Wonka

Lowetide
February 13 2011 08:56AM

This is Drew Czerwonka. The young forward was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers deep in the 2010 draft, where long shots, relatives and family friends are plucked by NHL teams. Czerwonka is tracking well ahead of his pedigree.
 

When the Oilers chose Drew Czerwonka 166th overall in the 2010 draft, most fans were still watching Taylor Hall videos or talking about the magical second round. Czerwonka's stats (54gp, 4-9-13, 106pims) suggested Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor had chosen a book end for tough guy Cameron Abney.

The two draft day scouting reports placed Czerwonka squarely on a future 4th line:

  • Mike Remmerde/Redline Report: Good size, likes to play physical. Threw a lot of huge hits this season. Hands didn't seem to come around this season, needs to go back to planting himself in front of the net.
  • Stu MacGregor: "A big, tough kid who shows up for every battle. We're trying to get that instilled in our organization. He's a competitive guy who has to improve on his quickness. He's a guy who likes to mix it up and that's what we're looking for."

166th overall is the place teams should be taking this type of player; the Cameron Abney selection (82nd in 2009) reflects a reach pick for a player of this type (although Abney is more of a fighter).

COMPARABLES

Czerwonka's 18 year old stats are solid comparables for Jean-Francois Jacques. Now remember, this was before Jacques back problems robbed him of the ability to handle the puck.

  • Jacques at 18: 59gp, 20-24-44 (.746) 70pims
  • Czerwonka 18: 53gp, 12-26-38 (.717) 65pims

Jacques played on a very offensive team (319 goals in a league that averaged 248 per team) and Czerwonka's league will average about 240 goals and his club will finish around 270 goals. It's a pretty nice comp, and if the Oilers can get a big, tough NHL winger with some skill out of Czerwonka that should be considered an extreme draft steal.  

There are a plethora of 2010 Oilers picks who are eligible to turn pro, including forwards Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale. Drew Czerwonka will be back in the WHL next season and if he can continue to improve the Oilers will have to find room for him in OKC.

He's earning that first pro contract, something not everyone with his draft pedigree accomplishes. Drew Czerwonka is a legit NHL prospect.

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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 m_kennedy13
February 13 2011, 09:02AM
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Great article LT. Congratulations on the show. Keep on doing what you do man, we can't get enough of it.

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#2 SumOil
February 13 2011, 09:02AM
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Drew had a sweet run in the mid season, however he has slowed down lately. He looks like he just rounds out the top 6 for the Ice, as he is the 6th leading scorer among the forwards. He certainly has surpassed his draft pedigree, but I am still wary of calling him a legit Nhl prospect.

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#3 SumOil
February 13 2011, 09:03AM
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Furthermore, if I am not mistakes, JFJ was a better skater too

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#4 Archaeologuy
February 13 2011, 09:08AM
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Future 4th liner. Hey, every team needs 3 4th liners. If he could be one in 3-4 (more?) years, assuming some strong seasoning in the AHL, then good for the Oilers on finding a player late in the draft.

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#5 EasyOil
February 13 2011, 09:10AM
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LT: Been intrigued by this kid for a couple of months now, glad someone finally took the time to take a closer look at him :)

He clearly had skill before the draft as he scored 16 as a rookie, evidently last year was an aberration. Good pick by MBS (again), at least in these still early days. You compare him points wise to Jacques - any idea how Drew's skating compares to him? Be nice to have a shot at essentially developing a JFJ v2 and get what we originally wanted (without the stigma of a high(ish) draft pedigree).

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#7 doritogrande
February 13 2011, 09:22AM
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Sum:

I think Czerwonka's slight dip in production might have something to do with the Cody Eakin acquisition. Everyone gets bumped down the ladder by one when you pick up a junior-aged talent like him. Perhaps he's not getting the PP time he did before.

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#8 K
February 13 2011, 09:31AM
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Lowetide - where is the archive from yesterday's show? I missed it yesterday due to the pathetic game but would love to listen!

Thanks.

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#10 pelhem grenville
February 13 2011, 09:39AM
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LT...i only have one concern with this young prospect at this point in his development... why is he being compared to JFJ when the general feel around here for JFJ is that he needs to be in the A...or at least on another team if anyone will take him ...gawd don't we all loath 22 the comparison is genuinely odious [4me anyway] and i'm puzzled as to why even when Stu himself says he needs to improve his speed...

oh,ok,his hand speed...

i get it

...BTW did you consider my request for free noodles for phone-ins on your sky-rocketing-in -the-ratings radio show yet?

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#11 m_kennedy13
February 13 2011, 09:44AM
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@ Pelhem Grenville

JFJ of old was a solid prospect. I think that's what LT was getting at.

JFJ pre back blow out had Lucic like qualities.

