Bunz Master

Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor may have done it again.

Tyler Bunz has been kicking out the jams for about a year now. The young St. Albert goaler enjoyed an impressive season followed by a strong playoff (sidetracked a little by injury). Bunz’ quality season "comes with the experience and the confidence that you get with playing back-to-back 60 game seasons. That’s always going to help me get more comfortable with myself and how I feel in the net" and he looks like a legit prospect.

Bunz is getting noticed on a national level and is attaining goals he’s set for himself. In a conversation with Jason Gregor earlier this spring, Bunz discussed his spring playoff experience and his focus this summer:

  • "Obviously the playoffs went pretty well for me. It kind of took a toll there at the beginning of the first round with the concussion, but I came back strong in the second round and in the third round. In the conference final, Kootenay definitely outplayed us, I think, in that series and they kind of took over. Last Tuesday, I took the call from Ron Tugnutt saying that I got invited to the goalie camp in the summer in June,  and then from there it’s kind of whether you show your skills and if they like you, you go to the camp in August. Hopefully I can do that. I got invited last year, but I didn’t make the August camp, so I’m looking to do that this year."

Yesterday, Bunz found out that he’d made the August camp at Rexall. The story is here. Bunz is one of four goalies on the invite list, and a good guess would be that he’ll slot in as the backup to Mark Visentin on the initial depth chart.

For the Oilers, the development of Bunz reflects another positive arrow in the procurement and development area. The Oilers drafted two outstanding goalies (Fuhr & Moog) in their first three NHL trips to the draft and then spent several generations wandering in the wilderness. To give you an idea about the enormous number of swings and misses in drafting goalies, here’s a list of career regular season GP by goaltenders drafted by Edmonton over the years:

    1. Grant Fuhr 1981 (868gp)
    2. Andy Moog 1980 (713gp)
    3. Jussi Markkanen 2001 (128gp)
    4. Jeff Deslauriers 2002 (58gp)
    5. Devan Dubnyk 2004 (54gp)
    6. Mike Morrison 1998 (29gp)
    7. Darryl Reaugh 1984 (27gp)
    8. Joacquin Gage 1992 (23gp)
    9. Mike Greenlay 1986 (2gp)
    10. Mike Minard 1995 (1gp)
    11. Adam Hauser 1999 (1gp)
    12. Rob Polman-Tuin 1980
    13. Ian Wood 1982
    14. Chris Smith 1982
    15. Dave Roach 1983
    16. Brian Tessier 1985
    17. John Haley 1985
    18. Gavin Armstrong 1987
    19. Tom Cole 1988
    20. Greg Louder 1990
    21. Mike Power 1990
    22. Andrew Verner 1991
    23. Evgeny Belosheiken 1992
    24. Chris Wickenheiser 1994
    25. Jeremy Jablonski 1994
    26. John Hultberg 1996
    27. Patrick Dovigi 1997
    28. Alexander Fomitchev 1997
    29. Kristian Antila 1998
    30. Glenn Fisher 2002
    31. Bjorn Burling 2004
    32. Bryan Pitton 2006
    33. Olivier Roy 2009
    34. Tyler Bunz 2010

About one in three drafted goalies played in one NHL game or more, and of the 34 goaltenders selected by Edmonton there have been three with 100+ games in the NHL. Barry Fraser drafted Fuhr & Moog early and Jussi Markkanen was a draft pick during Kevin Prendergast’s first season as scouting director.

Stu MacGregor has drafted two goalies so far and both are on track as prospects. There are miles to go, but Tyler Bunz looks like a (good) keeper.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves today on Team 1260. Schedules to appear:

  • Mark Lamb, coach and GM of the Swift Current Broncos. We’ll discuss the recent SC win for Boston, his NHL and coaching career and get a scouting report on a couple of Broncos who are draft eligible.
  • Scott Reynolds from the Copper and Blue. Scott is an outstanding writer and has been moving forward conversation about advanced stats and the way we see the game for some time. Lately, he’s been kicking everyone’s ass and we’ll talk about some of his recent articles.
  • Matt Bugg from dobber hockey. Matt has an outstanding knowledge of this draft and will be part of Nation Radio’s draft coverage next weekend. He’ll give us some insight about the top of the draft today.
  • Kent Simpson, commentator on Oil Kings broadcasts. Kent’s a keen observer of the game and as a former pro hockey player offers a unique look at the players. We’ll talk draft, the SCF’s and have a quick talk about the Oil Kings in 11-12.
  • Jason Gregor from Team 1260 and Oilers Nation. We’ll talk about the Stanley Cup playoffs, what the Oilers might do at the draft and possible trades.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Bruins Draft Watch. Kirk is an outstanding draft resource and has been speaking to Edmontonians about hockey for years, dating back to John Short’s show. We’ll talk about the draft and look specifically at some of the possible surprises this year.

Plus we’ll read some of your top 10’s that have been flooding in for our first Nation Radio contest. You still have time to enter by sending your top 10 prediction for the 2011 draft to nationradio@theteam1260.com and your comments and questions are always welcome.