July 4, 2013

Rich Dillon




Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans reading this. While my counterpart, Brendan Ross, is grading each team’s draft, I am going to provide some analysis on some top prospects and how where they landed affects their fantasy value.




Before I delve into that, I want to make some comments on the big trade that went down today between Dallas and Boston, which included several prospects and will affect a few more. In case you somehow missed it,the Bruins sent Tyler Seguin, who had fallen out of favor with Boston management and coaches, Rich Peverley and defense prospect Ryan Button to the Stars for Louie Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. The best prospect in this deal is Morrow, who was acquired by Dallas from Pittsburgh for Brendan Morrow at the trade deadline. Morrow is a good puck-mover who has fantasy upside, and his road to the NHL has a few more roadblocks in Boston (Torey Krug and Steve Bartkowski) than it did in Dallas, but he will be an NHLer and likely a good one. Reilly Smith was a prolific scorer at Miami of Ohio and played in 37 games for Dallas last season. That experience gives him a slight edge for playing time over the glut of forward prospects (Knight, Caron, Spooner, Griffith, etc.) in the Bruins organization. It also gives him a shorter leash so keep an eye of his situation. Fraser intrigues me. Despite scoring 70 goals in his first two AHL seasons, the former undrafted free-agent has gone relatively unnoticed. He got on the radar a little last season with a 13-game audition in Dallas, scoring his first NHL goal.



Now back to the draft. As I mentioned, I’m going to take a look at some of the drafted players that are closest to playing in the NHL and what their likely role and situation on their drafted team looks like.


Nathan MacKinnon (COL) – Despite center being Colorado’s deepest position, MacKinnon is projected to center the Av’s second-line, possibly with Alex Tanguay and Paul Stastny. This is assuming that Stastny is moved to wing or even traded. If Stastny stays at center, MacKinnon likely plays on the third-line for the first season.


Short-term: Second-line center

Long-term: First-line center

Jonathan Drouin (TB) – Drouin is in the best situation of any drafted player, with only Alex Killorn standing between him and riding shotgun for Steven Stamkos. If he gets that prime spot, look for him to produce early and often, and likely win the Calder Trophy.

Short-term: Top-line LW

Long-term: Stamkos’ set-up man for a long time.



Seth Jones (NAS) – Jones will probably make the Preds opening night roster, likely in the top 4. However, expect him to be broken in slowly, much like the Bruins did with Dougie Hamilton last year. That said, Hamilton received power-play time early on and Jones could as well. He will have a solid, not spectacular, rookie campaign.


Short-term: Top-4, 2nd PP


Long-term: Top pairing, 1st PP with Weber



Sean Monahan (CAL) – Either Monahan or Max Reinhart will fill a spot in the middle for the Flames this season. If it’s Reinhart, Monahan will surely be in Calgary next fall. A sound two-way player, look for Monahan to center the third-line checking unit to get his feet wet, before breaking into the top six sooner than later.

Short-term: Third-line center

Long-term: Second-line two-way pivot.


Max Domi (PHX) – Yes, Domi could be in a Coyotes uniform this fall. He has the offensive skill-set and effort that is sorely needed in Arizona. Domi won’t make the team unless it’s in the top six, possibly opposite Shane Doan.

Short-term: Second-line wing

Long-term: First-line scoring threat.

Thanks for reading.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Patrik Hamrla 6.5 7
Noel Gunler 8.5 4.0
Tuukka Tieksola 7.2 5.3
Tanner Molendyk 8.5 6.5
Jonny Tychonick 4.0 3.5
Noah Chadwick 5.0 5.5
Logan Neaton 3.5 4.0
Rutger McGroarty 9.0 8.0
Parker Ford 4.0 6.0
Brad Lambert 8.5 8.0