Catching you up on prospects moved or being shopped at the NHL trade deadline…plus some highlights from the prospect world.
Monday, March 1st, 2015
With Austin Wallace’s head buried in his textbooks preparing for his midterms (aka, watching “TradeCentre”) the two of us are swapping ramblings days so you’re stuck with me today covering Trade Deadline action.
While the focus will remain on prospects, I may feel inclined to spew out some opinions on deals that go down as well.
Touching on Yesterday’s mini-blockbuster with Arizona trading defenseman Keith Yandle to the Rangers for promising speedster Anthony Duclair, defenseman John Moore, New York’s 1st round pick in 2016 and a 2nd in 2015. This exemplifies a great hockey trade for two teams headed in two different directions. It also marks the 8th time that Don Maloney and Glen Sather have come together to strike a deal. As a Yandle owner, I’m thrilled to see him flee the desert and the Coyotes’ got a legitimate top line winger in Duclair. With Duclair lining up alongside Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2015 World Juniors, Arizona fans should be excited about what the future holds after they showed some good chemistry. Duclair hasn’t necessarily ripped apart the QMJHL but he has scored nine goals and added 25 points in 19 games with the Quebec Remparts. I wonder if the Rangers chose not to start Duclair on their main roster to begin the year whether they would’ve had to add even more to acquire Yandle. I’m guessing they would’ve.
Maloney is one GM who’s doing a nice job, along with his scouting team, identifying young talent. Beyond Domi and now Duclair, Arizona can look forward to Brendan Perlini, Christian Dvorak and Henrik Samuelsson (getting a taste of NHL action now) as future top-6 forwards.
Christian Dvorak is an interesting prospect study after missing the majority of his draft season last year, Arizona took a swing on him late in the 2nd round (58th). I can tell you first hand that Dvorak was excellent in the games that I watched last year but this was considered a “gamble” due to his injuries. The pick is looking genius now. As I’ve mentioned here and on twitter before – there might not be a more well rounded prospect in the OHL this year. Dvorak has 38 goals and 100 points in 56 games with London. He had 14 points in 33 games last year. And, the answer is “no” if you are asking whether his points are a result of playing with Domi and/or Marner at times. His ability to create is impressive.
Since returning from his hand injury in early December 4th, Brendan Perlini has been red hot – 34 games with 23 goals and 49 points.
See how the Arizona Coyotes transformed their future in a hurry…
By shipping out Yandle, Vermette and the season-ending injuries to Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker should make the Coyotes legitimate contenders vs Buffalo for Connor McDavid.
Enough with the desert dogs for now…..
Tampa Bay GM Stevie Yzerman must’ve had his red bull on ice last night as he struck some late night (3am) deals with Boston and Philadelphia. The notable prospect involved was the Lightning sending former 6th overall pick (2010) Brett Connolly to Boston for a pair of 2nd round picks (2015 and 2016). It’s a hefty price but let’s remember that Connolly is still only 22-years-old and there’s some upside here. Connolly was Yzerman’s first selection as Lightning GM and I remember at that draft many were surprised that the Bolts went with him after missing nearly all of his draft season with an injury (he did have 10 goals and 19 points in 16 games). The following year Connolly riffled off 46 goals and 73 points with the Prince George Cougars. There’s some scoring potential here and clearly the Bruins think that they can get more than the 18 goals in 132 games that he’s posted at the NHL level.
While we wait around for more trades to break, we might as well check in on the NHL Draft eligibles. Connor McDavid did his usual thing picking up 5 points then responding with a four goal and six point performance vs Guelph on Wednesday, striking some belief that he may be able to catch London’s Mitch Marner in the OHL scoring race. Marner answered right back with 5 points of his own on the same night as McDavid recorded his five points and responded with a 6-point game of his own following Connor’s 6-point game too. The level of scoring ability in the OHL has been remarkable this season with five players clearing the 100-point plateau already – Marner (119), Dylan Strome (109), Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak (103), Connor McDavid (102) and Devils’ prospect Joseph Blandisi (100). Kevin Labanc (97 points; Sharks) and Max Domi (94 points; Coyotes) are knocking on the door as well.
Diminutive QMJHL star Dmytro Timashov continues to put up big draft year numbers and he had a huge night with Quebec scoring a goal and chipping in three assists. With 84 points on the year including 66 assists this playmaker could end up being a steal at the NHL draft if he falls too far.
Speaking of running hot, Zach Senyshyn is one of many talented players on the Soo Greyhounds roster but man, is he ever making a push up the draft rankings. With Nick Ritchie (Ducks), Justin Bailey (Sabres), Darnell Nurse (Oilers), and Blake Speers (2015 NHL Draft) sidelined, Senyshyn has become one of the Soo’s most dangerous players. He owns blazing speed, soft hands and a deceptively good shot. I’ve always had him high on my list (in relation to other rankings) but he’s battling for a spot inside the first round now.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect defenseman Anthony DeAngelo recorded a career high 6-points Sunday extending his scoring lead among blueliners to 12 points. DeAngelo has set new career highs with 20 goals, 57 assists, 70 points and 105 penalty minutes. He went pointless in his first game with the Soo Greyhounds after coming over from Sarnia but has since reached the game sheet in the 19 following games (10G 39P). There are few defensemen in the prospect world that combine skating ability, vision and grittiness that DeAngelo does making him a must-own in multicat formats.
Dallas Stars’ prospect Brett Pollock is rolling along in the WHL scoring four points in his latest outing with the Edmonton Oil Kings reaching his last year’s total of 55 points.
St. Louis Blues top prospect Robby Fabbri finally returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing two months with a high-ankle injury. The creative forward picked up an assist but had to leave the game after taking a puck to the face. Talk about terrible luck. Reports indicate that Fabbri will be fine however.
