Glenn Anderson was 16 when he scored 62 goals in 64 games for the Bellingham Blazers of the BCHL in 1977-78. Miro Satan scored 42 goals in 39 games for Dukla Trencin in the Czech league at age 19. Carter Savoie scored 53 goals in 54 games for the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the AJHL at age 17.
One of the keys to finding outstanding talent is context. Where is the prospect playing his games, and at what age? What is his role? Gems can be found, by eye, by math and by properly placing accomplishments in context.
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here’s the latest!
- New Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ future value to the Oilers will be defined by his adaptability
- New DNB: Oilers’ Connor McDavid wants ‘more consistency’ with NHL playoff officiating
- DNB: How re-signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for eight years could help and hurt the Oilers
- Lowetide: Can the Oilers’ next wave of prospects help them win a playoff series in 2022?
- DNB: Five offseason scenarios that could upend the Oilers’ best-laid plans
- onathan Willis: How underappreciated Oilers defenceman Jeff Petry became a Canadiens mainstay
- Lowetide: Will the Oilers return to the WHL prospect pool in the 2021 draft?
- Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations
- Lowetide: Oilers’ prospect pipeline could be at stake as AHL coach Jay Woodcroft outgrows his minor-league role
- DNB and Dom: How the Oilers should value pending UFAs
- Jonathan Willis: How the Oilers could make a Jack Eichel-level trade happen this offseason
- Lowetide: The 7 Oilers roster spots GM Ken Holland must improve this offseason
- Lowetide: Caleb Jones, Oilers reach crossroads that could land Jones in Seattle
- Lowetide: What will Oilers do if they must replace Oscar Klefbom?
- Jonathan Willis: What comes next for the Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi?
- Lowetide: Why Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod and more prospects are options for Oilers in 2021-22
- DNB: Ten teams the Oilers should be targeting for trades ahead of the Kraken expansion draft
- Lowetide: How Ken Holland’s transaction history could foreshadow the Oilers summer to come
- Lowetide: How close to NHL-ready is Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations eat dust during Connor McDavid’s dream season
- Jonathan Willis: Why some of the most popular moves Ken Holland could make would be mistakes
- Lowetide: Why huge Oil Kings goalie Sebastian Cossa could be the perfect first-round fit for the Oilers
WHEELER’S SAVOIE ARTICLE
It doesn’t happen every year, but when it does you can get a lot smarter in a hurry. Scott Wheeler from The Athletic has gifted us with The Gifted series over the last several years. Oilers fans may have read his articles on Evan Bouchard and Raphael Lavoie. Each of those pieces drilled down on an area that made the player special, a truly worthwhile prospect for any NHL team.
He’s back, this time on the subject of Carter Savoie. I try never to tell you what to do, but in this article Wheeler identifies what makes Savoie special and why it matters. I highly recommend reading it, and we’ll have Scott on the Lowdown next week to talk about Savoie and the 2021 draft.
The Red Wings liked Jesper Samuelsson enough to select him with the final selection of the 2011 draft, but knew what he was on draft day. Hakan Andersson: “He needs to work on several other things to just be a regular in Sweden. Statistically, he will probably never make it to the NHL, I just want to see him improve year by year and then we will see how far that will take him.”
Andersson and the DRW had projected successfully many times in the past, including in 1999 when Henrik Zetterberg was chosen in the seventh round.
According to the Central Scouting Bureau, Zetterberg was 5.10, 154 pounds on his draft day. Daniel Sedin was 6.02, 187, Henrik Sedin was 6.03, 196 same day. Zetterberg played in a lower level in Sweden (division 1) in 98-99 and scored 37gp, 15-13-28 for Timra. Daniel Sedin played that season in the SEL, scoring 21-21-42 in 50 games for MoDo. Henrik was 12-22-34 in 49 games for the same club.
I think Hakan Andersson saw terrific skills in Zetterberg but would also argue that math (28 points in 37 games) and level of play (considering age) put him above the event horizon as well. How many kids who weigh 154 pounds are competing at that level at age 17 in a league where much older men battle?
Timra’s leading scorer that year was Mikael Lind, who was 26 years old at the time. I think most 154 pound Swedish kids were playing in Sweden’s junior leagues, far from the older men.
Is there something that makes a player special on draft day? Draft that guy. Wheeler’s article addresses this area of drafting brilliantly.
Petruzzelli was drafted on Ken Holland’s watch in Detroit, in fact he traded Tomas Jurco to the Chicago Blackhawks to get the pick. He is from Wilbraham, Massachusetts that’s a suburb of Springfield. American kids who play in the NCAA often sign with American teams on August 15, but he’s a fine prospect and a name to keep in mind. Tyler Wright would have been scouting director at the time of his selection.
I’m a fan of the player but he’s expensive and it’s a reach to place him in a key role for the 2020-21 season. The rumours are strong that he’s headed west, that doesn’t mean Edmonton necessarily.
I remain convinced that Caleb Jones-Adam Larsson is the best bet until the deadline, if a free agent is added someone at the Dmitry Kulikov-Derek Forbort level is the best plan.
HAPPY CANADA DAY!
This is a different Canada Day, but I remain a proud Canadian in spite of the year past and the news constantly revealing new devastating truths. I looked up the closest residential school to mine when growing up, it was 51.4 kilometres away. I never knew. I didn’t ask, but was just a kid. I didn’t ask later, how much of that is on me? On us? Those are answers we need to find, and it begins with finding every grave, trying to find every family, and finding out who knew and when. I don’t think we get past this ever, but owning it, acknowledging it, building a better path and showing true sorrow are the only way. Who knew? Were my teachers aware? I can’t imagine they were but someone had to know, and someone in our community surely knew.
I have a BIL who is an indigenous individual, he was adopted at age 2 or 3. My wife’s entire family was adopted, he is not the only person of colour in the family. I always thought it was such a wonderful story (her parents adopting nine children), but now I wonder what might have happened if they hadn’t adopted her brother those many years ago. Would he have landed in a residential school? Would he have survived? This is a good man, he was at my house last year, didn’t say a word when I burned the steaks because I was worried about my daughter.
What do I say the next time I see him? What can I say?
This Canada Day I’m going to celebrate my country, because I love it so very much. I’m proud to be Canadian. I’m also going to reflect on what happened 51.4 kilometres down the road, while I was merrily on my way to school each morning.