Rossy’s Prospect Ramblings



Friday, June 15th


Seven beautiful days until the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  I have been working the past twelve-plus months profiling and following these draft-eligible players that I cannot wait until the this event gets underway.


Following the draft, I will begin writing a series of articles for Dobber Hockey featuring the fantasy impact on these drafted players based on the team that drafted them. Please follow this series throughout the summer and feel free to request specific players. As we know, the fantasy value of these (currently) undrafted players can change drastically upon becoming property of specific organization (ahem, Columbus).

I have been fielding 2012 NHL Draft related questions over on at the forums.  Feel free to head on over and ask questions over the course of the next week.

Our DobberProspects writing staff has done a good job at profiling the popular names for the upcoming draft. You can find those profiles under the heading Other Prospects. sub-heading Draft Eligible.  Over the next week, I personally plan on updating these draft-eligible profiles with my own observations (if needed), as well as add some profiles of the lesser known namesthat will soon become fantasy relevant.

For an in-depth analysis of all prospects, drafted or not, be sure to download your copy of the 2012 Fantasy Prospects Guide.

From my NHL Prospect Profile of Brendan Gaunce,


NHL teams have been observing this OHL-trained player develop ever since Gaunce entered the league as a rookie posting a modest 36 points. Statistically, Gaunces numbers were not overly eye-catching but he used his used his freshman season to learn the ins and outs of the major junior game. His approach to his hockey career can be attributed to his dedication and commitment to excellence. As the younger brother to Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cameron Gaunce, Brendan has used his siblings experiences to ensure success in his own hockey endeavors. During the past two summers, the Gaunce brothers have enrolled themselves into fitness-guru Gary Roberts hockey training program, the same one that has facilitated players like Stamkos and Skinner into star status.

Gaunces off-ice conditioning has resulted in impressive showings during fitness testing at both the 2012 Top Prospect Game and NHL Scouting Combine. At the February showcase game in beautiful Kelowna, Gaunce finished first in nine categories of testing while scouts witness him rack up twelve top 10 finishes at the recent 2012 NHL Combine.

Whenever I read Gary Roberts name next to a budding NHL prospect, I pay very close attention. Give the full Brendan Gaunce profile a read here.

The Next Ones: NHL Prospect Profile: Brendan Gaunce – Built for the NHL.


Great first name too!

Another one of my NHL Prospect Profiles features defenseman Cody Ceci,


Cody Ceci has become one of the feel good stories of the draft class hurtling himself from an initial ranking of 16th by NHLs Central Scouting to a final place of sixth among North American skaters. In his third full OHL season, a rare feat for a draft-eligible player, Cody Ceci nearly doubled his career highs in goals and points to finish second in defensive scoring trailing only Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara Ice Dogs.

Most noticeable with the man advantage, Ceci is Ottawas trigger man with a rocket of a shot one thats been calledamong the best of the draft. As effective as Ceci is on the powerplay, he holds good value operating the penalty kill as well, using his intelligent reads, solid positioning and his quick stick to strip opponents scoring chances. An intelligent, instinctual and determined defenseman, Ceci competes with impressive intensity ensuring that he makes the correct decision each and every time he touches the puck.


View the full Cody Ceci profile here…


The Next Ones – 2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Cody Ceci – Defending the Nation’s Capital



Upon completing the Fantasy Prospect Guide mock draft (including in the next updated release), I joined three other prospect writers at to collaborate on a Top 60 Ranking for the NHL Draft.

You can view the PDF I created here free of charge. Working as a member of a team and having tocompromise on player rankings was very difficult, yet I enjoyed the process. Much like actual NHL scouting teams operate, our group bickered and battled for players that we felt should be ranked higher or lower. I didnt always get my way but I am happy with the overall product and working with three knowledgeable guys was a privilege.

View and download Final 2012 NHL Draft Rankings here.


Ive been pumping out lots of prospect information over the past week and wanted to share those links with the readers.

Hockey Canada announces the 40 players who will be competing to represent Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Under-18 Tournament in August. Get used to hearing some of these namesMax Domi, Ryan Kujawinski, Bo Horvat, Anthony Duclair, Nathan MacKinnon, Sam Reinhart, Nick Ritchie, Aaron Ekblad, Jordan Subban, Josh Morrissey, Darnell Nurse, Eric Comrie, Zach Fucale, Spencer Martin among many others. Many of these names will be among the top prospects for the 2013 and 2014 NHL Drafts.

The Lightning have signed goaltending prospect Riku Helenius to a two-year contract, including a two-way deal in year one followed by a one-way deal in year two. Helenius, 24, posted remarkable numbers (1.64 GAA and .936 save %) playing for JYP of Finlands SM-liiga. The big (6-3, 211) Finn earned top goaltender honours for stellar play. Helenius was Tampa Bays first round selection (15th overall) in 2006.

Patrick Maroon signed a one-year contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks. The former sixth round draft pick of the Philadelphia recently turned 24 and has spent four full seasons developing in the AHL. In 2011-12, Maroon tallied 32 goals and 74 points in 75 games including over 120 penalty minutes. The contract is a two-way so the big winger is going to have to earn his way onto the Ducks roster.

Cory Conacher (Lightning) should not be the underrated offensive player he once was after winning the American Hockey League MVP award, leading the league in goals (39) and finishing second in points (80) as a first year AHL player.

Conacher, 22, led his Norfolk Admirals to the Calder Cup Championship last week sweeping the Toronto Marlies and the small forward went out with a huge bank notching four assists in the final. The most impressive part of Conachers game is how well-rounded he is as a prospect – competing hard in all three zones.

Former undrafted NHL veteran Steve Stumpy Thomas has had a positive influence on Cory Conacher serving as the teams Assistant Coach. Conacher plays a similar game to the 21-year NHL veteran showing the same skill and grit that made him so successful. Conacher finished his first AHL season with 114 penalty minutes and registered another 28 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. He is a serious contender to crack Tampa Bays opening day roster.

Please check out the NHL Draft poll on Dobber Prospectsmain page.

If you choose to, feel free to follow me on twitter @RossyYoungblood as I continue tweeting prospect related information!


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Xavier Bourgault 7.5 8.0
Jake Chiasson 5.0 4.0
Roby Järventie 7.0 6.0
Kevin Mandolese 6.2 5.2
Jérémy Davies 4.0 7.0
Brandon Biro 6.5 7.0
Maxime Lajoie 4.5 8.0
Mac Hollowell 5.5 7.0
Benoit-Olivier Groulx 4.5 8.5
Carson Meyer 5.0 3.5