Jan, 19 2015 (Austin Wallace)

Austin Wallace

2015-01-20

Exploiting the undrafted prospect in your pool, Top Prospect games, Anton Slepyshev and more…

 

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The USHL/NHL top prospects game was last Tuesday, the CHL version is coming up on Thursday, and before you know it draft season will be in full swing. NHL teams are the ones who choose which prospects will  play in the game.

Undrafted prospects are Brendan’s forte, but it is definitely worth watching the CHL game if you haven’t been paying attention. It is a good way to begin the 2015 Draft immersion process, and get a leg up on your competition.

 

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There is a subtle niche in a lot of deep-farm leagues that rarely gets exploited: The passed over prospect. In many leagues, players who were passed over in the draft become fair game, and there are usually a couple of prospects worth nabbing before they are redrafted. Tanner Pearson would have been a great one for those with a quick trigger finger. Last year in one of my leagues I picked up Ville Husso as a FA before someone tried to draft him in the early rounds.

 

This year, the pickings seem to be relatively slim, but now is the time to keep your eyes out. Take a look for older players on the NHL Central Scouting rankings (which will be released tomorrow on NHL.com), and see if you can pick them up.

 

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It is probably too late to add Joe Hicketts, undersized and underdrafted both, given that Detroit has already signed him and that he played in the World Juniors. That being said, it is certainly worth looking to see if the 5’8 offensive dynamo is available. He is very good on both sides of the ice, and while it will be a long time before he sees NHL ice, I think he has a better shot at making it than most defensive prospects his size.

 

Another one is Vladamir Tkachev, who was undrafted and infamously ruled ineligible to sign with the Oilers. It hasn’t been a great season for the undersized Russian, as he is putting up less than a point per game in the Q, and was cut from Russia’s WJC. He could certainly turn it around, but if he wasn’t added at the peak of his controversy, it is probably not worth adding him now.

 

I’ve seen some references to Jiri Fronk, an undrafted Czech player who is third in the USHL in points and played well in the USHL top prospects game. This is his first year in North America, and it seems that this success is unexpected even by his own team. He has 22 goals and 39 points in 34 games, and could be worth a speculative add in the deepest of deep farm leagues.

 

Richard Bukarts is the only notable undrafted prospect I can find, and other than an awesome name he also has 40 points in 35 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings, and is second on that team in points per game. At this point, he isn’t even worth a speculative add, but just keep his name in case he starts raising his profile.

I’ve probably missed a couple others, so please let me know in the comments below.

 

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If you have any interest in analytics or Cap Geek, it is worth listening to TSN Analytics here.

The guest from War On Ice makes a few really important points, especially when he talks about what analytics really means, and whether it is distinct from advanced stats.

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ESPN has put out their top 50 NHL prospects. While I trust Dobber’s rankings much more in terms of fantasy value, Pronman is someone I respect a lot. If you are an insider, you can see the rankings for yourself here.

 

 

As far as relative unknowns, Ville Pokka still isn’t talked about much.