OUR ANNUAL CHAT ABOUT INJURIES AND PROSPECTS

I usually write this once a year but people email many times over a 12-month period mad as hell about the scouts and forgetting the injuries. When I do bring this subject to the fore, the reaction is often ‘apologist’ or ‘you love Stu’ or ‘get over your Pouliot fixation!’ and that’s all fair.

Fair as well to discuss prospects and the impact injuries have on them in the days before and after they are drafted. The list is long and unforgiving for all involved.

SINCE THE TURN

  • 2001: Doug Lynch: A wrist injury
    that was not properly addressed and then a knee injury after being dealt
    to the Blues organization derailed a promising NHL career. That wrist
    injury came on the heels of a very impressive AHL season, and washed
    away his future.
  • 2001: Dan Baum: Was a long shot prospect who had an agitator style and fell victim to concussions. Injuries ended career.
  • 2002: Jesse Niinimaki: Niinimaki
    showed a lot of promise until a (Guy Flaming described it as a
    “devastating injury”) severe shoulder injury 10 games into the 2003-04
    season ended his year. Major impact on his career. 
  • 2002: JF Dufort: Suffered a career ending concussion late in 2002-03. 
  • 2003: Marc Pouliot: He was
    actually injured before the draft–at the Top Prospects game in 2003 when
    Dion Phaneuf leveled him with a vicious (and clean) check. In the
    summer of 2003 he got hurt at the Canadian WJC camp in Calgary (hip) and
    that had a major impact on his 18-year old season. It also hurt his
    performance at the Oilers rookie camp just two months after being
    drafted. In November 2003 he suffered an abdominal injury and missed the
    Q/Russia prospects game and he played on 42 QMJHL games that season,
    finally having surgery in Montreal in summer 2004 to repair the
    abdominal tissues. He played 3 weeks with a broken wrist during the
    2003-04 season. Mono just before the Stanley run. All added, major
    impact on his career.
  • 2003: JF Jacques: Although fairly
    healthy during his junior career and early pro seasons, JFJ lost an
    enormous amount of time and some of his skill set due to (back)
    injuries. Injuries had a major impact on his career.
  • 2003: Mikhail Zoukov: Suffered a “serious injury” that wiped out his 04-05 season. Unkown impact on career.
  • 2004: Rob Schremp: Suffered a serious knee injury at the end of his second AHL season and required surgery. Unknown impact on career.
  • 2005: Taylor Chorney: Sprained
    knee spring 2008 right at the end of his college career. He also
    suffered a knee injury in 10-11 while with the Oilers, Unknown impact on career.
  • 2006: Theo Peckham: Suffered a shoulder injury late in the 09-10 season; suffered concussion one year later.
  • 2007: Alex Plante: Suffered back and concussion problems in the year after he was drafted. More concussion issues as time rolled along. Definite impact on career.
  • 2008: Jordan Eberle: Sprained left ankle during rookie NHL season, 2010-11. Knee injury, 2011-12. Knee injury 2013-14. All minor, unlikely impact on career. 
  • 2010: Taylor Hall: Ankle injury during rookie NHL season, 2010-11.Shoulder and concussion issues, 2011-12. Hamstring, 2012-13. Knee injury, 2013-14. Sprained MCL and then a leg injury, 2014-15. Cumulative impact is a concern.
  • 2010: Tyler Pitlick: Has suffered various injuries over the years, including knee and spleen. I think one could argue that is has impacted his development.
  • 2010: Curtis Hamilton: Several issues derailed much of his entry-level contract, including knee and shoulder issues. As with Pitlick, impact on development likely.
  • 2010: Tyler Bunz. Various injuries over his career, including one that could have had tragic results.
  • 2010: Drew Czerwonka. Injuries suffered in unior hockey forced him to pass on a pro career.
  • 2011: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Shoulder issues great and small over his seasons. Possible impact on development.

klefbom draft capture

DAMMIT OSCAR!

  • Sept 2/11: Swedish Oil: Klefbom was unlucky enough to get cut on his thigh by an ice skate, the wound was sewn with ten stitches, and when the stitches were removed there was an infection. Now Klefbom is on penicillin which also prohibits him from playing. 
  • Nov 14/11: Sami Hoffrén: Klefbom was hit to the head by a Russian forward and he had to leave the game. Didn’t play in the tournament after that hit. I assume Klefbom suffered a concussion.
  • Oct 9/12: Oscar Klefbom: “It
    happened on Oct. 9 playing against Vaxjo,” Klefbom said. “I dumped the
    puck in the offensive zone and I got a small hit from behind and I lost
    my balance and I flew into the boards. I had to catch myself with my
    left arm. Afterwards, I couldn’t feel my arm, it was like a dead arm. I
    didn’t know what happened.”
  • Sept 12/13: Oilers announce they are following concussion protocol after Klefbom is injured in the U of A game.

gernat ferguson2

  • 2011: Martin Gernat injured shoulder fall 2012. Injured late March 2015 and lost the rest of the season.

