Prospect Profile: A Discussion With Sam Obermyer About Defenseman Curtis Gedig

Curtis Gedig was picked in the 7th round, 204th overall in the 2009 draft by the New Jersey Devils

What I find interesting about Gedig's draft position (and what John pointed out in his evaluation of the pick back in June of 2009) was that Gedig, who had a Central Scouting Mid-Term Ranking of 165 to, jumped 50 spots in the final rankings to 115.  Just looking at rankings you would think that being ranked 115 would land a player in the late 4th round, early 5th round, especially a player who has bettered his previous ranking. Curious, I looked back at the 2009 rankings and found the following players who had jumped from the mid-term rankings to the final rankings of 50 or more spots (and that also had an overall ranking near Gedig's so I used any player ranked 100-130 by Central Scouting) :

The players who had a jump in rankings were either drafted in the mid rounds or undrafted, except Gedig who almost went undrafted until picked up by the Devils.  So what do the Devils have on their hands here?  We know Gedig is big (6'3, 190), plays hockey at Ohio State University, and played in the BCHL for two years with both the Cowichan Valley Capitals and the Vernon Vipers. (For some reason hockeydb.com doesn't show that Gedig played in 2009-2010.  He did.) 

Player Mid-Term CS Ranking Final CS Ranking Jump Draft Position
David Savard 164 104 60 4th Round, 94th Overall, Columbus
Jeremy Price 206 113 93 4th Round, 113th Overall, Los Angeles
Kyle Hughes 198 126 72 Undrafted
Nick Jensen 170 120 50 5th Round, 150th Overall, Detroit
Hayden Rintoul 181 111 70 Undrafted
Curtis Gedig 165 115 50 7th Round, 204th Overall, New Jersey

To get a better sense of who this player is and how he has developed so far in his freshman year of college I reached out to Ohio State Buckeye Hockey Radio Announcer Sam Obermyer.  Sam is also the Assistant Sports Director at www.ohiostatesports.net for The Ohio State University Buckeyes. You can listen to live game feeds on that site, so if you have a few minutes on a Friday or Saturday night you can catch all the live game action.   You can also follow him on Twitter here for any OSU hockey news and his blog at HockeyIndependent.com. 

After the jump, you will see the discussion Sam and I had. I thank Sam for his time and efforts with giving us some information on a little known prospect.  Note that I also embedded some links within my questions that refer to articles, video clips or other Gedig-centric information.

Curtis Gedig Career Statistics:

Tom: Ohio State has seen some pretty solid defensemen that were drafted by NHL clubs (Matt Bartkowski-FLA, Shane Sims-NYI) come to the school recently.  Both are said to have good point shots and play a good physical defensive game. When OSU announced Gedig’s commitment in November of 2009 coach John Markell was quoted as saying: "Curtis is a big kid that skates well, has good vision and makes the right pass," Markell said.   Would you categorize Gedig as more of a Bartkowski/Sims type or more of a 2 way player? 

Sam: Gedig is definitely more of a 2 way player then Bartkowski or Sims, but having said that I would hesitate to call him a full-fledged 2 way defenseman at this point in his career.  Gedig has the skill set that will allow him to become whichever type of player he wants to be or the team needs him to be.  Like Bartkowski and Sims, Gedig can deliver a powerful point shot and is big enough to play an effective stay at home style.  However, Gedig is also willing to go on the attack and try to make a play if he sees the opportunity.  It will be interesting to see in what direction new Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki has Gedig develop over his four years in Columbus (and as a Buckeye fan I hope we get to see Gedig all four years).

 

Tom: Describe his role on the Buckeyes.  Which defensive pairing is he most likely to be on/what is his ice time like?  Does he log minutes on special teams? 

Sam: In just over two months with the Buckeyes Gedig has made a big impression on the team becoming one of the top defensemen and through Dec. 9 is tied for the team lead in assists.  Gedig has been playing on the top defensive pairing with Senior Shane Sims.  He is the only freshman defenseman at Ohio State in a group that includes three seniors.  Gedig and Sims have taken up most of the ice time on the Buckeye blue line and Gedig is getting time on the PP and PK.  On the power play Gedig has most recently played on the secondary unit with senior defenseman Chris Reed.

Tom:  Right now Gedig is second in the CCHA in scoring by a freshman defensemen with 9 points.  All of his points are assists but 6 of them have been primary assists and 3 of those primary assists have come at crucial times in the 3rd period or in overtime.  Is he helping to create all of these opportunities himself or has he been the benefit of playing with others who are creating offensive opportunities?  I know in the Michigan game he put a good shot on net that was tipped in off the rebound.    Is Gedig more likely to make a good first pass or skate with the puck into the neutral zone/offensive zones?

Sam: Playing with a veteran and talented partner in Sims certainly has put Gedig in some good opportunities to receive passes and make plays, but Gedig has done an excellent job in taking advantage of those opportunities.  He also has shown the skill to create opportunities for himself or teammates in clutch situations, the Michigan game being a great example of this. 

It is more likely to see Gedig pass the puck into the neutral zone, but I think that has more to do with the Ohio State system than anything else.  

Tom: At 6’3 I would expect him to use his size to his advantage.   In regards to playing physical he stated in an interview with the Vernon Viper site (his BCHL club)  that " You know, I’d been a little reluctant, I didn’t want to miss a check and get caught, but it’s easier than I thought."   That said he adjusted quickly for Vernon and had some huge hits for the Vipers during their BCHL title run. (22 seconds in this clip)  Has he used his size well for the OSU defense?

Sam: His size is certainly one of his biggest advantages.  Against teams with a lot of speed and skill, like Michigan, Gedig has been instrumental in helping the Buckeyes successfully slow them down and preventing scoring chances.  If Gedig is able to continue growing and get stronger (right now he is the tallest, yet lightest, 190 lbs, of Ohio State's blueliners) he will be a force on the backend for both the Buckeyes and the Devils.  

I want to thank Sam again for taking the time to give us the first hand account of Gedig's performance. 

Now it's your turn.  Thoughts about Gedig?  How would you rank him against some of the other defensemen in college like Corbin McPherson, Jon Merrill or Brandon Burlon?  Thanks for reading and sound off below!

 

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