Ashes by Now (2)

The moments of pleasures Never do last
Are gone like a suitcase full of your past
Long gone and in a hurry

Baby, I can’t go through this again
I don’t need to go down more then I’ve already been
Just like a wild fire you’re running all over town
As much as you burn me baby I should be ashes by now
-Rodney Crowell

Rob Schremp’s signing in Sweden brought it all home this week: first round picks burn scouting directors quicker than anything else. Blow a 5th rounder and no one says a word. Watch your first rounder go sideways and it’s one more nail in the coffin. According to a draft study done several years ago (using the years 1979-95) the odds of drafting an impact player are very low:  

  1. 2% turned out to be a elite players (the Kurri family)
  2. 4% turned into impact players (the Smyth family)
  3. 15% turned out to be average NHLers (the Stoll family)
  4. 24% played less than 200 games (the Schremp family)
  5. 55% never played a game in the NHL (everyone else)

Rob Schremp qualified under category 4. He did better than 2002 Jesse Niinimaki (still waiting to play his first NHL game). Scouting directors often save disaster in the first round by delivering in later rounds.

This is Kyle Bigos. He’s a tough guy to track but may one day pay off for Stu MacGregor and the Edmonton Oilers. He’s a huge defender, an absolute monster; Bigos clocks in at 6.05, 235 last I checked and the scouting report from MBS after the club drafted him looked very good.

  • MacGregor: "His game has done nothing but get better. A young man whose development curve is just beginning to move forward. Great shot, skates well for a big guy, he’s someone we see huge potential in down the road."

Bigos is a player who knows how he can make a difference. He told Guy Flaming his role is "to be as physical as I can and establish a presence on the blueline. I love to move the puck and play 5-on-5 with the team we have, but I’m also getting a chance on the powerplay. I’m mainly used as a shooter. I also get to play PK which is a blast! I think to go out and block shots and to try and stop the talent-filled teams in HE is a great challenge and a lot of fun."

Bigos is halfway through his college career with Merrimack and has shown improvement.

  • Mike Sillinger: "His big thing is mobility. He’s got to work on his mobility and his puck skills a bit. Watched him play a few times the last couple of years. He’s a big guy, hits hard. We need to get him to put fear in the opposition."

Bigos has been under the radar compared to other Oiler prospects–it seems as though he is the only prospect not in the CHL. Bigos is an attractive prospect for the Oilers: A big guy who can efffectively play at evens on the penalty kill, fight a little and punish opposition forwards on their sorties into the Oilers zone.

Kyle Bigos doesn’t have a draft pedigree–hell he can only pray to have the kind of career enjoyed by third rounder Alex Henry–but he has two things that bode well for his future. He can turn pro in any of the next two summers depending on the Oilers having an immediate role for him, and he’s part of an organization in dire need of useful defensemen over 21 years old. 

Kyle Bigos has several arrows pointing in the right direction.  

  • Bigos (Polish pronunciation: [ˈbiɡɔs]), known as a Hunter’s Stew, is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian, and Belarusian cuisines, considered to be the Polish national dish.

    Let’s leave it on the burner on low heat a bit yet. Smells good though! Mmmmmm Stu.

  • Butterific

    This morning is Monday
    Where are you now?
    Teasing my memory
    teaching me how
    To lay low when I don’t want to
    Your love is elusive
    This I know now
    It’s making me crazy
    Leaving me out in the open
    When I don’t want to

    LT: This is the second post I’ve counted in the last few months where Rodney Crowell referenced (although incorrectly, it was Roseanne Cash, written by John Stewart, who wrote and sang “Runaway Train”) BTW Rodney Crowell was excellent in his very weather shortened set at Big Valley Jamboree a couple weeks ago though..

    If Bigos (and more players like him) can have the same kind of long, and effective, but not flashy kind of career Mr. Crowell has put together those are the guys you need to make the superstars great. It sure as hell wasn’t Keith Urban who wrote Making Memories of Us.

    Music and hockey… the parallels.

    • Lowetide

      Love Rodney Crowell’s music (and really did think he wrote Runaway Train. John Stewart, man he wrote a lot of good songs).

