BRANDON DAVIDSON

davidson ferguson

One of my favorite things as a fan is to see a long shot arrive in the NHL. Brandon Davidson was a long shots long shot and yet he did in fact play in his first NHL game this year. His story is an inspiration on several levels. 

ORIGINAL SCOUTING REPORTS…..

Davidson’s post-draft scouting reports weren’t sexy:

  • Mike Remmerde: Brandon Davidson / D: I usually like late bloomers who come
    out of nowhere, but this guy’s skating bothers me too much. Has big
    trouble with pivots. But he’s got really good hockey sense and is a very
    good puck mover. Probably goes way higher than I like, but if somehow
    he lasted until the 5th round, I might be interested.

He lasted until the sixth round and the Edmonton Oilers chose Davidson in 2010. Stu MacGregor after the draft: “We were looking for a puck mover,
and Davidson certain is that. We were surprised he was there, he’s a
talented kid. He did have an injury problem with a knee just after
Christmas; we feel he has a legitimate chance to be a solid guy for us
in our organization.”

TURNING PRO, OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Sixth-round picks aren’t guaranteed NHL contracts, but Davidson earned one through his development in junior. He joined an Oilers organization that was adding blueliners at a rapid rate: In 2010, Edmonton drafted Martin Marincin, Jeremie Blain and Davidson; in 2011 it was Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Dillon Simpson and Martin Gernat. Added to the addition of college free agent Justin Schultz and it’s one big mountain to climb for a player like Davidson.

Davidson turned pro in the fall of 2012 and by November his entire world turned upside down.

davidson cancer

  • Davidson: “It was an emotional thing. It was hard to get back
    mentally and physically. The chemotherapy drained me physically. But to come back and even have the opportunity to play last year was
    great, because I thought I was done for the year. It was great to come
    back at the end of the year and prove that I belong. It was a good end
    to the season for me personally, just being able to play so well.”
    Source

For fans like me, who know the story of Davidson missing an entire year of development as a kid, the young man passed from “player we’re interested in as a fanbase” to “this guy is absolutely a favorite” after he handled such a major life issue so well (and recovered so quickly). The development year story is available via Bruce McCurdy. Source

SKILL SET

Davidson is 6.01 202 and can battle physically. He’s not a brilliant offensive defender but can make an effective pass and play at speed. He does have those calm feet coaching staffs are looking for and displayed all of the in his first NHL look-see in December.

He played four games before being sent down, was effective with all partners but Justin Schultz (Davidson had a 56.2 Corsi For 5×5 % without Schultz, 36.4% with him). I would be shocked if this is Davidson’s last chance in the NHL and would suggest he’s on the upswing in the organization. 

davidson1

COULD HE HAVE AN NHL CAREER?

Davidson has enough tools to be an everyday NHL defender. His first NHL taste was successful and his AHL coach just got the big league job—that’s a positive thing for all the players in OKC. Edmonton doesn’t have many defenders with complete skill sets so there will be a need for a consistent player who can penalty kill and be an effective 5×5 player.

The competition is insane, as the Oilers spent many of their 2010-11 draft picks on defensemen. Davidson made it to the NHL after Marincin and Klefbom and ahead of Simpson and the others. He is only the fourth player from Round 6 in 2010 to make the NHL, following Dalton Prout, Jesper Fast and Mark Stone.

Brandon Davidson is by far the most interesting story in that group and one of the best Oilers stories this season. His NHL dream arrived in spite of some very serious obstacles and that’s a wonderful story in a trying season. 

  • Davidson played reasonable. Hopefully we see him full time in a year.

    His Jultz numbers are not surprising. Only one defender who will remain nameless has had reasonable numbers, and probably because has a good stick and excels and zone entry denial.

  • SSB1963

    You did it LT. You found a legiimately positive story in a sea of negativity. Davidson will hopefully not get dumped into an Oiler trade add-on and become someone else’s stalwart stay at home D-man.

    Frankly stories like his are too often overlooked.

  • SSB1963

    Brandon who?

    Dallas 7 Edmonton 1 tonight.
    Easy prediction in front of a full house Rexall. Taylor Hall’s turnover will be Tyler Seguin’s 3rd goal of the night. Should be great to watch MacNelson’s faces tonight!!!!!

    BTW Taylor Halls production prorated to 52 pts, hardly the stats of a “super star”… Boy does he suck.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      Pretty sure Hall is hurt, his skating isn’t right..Anyway tonite will depend on goaltending and our record in the first home game after a road trip sucks, 4 goals on 20 shots seems to be the rate, every mistake we make is in the net so that has to get better. I will be there anyway with a lot of beer.

      • Burnward

        ” I will be there anyway with a lot of beer.”

        Sounds like you have a) extremely low expectations b) are a Dallas fan or c) you have way too much disposable income.

        At least you can follow -live- the slow death of that mediocre NHL franchise. Draistl a healthy scratch tonight? LOL!!!! What a joke MacNelson are. Way to ruin the kid. KHL sounds good now, yes?

  • SSB1963

    Brandon who?

    Dallas 7 Edmonton 1 tonight.
    Easy prediction in front of a full house Rexall. Taylor Hall’s turnover will be Tyler Seguin’s 3rd goal of the night. Should be great to watch MacNelson’s faces tonight!!!!!

    BTW Taylor Halls production prorated to 52 pts, hardly the stats of a “super star”… Boy does he suck.

  • SSB1963

    I watched Lander’s media avail yesterday and he showed me something I hadn’t noticed before. He had a look of determination in his eyes. He even dared to backtalk one media guy who questioned him as to his lack of scoring at the HHL level. He looked at the guy like a cobra eyeing a rat.

    I will be interested to see if he is for real and can sustain some sort of consistency. That could tell us more about Lander as a developing player and Nelson’s ability as a coach.

    These players are hopefully going to out-perform the slugs Eakins dragged along behind him.

    • Salty

      I just watched that interview; too early to say “Lander for captain”?

      Hopefully some of that rubs off on some of the *cough* leaders on the team who don’t appear to be doing much leading.

  • billythebullet

    If Brandon can make it at least as far as a depth player 6-7th d man then I would have to say he’s done very well as a 6th round pick. The oilers desperately need some of their late round picks to start pushing for roster spots. Definitely a good story of a young mans hard work paying off.

  • Sammy p

    All of the recent hard work and extra effort will come to fruition next Sat. Nite in Calgary when our group of underachievers unmask the Flames in the battle of the basement.
    There’s absolutely no doubt that the hated rivals from the south will bring out the very best in our hometown heroes.
    The day of Jubilee is only a few days hence and once again the sun will shine upon the best team ( in Alberta)

  • Salty

    Lowetide your aptitude correctly matches your yearly earnings which I would say are around 35,000 a year. Nice column, this pylon wouldn’t have gotten one game if he hadn’t stumbled into the worst franchise in recent memory. He is going to pan out to be as much of a player as you are a journalist, moron.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    I don’t know why I even bother to scroll through the comments section anymore… I hope Wanye comes up with some sort of moderation procedure/restrictions on trolls and idiot posters. A lot of you guys are garbage.

  • Bishai in the Benches

    Commenting is one thing. Trolling another. I have followed this site for years but am getting tired of the recent escalation in vitriol.

    We need some controls on this site so that people can actually talk Oilers hockey.