a back story—and I assume the back story on Ziyat Paigin is a good one.
OILERS SCOUTS 2014-15
- Bob Green: Director of Player Personnel
- Stu MacGregor: Head Amateur Scout
- Bill Dandy: QMJHL
- Brad Davis: OHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O
- Kent Hawley: OHL, QMJHL, tier 2 leagues in Q and O
- Bob Brown: WHL (and BCJHL based on media comments)
- Jim Crosson: WHL
- Scott Harlow: NCAA and American junior leagues (east coast)
- Frank Musil: Europe
- Pelle Eklund: Europe
- Robert Nordmark: Europe
- Joseph Cucci: Year three, don’t know his area but it might be New England
- Dave Heitz: Year three, goalie scout
- Matti Virmanen: Appears to be in pro scouting now
- Sylvain Rodrigue: Year two, goalies.
I don’t know who scouted Paigin (some of the North American group may have seen the big tournaments, he was 7, 1-2-3 in the WJs) and the scouts would have been viewing this at Christmas before he was drafted.
Top 20 KHL 20 year old players by era adjusted P/GP pic.twitter.com/p0NZDKdLva
— Hayden (@3Hayden2) June 11, 2016
His draft+1 season was outstanding—elevating him from distant bell to going concern. Paigin posted that season age 20, scoring 27 points in 37 games for Sochi under coach Vyacheslav Butsayev. Earlier in the season, the young man struggled for Kazan Ak-Bars under coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov.
— Patrick C (@ChunkletsHockey) June 11, 2016
What are we to do with a season like this? Hope Paigin follows up with another. The fact he returns to the scene of struggles last year is eased by the fact a new coach will be part of the scene for Kazan Ak-Bars.
- Alexander Zavyalov (as coach) is joining the coaching staff after a move from Torpedo. He’s a man steeped in Kazan hockey after a record-breaking 14 seasons with the club. When he joined in 1990 the team was still called the Uritsky Sports Club, then had a few years as Itil (the Tatar name for the Volga river) before adopting its current identity as Ak Bars. He played 570 games, helping to win the Superleague title in 1998. Source
WHAT DO THE OILERS SAY?
Paigin was a depth pick and spiked immediately after being drafted—but was an overager. In a way, we should treat this player as a 2013 pick (in terms of evaluation). We can hope he comes over to North America for the fall of 2017 and another big year would place him in the range of an NHL job by that time.
- Rick Carriere: “Very impressed with his size and mobility. He shoots the puck hard and brings some offence from the back end. You’re always looking for that. You can teach the defensive stuff, but you’d like to have guys who can think the game offensively and make plays with the puck on their stick, not turn it over or give up possession easily. It sounds like he’s that type of player. He’s a good puck-possession guy and he brings some mobility and a good shot.” Source
He can make a good outlet pass and his size (6.06, 209) and shot. The foot speed will be the issue—he looks fast enough but let’s see him for a season on North American ice—but this is a fascinating prospect.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Peter Chiarelli has expressed the team is aware of the importance of the lefty-righty, so Paigin must push his way past enough of the Leftorium to find a roster spot. With Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart already on the roster, he would need to prove himself capable of passing at least three of these players. I would think AHL time is likely, and we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade before we ever see him. The one thing that tells me PC won’t trade him? Paigin’s skill set is a very good match for team need and would allow the club to bring him along with men like Klefbom, Davidson and Nurse more established at the NHL level.
A fascinating player to follow this year.