CHL Canada Russia Series rosters announced, AHL assignments, and some rookie scoring updates from around the NHL
One of the best stages junior players have during the regular season to compete against best of their peers is the annual CHL Canada Russia series, which pits all-star teams from the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL against team Russia for two games each. The tournament will take place November 10th- 20th across Canada, and there will be more than a handful of recent draft picks looking to show off the talent that made them first round picks.
You can find the full team OHL roster Here, featuring Dylan Strome (ARI), Lawson Crouse (FLA), and Zach Senyshyn (BOS),
the full team WHL roster Here, featuring Haydn Fleury (CAR), Matt Barzal (NYI), and Nick Merkley (ARI)
and the full team QMJHL roster Here , featuring Thomas Chabot (OTT), and Anthony Beauvillier (NYI)
Team Russia has not been annouced yet.
Now for some updates. It took a few games but
McJesus Connor McDavid is hitting his stride and looking very confident with the puck. Edmonton seems to have settled on Yakupov and Pouliot as linemates for the superstar, after short periods with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins revealed the problem that only one can have the puck at a time. New, more selfish McDavid should be just fine, and is getting ample even-strength and powerplay ice time despite being away from Hall.
Arizona has been full of surprises so far this season, but not many predicted such a scorching start for Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Domi is tied for the rookie scoring lead with eight points in seven games, while Duclair is in second place with seven points, boosted by a hat-trick against Anaheim. The even-strength lines in Arizona aren't stable enough to bank on, but both these rookies are getting top powerplay minutes, meaning as they are getting pretty much the maximum opportunity to score that Arizona is capable of giving them. Not only are these two putting up the points for the Coyotes, they are making the team much more fun to watch and will be fan favorites in no time.
Speaking of the rookie scoring lead, the other player sharing first place is Artemi Panarin (with eight points in seven games), who is meshing incredibly well with linemates Kane and Anisimov. This line has stuck together for most of the season so far, and given that all three members are producing well, there is no reason to think change is coming. Panarin is also getting regular powerplay time, and I think everyone reading this article knows that there is enough talent in Chicago to make a first-unit powerplay spot a very good place to be. Throw in the fact that Panarin is shooting at a reasonable 11.6%, I wouldn't be surprised by a 55+ point season for the NHL newcomer.
It might still be too early to say, but I'm impressed by how many rookies have started hot and stayed hot. Dylan Larkin in Detroit (six points in six games), Mattias Janmark in Dallas (five points in seven games), Oscar Lindberg in New York (five points in eight games), and Nik Ehlers in Winnipeg (four points in six games) continue to be key contributing members of their respective teams. Larkin's case is especially impressive since he plays on Detroits top line and draws the toughest competition, but also gains the benefits of playing with Henrik Zetterberg and 17 minutes TOI per game. Ehlers plays 15 minutes/game, Janmark 13 minutes/game, and Lindberg 12 minutes/game.
Teams have started deciding who would be best served with more AHL development, which has a big impact on fantasy keeper leagues where having too many inactive roster spots keeps you from being truly competitive. As such, now is the time to start thinking about exchanging some borderline NHLers for others who are on the right side of the cut-off. Here is a list of notable players who have been assigned to AHL duties until further notice:
Mikko Rantanen (COL)
Seth Griffith (BOS)
Nikolay Goldobin (SJ)
Kerby Rychel (CLB)
Markus Granlund (CGY)
We're also approaching the dreaded time of year for younger rookies – the nine-game "tryout" is ending, so teams not wanting to burn a year of the player's entry-level contract must return the player to their junior club. A few players dont need to worry about this (Sam Bennett and anyone I mentioned earlier in my scoring updates should be safe) , and most players who would have been worried about this deadline were reassigned early in the year. Daniel Sprong is one of the only notable young-guns who could be reassigned soon; he has only one point on a Pittsburgh team with enough talent to not need him around just yet.
As always, thank you for reading, and best of luck in any fantasy leagues I'm not a part of!