Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kyle Bigos, Big Man, Big Upside, Big Project

After finally getting to see Kyle Bigos in action courtesy of an archived TSN game, here are my thoughts on the 6'5" 230lb. defenseman that the Oilers drafted 99th overall in this years draft.....


Size and strength-Seems strong like a bull on skates, already seems to have NHL caliber strength and obviously would be an above average sized NHL player.

Good shot velocity and arsenal-Seems to like the onetimer and can hit it with very good velocity and accuracy, also has a very good snap shot.

Confidence with the puck-Unlike a lot of d-men that are seen to have lots of potential but doesn't realize it, Bigos is comfortable with his skill set and has the confidence to pull it off at lower levels of competition.

Plays the physical game well-Can hit like a truck and has a mean streak to back it up, no shrinking violet here, is a big guy and most importantly, he plays big.

Good on the PP-Moves the puck well in the offensive zone and has a very good shot and shot selection as I mentioned above, very good offensive instincts. Had a beauty of a goal in the game that I mentioned above in the 3rd period, highlight reel quality.

Needs to improve his breakout pass-Too many times his first pass was off a bit, that will be unacceptable if he wants to be anything more than a bruising 6th d-man going forward into the pro game.

Skating explosiveness and top end speed-Skates o.k. for a big man, but unless he has elite positioning and hockey IQ he won't be a very good NHLer with his current skating ability.

Clearing the zone-Between his lack of speed for skating the puck out of the zone and a less than great first pass, he has to really work hard on this aspect of his game. He should take a page out of Souray's book on how to clear the zone.

The upside on Kyle Bigos is very good, but this is a definite project. Anytime that you can draft size and skill it's a good idea, however we could be waiting for some time for Bigos to turn pro. At the end of his collegiate career if all goes well we have a 24 year old hulking defenseman that has improved in all aspects of his game and could be a much more skilled Matt Greene with even more size. If it turns out that way we would be very fortunate to say the least.

If he busts, it was still worth the home run swing that the Oilers took in the 4th round. He is definitely a guy to keep an eye on, and something tells me that this guy could be yet another solid defense prospect to add to the stable in a few years time after Petry and Plante get their feet wet at the pro level. Speaking of Plante, if Bigos and Plante both pan out, they could make for one intimidating duo on the blueline, add in Theo Peckham and players coming to Edmonton's last concern would be the city and the cold, instead their biggest concern would be leaving Edmonton without being banged up and bloodied.

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