Jay Banks’ Sept 29th Ramblings

Jason Banks


Sunday, September 29th 2013




Well Jonathan Drouin was sent back to junior by Tampa. For the most part it is surprising, but Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik make the lightning on forward, while Radko Gudas, Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr have made the squad on the blueline so far… Brett Connolly after 4 goals in pre-season and J.T. Brown were also close cuts…


Mark Arcobello not only makes Edmonton, but is playing between Jordan Eberle and David Perron. Best case scenario for Arcobello, he better produce and quickly! Makes for a great value player until Sam Gagner gets back.


Anton Belov also makes Edmonton booting out Philp Larsen. Belov has value for blocks, shots and hits, thats about it…


Carter Ashton and Morgan Rielly are included on the semi-official Leaf roster. I say semi because they have 11 forwards and 7 D, I dont expect them to play a defenseman on forward, rather I believe they will make game day recalls for players that do not have to clear waivers and then sent back after the game, for the most part its a paper transaction and allows for the Leafs to only pay for a player for only 1 day as needed against the cap. Years ago, Anaheim pulled this off with guys like Dan Sexton assigning them to Bakersfield, California as needed, for them it also saved them American Airlines fees.


Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyqvist have not been sent down to the best of my knowledge… it was widely expected and frustrating that Nyqvist may have had to be assigned because of contract status after having a great camp.


Chris Krieder was cut from the Rangers but J.T. Miller and Jasper Fast made the squad. Look up both of them, good players. Krieder burst on the scene after leaving NCAA, but has fizzled since.


Kyle Beach to Sweden. Raise your hands if you bought into his hype years ago?<!–3 .


Deep cuts in LA, Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli did not make the squad. No rookies start the season on a throne.


I’d say the same for Colorado, but some MacKinnon guy made the team.


Mark Scheifele has taken a top 6 job from Olli Jokinen. Jacob Trouba also seems to have made the Jets squad.


I’m yet to see official word, but Niklas Jensen is expected to be cut along with Bo Horvat… Hunter Shinkaruk seems to have earned a regular season try-out. Eddie Lack of course is the only other prospect that seems to have earned a job. (Jeremy Welsh is expected to be waived)


Chris Terry, your cut… Again.


The Wild are fielding a lineup that includes, Granlund, Coyle, Matt Dumba, Justin Fontaine, El Nino, Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella. Jason Zucker was left off, but the coach says he isn’t far from getting back on.


Ivan Telegin was cut a few days ago but has not yet reported to St. John’s. Personally I like the kid, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. He is in an odd situation, he can’t play in the KHL unless he talks Winnipeg into assigning him there… I could see him being dealt or given an outright release. It’s my opinion, you sign a contract, play it out. Wade Redden, Jeff Finger and others didn’t sulk, they just sucked it up and continued, mind you they had millions of reasons to continue, not just 65,000…


Elias Lindholm will start opening night in Carolina, but that’s as much rope management is willing to give him at the moment. His rookie season looks like it will be a game by game experiance.


Guys that have fallen off the radar:


Colten Teubert has signed in Germany for the season.


Anyone remember Angelo Esposito? Well he tried and failed to get an AHL job in Hartford, his job search continues after a poor season in Europe.




Grab a seat, I made my time in the spotlight worth it!


Last night 2 deals were struck as teams try to move around players that have some value but would like not pass through waivers and were not making the NHL teams. Calgary and Toronto hooked up again with Brian Burke in the ear of Jay Feaster and Dave Nonis then Carolina hooked up with Vancouver shortly after.


Toronto dealt big center Joe Colborne away hours after he won a faceoff that assisted on John Liles’s goal last night. Toronto received a 4th round pick for what was basically a throw in for Tomas Kaberle a couple years ago. For the past 2 seasons Colborne has failed to wow me at the AHL or NHL level during all the games I’ve seen, instead he has seemed to lack effort and plays too much of a perimeter game. He will slot into the top 9 in Calgary out of necessity not from what he has shown he can do.


