Future Watch: David Musil
Oilers prospect David Musil looks to establish success as Czechs' go-to blueliner
|David Musil battles with Ryan Smyth & Olivier Roy during this past September's Joey Moss Cup at Rexall Place (Andy Devlin).
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.
|20||22||1||4||5||-2||112||Stockton Thunder (ECHL)|
|23||30||3||14||17||+8||10||Oklahoma City Barons (AHL)|
|21||26||15||3||18||+2||11||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|19||24||10||11||21||+4||19||Kootenay ice (WHL)|
|18||-||-||-||-||-||-||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|33||17||6||8||14||+6||21||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|20||23||2||5||7||0||2||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|21||21||8||5||13||-3||10||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|25||29||4||5||9||+9||11||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|27||32||11||12||23||+11||20||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|22||10||3||3||6||2||12||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|20||25||5||9||14||-7||8||stockton thunder (ECHL)|
|24||7||1||6||7||+2||4||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|24||29||6||7||13||+10||50||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|19||34||13||12||25||+19||48||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|19||29||4||5||9||-8||22||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|20||28||10||6||16||-1||10||ilves tampere (sm-liiga)|
|25||33||7||9||16||-10||18||vaxjo hc (SEL)|
|18||27||21||14||35||+12||8||kitchener rangers (OHL)|
|25||31||5||6||11||+4||17||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|22||12||0||4||4||+6||4||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|24||32||3||7||10||-4||8||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|19||29||6||18||24||+7||54||acadie-bathurst titan (QMjhl)|
|19||17||3||6||9||2||6||OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS (AHL)|
|20||38||8||21||29||+11||50||regina pats (wHL)|
|18||31||7||18||25||+23||26||edmonton oil kings (WHL)|
|18||17||0||0||0||0||2||farjestads bk karlstad (SEL)|
|19||28||3||13||16||-3||25||prince george cougars (WHL)|
|22||12||0||0||0||+4||12||Timra ik (seL)|
|18||35||1||15||16||+8||69||vancouver giants (WHL)|
|23||2||0||1||1||+1||2||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|22||28||1||10||11||+13||63||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||18||0||7||7||0||4||u. of north dakota|
|21||17||2||4||6||+6||33||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|19||32||20||8||4||2.45||.925||medicine hat tigers (WHL)|
|30||20||13||5||1||2.32||.921||oklahoma city barons (AHL)|
|18||-||-||-||-||-||-||Jyp ht jyvaskyla (sm-liiga)|
|20||15||4||8||3||2.83||.909||stockton thunder (echl)|
|20||17||6||5||5||2.59||.900||jokerit helsinki (sm-liiga)|