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).


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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Taylor Hall: Road Warrior

February 12 2011 07:47AM

Taylor Hall's rookie season has been a blessing for Oiler fans. Why? There's always a reason to watch the town team. However, Hall has been more impressive on the road than at home. Is it a big difference? Read on.

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More Bullets for Stu

February 10 2011 05:39PM

All of the talk surrounding Hemsky and Penner being dealt is starting to cloud the issue: Steve Tambellini's job at the deadline is to deliver more bullets to Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor.

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12 Biggest Deadline Deals (Oilers)

February 09 2011 06:17PM

This is Ron Low. A deadline deal that sent the big goalie to Edmonton for Ron Chipperfield was the first of many deadline deals made by the Oildrop. That deal--made just one day after the famous "Goring to the Island" trade--was a very important transaction in Edmonton's NHL history. Is it one of the 12 biggest deadline deals in Oilers history? Read on.

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Oiler Prospects Still Rolling

February 07 2011 05:09PM

This is Anton Lander. After returning to Sweden following the World Junior championships, Lander has stepped up his offense and might be the club's most complete prospect outside the NHL. How are the organization's top prospects doing so far in 2011? 

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