Carolina finally gave up on winger Zac Dalpe who has teased Fantasy Managers for the past couple seasons since leaving the NCAA. He will have an opportunity to play with better centers than Carolina has tried him with, but Dalpe is still on a two-way contract this season. Big Jeremy Welsh on the other hand is on a 1 way contract, I don’t feel he is fantasy worthy yet if ever, but he is an upgrade on fringe players Tom Sestito, Mike Santorelli and Dale Weise. It would not surprise me to see Welsh placed on waivers with no takers. these arrivals hurt the chances of Nicklas Jensen and Hunter Shinkaruk of making opening day roster. (Bo Horvat was a victim)


Going the other way was undrafted smallish forward Kellen Tochkin and a 4th round pick. Tochkin is very un-notable and played in the CHL (Central Hockey league) last year. He likely will get a shot in the AHL this season thanks to the trade, but for the Canes, this just smells like they wanted to off load contracts and open up some cap space.


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Ryan Spooner has been cut by Boston after a good camp in which he scored 5 points and was a +4 in 6 games. I suspect the demotion is more of an infamous ‘Paper Transaction’ until the team can place Marc Savard on Long Term IR.


Nik Svedberg failed to unseat Chad Johnson for the backup role on the Bruins. It was unexpected to happen anyway as the situation came down to experience… oh and contracts, Svedberg doesn’t need waivers.


Buffalo cut Luke Adam who once looked like a lock as a power forward after posting 90 points in his final Jr year, 8 points at the WJC and followed it up with 62 points in 57 AHL games since his production has been cut in half at all levels. He has to pass through waivers and is one of the more likely candidates to have interest for a team trying for a reclamation project.


No one makes Chicago… Well I guess Joakim Nordstrom does. Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin start in the AHL. Nordstrom is the cheaper option for the Hawks and is better suited to play a lower line role. Pirri and Morin are likely to light up the AHL until called upon. Morin has the highest upside as a pure sniper and must play a top 6 role to be successful.


Antti Raanta has been bouncing up and down and will play in Rockford to get experience. The Bulin wall has been banged up the past while so it would not be surprising to see the Hawks recall Raanta outta need. Its also interesting to note, the last time Khabby was in Chicago, another Antti was signed and played a year in the AHL after being brought over from Finland, before being recalled late in the season for a tryout… if history repeats itself (as we all know it does… from time to time): Chicago will let Khabibulin go after the season and They will win the cap next season with Antti Raanta earning the starting job by mid-season! Oh and win the cup again this year… You heard it here first!


Austin Smith, Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie were amongst the latest cuts in Dallas, but more will come. Kevin Connauton seems to have made the Stars, they must like his big shot from the point and his play with an edge as a smallish defender. Whoever pairs with him will need to be a stay at home type as Connauton is prone to ‘Oh Kevin…’ type plays both stepping into rushes and opponents. After his 3 point game, Colton Sceviour has hit waivers.


Watched Detroit the last night vs Toronto, the Red Wings as a team weren’t good, but Petr Mrazek, Teemu Pulkkinen, Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul were highlights. Mrazek starts on the bench behind Howard due to Gustavsson’s current (and ongoing) injury, and he will be the backup next season if the Wings don’t give up on ‘The Monster’ this season. On the defense Ouellet and Sproul are must watch and close players for fantasy managers. Both are offensive guys that can control power plays and have above average ceilings, Sproul is my favorite with a huge shot, 6’4 frame and ability to play almost 30 minutes a night in all situations. Ouellet seems to be favored by Wings management… What do they know.


Islanders signed offensive dynamo defenseman Ryan Pulock and big center Alan Quine. Pulock is heading to Jr as the Islanders have no need to rush the soon to be 19 year old. I believe he may have junior eligibility as an over-ager next season too as his birthday is October 6 and the OHL season is always started before he turns 20. He has 147 points in 195 games in the WHL, he likely flirts or posts more than point per game this season. Alan Quine is an interesting center that Detroit released and the Islanders re-drafted late. After a late season trade to his home team, Quine posted 41 points and a plus 29 in 28 games for the Belleville Bulls. To be fair his linemate was big Tyler Graovac who also was traded there, and posted 38 points in 30 games and 22 more in 15 games in the playoffs.


