ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Frank Musil was always tough as nails and mean as hell as a defenseman in an NHL career spanning 797 games, but he was soft as putty talking about son David after the Edmonton Oilers selected him 31st overall at the NHL Entry Draft Saturday.

Proud as could be was Frank, or Frantisek, his given name when he defected from Czechoslovakia to join the Minnesota North Stars back in 1986, as you’d expect. But this went beyond that, with good reason.

And when those of us who’ve been around forever brought up the day more than a decade ago, when Frank fell into the end boards during a practice with the Oilers and suffered a neck injury that essentially ended his career while David was at the rink, as he often was, that cranked up the emotion even more.

While one Musil career in Oilers silks ended prematurely, another is just getting started now that GM Steve Tambellini called David’s name at the Xcel Energy Center.


David, 18, spent lots of time in and around the Oilers dressing room during parts of the three seasons his old man hooked and hacked and held and whacked as a clutch-and-grab expert on the blue line. It seemed David and the rest of Frank’s family was always together in the days the joint was called Skyreach Centre.

David, who just completed his second season with the Vancouver Giants, was in the rink the morning his dad lost his footing and fell head-first into the end boards. Even as trainers rushed to Frank, I remember how Oilers PR man Bill Tuele tried to take charge of the situation, to make sure that young David didn’t come upon the scene.

"I’m probably going to be a little bit different," David said, asked about how he’ll stack up compared to the robust style his dad played. "But, I like to watch him and talk with him. It helps me a lot.

"For sure, I’d like to get a little bit of that in me, too, because I know it’s going to help me a lot in my NHL career . . . he’s got a lot of experience."


Back when Frank was drafted, it took him several months to even find out Minnesota had selected him 38th overall in 1983. The Entry Draft wasn’t the overblown TV production it’s become now. And news didn’t skirt the Iron Curtain quickly.

"He didn’t even really know he got drafted," David said. "He didn’t tell me a whole lot about his draft. He doesn’t have a lot of memories. He said, ‘Just enjoy it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’ "

It was, to say the least, a different time. "I found out a few months after, if not one year after," Frank said of his big day.


Frank worked his backside off to make himself an NHL player, defecting with the help of agent Ritch Winter and piecing together a career that took him to Minnesota, Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton.

David, six-foot-three and about 200 pounds, is more talented than the old man. He’s got genetics on his side — his mother, Andrea Holikova, was a world-class tennis player who played Martina Navratilova at the U.S. Open. His uncle is Bobby Holik.

"For sure he’s got more ability," Frank said. "It’s a different game. I don’t know if I would survive in today’s game, but players usually find a way how to play.

"With David, I think he has his mom’s ability. Hopefully, he’s got some of my determination. I shouldn’t say hopefully. He’s got some."

The other dynamic in the drafting of David Musil by the Oilers is that Frank wore two hats on this one — father first, and Edmonton scout second. Frank was excluded from the meeting the team held Friday night when the decision to draft David was made.

"It’s been probably the most difficult few hours," Frank said. "For me, I’ve been doing this for awhile. It’s always been an enjoyable time. It’s different when you have your son involved. I’m certainly very proud.

"You go through your life in not minutes, but seconds, and you question what you did right and what you did wrong, all in all. He’s at the starting line. Hopefully, He can get there."


Time, as it always does, will determine if Tambellini and the Oilers made the right choice with that 31st pick here. That’s not something anybody will know for two or three or even five years. Not even dad.

"It makes it that much sweeter, not that I need any more stress," laughed Musil, talking about the last 24 hours. "It’s a proud feeling.

"Not only what kind of hockey player he is, but he’s a helluva kid and a helluva person. I’m confident of that."

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • OiLz

    As the 31’st pick, I am thinking this was a very good choice by the Oil. Some folks seem to want to ride the “Nepotism Bus” with both the Musil and Simpson picks which is fine, I see it totally different. They are both good decent players and the bonus part is that the Oil’s Management know their character. You can have all the talent in the world but without good character, disapointment is sure to be a predominant outcome for both all parties. Me, in my Armchair GM Status, can proudly stand up and applaud my more genuine GM and Management counterparts! Go Oil Go.

  • There were some comments on NationRadio saying that he was a reach at 31. That he was rated in the 45ish area. My thoughts are you always take the guy who you think is the BPA not take what others think is the BPA. He has size, skill and pedigree. Would I have passd on him just because of his dad. No. If Stu thought he was the kid we should take.Then thats the kid we should take. SMB has not steered this team wrong yet since he was made head scout. I like the pick. Good luck to him and hopefully we’ll see him in Oilers colors in the not so distant future.

  • OilerLand

    At what point this summer did Brule get injured? Did he contract the plague or something? Did he stub a toe? Health concerns?Dumb question time. If he is still injured or are the Kings concerns baseless and they are looking to hold up the deal because they want a different player or pick?

  • OilerLand

    Few points on the draft.

    Oiler’s need big rugged defencemen. David was rated near the top ten at one point, but then his stock fell. Seems to be a solid pick that helps address organizational weekness. I sure hope we don’t have to hear the nepotism BS for the next 5 years over this kid.