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#13 K
February 13 2011, 09:56AM
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Lowetide wrote:

K: I know the archives were being sent to Wanye yesterday afternoon, but I also know he said he was "sitting by his typewriter waiting anxiously" and there's no app for Wanye. :-)

In all seriousness, I do know that 2 hours of verbal is a monster file. Monster.

Thanks for the update, will wait patiently...

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#14 pelhem grenville
February 13 2011, 09:58AM
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I completely undersatnd about the arrested development part with both players, specifically JFJ cuz the other slug did get shipped out to become what? Meh? ... it's just so unfortunate that JFJ is still taking such criticism where alot of us would gladly employ the expression:

"They Shoot Horses Don't They?

as for Anna in Clairview? She needs to be on a diet! NO Noodles For Her!!!!

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#15 EasyOil
February 13 2011, 10:02AM
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LT: Reinhart may be the reason for much of Czerwonka's success, but he must have some semblance of talent to be able to put away chances or get the puck to his linemates. Same way I feel about Martindale, he might be getting better opportunities courtesy his linemates but he has always been a talked about talent (Martindale, not Czerwonka) and he must be doing something right to put up the points. Taylor Hall was on a stacked team with an insane amount of drafted talent but he's doing just fine in the bigs.*

*In no way shape or form am I comparing Czerwonka or Martindale to Hall, but just making a point :)

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#16 @NateInVegas
February 13 2011, 10:08AM
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Anyone going to see RNH V Marincin today?

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#18 pelhem grenville
February 13 2011, 10:36AM
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m_kennedy13 wrote:

@ Pelhem Grenville

JFJ of old was a solid prospect. I think that's what LT was getting at.

JFJ pre back blow out had Lucic like qualities.

thanks ..i kinda knew that but i cringe if JFJ is compared to anyone ...the JFJ "of old" or not...i can only say i hope the hockey gawds are kinder to Czerwonka...speaking of which how are the hockey gawds treating the boys @ TWLHG...anyone hear anything ?... Neilson still alive?

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#19 SumOil
February 13 2011, 11:19AM
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@ DG

That makes sense. Arrival of Eakin must have changed the line-ups and bumped other players down

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#20 kinnick kinnick
February 13 2011, 11:29AM
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I've noticed that the Pitlicker hasn't played in the last couple of games for the Tigers. Anyone know what's up?

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#22 kinnick kinnick
February 13 2011, 11:51AM
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Lowetide wrote:

Concussion.

http://communities.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/blogs/slapshots/archive/2011/02/12/tigers-pats-preview.aspx

Well, at least it doesn't say "concussion, indefinite" like his unfortunate teammate there. Still, not the greatest of developments.

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#23 Matt Bugg
February 13 2011, 12:07PM
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Czerwonka was picked precisely where he should have been, and good on the Oilers for learning from their mistake in '09. The team missed out on at least two players with NHL-level ability because they over-valued a very narrow range of skills.

Having said that, as with goaltenders, a team annually needs to invest one (late) selection in players of this ilk. Czerwonka may be a player, maybe he won't be, maybe he'll separate his shoulder and never be as effective again. But by having Abney in the A next year, Czerwonka a step closer to the pro game, and some green heavyweight learning his way, we stand a good chance of having one play in an Oilers uniform. Just don't spend a 3rd rounder on one again.

In 2011, I expect a team to covet Prince Albert's Austin Connor. 6'4, 228 lbs winger who bends guys with his pure strength in board battles. He can fight, he can handle the puck, he can shoot. Only problem is that he's one of the worst skaters I've ever seen in his first couple of steps. He's actually kind of agile with some tarmac, but it's not pretty watching him try to gain speed. But if a team can fix that, he could be something.

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#24 CSimpson18
February 13 2011, 12:57PM
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Sorry if it's been mentioned already but can someone point me towards LT's show from yesterday archived somewhere? I'd like to listen to it again, I missed some of it screaming at Kevin Weekes to shut the f*** up.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
February 13 2011, 02:04PM
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Drew Czerwonka:

First 20 GP: 6G - 5A - 11PTS, -2

Last 33 GP: 6G - 21A - 27PTS, +14

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#26 Heavyd
February 13 2011, 02:47PM
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What's a gopod place to wacth the game tonight?

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#27 TigerUnderGlass
February 13 2011, 03:10PM
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@NateInVegas wrote:

Anyone going to see RNH V Marincin today?

Marincin is not going to be good today. PG is at the end of a monster road trip.

I went last night in Calgary and the whole team just looked tired. They always do when the come here because the trip is always rough. Long travel and a lot of games in a very short time.

It may be ugly tonight given how bad the historically awful Hitmen made them look last night.

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#28 Corliss
February 13 2011, 04:41PM
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Hey Lowetide,

I've seen a Travis Moen comparison thrown out before for Czerwonka; do you see this as accurate at all?

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