Max Domi was sent back to London, semi-surprisingly. He will await Bo Horvat, Olli Matta and Nikita Zadorov’s likely arrivals. Peronally if a player isn’t going to change your organization its best not to eat a year of Entry Level. Domi will be part of a young and eventually deadly Phoenix franchise, if they can ever develop properly and keep what they produce…


Did you know, in the pre-season David Rundblad posted 7 assists and was a -2? To be fair, Rundblad is a forward thinking defenseman and 4 of his assists were on the power play. This could be a good sign to fantasy managers in points only formats, but he has been a disappointment in North America since scoring 50 points in 55 games in Sweden. This might be the season his Keeper owners have been waiting for.


Alex Chiasson is expected to be a top line winger for the Stars this season, 5 points in his 5 preseason games proves it. But as noted above Colton Sceviour posted the same 5 points 4 of which being goals, but he was cut…


Montreal fans know their higher profile defensive prospects, Jared Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Morgan Ellis and Daulton Thrower (great name BTW), but who’s Greg Pateryn? Well people, he is the guy that had 5 points in 4 pre-season games and made his NHL debut late last season after missing the first half of the year with injury. His ceiling isn’t that high, but don’t tell him that, he may be better suited to finding an NHL job than the others. And since we all like icing on our cake, Montreal stole him from Toronto along with a 2nd rounder (that was eventually re-dealt) for Mikhail Grabovski!


Chris Brown when he isn’t rapping and having women issues, plays for the Yotes’ and had a camp and looks to have made the cut and will see the first 3 games since Biz-nasty is in the pressbox on the NHL’s accord. Brown had a great entrance to pro last season with 47 points and a handful of NHL games. He likely plays on the bottom line, but has potential to move up as he develops as an NHLer.


For those forward looking goalie hunters, Sami Aittokallio had a great pre-season with a .944 SV%, mind you the stat is skwed as he played less than 60 minutes in 2 games and faced 36 shots. But the Avs still have him in camp and they seem much happier with him than Calvin Pickard. With Giggy finishing his career and Pat Roy coaching, Sami could have a chance to be something. Colorado hasn’t truly developed a goalie since David Aebisher who was also under the hands of Roy.


The battle of 9 letter goalies seems over in Calgary, and we will have to go to the score cards. Karri Ramo posted a 2.84 GAA with a .897 SV%, Reto Berra was marginally worse with a GAA for 3 and .892 SV%. As a Ramo owner I’m hoping he wins on account of having more experience in North America and already being a high profile prospect in the NHL before, oh and he is friends with ring side judge and GM Jay Feaster. If I was Calgary, I’d use the 3 headed monster with MacDonald and Malarchuk spending a bunch of time with the both of them and let Joni Ortio and Laurent Brossoit eat the games in Abbotsford. Joey MacDonald is what he is, might as well allow everyone else to develop at levels that suit them. Sounds nice when I say it, but we haven’t seen a 3 headed monster in a few years… I think Joey has been involved in the last 2, Detroit and Long Island.


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Rumor has it LA is not pleased with Ben Scrivens, expect Matt Garon to be signed if this truly is the case. The situation could be worse, if he is passed through waivers and hits the AHL, he likely does not unseat Martin Jones who wants to play every game he can in Manchester. Scrivens career seems to be similar to a teen popstar: Un-known – gets a break  – gets an NHL record deal – becomes a fan favorite – moves to LA – and the world collapses inward. Still not to bad for Mr. Roboto! (Garon was released from training camp without a contact)


I’ve also heard Nashville isn’t comfortable with an .874 SV% on 95 shots from Carter Hutton. That was an experiment built to fail as Hutton is only a capable low ceiling AHL tender. The have kept Czech Marek Mazanec around to the end of camp, but he is no better with an .821 (but has upside). Expect Nashville to pluck a goalie off the waiver wire in the next 2 days, Christopher Nilstorp is there and former Nashville 3rd stringer Jeremy Smith. Personally I go with the monster you know and Jeremy SmithNathan Lawson and Mike McKenna are AHL vets also available and Drew MacIntyer should be there tomorrow who has played with Milwaukee a couple years ago. Johan Hedberg, Rick DiPietro (laugh it up), and Jeff Deslauriers and Matt Climie are also options to be signed off the top of my head.