    Magnificent Bastard Stu will hopefully maintain Magnificent status after this draft.

    I really like the Finish goalie pick. I like that they are drafting goalies again. Maybe Edmonton will become the next Washington and have two many decent goalie prospects. Would that not be a switch if the Oiler’s start churning out the next generation of goalies.

    I was high on the Jurco kid after watching the youtube highlight real. Makes me sick to think Detroit got another kid with high end skill. When Holland traded down I was like somethings up. Holland’s going to turn Jurco into a top 6 forward in 3 years. Holland’s going to welcome the kid to Detroit and say to him, here’s your new best friends, Peter and Pavel. Do everthing they do and you’ll be just fine.

    Hopefully next year we get our Shea Weber with a top five pick.

  • MaestroFreshMess

    Brownlee, that was a very nice piece. Damn I miss my dad.

    I am thrilled with the Oilers picks. I was really hoping for Klefbom and Musil. I really think there’s a chance both of these guys are in the bottom two pairings in 3 or 4 years.

    I think Simpson was a worthwhile gamble in the fourth round given his performance as a 17 year old playing against young men in their 20’s.

    RNH, and 3 young d-men with strong character. Just a really solid draft IMO.

    add- I can’t believe the Stanley Cup champs drafted Doug Hamilton. The rich get richer. Sickening.

  • A defensive defenceman that goes +33 on a -16 team looks like a guy that is hard to score on. This just looks like a great pick that has the added benefit of showing loyalty within the org. The look on Frank Musil’s face is good for everyone.

    My boy turns three next Saturday, and I’m getting skates today.

  • MaestroFreshMess

    thank you Smokey for mentioning that kid is a defenseman. Didn’t think I would have to read that far to find that out, but at least someone mentioned it.

  • Bucknuck

    I was hoping they would take Musil. Almost every scouting report says big and tough with good skating ability. What’s not to like.

    EDIT – Plus, if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree it appears we have a quality person in the dressing room, which is very important.

  • Bucknuck

    I was sure he was rated as high as no.5 at start of year . Caught him playing on the tube a couple of times – he’s very dominate out there and can dictate the play ! Very surprised he dropped into second round to be honest . Musil was a very good pick . Reider might also surprise a lot of Oiler fans from the couple of times i seen him play . Only Smyth might make Oilers roster this year , would be a shame if Oilers don’t get him !

  • Wax Man Riley

    What’s with all this talk of “nepotism”?

    You guys are disgusting! What does “doing it” with dead people have to do with The Oil picking Frank and Craig’s kids? SICK!

    *Goes to google nepotism*

    *Comes back with a red face*

    Ooooohhhh… wow…. was I totally off base with that one!

    *Whistles loudly*

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I’m pumped about this pick, wasn’t long ago Musil was thought of as a potential top 10 pick.

    Between Klfeboom, Marincin, Musil, Tuebert, Petry and Plant we should have at least 2 future NHL Dmen.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    David Musil was a low-risk pick. He will play, just don’t expect him to be in your top 4. He’s the kind of guy that every good team has and that the Oilers need more of. We could have swung for the fences on guys like Saad or Jurco but instead we opted to go the safe route which is fine by me. We took some moon shots later in the draft and at 31, it’s still too early to risk a failed pick.

  • Spydyr

    Low down on Musil – madjam take . I see a dominate figure on defence that seems to dictate the play defensively , and also adept in offensive zone i say so from a visual standpoint . Better than his dad i project, and maybe even Norris trophy material down the line . He can dictate play in defensive zone in a manner similiar to Pronger , and speed of play . I look for players , especially d-men that seem to dictate the style and play when they are playing . He did that in the times i seen him play – he was the dominate player out there . Whether he pans out to be a top 1-4 d-man – which i believe he is capable of is still yet to be determined . His vision and hockey sense helps him separate oppositions offensive thrust .

    I am not part of any Oiler inside info. , all my points of view come from visual breakdown on how players fit into the overall game . Maybe i caught him playing his 3 best games over the entire year , but i was really impressed by him and his dominance and overall skill set . Well there you have it from an unbiased opinion who’s not afraid to go out on a limb . If he only turns out to be as good as his dad , that’s not to shabby either – but i prefer David to his dad and expect more of him .

  • MrCondor

    I’m all for drafting the offspring of former oilers. It’s been said time and time again that they want to draft character and for the team to bleed copper and blue. What better way than drafting kids who grew up with the team?

  • MrCondor

    I’m not going to trash Musil because I don’t know as much about prospects as the oil, but it seems to me that 31st overall should not be reservered for D men with a 5/6 potential, I get the smurfs thing but Grimaldi sure seems like he has the will to make it, along with Boone Jenner and Scott mayfield, I just think that you have to draft for talent, but I digress……overall good day, it would have been nice to take a flyer on amroz in the 5th round

  • The Farmer

    I am very happy with the Musil pick. I was hopinig that’s who they had in mind to start today. No problem whatsoever with his Dad being a scout. It sounds like they did things the right way, and thankfully they didn’t draft Lowe. I personally would have had no problem with it, as he seems to be a decent defenseman, but I can only imagine what kind of comments he would have had to deal with for the rest of what would have been a very short career here as he or his Dad would have quickly been run out of town with that pick.

