Edmonton Oilers 9th Round Picks, Since 2001

This is Frantisek (Frank) Musil, a tough-as-nail stay-at-home defenceman who had a good NHL career (nearly 800 games). He's presently the European professional scout for the Edmonton Oilers.

As discussed earlier, I want to review how Edmonton's scouting staff has done since Kevin Lowe took over and radically altered an extremely unsuccessful group. I was going to go by draft year, but that seemed like each post would be a lot of work, so I'm going to do it by round, starting with the easiest- the 9th.

2001 - Ales Pisa, 272nd overall & Shay Stephenson, 278th overall

Hard to argue with either of these picks. 6/30 players in this round played in the NHL, and the Oilers went 2/2. Ivan Majesky of Florida is the GP leader, with 202, but he's the runaway leader, as Pisa is 2nd with 53. Honestly, any player picked at this level that gets even a cup of coffee has to be considered a success.

Ales Pisa was a 24-yr old stay-at-home defenceman out of Pardubice HC in the Czech Republic. His best season was in 2002-03, where he went 51GP-1-3-4-24PIM. That year he was traded with Anson Carter to the New York Rangers for Radek Dvorak and Cory Cross. He's back in Pardubice after four years in Russia. If I had to pick one scout to credit with this pick, it would probably be European professional scout Frank Musil, who, was also a stay-at-home Czech defenceman who was born in Pardubice.

Shay Stephenson was an 18-yr old checking winger with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. His best season was 2006-07, where he played 2 games for the Los Angeles Kings after going 55GP-11-10-21-67PIM in the AHL. Although originally an Oilers pick, Edmonton chose not to resign him. He was drafted by Carolina in the 7th round of 2003, and somehow wound up in L.A. He's currently playing in Italy, where he's put up some decent numbers. How, you ask, did a guy with AHL numbers like that get to play in the NHL? Why did Edmonton draft him when he only had 5 points in his draft year? Two reasons: 1) L.A. was really, really bad last year and 2) He's 6'4" 200lbs. Likely a Bob Brown/Stu MacGregor pick.

2002 - Fredrik Johansson, 274th overall

Staffan Kronwall leads all 9th rounders in 2002 with 52GP (and 1 point!) at the NHL level. Only 3/30 players got a game in the bigs.

Fredrik Johansson was an 18-yr old project winger out of Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, and he is currently playing in the Oilers system. This year he put up totals of 37GP-5-13-18 in the ECHL and 25-4-1-5 in the AHL. He's also a really, really good bet to go back to Europe after not being resigned. It's also a fair bet that this was mostly a Kent Nilsson pick.

2003 - Troy Bodie, 278th overall

Prior to this season, only one guy (Nick Tarnasky) out of this round had played much in the NHL, but Matt Moulson's got in some games in L.A., and a pair of goaltenders who look like they have careers (Jaroslav Halak in MTL, Brian Elliot in OTT) played a bit too. At this stage it gets more difficult to say that guys should've played by now if they ever will, but let's keep going anyway.

Troy Bodie stands 6'4" and weighs 219lbs. He put up 8 points in his draft year with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. He's spent this season (his best to date) with the Springfield Falcons, postin 59GP-8-6-14-108PIM. I very much doubt that any kind of NHL career is in the cards for him, but I wouldn't be surprised if he lasts awhile as a depth guy in the minors. He was drafted out of the area Bob Brown/Stu MacGregor cover.

2004 - Bjorn Bjurling, 274th overall

Some interesting guys picked in this round. Those who've played in the NHL include Jannik Hansen with VAN, enforcer Triston Grant in Philly, and the best of the bunch so far, Daniel Winnik with Phoenix, who as a rookie this year went 79GP-11-15-26-25PIM. Also of note: Martin Vagner, picked 26th in 2002 by Dallas, was not resigned and went 268th to Carolina.

Bjorn Burling was a 24-yr old netminder out of Djurgardens in Sweden. After some decent years in the SEL, he had two bad ones around Europe, where he played a total of 29 games and looked finished. This year he was back in the SEL, and on January 14th, Guy Flaming reported the following: "...sources tell me that Bjurling is in the mix and getting consideration by the Oilers to compete in camp for the back up NHL job next fall..." At that point he was among the leaders in GAA and SV% in the SEL. Since than, I don't know. Finding these statistics is hard if you don't speak Swedish, but hockeydb tells me he played 54 games, so after stealing the starting job from Jonas Enroth he didn't lose it. It's a good bet we'll see more of him in camp. As for who picked this guy, I'm inclined to believe as an overaged Euro it was Musil again.

2005 - Matthew Glasser, 220th overall

Among those who have played in the NHL are some gems. Kyle Cumiskey's played 47 games for Colorado, Anton Stralman's played 50 in T.O., and best of all Sergei Kostitsyn put up 27 points in 52 games as a rookie.

Matt Glasser was drafted out of the AJHL as an 18yr old, and is currently playing for the University of Denver. As an NCAA player, he has some time to develop, but with only 8 points in 52 NCAA games, you have to think he isn't in anyone's long-term plans. I'd chalk this pick up to MacGregor/Brown again.

2006 - None.
2007 - None.

In conclusion, the Oilers have landed 3/6 players who have either seen some NHL time or might have a career. 2/3 were picked as overage Euro's, so from what we've seen so far, when you're in the final round, with a pick to burn- talk to Frank Musil.


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