MPS: big things in store for the big Swede

2009 NHL Draft Portraits

I’m expecting to be thoroughly impressed by Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson when he arrives in town early next month, and so are the Edmonton Oilers, who inked the big and talented Swedish left-winger to a three year contract today.

That certainly goes for chief scout Stu MacGregor, who called Paajarvi-Svensson’s name with the 10th selection in the 2009 Entry Draft and will welcome him to Edmonton when the Oilers host a rookie camp July 5-9.

"When we drafted him, we were thrilled as an organization to get him," MacGregor told me today. "We think he can be a major offensive force. He does everything at a very high tempo."

Here’s excerpts from the new release:

"General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have signed Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson to a three-year NHL entry level contract.

Paajarvi-Svensson, the Oilers 1st round choice, 10th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, recently completed his third season with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League. The 6’2”, 201-pound left-winger from Norrkoping, Sweden, finished third in team scoring with 29 points (12G, 17A) in 49 games.

The 19-year-old has also seen considerable action internationally, most recently winning the bronze medal at the 2010 World Championship in Germany with Team Sweden. He led the team in scoring with nine points (5G, 4A) in nine games, was third in tournament scoring and was selected to the tournament all-star team, all at just 19-years-old. Paajarvi-Svensson also has won two silver medals at the 2008 and 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship. In 2008, Paajarvi-Svensson became the youngest player ever to play with Sweden when he was just 16 years and 8 months old."

HIGH PRAISE

When MacGregor talks about Paajarvi-Svensson, who is primarily a left-winger but told Jason Gregor of TEAM 1260 today he can also play right wing, he draws some comparisons to Ales Hemsky.

"He makes plays at high speed," MacGregor said. "Hemmer does that, too, and Magnus drives to the net from both sides. He’s a lot like Ales in that he’s scored some incredible goals.

"I think it’s going to be exciting for us to see a big kid like this coming at defenders with the kind of pace he plays at."

From what I’ve been told, Paajarvi-Svensson might be the most NHL-ready prospect fans will see at training camp in September. He’ll certainly get a chance to show it, likely lining up behind only Dustin Penner on the depth chart at left wing.

The big Swede is one of the reasons I believe the Oilers will opt to take centre Tyler Seguin with the first pick at the 2010 Entry Draft in Los Angeles. Unless I’m misreading the tea leaves and being sold a bill of goods on Paajarvi-Svensson, he’s got a chance to be no worse than the Oilers second-line left-winger this coming season.

SEGUIN TAKES HIS SHOT

While Taylor Hall made the most of his chance in the spotlight with an MVP performance for the Windsor Spitfires at the Memorial Cup, Seguin made hay with his opportunity at the NHL combine.

That’s no surprise to MacGregor, and it’s one of the reasons why Seguin is so highly regarded by Oilers scouts.

"He’s very competitive," MacGregor said of Seguin. "He looked at the competition (Hall) and said, ‘How can I step it up here?’ He took it off the ice and he did it in the gym.

"Both these kids want to be the best guy. That’s what makes both of them so special. Taylor had his chance at the Memorial Cup and Tyler made the most of his opportunity (at the combine)."

Hall, as everybody knows, didn’t take part in all of the physical testing at the combine in Toronto after a gruelling playoff run. That’s caused some fans to jump off the bandwagon they piled on during the MC and start talking about Seguin.

THIS AND THAT…

— A lot of fans know Oilers play-by-play man Rod Phillips will throw out the first pitch tonight at the Edmonton Capitals home-opener down at Telus Field. What you might not know is that Phillips should be right at home on the bump.

Phillips, 68, shouldn’t have any trouble hitting the mitt. The Skipper was a pitcher in his youth growing up in Calmar. In fact, while playing with the Calmar Cubs in the old Oilfield League — I think it was in the late-1930s — Phillips tossed a one-hitter.

— Applications continue to come in from those looking to take Phillips place as play-by-play man, but unless an established big-hitter with an NHL resume comes calling, I still see Bob Stauffer as the leading candidate to get the job.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — moving Stauffer into Phillips spot and making Kevin Karius of Global TV his analyst is a combination that’s difficult to beat. If you listened to Stauffer and Karius work together this season, you know what I’m talking about it.

— MacGregor made the call on the firing of scout Chris McCarthy last week after consulting with Tambellini. It’s his staff, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another change coming.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Bucknuck

    With all this talk about BPA…Hall or Seguin…drafting for team needs there is one thing that is clear.

    How many people can actually say they’ve seen Seguin play more that once or twice??

    So, when I hear most scouts who actually watch both players all the time think that Hall is the better of the 2 players right now, that’s what makes me lean more to wanting Hall.

    Again, projecting 5 years down the road who might be better is a guessing game, but its a tough chocie regardless.

  • Jason Gregor

    I would be a shame if Bob Stauffer was not handed the microphone. Kevin would also be an intelligent pick as the color analyst. With both men having pad thier dues on the local sports scene. Bob in radio amd Kevin on Global TV. Both also have proven trak records in the community. They are both in my opinion capable broadcasters who will be able to continue the legacy left behind by Rod Phillips and others like Morley Scottand Jim Matheson. To those who think that the OIlers organization is going to look outside the box to fill these positions you are going to be sorely disappointed. Bob and Kevin names will be the ones we hear call, “Eberle shoots and scores”.

  • Jason Gregor

    Will Hall or Seguin turn out to be a phenom , franchise player or an all star player down the line ? They should both turn out to be good NHL players , but how good is questionable . Can either be a guarteed cornerstone player ?

    Will next years crop be any better ? It’s not quite like drafting Gretzky , Crosby or an Ovechkin .

  • Jason Gregor

    If we are to draft by position in a rebuild/restructuring ,then you would generally assume it would be from backend firstly in most cases . We are not exactly strong on present defense to be honest .

    Why are we not going after goaltending or defense with our first pick if that is the consensus way to rebuild ?

        • There are no defensemen worth taking with the 1st overall pick even though there are plenty of defensemen worth taking. You have a 1 Million dollar bill and no one has change. Are you going to spend that unbreakable bill on something close to its value or a BigMac meal at McDonalds?

          Every scout lists Seguin and Hall above Fowler et al for a reason. You have the first overall pick, take the best player.

          • How does two for one sound ? Worth serious consideration ? Would swapping picks with Tampa also get us Hedman with or without throwing in Souray ? Maybe even get more with Souray part of the package . How about Z. Bogozian and swap of picks ?

            That would allow us probably a shot at either Fowler or Gunblandson and another good young defenceman . Not a bad case scenario to a rebuild from backend . We are unlikely to replace the value of Souray anyways .

            Needless to say ,this two for one(or more if we consider Souray dilemma) idea would fit well in our present financial and Cap world addessing many other concerns the club has .

            I just happen to think my idea should get serious due diligience and consideration . In fact, i prefer it to taking either Hall /Seguin with Svensson , Eberle and others already sitting in the “wings ” going into next season .

  • GSP

    Robin/Gregor…quick question..just read an article on TSN by Bob Mackenzie stating that Spezza could be had. Do you see this as a possibility for the Oilers given he only turns 27 this summer?

    I know he is a large cap hit but if we can include Horcoff or Souray in a package….think it is possible? If so, do you think that would have a bearing on who they draft if they can get a deal in place for Spezza before or at the draft?

    Myself..not too sure but would look good between Penner and Hemsky.

    • GSP

      The only way it makes any sense is if, as you suggested, the Sens take Horcoff or Souray. I’d make a call to find out, but even then it’s not a deal I’d move heaven and earth to make.