Saturday, June 16
With the NHL draft this weekend, and the plethora of highly-rated defensemen for the taking, I’m going to share how I have the top draft-eligible blueliners ranked for fantasy. These ranking are based on potential ability to produce points at the NHL level only, not on defensive ability, the team they will play for (obviously), or future playing time in the NHL. So to clarify, I have ranked them based on all things being equal- playing style and offensive ability of team, role on the team, etc. Following the draft I will post the rankings again, but with the team that drafted them factored in. With that being said, here is my list with comments:
1. Matt Dumba- A complete offensive package, with a huge shot. Will make an impact on an NHL power play.
2. Morgan Rielly- Explosive skater and maybe the best passer of the bunch, which is saying a lot.
3. Cody Ceci- Boom or bust type, but has proven ability to produce and excellent offensive instincts.
4. Derrick Pouliot- Has tremendous offensive potential, put up points despite not being the number one d-man on his team.
5. Griffin Reinhart- He moves the puck well, and his offensive production will increase.
6. Ryan Murray- I think Murray is underrated offensively, because he isn’t flashy and plays a solid two-way game.
7. Matt Finn- Really good with the man advantage. After Murray, the list drops off down to Finn.
8. Ville Pokka- Was impressive at the WJC, moves the puck well and has an accurate shot.
9. Olli Maatta- I don’t like him as much as many do, but he does have offensive skill and ability.
10. Brady Skjei- Great skater with good vision, a sleeper to keep an eye on.
There is my Top 10 Offensive Defenseman prospects for the 2012 Draft. Plenty of teams have a puck-moving power-play quarterback on their wish list (Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, the Islanders, etc.), so it should be very interesting to see where these guys will land. Please feel free to comment, and you can follow me on Twitter @RDillon17 if you are so inclined.