Going to try something a little bit different today. I'm going to talk about two different prospects that are members of different organizations. Both are 22; one is a defender, the other a forward. I'm going to go over their scouting reports, production, and any other relevant information. I want you, the reader to decide if this is a player you would want in the Oilers organization.
Our first prospect is the forward. When he was drafted, Red Line Report described him as a big edgy power forward who adept at getting in your face and initiating contact at all areas of the ice. While he originally played more of a bottom 6 role with his WHL team, his coach was able to rotate him into the top 6 with ease. Being a big man his skating was not his strongest asset but it was something he had worked on and improvements were made.
In his first year of pro hockey he was utilized as a 4th line energy player. He performed well in that aspect, leading the team in penalty minutes. He had 5 goals and 9 points in 66 games played.
This past season he struggled with some injuries. He had a hand injury which caused him to miss time at the beginning of the season as well as a concussion in late January. Despite that he actually improved his scoring pace with 5 goals and 5 assists in 40 games.
This coming season this player should spend the entire year in the AHL. If he can overcome his prior injuries and improve his production he could find himself playing in the top 6 as a solid complimentary player.
His NHL status? If he is able to make the jump to the big club he would probably be used as a 4th line crash and bang player, if he could improve his production he could maybe be used as a third line player.
Our next player is a defenseman. At 6-4 he is a big man. Hockey sense is one of his biggest assets. He plays a positional game and keeps his head on a swivel on the ice. Very rarely caught out of position. On that however, despite being a bigger man he isn't an overly physical defenseman. He is more likely to take away a shooting lane and block a pass with his stick (easy to do with his long reach) than he is to level a player with a hit. Like with many larger defensemen, skating is a bit of an issue. However while he won't be blowing past the opposition, as long as he is playing positionally sound it shouldn't be an issue.
He does have some offensive skill as well and has shown at both the WHL and AHL level that he can produce. In his first AHL season he had 22 points (7G-15A) in 59 games. The goals that he is scoring aren't just your Justin Schultz wristers either. This player has some power behind his shot and has scored his share of one timers.
What makes this prospect interesting is he has had some NHL time under his belt. While the points have not yet appeared in the small sample size of NHL games he has played, his positional game appears to translate. While he has made some mistakes (as an rookie D will) for the most part he does not look panicked, and most importantly he is able to make them simple play. Get the puck, pass it out of the zone.
This is a player who definitely needs some skilled veteran defenders around him to help teach him the game. As he builds confidence hopefully he can start utilizing some of the other tools that made him such a versatile player. If he is able to do that he could easily be a strong option on a bottom pairing or as a #4.
Depth in an organization is key to success, as Oiler fans we keep hoping for our young players to "save" the team. A quick look at the top teams in the league and you will see that is not the norm. Many players aren't able to crack rosters until they are at least a few years into their professional careers. Players should not be developing in the NHL. Having said all that, would you want either of these players or both in your organization?
Congratulations! If you said yes to both you would have said yes to Mitch Moroz and Griffin Reinhart.
These two players have one big thing in common. The cost to acquire them. Moroz went 31st overall by the Oilers when most scouts had him pegged as a 3rd or 4th round. Reinhart was a 4th overall selection by the Islanders but was acquired by the Oilers for the 16th and 33rd overall picks.
End of the day, it isn't the players fault they were acquired for what they were. That's on management. As fans if you expect Moroz to become Lucic and Reinhart to be a top pairing guy, bad news, you're going to be disappointed. Instead, look at what they can bring to the team.
Reinhart had his ups and downs with the NHL time the Oilers gave him this past season. I thought on most nights he played he was fairly invisible, which should be considered a compliment for the type of player he is. He played his lane, and when he got the puck, he moved it up to a forward instead of throwing it blindly down the middle. I would like to see him have at least one more full season in the AHL.
Moroz is a bit of a different case. While he has had no issues being an enforcer and playing physical, the scoring elements the Oilers were hoping he could bring have not yet appeared. Again, I would like to see what he can do with another year in the A, hopefully getting a chance to play with more skilled players and see how his game can evolve.
The past is in the past, these players are part of the Oilers organization. I hope fans can take that message to heart and wish both of these guys luck in their careers.
If you want more hockey in your life, check out our podcast, Downtown Hockey https://soundcloud.com/do...wntown-hockey-ep-6#t=0:00
As always, thanks for reading!