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What I Love About Jan Hejda

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Old
02-19-2007, 04:16 PM
  #1
imkinger
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What I Love About Jan Hejda

I first saw Hejda play way back in the last game of the preseason that a friend and I attended in Vancouver. I really liked his game:

"Hejda was great, stopped Naslund 1on1 without taking a penalty. Best defender on the ice."

Since then I talked about Hejda after the Montreal game:

"Jan Hejda is the real thing. He's physical, can shoot and most importantly, his outlet passing has been VERY good. I know it's only two games, but with what I have seen so far, Hejda has been our best defenseman at moving the puck. If I had the choice between Tjarnqvist and Hejda, I would have to go with the latter. He has played with a lot of heart in his first two games, and shouldn't be taken out of the lineup while he continues to do so."

I thought Hejda played great against the Panthers, and I was worred about him drawing out in favour of one of the real rookies:

"Jan Hejda should stay in the line up. There is no reason why this guy should be sitting in the press box while we field Smid, Greene, and Tjarnqvist. He played a solid game tonight, just like every other game he's played this season. His key pinch led to the all important first goal of the game, and he covered very nicely for Greene's mess up by forcing Jokinen to the outside."

I was happy that Hejda wouldn't draw out when Smid got hurt in the Dallas game:

"Smid is out 7-10 days, at least that means Hejda stays in the line up."

Now, what I love about Jan Hejda is his ability to win battles in corners. The guy gives 100 percent effort when he goes in there, whether it be one on one or two on one. More often than not he is the guy that comes out with the puck. He's actually one of the best defenseman I have ever seen at winning puck battles.

On top of that, the guy has above average offensive tools. He can pass, and seems to grasp the concept that a weak shot ON NET from the point is more valuable than a rocket that misses by 10 ft (clearly he does not subscribe to the Jason Smith school of defense in this category). Moreover, as a 27 year old rookie, he's playing the 2nd toughest minutes on the squad behind Jason Smith, and still putting up a solid plus/minus.

I would love to see Hejda locked up for 3 years at 1.2m/yr, I think it would be a brilliant contract for Lowe to offer him. If you're looking for something to cheer about from this disappointing season, look no farther than the case of Jan Hejda.


Last edited by imkinger: 02-19-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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02-19-2007, 04:18 PM
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Hejda is the perfect 4-6 d-man. He is big, mobile, and plays an incredibly sound positional game. He doesn't make mistakes, and at the same time isn't flashy. To me Greene-Hejda as a bottom pairing would be ideal.

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02-19-2007, 04:22 PM
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How did we get this guy again? We traded like a 7th round pick or something to Buffalo? And who scouted out this guy in the Czech league? That scout just earned his paycheque right there.

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02-19-2007, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imkinger View Post
I first saw Hejda play way back in the last game of the preseason that a friend and I attended in Vancouver. I really liked his game:

"Hejda was great, stopped Naslund 1on1 without taking a penalty. Best defender on the ice."

Since then I talked about Hejda after the Montreal game:

"Jan Hejda is the real thing. He's physical, can shoot and most importantly, his outlet passing has been VERY good. I know it's only two games, but with what I have seen so far, Hejda has been our best defenseman at moving the puck. If I had the choice between Tjarnqvist and Hejda, I would have to go with the latter. He has played with a lot of heart in his first two games, and shouldn't be taken out of the lineup while he continues to do so."

I thought Hejda played great against the Panthers, and I was worred about him drawing out in favour of one of the real rookies:

"Jan Hejda should stay in the line up. There is no reason why this guy should be sitting in the press box while we field Smid, Greene, and Tjarnqvist. He played a solid game tonight, just like every other game he's played this season. His key pinch led to the all important first goal of the game, and he covered very nicely for Greene's mess up by forcing Jokinen to the outside."

I was happy that Hejda wouldn't draw out when Smid got hurt in the Dallas game:

"Smid is out 7-10 days, at least that means Hejda stays in the line up."

Now, what I love about Jan Hejda is his ability to win battles in corners. The guy gives 100 percent effort when he goes in there, whether it be one on one or two on one. More often than not he is the guy that comes out with the puck. He's actually one of the best defenseman I have ever seen at winning puck battles.