    ~ besides the last scouts son we had turned out great so it should be all good ~

    • Sounds like Keegan asked his dad (Kevin) not to draft him. Smart move on behalf of the young Lowe.

      Also, no problem with Musil’s selection. What the hell. We haven’t had a whole lot to feel good about this team for a long time. Good story and from the sounds of it, pretty decent young player.

      Oh and you guys quit your whining about these trades. Nobody here really knows anything about David Musil other than reading stats online and reading what idiots at HF boards are beaking about. If the scouts and the team are OK with it, who are any of us to argue?

      • When a former coach who is still plugged in and a current scout get their kids drafted by their employer I would say that is the dictionary definition of nepotism. If that doesn’t resonate with you then I would say you are chosing to hold your view in spite of the evidence to the contrary.

        Your are entitled to stick your head anywhere you want to, but this doesn’t look too good to me. I have an opinion of Oil management. Apparently a view different from yours is not allowed.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    Looks like we have a number of D-men with some potential now.
    I assume the Oilers thought Larsson type D-man can be had next year in the draft. Some say there could be up t 15 D-men in the first round. We will have to wait and see.

  • The Farmer

    I’m not too mad about the 31st pick. I mean, Saad, Jenner, maybe had more talent, but you can’t teach character, and thats the most important trait. I mean, look at all the skill Schremp had at 25, and he didnt amount to a hill of beans for the Oil. But a huge, determined, devoted defenseman with an experienced father? I’ll take that.
    Like someone said, Musil was rated in the top 10 at one point, so its not like this was a huge reach.
    Simpson on the other hand….i keed.

  • I’ll tell you one thing, I think Winnipeg is already continuing their tradition of ineptitude. If my GM walked up there and left Couturier on the board at #7, I’d be calling for him to be fired…
    That’s the kind of cockiness that got Prendergast fired.

    • MaestroFreshMess

      Yeah I’d be concerned about that If I were a Jets fan. Passed on Couturier and Doug Hamilton. Unreal those two players went to Philly and Boston.

  • Love Monkey

    What a great story RB! Thanks for telling it. The pride I feel in watching my three year-old master new things is incredible; I can only imagine how proud Frank must be after the sacrifices he went through to make the NHL himself.

  • Love Monkey

    When I saw the draft picks in the second round and two of them were sons of current management/scouting personnel I puked in my mouth a little bit. I’m figuring that if Lowe’s son had not taken himself out of the running I expect he’s have been drafted as well. I may well be the only person with this opinion but this tells me more than I wanted to know about the flagrant nepotism in the Oiler organization. I wonder what the players think of these draft choices.

    Why was Lowe’s son the only one to show even a modicum of common sense and tell the team thanks but no thanks. This mentality does not bode well for the future imo.

    Who picks a kid who was widely described after the draft as a project at #31? Did MacGregor check his orbs at the door of the Excel cntr?

    Does anyone have any respect for Oiler management after this draft? Tammy-baby does the ‘dither dance’ once again. Anyone could have drafted RNH #1 overall. After that you got Klefbom and the rest of the draft was a goat breeding contest.

    The Edmonton hockey press will no doubt give the organization a complete free pass on this.

    • Weak. David Musil was a solid pick. If anything, knowing his history and work ethic made it a bit easier to select him. The Oilers just increased their odds of finding a decent player. I call that solid drafting and not wasting a pick.

      This team is guilty of alot of things. But piling on “just because” is getting old. Now it’s Nepotism? Jeez man, at least find something that’ll stick. Companies hire people they know all the time. That’s life.

  • Love Monkey



    “Does anyone have any respect for Oiler management…?”

    Those who had no respect for Oiler management before the draft didn’t change their minds. Those who had some respect kept their current level, or maybe added a bit.

    The position 31+ drafting of size, character and on-ice steadiness looks good to me. And if drafting kids in this age range is a crapshoot in terms of where their heads are at, why not improve the odds by taking someone whose habits you know?

  • The Farmer

    Saad would have been a nice pickup. But when the Oil took Klefbom, I automatically felt that they should hedge the bet and take another defender. I was wondering if the Oil would trade up to take Joe Morrow, but it was pretty expensive to trade into the 1st round. I’m happy with the David pick. Can’t have too much depth on D. Look at the Canucks. They thought they had plenty of depth on D but at the end of the day, they lost two key guys and the series swung from there.

  • The Farmer

    Saad would have been a nice pickup. But when the Oil took Klefbom, I automatically felt that they should hedge the bet and take another defender. I was wondering if the Oil would trade up to take Joe Morrow, but it was pretty expensive to trade into the 1st round. I’m happy with the David pick. Can’t have too much depth on D. Look at the Canucks. They thought they had plenty of depth on D but at the end of the day, they lost two key guys and the series swung from there.