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FUTURE WATCH
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Future Watch: David Musil

Oilers prospect David Musil looks to establish success as Czechs' go-to blueliner

Wednesday, 28.12.2011 / 6:00 PM / Future Watch
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Future Watch: David Musil
David Musil battles with Ryan Smyth & Olivier Roy during this past September's Joey Moss Cup at Rexall Place (Andy Devlin).
Edmonton, AB - World Junior and other international experience isn’t required to establish a prosperous pro career in the NHL, but it helps supplement a player’s skill-set with valued competition on the world’s grandest amateur stage.

David Musil has both.

The 18-year-old was selected 31st overall this past June, providing the Oilers with additional depth down a blue- and pipeline in need. With incredible awareness, keen hockey sense and a calming arsenal in tow, Musil possesses the required skill to, one day, become an elite-level NHL rearguard.

“David's a competitor,” remarked Oilers Head Amateur Scout Stu MacGregor, who’s keeping a close eye on the proceedings in Edmonton and Calgary during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship. “He's a big kid that competes hard in all situations. His breakout pass is excellent, he’s got great hockey sense and he's a guy that, when he has the puck, has great vision.”

Musil grew up in Canada, spending his time in Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa until he was eight years old; it was then when he made the overseas hop to the Czech Republic, returning several years later to pursue a dream.

Just as he bounced around with a scribbled and inked passport as a child, Musil’s preparation for this year’s tournament came natural: in 2009 and 2011, he represented his homeland Czech Republic in the U-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, where invaluable experience was gained.

“It seems like so long ago, but it was pretty exciting,” Musil laughed. “We didn't really do that well when I played there; we lost 9-0 to Canada, so we want to change it this time around. No matter what happened, you can’t duplicate the experience of playing against the best teams in the world.”

“It allows you to play against other top players, compare against other teams and build another step toward the player's goal, which is the National Hockey League,” added MacGregor, speaking highly about how the tournament can assist a player’s development.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was cut from last year’s squad, so it’s not always a sure-thing; but with a full representation that included high-end talent Anton Lander (Sweden) Curtis Hamilton (Canada) and others in 2011, it’s proven to be an all-encompassing springboard.

In addition to Musil’s experience here, the 6’3”, 196-pound blueliner has patrolled the line with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants in three seasons, scoring one goal and 16 points in 35 regular-season contests in 2011-12. Following his selection in June, he was thrust into action with the orange and blue.

“[The Oilers] gave me a lot,” Musil said, regarding the team’s reaction and assessment to his work at the team’s development and main training camp sessions. “Just coming into camp and seeing how hard the players work helped me, too. I was able to see what I’ve got to do and keep on doing to improve my game and to make it to the next level.”

With size, strength and size (did we mention that?) on his side, Musil commands the ice with great authority, engineering plays with a slick up-ice knack and dominant control in his own end.

That doesn’t mean he hasn’t any room to grow, mind you.

“Everybody has to improve on some area in their game in order to move ahead,” MacGregor explained. “Our development crew with Mike Sillinger (Director of Player Development) and Billy Moores (Coordinator of Player Development) have been working on an ongoing basis with him [on his skating] through video and showing him the technique through on-ice instruction.

“I've already noticed some improvement. Those are the things you can learn. Hockey sense is, you either have it or you don’t.”

It’s the natural attribute that’s been passed down by his father, Frank, who played 15 NHL seasons and three with the Oilers from 1997-98 to 2000-01. He now serves as the team’s top international scout, making his son’s selection an emotional period.

“You’ve got to have them check out,” MacGregor laughed, pointing out that Frank had to leave the room whenever David’s name was brought up. “It's an emotional time, an emotional situation. Frank understood the process, so he went with it. We didn't want anyone within the scouting room to hold anything back.

“People can take things the wrong way, so if you take the person out of the equation, there are no problems and we could continue on with some open dialogue about David’s ability.”

