Monday, June 24, 2013

Rich Dillon






The Stanley Cup could be decided tonight, the draft is less than a week away, and fantasy league off-season trading is at it’s peak. I have received many questions in the past week or so about trades, prospects, and who to take in the draft. In this edition of Rich’s Ramblings, I will share some of those questions, as well as my answers.


Before I do that, however, I will turn it around and ask you for your feedback on a few trades that I made in a 14-team keeper league that I’m in. First the background: My team finished eighth last season with a team made up of a few stars (Toews, Malkin, Weber), several role players (Callahan, Wheeler, Purcell, Brouwer, Lupul, Ladd) and a few good prospects (Toffoli, Kreider, Justin Schultz, Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Johnson, Holland, Zucker).


I made a decision to go after some top prospects and use my biggest bargaining chip, Malkin. Malkin’s propensity to get injured, along with the fact that I’m just not a fan, led to my decision. In offering Malking around the league, I really only received two offers that interested me. After weeks of negotiating, I settled on Malkin for Ryan Strome, Beau Bennett and a high draft pick. Is the deal a huge gamble? Absolutely, but I think Strome could easily be a 75-point guy, maybe more if he plays with JT. Bennett will determine whether I win or lose this deal. He showed in limited time that he can play with Crosby or Malkin, and of course will put up points if it becomes permanent. However, Eric Tangradi and several others have failed in the same situation. I’ll get a good player with the pick, so I will at least inprove my depth in a year or two.


The other prospect that I was close to acquiring for Malkin was Mark Scheifele,but the other owner and I couldn’t agree on the other pieces. He really likes Slava Voynov, as do I, but when he offered Scheifele and Nathan Beaulieu for Voynov, I had to do it. Scheifele has 80-point upside, and Beaulieu should at least come close to replacing Voynov’s production in a couple of years. My team is in full youth movement mode, and I also have the top overall pick in the prospect draft. MacKinnon or Drouin?






Speaking of the draft, I’ve been asked several times about who to take with the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. spots. Barkov, Lindholm and Nichushkin are the names that come up most frequently, and all are extremely talented forwards. Of the group, Barkov is the closest, both to the NHL and to being a sure thing. Lindholm is underrated by most, in my opinion, and will be a solid NHL center. Some feel his upside is comparable to Eric Staal, some David Legwand. I think it’s somewhere in between, which is a pretty good NHL player. Nichushkin brings the uncertainty of a possible KHL career with him to the podium.


A safer, but less sexy pick, is Ottawa 76 C Sean Monahan. Monahan plays an NHL game, and will inevitably be a fantasy producer when he reaches the NHL. Others to consider in or near the Top 10 are Hunter Shinaruk, Max Domi, and Alex Wennberg. A couple of sleepers to keep in mind are Anthony Mantha and Bo Horvat. Mantha is 6’4 and can move and score, but is the ultimate boom or bust pick. As with any power forward, you will have to be patient if you select Mantha, who reminds me of former Blackhawk Eric Daze.


Thanks for reading, enjoy the Finals, the NHL Draft, and your league draft.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0
Daniil But 8.5 7.5
Julian Lutz 7.0 7.5
Dylan Guenther 8.5 8.5
Conor Geekie 8.0 8.0