LAYING PIPE!

There’s a wayward impression building in our part of the world and sometimes I wonder how good our collective memories are these days. The thought process goes like this: “Boy do the Oilers draft a lot of Oil Kings!” and the answer (total Oil Kings drafted by Edmonton’s NHL team) will shock and amaze.

moroz capture

THE ANSWER: TWO!

  • C Travis Ewanyk, No. 74 overall in 2011
  • L Mitchell Moroz, No. 32 overall in 2012.

That’s it, that’s all. Despite the large number of players connected to both franchises, only two have been drafted by the Oilers. It’s worth noting that Ewanyk was sent away in the Eric Gryba trade at the draft this year.

gernat ferguson

CONNECTIONS

The Oil Kings and Oilers are connected by a large number of players who have turned pro since 2008 spring (the modern incarnation of Edmonton’s junior team began fall 2007).

  • Cameron Abney was drafted by the Oilers in 2009 from the Everett Silvertips. The junior club traded for him just after Christmas 2009 in a search for toughness. Source
  • Kristians Pelss was drafted by the Oilers in 2010 from Dynamo in the Belarus Juniors. The young Latvian was outstanding in an Oil Kings uniform after the junior team drafted him in the import draft. Source
  • David Musil was drafted by the Oilers in 2011, and the junior team traded for him in the fall of 2012. In both cases, the Vancouver Giants were the team in question. Source
  • Martin Gernat was drafted from Kosice of the Slovakian Juniors in 2011. Less than a week later, the Oil Kings selected him in the import draft. Source
  • Laurent Brossoit was an Oil King drafted by the Calgary Flames. Edmonton’s NHL team acquired him from the Flames for Ladislav Smid. Source
  • Grifftin Reinhart starred for the Oil Kings and was a very high draft pick for the NY Islanders. The trade on draft night by Edmonton for Reinhart is the latest inspiration for the “Oilers love too many Oil Kings” meme.

FUTURE CONNECTIONS

  • Davis Koch will enter his draft season this fall and scored 52GP, 11-14-25 for the Oil Kings as a 16-year old in 2014-15. Entering last season, head coach Steve Hamilton spoke about Koch: “He is certainly a very gifted player, he’s got a lot of ability. I think he’s finding the transition to junior hockey is
    competitive. It’s competitive for opportunity, its competitive for ice
    time.” Source
  • Andrew Koep passed through the draft in 2015 but I think he may have a shot in pro hockey. Cody Nickolet of the brilliant blog WHL From Above:
    Andrew Koep is a pint-sized scoring forward for the Edmonton Oil Kings…doesn’t
    have the purest looking skating stride…he gets nice and low but his stride is a
    bit choppy and clunky at times…despite the visuals, he does have good speed and
    shiftiness…that speed and shiftiness works well with the rest of his game as he
    does everything (and can execute) at top speed…plays an aggressive style of
    game in the offensive zone…buzzes around with live legs and creates plays…plays
    with his head up, reads the play at a high level in the offensive zone and
    executes even in tight coverage…handles the puck well…is a smart playmaker
    but also has good goal-scoring tendencies.
  • Source

  • Lane Bauer has passed  through the draft twice and it’s a good bet skating was the issue both times. He was an invite to the Oilers recent orientation camp and has some legit skills, as Nickolet suggests: he’s strong on his
    stick, is a solid stickhandler and has the ability to go east-west against
    traffic…is a very smooth receiver of the puck and is dangerous once he gets
    it…understands spacing and can turn a pass reception into a carry, another
    quick dish or a shot, if he’s in a good spot…shot power is surprisingly good,
    highlighted by a strong release…has a neat little half-clap slapper that
    generates plenty of power despite a small windup…puck protection and balance
    are only ok but would improve with improved skating and overall mobility and
    footwork…hockey sense is quite strong as he’s also a very capable defensive
    player…he really grinds and works away from the puck…positioning and reads are
    definitely above average for a player of his age at this level…isn’t the most
    physical player but makes up for it with good body and stick positioning…has a
    very mature approach to his play away from the puck
    Source

SUMMARY

The next time someone says ‘those Oilers are using all of their draft picks on Oil Kings!” remind them the answer is two. As for the rest, we’ll just have to see about them. In the Oilers prospect chain, Brossoit and Reinhart rank high and there are five Oil Kings in their entry level deal with the NHL club (Brossoit, Reinhart, Moroz, Musil and Gernat). I expect we’ll see more Oil Kings down the line, but the answer to the question ‘which mordern Oil Kings player was the first to play for the Edmonton Oilers?’ has already been answered. Who is next?

  • Craig1981

    Great info.

    It makes sense the Oilers would use their CHL club to develop the players they have already drafted.

