There was no way for Kyle Brodziak to push his way past the first round picks and find an NHL job. Sure, he’d improved a lot since his draft day, but as fall 2007 brought shorter days and cooler nights, Brodziak faced an impossible task–how can a guy taken 214th overall win an NHL job over TWO first round picks?


In 2002, veteran scout Lorne Davis argued strongly for a young man who played for the Moose Jaw Warriors. The young man had scored a measly 8 goals and 20 points in a full season, and there wasn’t much in the boxcars to recommend him. Davis got his wish a year later when the Oilers took Brodziak in his second year of eligibility (there was an item a few years ago suggesting Brodziak hadn’t opted in for 2002, but he in fact did opt in and was eligible).

Brodziak enjoyed a strong junior career in Moose Jaw, then turned pro during a time of great unrest in the Oilers organization. This was during the period when the Oilers didn’t have their own farm team, so Brodziak spent three seasons in the AHL in three different cities (Edmonton Roadrunners, Iowa Stars, Scranton-Wilkes Barre Penguins) before finally arriving in training camp 2007 fall.


Brodziak was one of several centers who were trying to make their way to the big club that fall. The incumbents were Shawn Horcoff, Jarret Stoll and Marty Reasoner; the hopefuls included first round picks Sam Gagner (just drafted and being highly touted), Andrew Cogliano (turning pro and showing well), Rob Schremp (struggling but considered a talent), Marc Pouliot (the 2003 1st rounder still trying to find his way) and oh by the way Lorne Davis’ "folly", Kyle Brodziak.

I remember the game that Brodziak emerged as a player we fans could recognize as being a cut above the also-rans (wrote about it here) because it was a Rod Phillips special–Rod, a fan, was as excited as we were at home to find an emerging talent. We all had our favorites in that race (mine was Poo), but Brodziak won the day with skill, hard work and an off-season work ethic that put him ahead of Schremp and Pouliot.

As it turned out, Gagner, Cogliano and Brodziak were NHLers in 2007-08.


Well, we’re kind of waiting. As fans, we can observe and the advent of pre-season television is a Godsend, but there’s a lot we don’t know and can’t track. I’d guess that Will Acton and Ryan Hamilton have an edge because the coach knows them, and they know his style and attention to detail.

Beyond that? It’s guesswork from here.


Some need a wake up call, some need a kick in the ass, some need another year and some need more than what God gave them and will never make it. As a fan, I’m thrilled for Tyler Pitlick, who got a little notice from the coach last night and a reward tonight by getting in another game.

Small victories, big steps.

    • The real minnow

      I know, a 2nd round draft pick, historically with an average chance of an NHL career being somewhere around 30%, not making the big club after 3 whole seasons of eligibility?

      I say string up MBS and drag his corpse down Whyte Ave.

          • DSF

            The Wild’s 3 second round picks…Brett Bulmer, Johann Larsson and Jason Zucker have played 36 NHL games.

            The Oilers 4 picks in that range have played ZERO NHL games.

            I would imagine Jason Zucker, all by himself, will make Not So Magnificent Stu look like a goof.

        • John Chambers

          That would put them at 25%, or approximately par for the course. That 2010 second round is pretty underwhelming with the exception of Justin Faulk until theres a drop off to Toffoli. Casting your eyes at the entire round, Marincin probably ranks in the top-5 at this point.

          You can’t make chicken salad out of …

          • DSF

            @ DSF

            Barring injury, Marincin will be an NHL player, and a good one. Pitlick is still a question mark, but too soon to completely give up on him.

            Your “contrarian” schtick is even more strained than usual today.

          • Craig1981

            Canucks picks from 2006, 2007, 2008

            -2007 they were the ONLY club that didn’t have a pick play a single NHL game. (impressive)

            -picks from 2006-08 have played a total of 76 games for the Canucks

            -besides Hodgsons, Vans picks from those 3 years have scored a total of ONE point.

            -you will bring up Hodgsons but you traded him for someone that has given you 14 points in the last 2 seasons.

            -that’s one for 16 for your team. The Oil have a chance to draft twice as many players as Van has drafted in THREE years but in only one round!!!! Seems ABOVE par to me!!

          • Craig1981

            The only team that has had a player picked past 12th overall in 2010 is Carolina and they have only had one.
            Your beloved Canucks have only had one player in since 2007 play more than 82 career games. (and they traded him away) But that stat is only partially correct since I admit its too early to count the last 5 drafts.

        • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

          Vancouver is hands down bottom five in the league in terms of the draft. Of course not including this past draft. To early to tell.

          Gillis is beyond awful at the draft table. Patrick White anyone?

        • The Oilers Shot Clock

          Chicago also had five picks that year at 24,35,54,48 and 60. Not one of them has played an NHL game and none of them are trending to do so any time soon. In fact, of the 180 players picked after the first round that year, only 2, Justin Faulk of Carolina, and Devante Smith-Pelly of Anaheim, have played more than 50 NHL games. So to call the Oiler draft that year a fail (they did draft Taylor Hall that year as well asTyler Bunz and Brandon Davidson in later rounds) is more than silly. I would say “Good Grief” but I won’t. I’ll just say “What a stupid post.”

  • Silver Streak

    Watching Omark last is the most fun I had in a while. He can dazzle one minute and the next shift look like a chicken with his head cut off. Where was Jonnesuu last night? Bachmann is playing for the 2a position for sure. Wow. Smooth in net. Larsen is a slight guy and that is generous. My son is 10 and has more meat on his bones than Larsen. The guy needs a Polish girlfriend who can fatten that boy up a little. Stiff wind and the guy is done.

    • The Oilers Shot Clock

      Totally agree .Joensuu should have the edge over Hamilton and my belief is if your related to the coach ( ACTON ) you had best be way better than the competition .Larsen may also have a good shot at making the team . Fun times.

  • DSF

    Pitlick has got some jam, playas. The tools are in the tool box. Does he need to take some steps? Yes, of course he does. But, there is a player here. A player who, as he’s gotten older, has let his balls drop. Some current “for sures” need to watch this kid’s effort.

    With a little coaching (Train him up good!!!) he will start posting the box cars that most judge success by.

    Bucky needs to be in his ear hollering for him to drive to the net like a bastard! He’ll get it.

    I expect a good year down on the farm with some call ups for fourth and maybe third line spot duty.

    F’ the dumb sh*t, kid. Let the “colorful characters” and their BS find their way back to the circus. You just do yo thang.

    Game on!

  • Silver Streak

    Been a watching an a hope`n Pitlick since draft-day. I`ll be looking for that worldclass shot that Jones said he has….he has played some centre before and could be our 4C later this year.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    1) Omark won’t make the team. Heaven help the oilers if he does.

    2) We have way too many defenceman on the team. Tell me, what was the point in even signing Grebeshkov, and to one-way deal?

    3) Belov should make the team. The oilers got a gem when they signed him.
    They better bit spoil it by sending him to the farm and keeping Grebeshkov.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      1) too soon to end the competition for the final F spots. MacT/Eakins want a lot of options and different types

      2) D vets with actual NHL experience and capable of upping the competition on D. We haven’t had this for years. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

      3) We haven’t even seen Belov yet. May be awesome… but you need to have lots of D to get through the season and you can’t gamble on any of these bottom roster guys making it.

  • 24% body fat

    The whole 2010 ddraft looks terrible.

    1. Hall – Superstar in making

    2. Seguin – up and down, a star player; inconsistant

    3. Gudbranson – Solid D, hasnt made the step to cover the draft bet yet but probably will

    4. Johansson – Barely making a brutal Columbus team

    5. Niederiter – Nuff said

    6. Connolly – Struggling after two years pro, not listed on Lightning roster after 70gp but drouin is listed on active roster.

    7. Skinner, good player but has regressed every year since his first and best

    8. Burmistrov – Gone to KHL, apparently was a good NHL player or not a fit for his team

    9. All Hype, Struggling to find offence in NHL (dont care about your opinion on him DSF)

    10. McIlrath – only 7 professional games played.

    The top ten hasnt been a sure thing and still needs time. To early to write off the second round.

    Also, it is now clear based on how the oilers drafted last year that Tambo was picking from a list the MBS made based on Tambos guidelines. MacT had different guidelines and MBS drafted the players according to this. Obviously Tambo want size and MacT wanted skill.

    In the end most of the time it is still the GMs decision.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Anyone watching the Oil/Nucks game on Sportsnet? These broadcasters need to be fired, ASAP. I don’t care what movies your kids have seen, or what you like on your pizza. Two of the biggest homers I’ve ever heard call a game.

    • 106 and 106

      I couldnt agree more. John Shorthouse abd John Garrett. are beyond awful. So unbelievably biased its no wonder why most have an entitled arrogance about them

      I live in BC so I have to.put up with those two morons.