      I know he did Ashes by Now because I played it on the radio. 🙂

    • Lowetide

      As EasyOil mentioned I don’t think he’ll be at rookie camp. iirc NCAA rules state the player must pay all expenses to and from any camp, so two in one summer is unlikely.

      Plus it isn’t like they are going to sign him if he plays well. Even if he was one of the top AHL calibre defenders at camp, the Oilers have no room for him.

      Maybe next summer, though. I have a feeling guys like Motin and Plante are not longer for OKC.

      • book¡e

        If I were a player aiming to make the NHL, I would think that the cost of a flight and hotel for a week or so to get in front of the decision makers and get the pro training would be a very worthwhile investment.

    • EasyOil

      I don’t think NCAA players can join in the rookie tournament (thought someone correct me if I’m wrong), and they certainly aren’t allowed at Rookie Camp. I think that’s one of the reasons that Development Camps are becoming popular these days, as NCAA players don’t lose their college elligibility by attending so teams can get a good look at their College prospects.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I’ve read a few stories on him that suggest the NCAA isn’t the best league for him to be in. Because of his size he gets called for a lot of things he shouldn’t. Would going to the CHL be an option, although for this year it appears he is College bound.

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        Make sense. Just seems a guy as physical as him needs to be in a different league. I just don’t know that there is room for him in OKC right now and not sure ECHL would be better than the NCAA.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          He needs to be able to play hockey as well, not just be a brute on skates.

          Playing in a league where he has to use and develop skills other than Hulk-Smashing everything in sight is also pretty useful.

    • book¡e

      I hope this is an AHL OKC contract. It’s a fine signing if it is, in that LeNeveu does not close the door for another NHL goalie being signed if Khabi falls apart. LeNeveu could be sent down to the ECHL if Khabi gets demoted to make way for a free agent or a goalie brought in by trade. If this is an NHL contract, then I am not too happy as it wastes a spot on the 50 man roster and makes it difficult to bring in a goalie that can play for the Oilers at some point.

      Edit: It appears that this is an AHL contract. If so, then its fine. It retains flexibility while filling the back up position for OKC with someone who is competent.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    For documentation purposes, can i put this guy in the Fridge category we established here on ON a couple months ago?

    Kyle Bigos = a less mobile version of JF Jacques?

  • EasyOil

    I hate to come across as a skeptic, but didn’t Prendergrast say some similar thngs about Mikhnov a few years ago? I know, I know, that is probably while he is gone and MacGregor is doing the job now.

    Just saying.

  • jimmycrackcorn

    More articles now please!

    Wanye, tell us about some stuff! Doesn’t even have to be hockey related.

    What’s Lil Wayne up to these days?

    Have there not been any strange alien in movie sightings lately?

    Over a camp fire last week, I was listening to a debate on 2012 and the alignment of the planets and seeing through the milky way, and all I could think was this should be a summer article on Oilers Nation!

  • Herman_Munster

    Great read, LT. I’ve been very curious about Bigos since his draft day. His size alone is something the Oilers sorely need, so it’s good to hear a bit about him finally and to hear that he is starting to develop.

    For anyone who may be interested, I have a new blog up about Ryan Martindale:

    • Herman_Munster

      best avatar ever! such good childhood memories when i think of that movie! i cannot wait till my kids are old enough to appreciate what the candy man can….mind you by that time they will be disgusted with the production value, and the fact that it is not in 3D…young whippersnappers!

      • Herman_Munster

        It’s one of my all time favourites for sure. Gene Wilder is a dangerously underrated actor. Did you happen to see the remake or re-imagining or whatever they called it? Utter dreck.

  • Herman_Munster

    OMG an article on Stated that the aquisitions of Barker and Sutton are going to add to the grit and defensive ability that will allow for more room for their more offensively gifted defensman Whitney and SMID. Seriously, whoever wrote that article doesn’t know anything about the Oilers. If Smid is an offensive talent then I’m the king of the world. Hhahahaha

    • book¡e

      Uhm, Hello, Smid has been forced to play a defensive role playing the HARD MINUTES against the other teams top lines and toughs. Now that he will be free to play his offensive game, we will really see him break out.

      I expect his goal output this year could be easily five to ten times higher than what he has averaged over the past 4 years!

      Book it!