The Flames Sam Bennett has also returned to the lineup after having shoulder surgery and his three points in his season debut with Kingston sure helped the goal-starved Frontenacs. In three games since returning, Bennett has four points Kingston to two wins.
Teammate Lawson Crouse hasn’t necessarily lined up next to Bennett as Kingston opted to keep Crouse with Lammikko (Panthers) and McGlynn but he has skated on the powerplay with the Flames top prospect at times. Crouse has been the whipping boy of the NHL draft often getting criticized for his lack of production (and wrongfully, in my opinion) but his 25 goals speaks volumes to his potential. Crouse has nine goals and 16 points in his past 14 games.
As of today at 10:45 am (EST), nine 1st round picks have been moved from the 2015 NHL Draft, one that’s considered among the best all time.
If draft rankings are your “thing”, Future Considerations has their latest….SPOILER: McDavid, Eichel and Hanifin firmly planted as top 3.
Want a breakdown of how many 1sts, 2nds, 3rds, etc. that your team owns? This site is worth bookmarking.
Doubt that the Maple Leafs move their big guns (Kessel or Phaneuf) today. It’s easier to move them in the summer or at the draft if that’s their plan. However, Toronto does have the potential to be big time players today. Sounds like Detroit is very interested in Dion Phaneuf. That makes sense and he’d fit in very well. I’m sure the Leafs would want a Mantha or Larkin but may have to settle with a deal starting with a defensive prospect like Sproul or Ouellet.
Toronto has plenty of pieces that should draw interest including Polak, Robidas, Lupul, and Bozak. Some come with big contracts but I think they do what they can to move them.
Need information on a 2015 NHL Draft prospect? Head over to our draft eligible section! I will be continuing to add new profiles right up until the draft.
UPDATE: Our Flyers scout and Senior Writer Zach Hopkins weighs in with some quick thoughts on the (lack of) madness of Trade Deadline
1) Even if the Rangers go the distance and win the Stanley Cup, I still feel that the Coyotes win this deal. Anthony Duclair is an incredibly valuable prospect who will now be reunited with 2015 WJC linemate Max Domi in the desert. The pair played on the top line and helped Canada to the gold medal.
2) Speaking of Arizona, Don Maloney deserves a raise and the deadline hasn’t even passed yet! By sending Antoinne Vermette to Chicago, he received a 1st round pick to help the rebuild and former third round pick Klas Dahlbeck, who is a two-way defenseman with speed who is developing ahead of schedule. The Yotes will look to add him to the top-six immediately.
Throw in the fact that Arizona is closing in on a top pick, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they could land McDavid or Jack Eichel if they secure the first of second pick in 2015. Add in Chicago’s first round pick, Dahlbeck, Duclair and Domi, and you have a recipe for contention for years to come. Very deep prospect corps.
3) Great job by Dallas GM Jim Nill to acquire Mattias Backman and Mattias Janmark from Detroit for Erik Cole. The Swedish tandem instantly add depth to a Dallas system that has taken a step backwards this season (albeit injuries have not helped). Janmark is the key piece in my opinion as he is a phenomenal forechecker and has above average passing skill. Backman will help a team desperate for help on the blueline as he very rarely gets beat by poor fundamentals. His strength is skating and a strong first pass and that is something Dallas has missed this season.
UPDATE: Few more thoughts from myself (Brendan) on some prospects moved…
Sven Baertschi informed Calgary management that he had no intentions of re-signing with the Flames so Brad Treliving did extremely well to net a 2nd round pick for a prospect who’s fallen short of expectations. I’ve always liked Baertschi, going back to his draft season when I struggled to master the spelling of his name, so the it’s encouraging that the Canucks value him enough to give up a valuable Top 60 pick in a strong draft class. He will get an opportunity to show his stuff. Canucks GM Jim Benning called him a top-six player during his post-trade deadline media conference.
There appears to be a lot of upset Leafs fans at the lack of trades. Am I surprised at these fans? No. Many of them seem to forget that part of Toronto’s problem has been not being patient enough often bringing in stop-gaps that just don’t work. Any deal involving Kessel or Phaneuf is easier to maneuver in the offseason or at the draft. It’s also when they’ll maximize the return so stay patient. There’s no question that Joffrey Lupul would’ve helped a team but he comes with a hefty salary especially given his long list of injuries. Teams rightfully stayed away. In my opinion, Jonathan Bernier was never a legitimate trade token and he shouldn’t be. Sure, if a team blew Nonis’ socks off then it’s worth cosidering but that RARELY ever happens.
The last deal to come in was a swap of two former high draft picks. Zack Phillips (1st rounder) was sent to Boston for Jared Knight (2nd rounder). Neither player has lived up to their expectations.
I have always been a fan of Simon Despres so I was shocked to see the Penguins ship him out straight up for Ben Lovejoy who will return to Pittsburgh. Despres doesn’t have the luxury of feeding Crosby or Malkin anymore but I actually like him landing in Anaheim. Plus, Getzlaf and Perry aren’t bad guys to pass to either.
That’s it for now but any prospects on file have been updated so be sure to browse through our front page. New profiles on prospects not currently in our system will be added ASAP. Lastly, our Top 10s will need updating so look for those changes over the next few weeks.
With the trade deadline behind us, it’s time to make your guesses at who wins the Connor McDavid sweepstakes….plenty of candidates vying for this tremendous talent.
Gatineau Olympiques goaltender scores his second goal of the season:
Connor McDavid’s aforementioned four goal, six point game:
I will return with any necessary updates as more prospects are moved at the NHL Trade Deadline.