Six months into his career as an Oiler, it appears as though Musil is primed to take the next step in his unrelenting pro endeavour. He hopes that his experience here, battling for Jr. hockey supremacy in Oil Country, will help propel him to new heights as one of the Oilers’ most compelling prospects.

A gold medal wouldn’t be too bad, either.

“We always go game-by-game, day-by-day; and I'm sure, as we stick together as a team, we'll always have a chance play well and have success.”

-- Ryan Dittrick, edmontonoilers.com - Follow me on Twitter | @ryandittrick 

Prospect Stats Updated as of Thursday, December 29.

Forwards


Name age GP G A P +/- PIM team
Cameron Abney   20 22 1 4 5  -2 112 Stockton Thunder (ECHL)
Mark Arcobello   23 30 3 14 17 +8 10 Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)
Alexander Bumagin   24 26 3 5 8   1 4 Novokuznetsk Metallurg
Philippe Cornet   21 26 15 3 18 +2 11 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Drew Czerwonka   19 24 10 11 21 +4 19 Kootenay ice (WHL)
Travis Ewanyk   18 - - - - - - edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Josh Green   33 17 6 8 14 +6 21 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Curtis Hamilton   20 23 2 5 7   0 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Teemu Hartikainen   21 21 8 5 13  -3 10 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Tanner House   25 29 4 5 9 +9 11 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Kellen Jones   21 16 5 9 14  0 16 quinnipiac university
Ryan Keller   27 32 11 12 23 +11 20 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Milan Kytnar   22 10 3 3 6   2 12 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Ryan Martindale   20 25 5 9 14 -7 8 stockton thunder (ECHL)
Linus Omark   24 7 1 6 7 +2 4 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Ryan O'Marra   24 29 6 7 13 +10 50 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Kristians Pelss   19 34 13 12 25 +19 48 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Tyler Pitlick   19 29 4 5 9 -8 22 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Toni Rajala   20 28 10 6 16 -1 10 ilves tampere (sm-liiga)
Liam Reddox   25 33 7 9 16 -10 18 vaxjo hc (SEL)
Tobias Rieder   18 27 21 14 35 +12 8 kitchener rangers (OHL)
Hunter Tremblay   25 31 5 6 11  +4 17 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Antti Tyrvainen   22 12 0 4 4 +6 4 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Chris VandeVelde   24 32 3 7 10 -4 8 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Defencemen
Name age GP G A P +/- PIM team
Kyle Bigos   22 13 1 6 7 0 53 merrimack college
Jeremie Blain   19 29 6 18 24 +7 54 acadie-bathurst titan (QMjhl)
Taylor Chorney   19 17 3 6 9  2 6 OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)
Brandon Davidson   20 38 8 21 29 +11 50 regina pats (wHL)
Martin Gernat   18 31 7 18 25 +23 26 edmonton oil kings (WHL)
Oscar Klefbom   18 17 0 0 0   0 2 farjestads bk karlstad (SEL)
Martin Marincin   19 28 3 13 16 -3 25 prince george cougars (WHL)
Johan Motin   22 12 0 0 0  +4 12 Timra ik (seL)
David Musil   18 35 1 15 16 +8 69 vancouver giants (WHL)
Jeff Petry   23 2 0 1 1 +1 2 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Alex Plante   22 28 1 10 11 +13 63 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Dillon Simpson   18 18 0 7 7 0 4 u. of north dakota
Colten Teubert   21 17 2 4 6 +6 33 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Goalies
Name age GP w l T GAA SV% team
Tyler Bunz   19 32 20 8 4 2.45 .925 medicine hat tigers (WHL)
Yann Danis   30 20 13 5 1 2.32 .921 oklahoma city barons (AHL)
Samu Perhonen   18 - - - - - - Jyp ht jyvaskyla (sm-liiga)
Olivier Roy   20 15 4 8 3 2.83 .909 stockton thunder (echl)
Frans Tuohimaa   20 17 6 5 5 2.59 .900 jokerit helsinki (sm-liiga)
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