Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Johan Motin Signed... Almost

A report out of Sweden suggests that the Edmonton Oilers have come to terms with 2008 4th round pick Johan Motin on a 3-year deal. SEE UPDATE BELOW.

The 19-year-old Swede has three years of pro experience playing in the Swedish Elite League with Färjestad where he's collected 9 points in 102 career SEL games.

Excellent Swedish prospects information site, Elite Prospects, has this description of Motin:
"Motin is a stay-at-home defenceman with very good size and strength. He has the potential to become a bruising defenceman if he develops his physical game. At this point, his is inconsistent when it comes to playing the body and should act with more resolution and confidence along the boards and in front of his goalie.

Offensively, there is little to say about Motin. He does not have the fundamental skills to contribute in a big way in terms of points and hockey sense is limited to playing it safe in his own end. Motin’s puck skills are rather average and on the downside, mobility and speed could use some improvement."
A rough translation of the Swedish report has Motin quoted as saying he and the Oilers have verbally agreed to the 3-year deal and that he will play in North America next season regardless of whether he makes the Oilers or not. This should be good news for fans of the Springfield Falcons who wish their team had more defensive depth last season.

Motin is following a similar NHL path as Ladislav Smid who was playing in the AHL as a 19-year-old, although it should be pointed out that Motin will turn 20 in early October. Motin is listed at 6'2 and around 215 lbs.

UPDATE: A source within the Oilers organization has confirmed that a signed contract is expected to be received from Motin and his agent at any time. I would suggest an official announcement would be coming soon but caution readers that the Oilers have not traditionally released prospect signings in an urgent fashion. News that Bryan Pitton, Cody Wild and Taylor Chorney had signed their entry level deals was reported here several days before the team's official site mentioned anything.


Jamie said...

From Swedish champion to the Oilers' farm team. Hmmm... would one consider that a demotion or professional development?

Either way, if he gets a bit more physical, Motin could be that intangible value of a SAH-type (stay-at-home) like what Jason Smith was in his time in Oil silks.

Guy Flaming said...

How big of a role was he playing for them though? Top airing? 3rd pairing? 7th man?

He's not going to step right into the NHL ahead of Souray, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Staios, Smid, Strudwick, or Peckham.

Last year the Oilers brough over Josef Hrabal who also had 3 or more years of Euro pro experience behind him and he barely played at the AHL level.

I think Motin should be prepared to play the entire year in the AHL next season just to get used to the game over here.

By 2010-11 there might be room for him in Edmonton.

Off-season trades could change things but I don't think Edmonton really expects him to play with the Oilers this fall.

B.C.B. said...

I like this signing, and I agree with you Guy: Motin will spend the whole year in the minors. Actually if he starts out on the third pairing and works his way up the quality of competition, I'd consider that development. At best I think Motin will be a NHL injury call up in his second year of the AHL.