A Chat with Mitch Moroz

Jason Strudwick
November 02 2012 10:04AM

Last week on The Jason Strudwick Show, Mitch Moroz joined me for an interview. I was really looking forward to having him on. Having only met him once I didn't know him very well. I always got the sense he was a guy with some personality and wouldn't be afraid to show some of it!

Moroz was taken by the Oilers in last summer’s draft at number thirty two, early in the second round. It is a unique situation when a player is drafted by the NHL team that owns the junior team he plays for. I like the move because as the NHL team, you know everything about that player, and there will be no surprises, good or bad.

We got into a great interview and I want to share some of the highlights from our talk.

On what he learned from his first full season in the WHL (16g,9a,131pims)....

Mitch.....Last year I didn't have as big a role on the team. It takes everybody doing different roles to have success like we did making it to the Memorial Cup.

I developed into a more rounded player by the end of the year. I learned how to be a more effective player, not just a role player. I want to continue to become a more effective power forward this year and moving forward.

On getting drafted so early and by the Oilers....

Mitch....Crazy experience, the whole spring (the teams playoffs success and the NHL draft) is a blur. I figured I would go in the second round. It was overwhelming and surprising to go that high. I knew the Oilers liked me. I am excited to be a part of the organization. Growing up they were my favorite team. It is a dream come true and I am very thankful.

On the getting underneath opposing teams skin....

Mitch....I have always played on the edge. As a bigger player, everyone was taking runs at me. I tried to respond by talking to the other team by chirping. I would also back it up by playing well and when needed adding the very physical side.

Players he idolized growing up.....

Mitch.....Ryan Smyth and Jarome Iginla

On competition between teammates....

Mitch....We have three solid lines and a younger fourth line working their way into the league. We push each other each day. Inner competition is great. It will help us get back to where we were last season.

On who controls the music in the dressing room.....

Mitch....I have a steady hand on the iPad! I have a great selection of music for any situation. In the morning I keep it more mellow with some country or 90's tunes. Before games I get the guys going with songs off of the Big Shiny tunes collection! Love it!

On his first Hot Yoga experience.....

Mitch......Hot yoga was kind of messy. All that sweat wasn't pretty but I didn't mind it. I had to go no shirt though!

My take….

Moroz is a big guy at 6'2 and 210 pounds. There is no doubt how he has to play to be a successful junior and professional hockey player. His recipe for success will include being a powerful, hardworking energy player. He has to be hard to play against every shift. Getting the other team off their game is something he is good at. It is not easy to do but if you have that ability, run with it!

As I write this, Moroz has nine points in his first fifteen games so more points are coming his way this year. I like that he wants to expand his role and become a more rounded player. Watching him play his first step is something he must work on. The game gets faster every year. When he makes the jump to the AHL/NHL it doesn't matter how strong you are if you get to the puck second all the time. The good news is that getting a quicker first step is doable!

The Edmonton Oilers need size and players with attitude and grit in their lineup, this is not a secret. The team is too small. When I look through the whole organization there are very few players like Moroz. His combination of size, skill and attitude are very much needed. There is opportunity for this young man.

As with most draft picks, patience is the key for the team and fans. Moroz will not play his overage year in junior. His twenty year old year will be spent in the AHL, developing. Depending on his progression, it could be a few years and lots of hard work by Mitch before we see him in an Oilers jersey full time.

I hope he does make it for a few different reasons. One, the Oilers need some size and attitude. Two, great to see western leaguers fill more spots on the Oiler roster. Three, I trust a guy that does hot yoga!

DJ SUITCASE!!!

Well the big day has finally arrived! I hit the Pint on Whyte Ave tonight with my turntables! I can't wait, it will be a great time. Gregor has been all over me saying I can't DJ but tonight he won’t be able to stop dancing once I get my digits on the turntables. I have made my playlist and have checked it twice! Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket to this three hundred person event. All the money raised is going to the Inner City Childrens' Program. It is a charity i have worked closely with for five years. To those of you who missed out, I am sure this will be a success so another will be planned.

Previously by Jason Strudwick

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Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 HardBoiledOil
November 02 2012, 10:20AM
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FIST!! like the way Moroz lifted Haas back up early when he was gonna go down so he could continue beating on him! Disco Stu lives Jason!

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#2 Dman09
November 02 2012, 10:45AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

FIST!! like the way Moroz lifted Haas back up early when he was gonna go down so he could continue beating on him! Disco Stu lives Jason!

Watched a few of his fights and he tends to do that a fair bit. Lift the guy up and then pound him. Also his helmet seems to always be undone during the fights but he doesn't seem to lose him helemt very often. This guy is going to be a keeper.

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#3 TonyDanzaPervo
November 02 2012, 10:45AM
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#4 Bucknuck
November 02 2012, 12:11PM
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Anyone who idolized Ryan Smyth and jarome Iginla as their favourites is alright in my books...

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#5 HardBoiledOil
November 02 2012, 12:11PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Watched a few of his fights and he tends to do that a fair bit. Lift the guy up and then pound him. Also his helmet seems to always be undone during the fights but he doesn't seem to lose him helemt very often. This guy is going to be a keeper.

needless to say, he was a gamble to take at #32. i wonder if he has more upside than Travis Ewanyk does?

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#6 HardBoiledOil
November 02 2012, 12:12PM
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Dman09 wrote:

Watched a few of his fights and he tends to do that a fair bit. Lift the guy up and then pound him. Also his helmet seems to always be undone during the fights but he doesn't seem to lose him helemt very often. This guy is going to be a keeper.

double post.

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#7 Rama Lama
November 02 2012, 02:29PM
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I hope that he works hard at being a good defensive player that create room for the more skilled players.......we need that.

We missed out on Henrik Sameulesson and that's why the Oilers took him so high.......this kid is a long shot but seems to have the right attitude.

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#8 nunyour
November 02 2012, 02:37PM
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nice fight clips,but think Lowe better learn to keep his helmet on longer.

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#9 Lochenzo
November 02 2012, 03:34PM
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If you want to be the next Ryan Smyth or Tomas Holstrom, I say strap on some goalie pads and learn the angles. Obviously, if you're standing in front of the net at the same angle to the puck as the goalie, that's one helluva screen. Smytty does it very well and knows when to kick off to the side of the net.

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#10 The Soup Fascist
November 03 2012, 09:08AM
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One thing that may or not have been noted. Ryan Smyth has been spending a lot of time around the Oil Kings, working with the kids on and off the ice. Say what you want about the guy - he gets it. As always, he sees the importance of giving back to the game. Kudos to Smytty.

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