    It also makes sense the CHL club would use the NHL clubs info and recruiting info to help them build a top team. The 2 WHL championships in the last 4 year means they might be right

  • heyjakel

    LT: on your blog, you’ve done series looking at the different junior leagues/Europe/etc and comparing how many players the Oilers draft compared to the league on the whole.

    According to the Oil Kings’ site, 16 Oil Kings have been drafted to the NHL:
    http://www.oilkings.ca/page/oil-kings-nhl-draft-picks

    2 in 16 is above average, albeit a ridiculously small pool to be drawing conclusions from. (Phoenix/Arizona has taken 3.)

    However (and as you mention), the Oilers have also traded for two ex-Oil Kings (Brossoit and Reinhart) who are yet to be established as NHL players.

    The original thought you pose (and attempt to debunk) is “Boy do the Oilers draft a lot of Oil Kings!” They may not always draft them, but in the last five years, a quarter of all drafted Oil Kings have made it to the Oilers. That seems like a trend, no?

  • fran huckzky

    If a prospect has the potential to be an NHLer we shouldn’t care who he is related to or what team he comes from. There are some on ON who are unreasonably critical of any players who have any ties or connections to previous Oilers. I don’t get the hate and think its really dumb.

  • Lowetide

    hey jake: For sure, the Oilers have acquired the rights to players and then placed them with the Oil Kings. Gernat, Pelss were good ideas imo and I can’t really argue with Brossoit and Reinhart’s acquisition (although cost for both may be an issue for some).

    Generally speaking, I think it’s a good idea to go with what you know. We have some ways to go with kids like Brossoit and Reinhart so we’ll have a better idea in a couple of years.

    • Jaxon

      Is ‘Laying Pipe’ a David Wilcox reference? Saw him in Regina in 1989 or 90. He put on a great show. Saw him again in Prince George a few years later. Always entertaining. Haven’t heard anything from him in a few years though. I hope he still has his health.

    • fran huckzky

      Chia loves Phaneuf. Phaneuf has grown up a lot and is a good captain and a great teammate! Chia also loves BIG BUFF!!! Don’t forget SEABROOKE or SETH JONES! By tomorrow night one if these four will be an OILER I believe. Also, my psychic vision tells me that any deal will include more moving parts – multi-player and swap of draft picks. 24 hours – I told you so! Don’t criticize unless you are willing to look like a fool! Finally, two buyouts coming tomorrow, one D and one F. Chia just getting momentum with this mess! Go Chia!!!

  • fran huckzky

    I wonder what Chiarelli’s point was in taking Schultz to arbitration to open a second potential buy-out window, which now appears to be the case. Ideas?

    • One blog had 48 hours , while another had 72 hours due to waivers . If there is no buy outs then perhaps they are expecting expansion ? Extra goalie (newest addition) , extra defence (Nikitin/Ference) and of course Purcell might fill that perspective . I am miffed why the latter 3 were not a priority to rid our team of those contracts and players that do not look like they are going to be part of our future ?

  • Is there a rule against, the Oiler’s owning a WHL, QMHL and an OHL team.
    It would give us a unique opportunity to trade for and develop our draft picks a little sooner.

    Also the CHL teams might have a better view to drafting 18 year olds that could help our current scouting process???

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    the only reason drafting ex-Oil Kings was ever an issue was the way too early picks of face puncher Moroz and slug Ewanyk. if the Oil had actually drafted Reinhart, Lazar or Samuelsson….you know, guys that actually helped the Oil Kings win a Memorial Cup championship, there’d be a lot less squawking about it. i seem to recall the loud complaining Oiler fans did when the Oilers had a chance to draft Edgars Kulda in the 7th round of the 2014 draft and they passed on him to take the awful goalie that is Kevin Bouchard.

  • Given the Oil Kings were recently a powerhouse, with some fairly strong contributing prospects, including Brossoit, Reinhart, Samuelsson, Lazar, etc…it’s not a stretch to pull from that well…plus, Bob Green was excellent at building that team, and is now with the Oil…

    Time will tell…

  • You’re splitting hairs. Maybe the Oilers didn’t draft that many Oil Kings but how many have they brought in by other means BEFORE they were established as NHL players? Or, how many of the former Oil Kings that are now in the Oiler’s organization came to the team with a season or more of NHL experience?

  • lucky

    “which mordern Oil Kings player was the first to play for the Edmonton Oilers” … and what a debut! One of the best performances by an Oilers player since Gagner’s 8 pointer (Halls 1st period hattie vs Vancouver is also a personal favourite).

    • elgruntus

      Torrie Jung sat on the bench as an emergency backup during the 2009/2010 season. Didn’t see any action, but was dressed. LB’s debut was “a bit” more impressive.