Tough Winter for Tall Tree From Minnetonka


This is Troy Hesketh. The Oilers selected him in the 3rd round (71st overall) in the 2009 draft. He may be the first of Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor’s picks in the top 100 to be considered a draft bust. There’s trending downward, and then there’s stepping into an elevator shaft.

The story is covered here and I first read about it here. Hesketh is a young man and you never want to bury a prospect at this early stage. I’m especially surprised at some of the strong verbal being used by the Daily Cardinal and expect there’s another side to the story.

Having said that, there’s an alarm bell going off and Troy Hesketh’s path to the show is not going well. We wait.

    • O.C.

      Gee how insightful and original.. *rolling eyes*

      Shouldn’t your mom be getting you dressed for school?


      Troys biggest problem appears to be academics. Finishing last in your class isn’t going to win friends. If you aren’t producing, it’s a double whammy.

      D take time. He may be a career minor leaguer but too early to say.

    • Very true. Back in the day the Riders used to hold camp in Saskatoon, I was with the huskies doing conditioning camps for hockey. Anyways.. I get to talking with some of the fringe lineman….. being all cordial and canadian. The CFL cash thing comes up… one of the guys laughs…. this is just something to do in case someone sees you, I made way more money in College.
      That NCAA thing in relation to the boosters and what is and isnt considered a violation is perhaps the biggest joke in sports. As the line goes… “if u aint cheatin u aint tryin hard enough”

      Sorry, not really related to this kids issues.

      Most of these big and tall Ichabods never do skate at an NHL level, the intelligent ones learn how to adapt like Hal Gill and Chara but of all of the experiments that have made the show theres only one Tyler Myers, now that kids a beauty as he skates and pivots like a smurf…. that is rare. Too bad old Ruff wouldnt incorporate some raw meat into his diet to get just a hint of pronger in his game.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Speaking of prospects I’m heading to St. John to see Coutourier play back to back this weekend against the Sea Dogs who have THREE (!!!) possible first rounders in Huberdeau, Jurco and Zack Phillips.

    Between Courtourier being ranked 2nd and Huberdeau being ranked 4th there’s a 50% chance I’ll be watching a future Oiler….pumped.

  • Oilers4ever

    Never even heard of the guy, what’s his position? He won’t have the talent to crack what we have for depth right now anyways with guys like Pitlick, VandeVelde, Lander etc for forwards and Marincin and hopefully Larsson on D. Loved Petry’s game last night.. the kid played awesome and he’s going to be a top 4 D on this team.

  • Petr's Jofa

    It’s disappointing to read the article because, yeah, it looks like this kid has got some issues that will keep him from advancing.
    But does that mean that the pick is a “draft bust” in the same way that Jason Bonsignore or Peter Soberlak or Scott Allison were “draft busts?”

    I’m not so sure – Hesketh was a third-rounder. In a seven-round-draft among 30 teams, I think that once you sail out beyond the second round, you’re pretty much susceptible to wherever the wind and tides take you.

    Yeah, you can do some homework on the kids, but really – you’re rolling the dice on 90 per cent of the guys you pick beyond the second round because there’s no way your scouts can spend enough time looking at them (or getting inside their heads) to know if they’re gonna pan out.
    Yes, I know. The Detroit Red Wings have kept themselves in contention on the strength of their late-rounders. Hell, every team probably has a mid-to-late-round gem they can brag about.

    I have absolutely no stats to back this up, but my guess is that the numbers will show that your chances of making the NHL drop off pretty steadily if you were picked in the third round or later.

    For an interesting take on scouting, I strongly suggest you read Gare Joyce’s book, Future Greats and Heartbreaks: A Year Undercover in the Secret World of NHL Scouts. It’s certainly a definitive look at exactly how much skill (and how much guesswork)is involved with scouting.

    Back to Hesketh: One encouraging thing about him is the fact his Dub rights are owned by the Oil Kings. Maybe there’s a chance he’d get picked up by them and end up in Edmonton where the Oilers people can keep closer tabs on him.

    Then again, if he’s yet to pick up a point playing on his third team of the season in a league that’s definitely inferior to the WHL, then yeah, those are five-alarm alarm-bells.

    Here’s another idea for Hesketh: See if there’s any interest in bringing him to an AJHL team somewhere around Edmonton. Just throwin’ it out there…

  • Petr's Jofa

    After a pretty daming article and 3 not so flatering updates, the last update give a glimmer of hope that he still might turn into something: “Update 4: Baggot has another piece out where he says he’s hearing academics were an issue. Confirming what my sources said was the main issue.”

    Hopefully he’s a dumb as a stump and it’s a academic reason and not a hockey skill or coachability issue.

  • Ducey

    LT, this creates a difficult signing decision for the Oilers. If he was in college they would have some ability to watch him for a few years.

    Now they must signing him by the draft, right?

    He won’t be over 20 by the June draft so he won’t be a free agent but could go back into the draft as far as I can tell. I don’t know if requires the player to choose to re-enter or if it just happens automatically.

    It sounds like the Oilers will have to find a place for him to play next year. He would be a 20 yr old player next year and there are limits on the # of 20 yr olds in the WHL. Tough to ask the Oil Kings to use one of their 20 yr old spots on what might be their weakest D man.

