TOP 100 OILERS: RADEK DVORAK (85)

Of course the Edmonton Oilers blew their brains out at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft when they took Steve Kelly instead of Shane Doan or Jarome Iginla with the sixth overall pick. Kelly played only 149 games in the NHL, just 27 of those with the Oilers, while Doan and Iginla are still playing today.

There was another pretty good option available at Northlands Coliseum that day, and his name was Radek Dvorak, a Czech forward who ended up going 10th overall, one pick ahead of Iginla, to the Florida Panthers. While Dvorak wasn’t in the class of Doan or Iginla, he’d play 1,260 NHL games, including 154 with the Oilers 2002-03 to 2005-06. Better late than never.

Radek Dvorak #18

Right Wing

NUMBER: 18 BIRTHDATE: March 9, 1977
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″ BIRTHPLACE:  Tabor, Czech Republic
WEIGHT: 195 DRAFTED: FLA / 1995 NHL Entry Draft
SHOOTS: Right ROUND: 1st   (10th overall)

BY THE NUMBERS

CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM  PPG  SHG  GWG  S S%
1995-96 PANTHERS 77 13 14 27 5 20 0 0 4 126 10.3
1996-97 PANTHERS 78 18 21 39 -2 30 2 0 1 139 13.0
1997-98 PANTHERS 64 12 24 36 -1 33 2 3 0 112 10.7
1998-99 PANTHERS 82 19 24 43 7 29 0 4 0 182 10.4
1998-99 CZECH REPUBLIC-WC-A 12 4 4 8 6
1999-00 PANTHERS 35 7 10 17 5 6 0 0 1 67 10.4
1999-00 RANGERS 46 11 22 33 0 10 2 1 0 90 12.2
2000-01 RANGERS 82 31 36 67 9 20 5 2 3 230 13.5
2000-01 CZECH REPUBLIC-WC-A 9 4 4 8 8
2001-02 RANGERS 65 17 20 37 -20 14 3 3 1 210 8.1
2001-02 CZECH REPUBLIC-OLYMPICS 4 0 0 0 0
2002-03 RANGERS 63 6 21 27 -3 16 2 0 0 134 4.5
2002-03 OILERS 12 4 4 8 -3 14 1 0 0 32 12.5
2003-04 OILERS 78 15 35 50 18 26 6 0 0 188 8.0
2003-04 CZECH REPUBLIC-WC-A 7 0 7 7 16
2004-05 CZECH REPUBLIC-W-CUP 4 1 0 1 0 0
2004-05 HC CESKE BUDEJOVICE-CZREP-2 32 23 35 58 18
2004-05 CZECH REPUBLIC-WC-A 9 1 1 2 4
2005-06 OILERS 64 8 20 28 -2 26 2 0 2 131 6.1
2006-07 BLUES 82 10 27 37 -6 48 1 1 1 139 7.2
2007-08 PANTHERS 67 8 9 17 -1 16 0 1 1 146 5.5
2008-09 PANTHERS 81 15 21 36 0 42 0 4 3 136 11.0
2009-10 PANTHERS 76 14 18 32 -7 20 1 3 1 140 10.0
2010-11 PANTHERS 53 7 14 21 2 20 0 1 3 89 7.9
2010-11 THRASHERS 13 0 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 20 0.0
2011-12 STARS 73 4 17 21 -16 12 0 1 0 83 4.8
2012-13 DUCKS 9 4 0 4 2 2 0 0 1 17 23.5
2012-13 HC DAVOS-SWISS 7 3 4 7 2
2013-14 HURRICANES 60 4 5 9 3 41 0 0 2 52 7.7
NHL TOTALS 1,260  227  363  590  -10  449 27 24 24 2,463  9.2

CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP  A P +/- PIM  PPG  SHG  GWG  S S%
1994-95 HC CESKE BUDEJOVICE-CZREP 9 5 1 6
1995-96 PANTHERS 16 1 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 36 2.8
1996-97 PANTHERS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
2002-03 OILERS 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 10.0
2004-05 HC CESKE BUDEJOVICE-CZREP-2 16 5 13  18  20
2005-06 OILERS 16 0 2 2 -1 4 0 0 0 32 0.0
2012-13 HC DAVOS-SWISS 7 1 1 2 2
NHL TOTALS 39 2 5 7 1 4 0 0 1 79  2.5

NOTABLE

Edmonton’s decision to take Kelly, a speedster from the Prince Albert Raiders, while the crowd was chanted for Doan, a hard-nosed forward with the Kamloops Blazers, or Iginla, also a member of the Blazers, rubs Oiler fans raw to this day. Dvorak would have been a decent consolation prize.

“This kid could well be one of the big, strong, powerful guys who could turn out to be one of the top two or three players available in the draft,” Bob McKenzie said when the Panthers picked Dvorak. You can see McKenzie’s draft day assessment of Dvorak here.

McKenzie was partially right. While Dvorak never turned into the power forward some thought he might – he was built like a coat rack and played with more finesse than muscle — or put up huge numbers, Iginla and Doan are the only players from the Class of 1995 who played more NHL games.

THE STORY

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Dvorak was 25 by the time the Oilers acquired him and Cory Cross from the New York Rangers for Anson Carter and Ales Pisa in March of 2003. A silky smooth skater, Dvorak wasn’t far removed from the best offensive season of his career, 31-36-67 with the Rangers in 2000-01.

While Dvorak wouldn’t replicate those numbers again, his best season with the Oilers was 2003-04 when he finished second to Ryan Smyth in team scoring with 15-35-50, he was a solid penalty killer and top-six forward who had some success on a line with Raffi Torres and Mike York.

At the end of his run in Edmonton, 2005-06 when the Oilers went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup against Carolina, Dvorak was limited to 64 games by injury and had been relegated to a secondary role. All told, Dvorak would tally 27-59-86 during his 154-game tenure here.

This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

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