The first edition in the 2013-14 season of a monthly feature that profiles the Edmonton Oilers top prospects
Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Position: Left Wing
Drafted: 2012, 2nd round (32nd overall)
Moroz at the time was a surprise to be taken high in the second round. Most experts had him rated much lower and a projected third or fourth round pick.
At 6’2″ 210lbs the Oilers saw a raw talent with the skill set to be a prototypical power forward in the league, something they have lacked in their prospect pool. An Alberta native it was a dream come true being drafted by the team he grew up cheering for.
Moroz plays an aggressive energetic style and can be a terror on the forecheck and a load to handle in the offensive zone.
Over the last few seasons, his efforts have not translated on the scoresheet and many have wondered if he will be able to produce enough offensively to take the next step. He has been effective in his role as an energy player, racking up over 100 penalty minutes in each of his last two seasons and being an intimidating physical presence, but it’s the numbers across the stat sheet that the Oilers are hoping to see.
He is going a long way in the early going this season to dispel any critics or doubters with a red hot start scoring 12 goals and 55 penalty minutes in 18 games with the Oil Kings. He has been one of the Oil Kings best players and was just named to the WHL squad for the upcoming Subway Super Series.
The difference this year?
Opportunity. A victim of being part of a very deep Edmonton team over the past few years, he was always fighting for ice time and played most of his time in the bottom six. An effective role player, but not one that got prime ice time.
This season he has moved up the depth chart and with an increased role is playing in the top six. He is getting more ice time and the chance to play with offensive players, and the results are starting to show.
The Oilers desperately lack a power forward that can play with their top forwards and they are hoping that Moroz can be that player. He’s still raw and a few years away, but the progress in this young season has given Oilers management much more confidence in their 2012 pick.
The question for Moroz will be whether he can continue to improve his offensive output to eventually be a top six forward in the NHL, or be in the mold of a bottom six banger that plays with energy.
- Physical presence
- Drives hard to the net
- Good hands in close
- 3rd line NHL winger with 2nd line upside