The Oilers are going to play a red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets tonight and I think they might get the two points. But that’s not the only thing on my mind today…
NHL draft and prospect guru Corey Pronman recently posted an interesting tweet that got my headbone churning. It was a list of the top 20-year-old point scorers in the AHL and atop said list was a defenseman out of the Arizona organization surnamed “Wood”.
Top 20 YO (season) scorers in AHL
— (((Corey Pronman))) (@coreypronman) January 2, 2017
I’ll be honest, I had no bloody clue who this kid was but the reason I decided to dig into him is because he was a d-man piling up the points as a rookie in the AHL. The most immediate question that came to mind was, is he right-handed?… YES! The next question was, did he have size. YES! And that sealed the deal, an article was to be posted detailing this 20-year old rearguard.
I mean honestly, if you’re looking at the Oilers depth chart, what position are they in dire need of upgrading? Right-shot players I’d say and one that plays defense is the cherry on top.
At the moment the right-side defense’s depth chart looks something like this (please let me know if I’ve left anybody out):
- Adam Larsson (NHL)
- Matt Benning (NHL)
- Eric Gryba (NHL)
- Mark Fayne (AHL)
- Ethan Bear (WHL)
- Filip Berglund (SHL)
- John Marino (NCAA)
- Vincent Desharnais (NCAA)
So they way I see it, Fayne and Gryba will most likely be gone sooner than later. Ethan Bear will need a season or two in the AHL, Filip Berglund probably won’t come over until he’s at least 21; and John Marino and Vincent Desharnais are probably long shots at playing a game in the NHL.
On top of that, the Oilers AHL club has so many left-handed dmen that they moved Joey Laleggia to forward and are using Mark Fayne and another fella named Bryce Aneloski (I don’t know who he is either). They could use some help down there.
So that’s why the Oilers should be looking into the availability of Kyle Wood. He’s 3rd in AHL rookie scoring, 4th in points for a defenseman, and sits in 18th place overall for scoring in the entire league. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
Born: May 4th, 1995
Birthplace, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Drafted: 3rd round #84 by Colorado in 2014
Kyle Wood was originally a pick by the Colorado Avalanche but the Arizona Coyotes acquired him as part of the package for Mikkel Boedker and he is rapidly making a name for himself in Arizona.
Wood’s stats are pretty damned good for a player who wasn’t known to bring much offense to the table coming out of junior. Here are some quotes regarding Mr.Wood that will help shed some light on the player he was in junior and is now as a pro in Tuscon.
“At 6’5, 230lbs, he has the size to cause scouts to salivate. And he actually moves decently well for a big man. He’s also a physical player who is already very tough to play against in the corners. As time goes on, he’ll become quite a defensive force. Offensively, he’s actually surprisingly effective. He can lead the rush and he’s been quarterbacking the Battalion 2nd powerplay unit.” – Brock Otten (source)
“He’s obviously a big kid but one of the things our scouts liked about him is that he was willing to move pucks under pressure. He’s calm and makes a good first pass; he doesn’t seem to get rattled easily.” Jim Playfair, ARI Asst. Coach (source)
“Towering over other players, Wood can be mistaken for a pure defensive defenseman but that is not the case. Wood has an underrated offensive game and was the second power play unit’s quarterback for his junior team. He uses his size well and to his advantage. Teammates love having him on the back end and opposing players hate going up against him.” – Hockey’s Future (source)
“Wood is a big defenseman who has shown solid two-way potential. He has great size that he uses to his advantage, and an above average hockey IQ. The book on him is a little lacking because he missed the first half of the season due to injury, but Wood will most likely be a solid defender for North Bay in the future with a very solid chance to make it at the NHL level.” – Shane O’Donnell (source)
“He’s got a heavy shot, and learned to shoot it when he’s supposed to,” Samuelsson added. “But he’s got the hardest one-time I’ve seen, so it’s been nice to see him score a lot. It’s hard and it’s accurate, so it’s good to have on the power play for sure.” – Henrik Samuelsson
“When you see him loading up, it’s time to get out of the way and let him shoot,” Perlini joked. “I just try to give him a good lane because I’m in front of the net because it’s obviously coming in fast, so if I get a little screen on the goalie, he can wire it.” – Brendan Perlini
“He shoots the puck like Shea Weber,” continued Lamb. “That’s who he shoots it like. He’s a big, right-hand D that is skating.”
Where a lot of Wood’s points have come from is the Roadrunners’ deadly top power play unit, which has been the most productive power play unit in the entire league by far, cashing in on 31.3% (21-of-67) of their man-advantages. – Jason Bartel
Say What?! A shot like Shea Weber?… Well that sort of does it for me. Wood has the size, the skating, the hockey IQ, and he puts up some pretty rad numbers on the PP. Now, we know that the Oilers are looking for both size AND a shot for their PP. Wouldn’t this kid fit the bill?
Wouldn’t this kid fit the bill? I should ask though, is he more Shea Weber or Cody Franson?
The alternative to Kyle Wood would be to pick up Michael Stone from the Coyotes. The soon-to-be UFA right-handed defenseman is sure to be a playoff pickup for some NHL team but I know that the Oilers have been barking up this tree all season. This scenario is much more likely unless the Edmonton could offer the Coyotes something they couldn’t refuse for Kyle Wood. The old Griffin Reinhart + Benny Pouliot offer isn’t likely to tempt Mr.Chayka.
What would you offer the Coyotes for Kyle Wood or Michael Stone? Let us know in the comments below!