Looking over the OHL…


Don’t look now, Sergey Tolchinsky of Carolina is at the top of the OHL leaderboard with 9 points in 3 games. Tied with him is Dallas 4th rounder Gemel Smith and Maple Leafs draft pick Connor Brown.


2014 Draft watch, Aaron Ekblad has 5 points in 4 games, Nick Ritchie has 5 goals and 7 points in 4 games and Mike Dal Colle has 7 points in 3 games.


Philly goaltending is great outside the NHL, Anthony Stolarz posted a shutout in his first game of the season, and only gave up 2 in another, Could he be the next goalie to go directly from junior to the NHL out of need. John Gibson was close as he made Team USA for the World Championships as a junior, but unfortunately for him Anaheim is a goalie heaven.

Oscar Dansk is turning around the numbers from last season, in 4 games has only allowed 2 and half goals per game… Columbus has a history of rushing goalies also.


Detroit’s Jake Paterson signed an entry level deal in the last couple days. Saginaw’s Jake Paterson has allowed 4 goals against pre game, but has a .917 SV%. He has seen 55, 53, 44 and 41 shots in his games thus far, the 44 he stopped 43 shots and got a win. I think he is in for a rough year, but will see a bunch of rubber, hopefully for Detroit he won’t get shell shocked. It should be noted he will likely be one of the top 2 goalies in WJC camp.


In the West…


Oliver Bjorkstrand of Columbus (or Denmark to be specific) has 12 points in 4 games and is only eclipsed by undrafted Mitch Holmberg’s 14! Sitting at the bottom of the league for years Columbus makes some great picks, but this one was from the 3rd round.


Sam Reinhart has 10 points in 4 games as he looks to be drafted in the spring.


One of my favorite pics Nic Petan has 8 points in 4 games, he is playing in Portland with Bjorkstrand.


Pheonix’s Hendrik Samuelsson is leading Edmonton (Oil Kings) with 7 points in 3 games. Hendrik should work well opening space for Domi in the future according to my crystal ball.


My goalie to watch this year in the WHL is Finnish kid Eetu Laurikainen of Swift Current. He is 20 years old and undrafted but posted a 2.39 GAA and .922 SV% in 60 games last year as a small goalie in an offensive league. He had the 4th best SV% in the league behind Tristan Jarry (drafted by Pittsburgh), Patrik Bartosak (signed by LA), and Mac Carruth (Drafted by Chicago). The 4 behind him were notable too, Russian Andrey Makarov (signed by Buffalo), Laurent Brossoit (drafted by Calgary), Eric Comrie (drafted by Winnipeg) and Chris Driedger (drafted by Ottawa). I can’t see Laurikainen posting similar/better numbers and not being drafted late or signed at the end of the season.


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In Q-school…


Anthony Mantha has 14 points in 5 games including 4 goals last night, as if Detroit needs a guy with his talent. Mantha plays with an edge and has size, he could go from the Q to the NHL next season.


Emile Poirier the Calgary interesting pick has 6 points in 4 games and 15 minutes of penalties. With the ‘A’ on his shoulder he will look to better his 70 of last season and find a spot on Team Canada.


Toronto’s goalie pick, Antoine Bibeau has won 3 in a row and has a .921 SV%. Zach Fucale also has won 3 (but lost 1 too), he only has a .902 SV%. May the rivalry live on.


Anthony Brodeur is sitting 8th in the QMJHL in GAA with 2.69, but don’t get too excited, he has faced less than 20 shots on average in 3 games and has a .860 GAA… Yikes!


In Russia, Alex Salak has posted 6 wins in 7 games and a .955 SV%, if he comes back does he make as much noise as Ramo?


Sorry for the long read guys, but the world of prospects is rather vast and believe it or not this is just scratching the surface.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Andrei Buyalsky 4.5 3.5
Ivan Ivan 4.5 7.0
Matthew Stienburg 3.5 6.0
Oskar Olausson 7.5 8.5
Sampo Ranta 6.0 6.5
Tristan Luneau 7.5 8.0
Zachary Nehring 4.5 5.0
Jacob Julien 5.5 5.0
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0