Rossy’s Prospect Ramblings October 14 2015

Dean Youngblood


Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal, Jack Eichel earning big minutes, Panarin looks like a gem, CHL standouts and an early look around the AHL.


Everything seems to be falling into place with the highend prospects around the world. Just days after Jack Eichel scored in his very first game with Buffalo when he logged nearly 22 minutes in his NHL debut, Connor McDavid found the back of the net for the first time Tuesday night on a deflection from Andrej Sekera’s point shot.



The hockey world was getting kind of antsy waiting for McDavid to record his first NHL goal and point. Take a big deep breath and relax because McDavid will certainly score his share of points. Just like NHL greats Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby before him, Connor McDavid scored in his third NHL game so the timing of the Oil Town saviour is a bit ironic.


Connor certainly let a big sigh go after scoring his first goal and from that point on, he was noticeably impactful for Edmonton in their 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars, including earning some vauable ice time in the dying minutes as the Oilers attempted to tie the contest. He lined up between Nail Yakupov and Beniot Pouliot and the trio appeared to have some chemistry. Those linemates might not be as intriguing as Taylor Hall but Yakupov and Pouliot owners should certainly be smiling.

Give this piece a read as Gare Joyce compares Connor McDavid’s importance to the game to the way Gretzky saved the NHL in the early 80s and Crosby revived the NHL after the lockout.



Back to Buffalo’s saviour, Jack Eichel. In the same class as Connor McDavid, Eichel will definitely be a valuable rookie to own and could potentially lead the Sabres in scoring (I’d bet on it actually). His adaptation to the NHL isn’t as daunting as McDavid’s after competing against men last year with Boston University. Eichel has been very impressive early on and should rise quickly to one of the NHL’s top players. His strength, power and skill combination reminds me so much of Mario Lemieux. His attention to detail and dedication to the defensive game elevates his fantasy and real-world value even more. Dobber has Eichel ranked 28th on his list of the Top 300 Keeper League players but I know he’d fall in my own personal top five including Crosby, Tavares, McDavid and Ovechkin. Trust me, he’ll be vaulted up that ranking very quick.


Eichel with an outstanding defensive effort that leads to a nasty top-cheese wrister and his second NHL goal.



Tied to the Eichel arrival, here’s a good read about the Sabres rebuild by Katie Baker – The Sun is Rising in Buffalo





Other prospects making noise in the NHL include Chicago’s Artemy Panarin, Detroit’s Dylan Larkin, Mattias Janmark of Dallas, Nikolaj Ehlers out of Winnipeg and Ben Hutton on Vancouver’s west coast.


I flipped on the tube to catch my first NHL regular season game of the year and immediately was drawn to Artemy Panarin. Unlike the majority European import signings, Panarin possesses that “it” factor, making an impact every time he hit the ice. He’s competitive and fearless (which might prove to be bad in the long haul) – two factors crucial to surviving as an undersized skilled player in the NHL. Sure, he’s more of a risk to get injured but the reward is pretty damn attractive. In a Calder class featuring McDavid and Eichel, Panarin is the one “rookie” that could give these two a run for their money. Skating with one of the league’s all-time best playmakers in Patrick Kane certainly won’t hurt.


Wings fans love hanging their hats on the fact that the team has found some superstars deep in previous drafts and rightfully so. Anthony Mantha,