Sunday, March 17, 2013
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow Irish folks out there. While my corned beef is cooking, I put together some prospect news and thoughts for you. Hope you enjoy them.
All Tyler Johnson did in his NHL debut is score his first NHL goal and pick up an assist. Oh, and he got those in less than ten minutes of ice time. I think his intelligence overcomes his lack of size and speed, but I’m still skeptical about how much of a chance he really gets.
Buffalo keeps Mikail Grigerenko despite a slow start, then severely limits his ice-time, then sends him back to junior anyway. It seems strange, and frankly a bit of a waste of a season to me.
Tyler Johnson’s first NHL goal:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I’m going to talk about Brendan Gallagher. Gallagher has been very impressive, and somewhat overlooked thus far in his first NHL season. He is currently third in rookie scoring with eight goals and eight assists, despite having missed five games due to injury. Gallagher is also plus – nine and has 21 penalty minutes. He is doing this while averaging 13 minutes per game. The aggressive winger gets the opposition off their game and has been very valuable in Montreal this season.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Brandon Saad has played well despite his lack of production. Well, the points are starting to come. I still don’t think he has a huge ceiling, but playing with the talent in Chicago’s top six with certainly pump up his stats.
Turning to college hockey while staying on the Canadiens, Danny Kristo is my pick to win the Hobey Baker. Kristo has been dominant with 49 points in 36 games so far. Expect Montreal to push hard to sign Kristo once the college season concludes.
Kristo’s teammate Corbin Knight is also having an outstanding senior season, and will be added to Florida’s deep forward prospect collection very soon. Knight has collected over 40 points in three consecutive seasons.
The Kings called up Tyler Toffoli, who had 28 goals in 55 games with Manchester. Toffoli is a natural goal scorer who should continue to snipe at the NHL level once he reaches a comfort level.
Other recent debuts include Jarred Tinordi, who doesn’t project as a big point producer but could help fantasy owners in other stat categories, and Devils’ winger Harri Pesonen. Pesonen has 25 points in 54 games in the AHL. Consider Pesonen a fantasy prospect in only very deep leagues.
Thanks for reading. Follow me on Twitter @RichDillon for more prospect news and updates.