On top of that, the guy has above average offensive tools. He can pass, and seems to grasp the concept that a weak shot ON NET from the point is more valuable than a rocket that misses by 10 ft. Moreover, as a 27 year old rookie, he's playing the 2nd toughest minutes on the squad behind Jason Smith.

I would love to see Hejda locked up for 3 years at 1.2m, I think it would be a brilliant contract for Lowe to offer him. If you're looking for something to cheer about from this disappointing season, look no farther than the case of Jan Hejda.
I can't agree with you more... I've said it a few times, but his use of his big body is great... he will skate alongside of the forchecker in his zone, and step in front of him to seperate him from the puck. Then he simply skates away with it. Not a crushing hit, but legal, simple and very effective. He is extremely smart and you can see he thinks the game well.

Walsher sees him as a great 4-6 guy, but I think we have to see more potential in him then that. He has played less than half a season in the NHL and is already one of our best (I know, not a daunting task). I just think with more experience and confidence, this guy could be even more for us. Lots of defencemen don't truly hit thier potential till 30.

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02-19-2007, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Master Lok View Post
How did we get this guy again? We traded like a 7th round pick or something to Buffalo? And who scouted out this guy in the Czech league? That scout just earned his paycheque right there.
We got him for a 7th round pick, and former Oiler defenseman Frank Musil was the scout.

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02-19-2007, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Lok View Post
How did we get this guy again? We traded like a 7th round pick or something to Buffalo? And who scouted out this guy in the Czech league? That scout just earned his paycheque right there.
Frank Musil loved Hejda from what I can remember. I also think he came pretty highly respected by many of the Czech players in the NHL (possibly even Sykora if memory serves me right). He has been a steady player over there for years and was never given the chance in Buffalo.

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02-19-2007, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jet228 View Post
I can't agree with you more... I've said it a few times, but his use of his big body is great... he will skate alongside of the forchecker in his zone, and step in front of him to seperate him from the puck. Then he simply skates away with it. Not a crushing hit, but legal, simple and very effective. He is extremely smart and you can see he thinks the game well.

Walsher sees him as a great 4-6 guy, but I think we have to see more potential in him then that. He has played less than half a season in the NHL and is already one of our best (I know, not a daunting task). I just think with more experience and confidence, this guy could be even more for us. Lots of defencemen don't truly hit thier potential till 30.
I put him as 4-6 because I just don't see the offensive upsidein him like that of guys like Smid and he doesn't really stand out in any particular area (not skating, passing, shooting, etc.). I think what you see is what you get with Hejda and IMO that would be ideally a 4-6 guy who can eat up more minutes when needed due to injury or the like. I hope he can improve as well to a top 4 position, but to me ideally he is a 4-5-6 d-man (that is because I hope they can add far superior players like Phillips, Brewer, etc. through UFA or trade - but no slight to Hejda).

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02-19-2007, 04:33 PM
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Hey, I already started a Hejda appreciation thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Lok View Post
How did we get this guy again? We traded like a 7th round pick or something to Buffalo? And who scouted out this guy in the Czech league? That scout just earned his paycheque right there.
I think that was Frank Musil (sp?).

I remember in an offseason interview Lowe was asked which signing he was the most excited about, he said Jan Hejda. I was suprised with the response because of what he traded for him and the fact that Tjarnqvist looked like the potential steal at the time.

Leave it to Lowe and Co. to identify pro defensemen being overlooked, gives me some added confidence with the Grebeshkov pick-up

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02-19-2007, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Walsher View Post
I put him as 4-6 because I just don't see the offensive upsidein him like that of guys like Smid and he doesn't really stand out in any particular area (not skating, passing, shooting, etc.). I think what you see is what you get with Hejda and IMO that would be ideally a 4-6 guy who can eat up more minutes when needed due to injury or the like. I hope he can improve as well to a top 4 position, but to me ideally he is a 4-5-6 d-man (that is because I hope they can add far superior players like Phillips, Brewer, etc. through UFA or trade - but no slight to Hejda).
Personally, I don't think he's suited for a 5-6 role. To me, a 5-6 guy is mostly sheltered at ES, and I think that's where Hejda shines. I think of him as a good battler to have in your top 4. A guy that compliments just about any style of play. Basically it's my opinion that the role he's been placed in is just about perfect for his abilities. He plays around 20 minutes a game, #2-3 PK and #1-2 ES, no PP.

