PF 2011

The day Boston drafted Milan Lucic, it was not obvious to all the Bruins had selected a future impact forward. He had size–6.02, 204 according to Central Scouting–but he wasn’t at the top of the scoring charts (9 goals all season) and his PIMS (149) suggested long stretches in the sin bin for feeling shame. The Edmonton Oilers need a "Milan Lucic" and right soon–where is he? 

At this point in time the Edmonton Oilers sadly lack big men with a wide range of skills. Steve MacIntyre is one of the best enforcers in the NHL currently, JF Jacques can skate extremely well for a big man but in both cases these men are mostly "stick optional" types. Jacques fit the PF bill quite well coming out of junior but lost an enormous portion of his fine motor skills when his back injuries began to take their toll.

So, along with grabbing the right guy at #1 overall and not blowing the LAK pick later in the first round when he takes a defenseman, Stu MacGregor and the scouting staff need to find a Lucic among the youngsters available this summer.

ANYONE ON THE HORIZON?

The Oilers current group of roster players doesn’t boast anyone who fits the bill (I believe Taylor Hall will be able to take care of himself, but no one in their right mind wants #4 dictating the physical tone of an NHL game), but there are some bubbling under candidates:

  • Tyler Pitlick turns 20 in November and is 6.02, 188. However, he had only one fighting major with Medicine Hat this season and 31 PIMS overall. His goal/pim numbers (27/31) don’t really have that Lucic feel.
  • Drew Czerwonka turns 19 in July and is 6.02 197. He would be my choice for strongest PF candidate of the bubbling under group as he clearly is a game rooster (6 fights in the WHL) and his goal/pim ratio (14/78) more closely resembles the player we’re looking for at this spot. Czerwonka has played some with skilled men on the Kootenay Ice roster and I think he’s a player of great interest moving forward.

WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN THE DRAFT POOL?

Anyone hoping Travis Ewanyk would slip through the cracks unnoticed is sol this morning as his performance at the U18’s turned some heads and got people talking about his range of skills. Jim Matheson talks about Ewanyk in his Sunday morning column here and will no doubt be reading about him more this spring. The Pipeline guys have Ewanyk blogging for them here. I count 10 fighting majors on his resume this past season.

Austen Brassard of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls is also getting some notice. He’s 6.02, 191 had 5 majors in the OHL and has good footspeed for this player type. There are some questions about his hockey sense but he’s definitely a player to follow in this category.

Stefan Noesen is from Plano, Texas and is 6.01, 195. Although he didn’t fight that much, his reputation is as a hard working, physical forward who won’t back away from the rough stuff. He scored 34 goals for Plymouth (OHL) this season so there’s a lot of skill with this player.

ANY DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH?

By the time we start talking about a player as a potential draft pick, one imagines NHL teams have a bunch of foolscap on said prospect. I think Medicine Hat winger Kale Kessy might be just what the doctor ordered for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s 6.03, 185 and scored 65gp, 10-14-24 129pims for the Tigers this season. 9 majors. There are several youtube highlights including this one.

  • ralph_u

    Esa, understood. I don’t think the Oil will play it that way though. I get the sense that head office would like to try and find a couple of top end D prospects to go with all their forward talent.

  • Spartacus

    Drew Czerwanka is a young player. The end of the season he was 18Yr 5 months to 18 year 9 months.

    I find it interesting that Martindale a top 20 points player in the Ohl and czerwanka have similiar point production at that age.

    Czerwanka 41GM 7G 22A .71PPG
    Martindale 25GM 7G 12A .75PPG

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Off topic and unrelated again, but I just stuck my head out the back door, tilted my ear toward the setting sun and I swore I heard, wafting in on the western breeze, the unmistakeable sound of several million canuckleheads gagging on their Easter ham. What a sweet, sure sign of spring

    • Shapeman

      disarray of epic proportions…when fans walk into the arena tomorrow night they will see the drums full of kool-aid and wonder what might be in the offing…excitement like this is absolutely springlike…

      doug you slug…this failure is written in stone

      hawks led the series two games to three on resurrection sunday… hawks now take a commanding three games to three games lead and more hawks are coming !!!

  • Slapshot

    Reading some of the blog’s on the internet about the Canucks losing again tonight and how they are choking bigtime,most of the canuck fans are blaming the referee’s how pathetic is that? If they lose on Tuesday, everytime they play next year they should start chanting looooosssseeeerrrsss!!!!!

    • Slapshot

      The level of hysteria is out of this world – I just read a thread where a whole slew of canuckleheads are blaming an NHL conspiracy to screw the ‘nucks by rigging the refereeing, to help spread the game in the USA. (seriously) Man, this is so much fun, I think I’m going to go blind, or at least have to start shaving my palms, if I keep it up.

  • Clay

    LT – You’ve spoken before of Mark McNeill with the LA pick. Would he fit this bill or is he too “skilled”.

    6’2″ 210lbs, 53PIMS with 3 fighting majors. A lot of scouting reports call him “hard nosed”.

  • db7db7db7

    Why expend a draft pick when we can sign Darian Dzuirzynski for nothing?

    11 fights and judging from his fight with Brett Lyon, buddy can take a punch as well as he can give them out. Goes nicely with his 35 goals this season.

    hockeydb as the kid at 6′ 200lbs.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I wonder if the oil could do the 2009 draft again if they would opt for Kassian or Ellis over Paajarvi. I wouldnt mind Kassian over Magnus, we have enough skilled guys and not enought beasts