The Oilers pulled off a minor trade on Saturday morning, sending pending free agent college defenceman Kyle Bigos (an overage draft pick in 2009) to San Jose in exchange for pending free agent college defenceman Lee Moffie (an overage draft pick in 2010).
The “minor” in the sentence above is brought to the reader by the Redundancy Department of Redundancy.
Lee Moffie: Draft Day
Sharkspage has some good background on Moffie from his draft day, including both his Red Line Report write-up and a comment from an anonymous NHL scout. Here’s Red Line:
Offensive defenseman who has the ability to rush the puck or make the pass and join the rush. He has a fluid stride and a quick burst of speed coming through the neutral zone with the puck. Seamlessly changes directions on his skates and is a poised puck mover who runs a productive powerplay. Underrated in his ability to control the pace of the game when the puck is on his stick although at times he sacrifices defensive positioning for the offensive push. Has decent size and strength with an occasional mean streak but he needs to be more intense away from the puck and play physical on a consistent basis. Needs to take the body more while defending one-on-one. Excels as the third man in the rush, making the first pass, and getting pucks on net from the point.
The scout quoted directly after that report had seen Moffie in the USHL rather than in college, but indicated that even as a seventh round pick Moffie was “a stretch” despite having “some jump to his game.”
Tim Burke, the Sharks’ director of scouting, reflected similarly mixed feelings in his comments following the selection of Moffie:
Lee Moffie is a kid we’ve been watching for three years and we’ve been back and forth on him. Then he went to Michigan this year as a freshman and he was a pretty young freshman. He had a good year in the USHL the year before and he kept improving. Our thinking was that if we didn’t take him he would be one of those higher free agents that 30 teams were going after and we had enough on him to say ‘let’s do it now,’ rather than wait and see him go back for his sophomore year and then we’re competing against 30 teams for him.
Moffie’s numbers in college are an interesting study. The NCAA does a better job of publicizing statistics than some other leagues do (the information is all available via the University of Michigan’s website), so we have some stuff available to us that isn’t there at other levels.
Moffie had really respectable scoring numbers for three years before dropping off sharply in year four; he was also a pretty good scorer in the USHL at 18. Interestingly, a lot of his scoring comes at even-strength – even in his 32 point college season, only eight points came on the man advantage. He blocks a decent amount of shots, but not a ton for a guy who clearly plays in all situations He’s been near the team lead in plus/minus the last few seasons, too. It’s not a lot of information, but it fits into the picture sketched by the scouting reports.
Moffie for Bigos
There have been suggestions published that the Oilers did not intend to sign Kyle Bigos, which would have made him an unrestricted free agent (likely on August 15), so from a certain perspective adding something for nothing is always good. Likely, Moffie was in a similar position in San Jose.
It seems like a pretty decent trade. Bigos brought size and edge (listed at 6’5”, 235 pounds) on defence but had limited upside in other areas; Moffie isn’t small (6’1”, 200 pounds) but has a more varied skillset. They’re both depth prospects.
Recently around the Nation Network
The Canucks also made a minor move this morning, signing centre Mike Santorelli:
For a fourth-line depth signing, niche skills and versatility are two very important qualities to look for. If this signing is a low-cost one (he made $1.6M each of the past two years on a one-way contract, but I would guess he’s taking a pay cut), it would be difficult not to break even. A guy who can do a few things really well and bounce around the line-up is great to have in the bottom six.
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