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02-19-2007, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by imkinger View Post
Personally, I don't think he's suited for a 5-6 role. To me, a 5-6 guy is mostly sheltered at ES, and I think that's where Hejda shines. I think of him as a good battler to have in your top 4. A guy that compliments just about any style of play. Basically it's my opinion that the role he's been placed in is just about perfect for his abilities. He plays around 20 minutes a game, #2-3 PK and #1-2 ES, no PP.
I would agree with that and go further by saying he'd be a good guy to pair with a more offensive style defenceman... like a Zidlicky (sp?)

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02-19-2007, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imkinger View Post
Personally, I don't think he's suited for a 5-6 role. To me, a 5-6 guy is mostly sheltered at ES, and I think that's where Hejda shines. I think of him as a good battler to have in your top 4. A guy that compliments just about any style of play. Basically it's my opinion that the role he's been placed in is just about perfect for his abilities. He plays around 20 minutes a game, #2-3 PK and #1-2 ES, no PP.
Fair enough. Although I am not willing to hand him a top pairing assignment based on 31 games of play. Longevity is meaningful, and IMO going into next season with Hejda as your top 2-3 d-men is riskier than going into this season with Staios, Smith, Tjarnqvist as the top three. I like Hejda, I hope he gets a deal done, I just hope they don't put him in a position to fail. A full year with 3-4-5 minutes couldn't hurt, then I would make my assessment long-term.

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02-19-2007, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by imkinger View Post
We got him for a 7th round pick, and former Oiler defenseman Frank Musil was the scout.
Ah Frankie! Thanks guys! I liked Frankie too as an Oiler - another hard working pug who blocked many a shot for an honest night's work. (that's a compliment.)

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02-19-2007, 04:56 PM
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I think he could be a super 5-6 guy

put him with his countryman Smid on the bottom pairing. That means Greene is out though and Staios-Smith need two guys to join them up top. Maybe Shaggy comes back and we get Pitkanen for Lupul/Greene plus. That doesn't factor in Grebby though and I'm sure there's a place for him somewhere

I can't wait to see what Lowe does with the defense for '08. He made a royal **** of things back there this year. IMO, Smid needs to be put in his place and Greene needs to be moved if Grebby's gonna be given a shot. And that's just for starters

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02-19-2007, 05:08 PM
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Can anybody recall other players that Frank Musil has scouted for the Oilers? I believe he might have been the guy who looked at Ales Pisa for us, but I can't remember who else. I do remember the draft a few years ago when he was convinced that Jiri Hudler was the guy the Oilers needed to take, and that he was supposedly tearing his hair out when Hudler was *still* available late in the 2nd round and the Oilers still passed on him.

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02-19-2007, 05:10 PM
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Can anybody recall other players that Frank Musil has scouted for the Oilers? I believe he might have been the guy who looked at Ales Pisa for us, but I can't remember who else. I do remember the draft a few years ago when he was convinced that Jiri Hudler was the guy the Oilers needed to take, and that he was supposedly tearing his hair out when Hudler was *still* available late in the 2nd round and the Oilers still passed on him.
Probably Frank. He does most ofthe Euro scouting. Hudler would still be a good pickup as a project. High skill just needs a chance not unlike Huselius..

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02-19-2007, 05:57 PM
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This may come out wrong, but to me he looks like a replacement for the pre-lockout Cory Cross. Steady in his own zone and some offensive acumen, while not being blessed with a boatload of talent.

I think he's been great!!!

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02-19-2007, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by oilers_guy_eddie View Post
Can anybody recall other players that Frank Musil has scouted for the Oilers? I believe he might have been the guy who looked at Ales Pisa for us, but I can't remember who else. I do remember the draft a few years ago when he was convinced that Jiri Hudler was the guy the Oilers needed to take, and that he was supposedly tearing his hair out when Hudler was *still* available late in the 2nd round and the Oilers still passed on him.