  • 2012: Nail Yakupov infected leg scare. Ankle injury, 2013-14.
  • 2013: Darnell Nurse: Knee injury, 2014-15 
  • 2013: Marco Roy: Concussion and other injuries impacted development, Oilers did not sign him.

nuge gets knocked down

    WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

    I get more reaction from this post annually than any other (that’s why I moved it to ON for this season). You don’t want to hear from crazy Uncle Lowetide and his apologist ramblings about Pouliot, Stu and the promising Lynch. I understand. It’s far easier to say a guy didn’t develop and our own memories can’t possibly hold all the bruises and tweaks over a career.

    Injuries impact the draft. The best thing we can hear on the Sunday night from Sunrise is that all Oilers picks are coming off healthy seasons and are working toward the fall.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        So are you saying the Oilers shouldn’t draft McJesus because he broke his hand in a fight??

        Seriously though injuries happen all the time. I’d still take Hall over Segin as an example.

      • a lg dubl dubl

        I really hope the Oilers start drafting logically. Way too many misses in the last decade. Quit trying to outsmart everyone and keep the gambles to the last two rounds please!

        Do you think an up-and-coming goalie, a top-4 D and a solid utility forward get us to 8-10 in the West?

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          ^i agree 1000% ! i have the same feeling with Stu MacGregor. as far as i am concerned, keep your ego out of the draft and save the longshot picks for the 5th round on !

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        Good article. I think you will see more injuries as. The players are getting so big. It seems that the small junior rinks have not changed. The glass is not as forgiving,stanchions Etc are not quite what they should be but finances are tight with the community owned teams. Injuries will not be as bad in the bigger,newer rinks. Just a thought. Thanks Where I live a full house is 3300.

      • BlueHairedApe

        I agree with Cherry and think the equipment has a lot to do with it these days. It is said that Gordie Howe never even wore shoulder pads. Back then the boards were like a concrete wall. Anyone can take someone’s head off if they’re wearing football sized shoulder pads. Same goes for taking out the knees. If anything the larger padding has made players more aggressive when they hit and a lot more careless. Kind of like driving a car with a roll cage and a 5 point harness. I’m not too much of a follower but it would be interesting to make a comparison in injuries between hockey and one of the roughest sports in the world which is rugby. Those guys wear no padding at all other than the beanie looking things to keep their ears from getting ripped off. I know quite a few people who have played over the years and don’t recall ever seeing too many severe type injuries associated with it. Plenty of black eyes and stitches is about all.

      • HardBoiledOil 1.0

        Maybe its time the oilers replace their entire medical as well as strength and conditioning staff to both decrease the likelihood of injuries as well as ensure players are properly healed so there is no long-term effect of the injury.

      • radicator

        Sorry, LT, I’m missing the point of this article. Guys get injured, big deal. What’s to be done about it?
        Are you saying we shouldn’t condemn the Oilers for bad drafting because of injuries?

        • El Pindo

          I think all he’s getting at is there may have been SOME (not many) “bad” picks that went bad due to injury, not poor scouting, and we have a tendency to overlook that, which is a fair point, BUT WE’VE HAD THREE PROSPECTS DEVELOP OUTSIDE THE FIRST ROUND IN THE LAST 3 000 000 YEARS SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM US LT??!!!

      • ubermiguel

        Nice summary. Two thoughts:

        (1) Is this any different than any other team’s pool of prospects? A comparrison with another team would be nice. Maybe another team has a “Lowetide” that writes a similar post and you two could get together to compare notes.

        (2) Most of the injuries there look like bad luck, except Pouliot. Knowing he was injured, knowing that would slow his development, was that the right pick to make?

      • paul wodehouse

        …and I’m not actually surprised that Hall has played 50+ less games than Sequin and only scored 20-ish less points than Sequin…still y’gotta think how much more Hall would be worth to his team if he could stay healthy…salaries are the same but output is different because of injuries so as LT says “cumulative impact a concern”…Hall HAS accumulated a lotta dings all over his frame…limbs knees shoulder AND melon and we all know how this vicious game can end careers

        hmmmm

        …Is that trade bait I smell?

      • Tirtle

        First things first if you get injured as an athlete and your scared your not going to be as productive or your career drops off, then it will. Where as if you are confident in your abilities to continually be an impact player then that’s what you’ll do. It’s all mind set. More mental then physical. if you have the ability to make a full recovery and return to 100% physical shape nothing should be holding you back.
        Man up.