Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts hit the hockey world early Sunday afternoon and there was plenty of information of interest to Oilers fans. Among the topics? Dean Kukan.
Friedman: Hearing Edmonton (among others) has some interest in Dean Kukan, a
Swiss defenceman. He will be 22-years-old in July and spent the past two
seasons with Lulea in the Swedish league. Source
There’s more to that Kukan iteam and plenty for you as an Oilers fan, so make sure to click through when you have a chance.
WHO IS DEAN KUKAN?
Kirk Luedeke is a frequent guest on the Lowdown and a scout for Red Line. In Kukan’s draft year, Luedeke had this to say about him:
This solid all-around player isn’t a flashy offensive guy, nor is he a
top shutdown defender. But, he’s a fluid skater who understands
positioning and can move the puck pretty well. The Bruins have no track
record of drafting a player from Switzerland, and Kukan isn’t likely to
be a guy who would buck the trend, but you never know. Source
Elite Prospects is a wonderful resource for any fan and they’re especially effective at filling in the blanks in regard to European players:
has good size and is a fairly skilled two-way defenseman. Plays a
pretty solid defensive game and has good character and work ethics.
Moves the puck well. Source
WHERE WOULD HE RANK AS AN OILER?
It’s tough to know where Kukan would land on the organizational depth chart, but a good guess would be in the AHL for 2015-16.
- D Nikita Nikitin
- D Justin Schultz (RFA)
- D Mark Fayne
- D Andrew Ference
- D Oscar Klefbom
- D Martin Marincin (RFA)
- D Keith Aulie (RFA)
- D Brad Hunt (RFA)
- D Jordan Oesterle
- D Brandon Davidson (RFA)
- D Dillon Simpson
- D Martin Gernat
- D David Musil
- D Darnell Nurse (turning pro)
- D Ben Betker (newly signed)
- D Joey Laleggia (newly signed)
There should be plenty of turnover on this list (both Oilers and AHL) and the team will be adding three (Nurse, Betker and Laleggia) no matter what happens—although the ECHL may be an option for some of the new hires.
Top 4D in Oklahoma City? It sounds to me as though Kukan would be less offensive than Hunt or Oesterle while also being more mobile than David Musil. A player with a range of skills fits the modern game better because a big part of defense now is tracking back, making a quick decision, and then passing the puck tape to tape.
If he can do that? Suspect he’ll be in the NHL at some point. The name is one to keep in mind over the next several weeks as the procurement window opens.