Yeah... but I'm pretty sure Musil was also behind our enlightened Jiri Dopita signing. Kinda like Frank recognizes what made him good as a player (positioning, heart), but forgot what made him retire (speed).

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02-19-2007, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Walsher View Post
Frank Musil loved Hejda from what I can remember. I also think he came pretty highly respected by many of the Czech players in the NHL (possibly even Sykora if memory serves me right). He has been a steady player over there for years and was never given the chance in Buffalo.
I met some guys on the streets of Praugue last summer and we started talking NHL, as soon as I said Oilers, they said Jan Hejda was the local kid from Prague and that he had missed the boat over to North America some how and that I would be pleased with his play when the season started. They said he wasnt flashy, just steady. So far so good.

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02-20-2007, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by imkinger View Post
I would love to see Hejda locked up for 3 years at 1.2m/yr, I think it would be a brilliant contract for Lowe to offer him. If you're looking for something to cheer about from this disappointing season, look no farther than the case of Jan Hejda.
I agree with your thinking of offering a contract to him, he'd be a great addition. Personally, I don't remember thinking too much of him. But then he showed the move where he separates the rushing player from the puck by standing up and absolutely blasting them against the boards. I love that move. I appreciate his effort level too; its like having a bigger Niinimaa out there without all the brain cramps.

Hejda's a great story and you can probably add him to the list of quality defensemen this organization has pulled out of hats since Lowe took over. Hopefully they can keep the streak going with Grebeshkov, as the Hockey Gods know its no easy feat finding an affordable puck-moving PP guy already in the NHL.

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02-20-2007, 11:33 AM
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I've said it time and time again, Hejda has turned into a solid defenceman for us. I predict he'll pitch in 15-20 points next season as he's been everything we've needed from him. Maybe he can be paired with Smid next year and those two can compliment eachother, perhaps some Czechmate magic?

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02-20-2007, 05:15 PM
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If Hejda and Greene was our 3rd pairing I would be extremely happy with that. But having said this I'm not so sure Lowe will bring him back with Syvret and Gilbert ready to go. One of them with be with the team next year(most likely Gilbert)and with Grebeshkov being over here, how I would say it's 99% certain that there will be a big name free agent d-man or we will trade for one(Redden), I think they'll let him walk. I'm not saying I want to do this, I would use Syvret as trade bait and give Gilbert one more year in the A, but as it turns out I'm NOT the GM

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02-20-2007, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by oilswell View Post
Hopefully they can keep the streak going with Grebeshkov, as the Hockey Gods know its no easy feat finding an affordable puck-moving PP guy already in the NHL.
Grebeshkov isn't exactly Lowe pulling a guy from out of nowhere. 02 first rounder with all around skill and a killer breakout pass. I think 25 of the GM's in the league would have done the same deal that Lowe got.

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02-20-2007, 05:28 PM
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Jan Hejda, if he's to stay on the team, needs to play with a puck-mover.

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02-20-2007, 07:29 PM
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Matt Greene used to do that as well

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Originally Posted by oilswell View Post
I agree with your thinking of offering a contract to him, he'd be a great addition. Personally, I don't remember thinking too much of him. But then he showed the move where he separates the rushing player from the puck by standing up and absolutely blasting them against the boards. I love that move. I appreciate his effort level too; its like having a bigger Niinimaa out there without all the brain cramps.

Hejda's a great story and you can probably add him to the list of quality defensemen this organization has pulled out of hats since Lowe took over. Hopefully they can keep the streak going with Grebeshkov, as the Hockey Gods know its no easy feat finding an affordable puck-moving PP guy already in the NHL.
But now he's lost his way...to the tune of being a HS instead of Gilbert or Roy. I like how Hejda can gain some leverage down low and seperates guys from the puck. I think he could be a decent to good 4 and a super bottom pairing guy. Maybe breaking in Smid.

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02-21-2007, 12:22 AM
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What do I love about Jan Hejda???

Simple, hes not MAB

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