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.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Seguin doesn’t seem thrilled Peter Chiarelli wants to play him on the wing.

    His shot from the point reminds me of Kurri.

    If Tambi drafts Seguin I’ll buy in to his commitment to rebuilding.

    On a side note.. How much $$$ will the Oilers make next season in jersey sales with Eberle/MPS/Seguin?

    And is Ladislav Smid’s neck fully recovered?

    War Robin Brownlee replacing Simon Cowell on American Idol.

  • Svensson , Eberle and Omark might be better than incumbent players and may all make club on merit alone . I’m for it if it goes that way . Brule did not shine at all when put back to AHL . Brule was as crappy as the rest of them going back to our AHL squad , and the same may be in store for our rookies.

    If we had a good AHL club to send the rookies to then i’d say go and hold someone back . But the truth is ,we do not have a good AHL squad either .

    For a small forward Omark ,looked better in world championship than all our diminutive forwards . He sure knows how to guard the puck and manoever well in traffic amongst the bigger boys. The kid (by a few scouts )was thought to be NHL ready the year we drafted him . I guess we’ll find out soon if he can handle the NHL rigors . Off the world championships i say he will.

    I also think Svensson will make the lineup . Hartekeinen may be a darkhorse , but he impresses me as well as Eberle and Nash . I hope we do not lose that Nash kid somehow – i think he’ll be a good one down the line .

  • Jodes

    Robin, not to sound anal, but if Rod is 68 years old that would have put him being born in 1942, he couldn’t possibly have played in the 1930s..

    Did you possibly mean in the late 50s when he would have been in his teens?

    Now back to the important hockey questions.. Robin, I’ve heard lots of talk that Hall can be a natural centerman. What have you heard about this? I’m a bit leary of people that say “he’s a winger now, but can play center or defense” especially the last few years here in Oil town where people have been moved from their natural position with disasterous results..

  • Things are looking up!! It is hard not to get overly optimistic though. A potential for the new ‘Kid Line’ of Eberle, Seguin, MPS!

    Any chance Steve might target someone like Tallider or Leopold as a UFA to have a good shut-down #2 pairing with Smid?

  • DK0

    Like RB said MPS is just about a lock, Barnes thinks Eberle IS a lock the only one that might not be is Seguin and I was a Hall guy but after all the interviews I’m thinking Seguin is the guy. Will the Oil keep him or send him back to JR?

      • DK0

        What a crazy statement.

        If Hall/Sequin is drafted, and after training camp have been outplayed by another player he shouldn’t get the spot just because he was the number 1 overall pick.

        Spots should be earned, not given by because of who they are or where they were drafted.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      Where did I say he’s just about a lock? Don’t put words in my mouth. I said he’s got a chance to be no worse than a second-line left-winger. That can’t be said of a lot of first-rounders at their first NHL camp, but that hardly translates as “a lock.”

      Ducey: Why are you suggesting sending anybody to the farm for 40 games before the first puck has even dropped? Makes no sense.

      No prospect should have a roster spot reserved for them, but no prospect should be denied a job if he clearly shows he deserves it. How about leaving some room for merit instead of pre-determining where somebody fits?

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        I guess I got that from “he’ll get a chance to show it only lining up behind Dustin Penner on the LW depth chart” that sounded like “just about a lock” and as for your other part I agree if rookies come to camp and show they earned that spot play them.

  • Ducey

    Nice. But remember friends, prospects will break your heart. Remember Schremp, O’Marra, Rita, Trukno etc.

    Send him to the farm for at least 40 games along with Omark and Eberle. Then move the best one up.

  • I can’t wait to see MPS in some pre-season action.

    It’s going to be a long summer waiting to see guys like this as well as Eberle, Seguin, Omark, etc.

    I really hope we can get some decent blueliners in here – then we might have something.