    No way he is ready for the AHL, so it would seem he might have to start in the ECHL.

    Tough to use one of your 50 contracts on this mess.

  • SumOil

    Not sure why Managment doesn’t just let em go? He’s seems like more of a problem than its worth. I dont think they should just sign him thats just stupid. Anyway I was looking a Mike Richards earlier years and given his size which is almost Identical to Gagners. Does any one think he could mold in to a player like that in a few years??

    • SumOil

      I second that.

      Why are we all worrying about whether or not the Oilers should “waste” one of their 50 contracts on him?

      Why not just see if he can sort things out for himself, on his own, and go from there?

      Like I said earlier – the list of kids drafted in the third round or later who never had a sniff of the NHL, AHL or any other pro league is long and distinguished. If Hesketh doesn’t make it, he’ll join that majority.

      Nothing wrong with that. Don’t panic, people.

      If he doesn’t make it, he doesn’t make it. We move on.

  • Petr's Jofa


    Is there more to this than him just not being strong enough academically? I suspect that there are quite a few NHLers who are far from the sharpest knife in the drawer but as long as they can skate, score or fight no one really cares. Given the venom in your post I assume there is some back story that I am not aware of.

  • Bucknuck

    Nothing against his current league but it wouldn’t be the worse thing for him to wind up in the dub especially if he Is a bit of a tool and he needs a kick in the pants.

  • Bank Shot

    This is the kid who has a father who is 6’6″ and a brother the same size. I think part of the reason they drafted him was they were hoping he would grow another 2-3 inches.

    They probably should have just focused on how good he was at hockey.

  • Bucknuck

    Well they can’t all be winners.

    In Stu we trust!!

    I was looking at this year’s crop of prospects and I don’t think the Oil can really go wrong in the top four.

    • Lowetide

      He’s probably going to have to go down to the AHL or Europe to regain some scoring touch. O’Sullivan has beeing ripping through NHL teams at a tremendous clip and that’s not good for his long term future.

      Still, he’s scored 20 in the NHL and had a monster AHL season. If he spends the rest of the season in the KHL and can deliver some offense, someone will come calling.

      I bet Robert Nilsson gets another shot, as an example. Players who can post offense are always going to get a lot of chances.

      • O.C.

        Still, he’s scored 20 in the NHL and had a monster AHL season. If he spends the rest of the season in the KHL and can deliver some offense, someone will come calling.

        Yep – sometimes they just keep playing them, hoping… praying…

        To the uninformed)
        These were First Overall picks

        Brian Lawton 483 games and 266 points
        Doug Wickenheiser 556 games and 276 points

        Interesting – note – Edmonton’s draft 1989 was really bad but Toronto’s was amazingly bad. Detroit’s was amazingly good.

        (that’s it – time to go home)

  • O.C.

    I don’t think not signing him and “losing” him in the upcoming draft will be any issue. Don’t sign him, he’ll go undrafted and then if he continues to pursue a career in hockey and develops any upside the oil can sign him as a free agent. No use wasting a contract on someone who would presumably go undrafted in 7 rounds of next years draft.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Any LT nation members wanting to access their complementary slurpee and carwash, they can be redeemed today only at the new Hughes gas station on Parsons road.

    De-icer not included.

  • Bucknuck

    Funny how the discussion is about a player that’s as dumb as a post and a question about POS comes up …

    I realize that school smarts and rink smarts don’t always match, but the academic threshold to get into most US colleges on a full athletic ride is not all that high. If you have to take your skate off to count to five you’re NOT going to do well picking up a man in your zone.

    It’s a big red flag, the lad is either a half-wit or too lazy to learn – by his on-ice results it’s obviously not a case of spending too much time working on his game.

    Cut him loose and make a mental note about drafting high school juniors.

  • O.C.

    So where do you think he went wrong? I think its a matter of having a really really fragile guy who has severe childhood issues, who went from a place he loved, to a place he didnt want to be. I remember when he got traded and they had him on the radio and he sounded devestated to be moved here. I dont think hes gotten over it.

    • If he loved it so much in LA he should not have held out. That was the kiss of death for him there, unfortunately for POS that was a really dumb move. Sad in a way.
      At least last year he had the cojones to cowboy up and call Quinn for the idiot he was. For that he shall always hold a somewhat dear place in my heart. His on ice effort on the other hand…… wow. At least TRY and hide your ” I couldnt possibly care any less” moments.

      • O.C.

        From everything ive gathered from the internets it seems like LA was screwing him around something fierce on a new deal. He had 53 points in a season where he was making league min, and he wanted a raise to market value for that which was 2.5-3.5 mil/season.

        But your right, that was the kiss of death for him and it seems like he has never recovered.

  • O.C.

    Maybe set Hesketh up with R. Nash for tutoring sessions.

    For O’Sullivan, looks like at the end of this year his career gross earnings are somewhere around 9 million. Dealing with issues around his father notwithstanding, he has it pretty good, no apparent injury history nagging him physically as he goes forward, allowing him to enjoy life.