      Garrett made a comment tonight how in the last 3 years Dubnyk started all his games expecting to loose. EXPECTING!! I know their record was brutal but for him to say that is just retarded. Guess he didnt compare Luongos and Dubys numbers last season.

  • Zarny


    Watching hocking on cable is the shizzel! Not a fan of these Nuck announcers, but it’s miles and miles better than that net feed.

    I’m all good with Eager and Brown on the fourth. Whiffs aside. They’re willing to go over the top. That’s needed.

    Arcobello should be sent down. IMO there’s not enough to keep him in the fight. Let Lander and Acton duel it out. Maybe keep both on the 23 man.

    Pitlick deserves another game. Nothing flashy tonight, but some good checks and he’s pushing forward. Gonna be a good investment later on. This kid is going to put it together.

    Nurse? Thank you Mac-T. Solid draft pick. Solid.

    Marincin looks not bad. Needs to take a look before he tosses the puck around. F’d it at least twice, once for a goal, but there’s something there. He’s a rook. It happens. Sh*t that is.

    Gotta give some love for Hemsky and N. Schultz. The vets played well.

    That said, I would still like to see Yak on Halls right. But, if they keep Hemsky there they should throw Perron on his left. Smyth needs to move down the batting order.

    Nice job blue. Ditto coach.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    I’m glad there’s so many legitimate competitors for the 10-11-12 spots this year. I just wish one of the half dozen guys were running away with it. I will console myself that no matter who makes it, his name will not be Lennart. That’s at least worth a few points in the standings right there.

    • Rocket

      Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor. His nickname is “magnificent bastard”.

      Wow was John Garrett awful tonight. I’d like to say he’s in pre-season form but he’s always that terrible.

      Dubnyk is not a starter? SMH

  • #ThereGoesTheOilers

    I hate watching Sportsnet Pacific too. It’s bad enough listening to that sort of biased drivel from the fans here let alone hearing it from the guys calling the game.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Oilers jump on Canucks early and often . Diminutive defenceman Brad Hunt was on fire . Wow, did he look good on this nite . Nurse(again) and Ference also stood out . Jouensuu also had another better performance and was menacing all nite . Most players played well and with passion . Smyth’s speed I don’t think is enough to be on top lines – he looks out of place with speedsters like Hall and Hemsky . Marincin did little , and may have played himself off parent club for now . Nice victory and a deserving one I might add . Consistant effort and execution throughout causes optimism for upcoming season .

    • Tikkanese

      I agree with most everything but I wouldn’t call Joensuu “menacing”. He looked good, no doubt but menacing is more of a term for an enforcer.

      I thought that Smytty looked good actually. The Smytty Hall Hemsky line was buzzing all night long.

      Nurse was great. He coughed up the puck on his first shift but covered for it instantly and nothing became of the play. The rest of the night he was great. He is light years ahead of Grebeshkov and Nick Schultz already but he would develop better with one more year in Junior. Not to mention a World Jr Tourney under his belt would be great as well. Also not to mention, not burning a year of entry level eligibility would be good for the Oilers.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    2010 is still being written, but the signs are mixed and I don’t think we need to be shy about it.

    Hall is a slam dunk. Seguin is good, but Hall was the right choice.

    The 3 Fs are underwhelming. Pitlick looks like he’s got the best shot to make something of himself. High praise from the coach after the WPG game and getting another shot is good for him. THis is their last year to sort it out.

    Marincin and Davidson both look like winners, with Marincin having a big edge.

    Bunz is on the outside looking in.

    Still time for movement here. Too early to call “Ace” “Pass” or “Fail” for me.

    As an aside we should sort out what “fail” means here: failure against the draft average, the average of that draft year, or simply failure to convert all or most of the picks?

    • Tikkanese

      I lost it when in the 2nd intermission, Gary Valk and the other host said “BRAD Ference isn’t playing for the Oilers yet but Eakins will love him as he is Eakins twin brother bla bla bla”. Ference was indeed playing, and playing very well for that matter.

      They should be fired. Shows they obviously were not even watching the game that they were hosting. Not to mention showing poor knowledge of the teams, player’s names and game in general.

  • Zarny

    Kyle Brodziak? Small victories indeed. More of an indictment of how bad the Oilers were.

    Acton, Hamilton, Pitlick…the Oilers will have to keep someone for the 4th line. Mostly it tells me MacT still has work to do.