Prospect Ramblings: NHL Trade Deadline, Leaf Debuts and Athanasiou is for real

Peter Harling

2016-03-01

Andreas Athanasiou

The 2016 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. Leading into today there were a flurry of deals, while today was much slower than deadlines of the past. There were still several trades involving prospects and picks so let’s take a look at the relevant names on the move.

– Los Angeles Kings  acquired Kris Versteeg from the Carolina Hurricanes for prospect Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth round pick.

Zykov has been one of the Kings higher ranked prospects, but in his rookie AHL season he has just seven goals and 14 points in 43 games. Carolina lacks depth in their prospect ranks so they will welcome Zykov who hopefully just needs a fresh start in a new organization.

– