WELL DONE, MITCHELL MOROZ

moroz capture

In that instant indicated in this photo, Mitchell Moroz’ life got complicated. I remember it well, watching NHL network and Peter Loubardias saying kind things about him as the Family Feud ‘clang’ indicated the selection. Mitchell Moroz the Oil King became Mitchell Moroz the Oiler draft pick, releasing tens of thousands (well, tens) of draft experts to wail about the wasted selection.

THE TRUTH

Facts are the first thing overboard in Oilers Nation. We’re all guilty, although some of us will blame shoddy memories as opposed to framing the issue. Having said that, let’s look at the draft bible (the Bob McKenzie final list) to see where Moroz was ranked:

moroz mckenzie

McKenzie had him No. 56 overall, so late second round. Edmonton selected him No. 32, a reach of 24 slots, or about one round. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest it was a reach pick, and I said so at the time.

  • I think Oiler fans would have felt a lot better about this draft if the club had drafted (say) Matt Finn at 32. It’s also true that Moroz is a “trending” prospect. Kirk Luedeke from Redline report tweeted me this evening with the following: Luedeke: if his emerging skill set legit, with his toughness, Oil would have missed boat. We had Sutter higher, yes. But we also should have had Moroz higher, too. Not a bad pick- folks questioned Lucic at 50 in 06.

“Sutter” was Lukas Sutter, who was taken by Winnipeg and has endured a difficult development track. On the day of the draft, the Oilers stated their case to Jason Gregor.

  • Stu MacGregor “You always have to step up if there was a player you like. We liked him, we followed him and his developmental curve is on the way up. He provides some toughness, but not just toughness, he’s a good hockey player. He takes the puck to the net real hard and he shows a little bit of touch around the net. He’s only played one year of junior and I think he’s got an opportunity, with continuous development and drive, to be a good player for us.”

THE REST OF THE STORY


It doesn’t matter where they take you, it’s what you do about it.

Mitchell Moroz worked hard for two years on a shutdown line (with fellow Oiler pick Travis Ewanyk) and then this season on a more offensive line. It’s been miles of hard work, and all of it under the microscope in Edmonton. If you follow twitter, you know it can be vicious and unfair, and for a young athlete like Moroz, the thought of playing in Swift Current or Kelowna or Brandon must have seemed like heaven at times.

Well. Sunday he was a big part of the Memorial Cup win, playing, for my money, the best period of his hockey life in the second. He scored the game winner, made a nice play on the insurance goal, and was tremendous all over the ice.

Stu MacGregor talked about the opportunity, but Moroz took advantage. And on Sunday, he shone like a diamond.

gregor moroz

millard moroz

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

kunis gif

The jobs Mitchell Moroz will be applying for at the NHL level are tough to get. There aren’t many and every season brings a new contender. The Edmonton Oilers made a bet on him, and he worked his bag off to deliver under a microscope.

The report card came Sunday, and it’s A’s across the board. Damned if he didn’t get it done. A contract, 35 goals and a prime role in a WHL championship and a Memorial Cup.

The critics have turned into fans, at least for this season. What’s that old line about what doesn’t kill you making you stronger

Wow. Well done, Mitchell Moroz. Well done.


  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Mitch Moroz may also be the first litmus test of the Oilers investment in owning their own player development system (I.e. The Oil Kings and the Barons).

    Not sure how much if any input Oilers management has as to how the Oil Kings are run and how players are developed there, but I hope they do. They certainly do in OKC and I was so pleased to hear MacT commit to utilizing OKC more effectively to develop up and coming core talent. It all bodes very well for Mitch and others.

    As Ricki the Bear points out, he’s got about a one in five shot at being a regular in the NHL…so it’s still a bit of a long shot…..but I’m eager to see how his game translates to the pro level in OKC.

      • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

        Agreed. Broissoit and Moroz.

        By the way…Broisoitt was a late round draft pick but I think I would take him today over Tristan Jarry…..what’s your take? If you could only pick one today who would you take?

        Might as well open it up to the group……………..TRASH if you’d take BROISOITT ……………….. PROP if you’d take JARRY

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    I’ll admit that I was on that wagon of critics on draft day. Today, I’m glad the Oilers picked up Moroz. He’ll get a good hard look at the pro-level. Watching him play well at the Mem Cup and playing inspired for KP just made the victory that much sweeter for me as a fan.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    I was disappoint when Phoenix picked Samuelsson and I expect the Oiler’s were as well.

    I was surprised with the Moroz pick but I believe he would not have been available for the Oiler’s next pick and they we’re looking for a physical player.

    Now I’m good with the Pick. He’s got some way to go yet but look like there’s a chance he’ll turn into the type of player the Oiler’s can use.

  • I was honestly quite happy when the Oilers took Moroz (and I felt quite alone.. Up until maybe this post I still did) . I have been watching the Oil Kings closely for a few years and it’s hard not to love the guy. He brings a mixed bag. The way I saw it, at worst we are getting a skilled fighter who is not a detriment to the team. At best…. Hmm.. Not Lucic.. I don’t see Brown either.. I definitely see at least vintage Moreau (that year where he got streak scoring and did everything in his power to bring the team into the playoffs.. 04?)… Maybe like a Wendel Clark. That seems like a good comparison.

    Edit: I mean Clark is probably the ceiling. As non Leafs fans, most hated him (there’s good reason why) .. But that’s a good ceiling to me.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Yikes! I know it was a different time / different game, but…..

      … in his 18 year old season Clark went 32G-55A-87P 253PM in 64 games. Moroz went 13G-21A-34P 140PM in 69 games. Moroz was a full 6 months older than Clark.

      Moroz improved greatly this year but Clark was in the NHL before his 19th birthday. Moroz is a very nice junior player / Clark was a phenom.

      I really like the kid, nobody would be happier to see Moroz be a game changer but I don’t see how he ends up anywhere near Clark’s pedigree. I know you said that is his ceiling but that ceiling is in a cathederal, Racki.

      Hope I am wrong. I think you hit the head on the nail with Moreau. If Moroz turns out to be a bigger Moreau, the Oilers have something.

  • Yammer

    I always liked the drafting of Moroz and after watching him mature the last two seasons, I am even more excited with the pick and hope that he challenges for a roster spot soon