July 28, 2013
The draft is complete, and training camp is still six weeks away, so I’m thinking that this is a good time to do a series of Ramblings to point out who I think are each team’s top fantasy prospects. This will not be a ranking, per se, but rather a listing with comments. My goal is to post a new team or teams every few days until we’ve covered the entire NHL.
John Gibson, G- Gibson has the potential to make the biggest fantasy impact of any Anaheim prospect. He currently projects as an All-Star down the road, and if you’re reading this, you already know how much that can mean to a fantasy team.
Emerson Etem, F- Etem oozes offensive potential, with elite speed and sniper’s instincts. He also has a good shot with a quick release. In NHL action last season, he showed his vast potential, but also showed that he needs to improve his anticipation and ability to read the play before he will find success in the top league in the world.
Hampus Lindholm, D– The 19-year-old Swede plays a mature game for his age and has more offensive potential than many realize. He moves the puck well and his shot will only improve as he fills out his 6’3 frame. Anaheim’s 1st-round pick in 2012, Lindholm is nearly NHL-ready, but the concussions he suffered last season are a bit concerning.
Peter Holland, C- Pretty much a regular last season for the Ducks, I include him here because he is underrated in the fantasy world in my opinion. Holland’s modest NHL totals are a reflection of his working on his defense and the role he played, rather than his skill level. I predict a breakout in the next two seasons as Holland solidifies his place as the second-line pivot for the Duck dynasty.
Rickard Rackell, F- I view Rackell as more of a two-way player then a future fantasy stud. He plays excellent defense and seems to think defense first, which may derail some of his offense, which he has in him as well. He will be more of a complimentary scorer, in the 40-50 point range at his peak, which is still useful to poolies.
William Karlsson, C- A smallish playmaker, Karlsson’s fantasy value will depend solely on who his wings are. If he gets a regular role playing with guys with finishing skill, he could rack up assists, otherwise, he will not be worth owning.
Max Friberg, W- I’ll be honest, I don’t have a great handle on Friberg yet. He loves to make contact, and seems to have more interest in that than having the puck at times. Does he fit better as a checker in the NHL? He’s solidly built, but not very big. Will that lead to injury issues? Friberg could be Esa Tikkanen, or he could be just a useful checker.
Andy Welinski, D- Welinski is a fantastic skater who can handle the puck with ease. He has the skills to be an offensive defenseman in the NHL, but he has a long way to go in his decision-making and positional play. He also needs to fill out and get a lot stronger. Monitor his progress at Minnesota-Duluth.
Patrick Maroon, W- Maroon is a big-bodied power-forward who has developed slowly, but at age 25 will be given a chance in the NHL. He has a good touch around the net and was a scorer prior to turning pro. Maroon will have a small window of opportunity to make his mark.
For more on these players and others, pick up the Fantasy Prospects Report. Check back in a couple days for more names to know. As always, feel free to leave feedback and thanks for reading.