I think our writers are starting to sound like a broken record here at In Lou We Trust in echoing the thought that the New Jersey Devils need to be selecting talented forwards in this year's draft. Having garnered an overall final rating of "B" from the NHL Central Scouting Services, Adam Musil projects to be a third round choice in this year's draft. He's garnered a reputation for being a player with a physical edge who is developing a more lethal offensive game; should the Devils be targeting him in the draft? Let's take a closer look at Adam to find out.
Who is Adam Musil?
Musil, born March 26, 1997 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is already a pretty big kid being listed at 6'3" and 208 lbs. He comes from a pretty large hockey family as well. His father, Frank Musil played in both Czechoslovakia and the NHL, and currently works as a scout for the Edmonton Oilers; his brother David is currently part of the Oilers system as well, and one has to wonder if Frank had something to do with that. Oh, and his uncle is just some guy named Bobby Holik...whoever THAT stranger may be.
Musil was drafted 6th overall in the 2012 WHL Draft by the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL. In his first full season, he recorded 11 goals and 29 points in 60 games; he improved upon those numbers in his sophomore season this year with 15 goals and 39 points in 66 games. Here's a look at his full stats, courtesy of Elite Prospects:
After browsing his stats with more context thanks to CHL Stats, Musil was the 7th youngest player on Red Deer this past season, yet finished 9th in scoring; it should also be noted that the top 8 scorers for the Rebels are all 18 or older and as such have all been draft eligible prior to this year. He also ranked nicely in terms of points per game (8th - 0.59, Age Adjusted 3rd - 0.54) and estimated points per 60 minutes (9th - 2.11) on a middle of the road offensive team.
His NHL point equivalency (12) leaves something to be desired (yet at the same time still beats some of the junk we iced last year), but he is still growing and I don't think anyone who drafts him is of the mindset that he's going to become an offensive juggernaut; his game is all about two-way play, as you will see as we continue on.
What Others Have Said About Musil
Kelly Friesen of Buzzing the Net (part of Yahoo Sports) gave a brief comparison of Musil's game to that of his uncle; while Adam's father and brother were/are defensemen, he takes after his uncle as a rough-nosed forward:
Musil shares more with Holik than just bloodlines and a position, though. Since maturing into a 6-foot-3, 208-pound frame, developing an edge to his game and a long, powerful skating stride, he's drawn some comparisons as a similar style of player as his uncle.
Devils fans fondly remember Holik and the Crash Line as well as the important role they played in delivering New Jersey's first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Musil seems to be patterning himself after Bobby, which means that he's utilizing his offensive talents and using his size to his advantage in games.
Randy Sportak of The Calgary Sun was able to get a quote from Musil's coach at the 2012 Mac's Tournament about the type of player he thinks Adam will be:
"He'll be a NHLer, I think, and a solid, two-way, second-line centre, 20 goals, 20 assists player," said Canadians coach Leland Mack. "He'll be a solid pro you win with."
So his coach projected he could be a second liner, though his current NHL point equivalency is more in line with a third line player; it seems one way or another, Musil would make for a solid middle 6 player. Bill Placzek from NHL Draft Site also seems to echo some of these previous statements, and he provides some analysis on specific parts of his game:
A centre with good bloodlines and the versatility to play on all different lines from scoring to checking to energy because he is defensively responsible. A good passer who can also receive pucks while in top flight. Not a real scorer; his shots lack directionality and deceptiveness. Doesn't have terrific feet, but is improving his mobility, Has good hands and will be aggressive on attacking the one on one defenders before they can go for strips. Strong player on the cycle, and never turns pucks over. Can overhandle the puck or turn his head downward and loses vision of openings his teammates have found. Needs time and development.
So right from the outset of this scouting report, Musil is complemented for ability to play on any line and his solid defense; he's also complimented for his passing skills and his ability to receive passes while in full stride. These are all qualities that would help Musil to fit in with the Devil; we all know how much line juggling goes on and that players need to play a two way game in New Jersey. His ability to send and receive passes would also be desirable; especially after last season.
A Little Video
To start off, we have a scouting video of Musil from before he was drafted by the Red Deer Rebels. As this video is dated, it's easy to see deficiencies in his game; however, it also showcases some positives, such as his ability to use his body to keep the puck in the zone.
Finding video that showcases Musil's offensive skills during his time with Red Deer was equivalent to searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Instead next is a video of Adam squaring off against Evan Fiala of the Spokane Chiefs...
...and another somewhat recent video against Micheal Zipp of the Calgary Hitmen.
While his uncle wasn't renowned for being a fighter, never let it be said that Adam Musil won't channel Bobby Holik's toughness when necessary.
An Opinion of Sorts
I'm a bit torn on the concept of the Devils drafting Musil, even if it is just with a third round pick, but it's not because I don't have faith in his ability to become an NHLer; I do believe that he will be an NHL player one day. The problem is that his potential seems to top out around a second line player; if he doesn't fulfill that potential, he winds up being a bottom 6 player. As every Devils fan knows, we have more than enough bottom 6 players on the team already, and most of our forwards that can still be considered prospects are essentially going to fill those slots.
Any forwards the Devils are drafting this year need to have potential to be top 6 players; as I've said before, we already have enough bottom 6 players, and as players get older and decline, they can fill those roles. We need to select some under the radar and/or boom or bust players in this draft to have a chance at replenishing the talent pool. In a deep draft such as this one, there is always the possibility that a higher ranked player falls because they're not seen as a "safe" pick and I feel those are the players we should be after.
The reason that I'm torn, however, is that despite everything that I believe about how the Devils should be drafting this year, I can't help but feel that Adam would fit into New Jersey's system perfectly. If he manages to improve his offense, he could be the second coming of his uncle, and any team in this league always has use for players that can both score and play with a physical edge.
I like the skills that Musil already has and if he can continue to improve his game, then it might be worth spending a third round pick on him; he already knows how to play defense and his passing has been cited as a strength, which would definitely help the team. I feel he could be a rewarding pick but if and only if his offense continues to develop.
If he falls to New Jersey around pick #67 should the Devils consider drafting Adam Musil? What do you think of his potential? Is there anything that you dislike about him or his style of play? Will there be any "Bobby Holik factor" involved? Will the Edmonton Oilers scoop him up to keep the Musil family together? Should the Devils draft another Adam with two already on the team? Leave any and all comments below and as usual, thank you for reading!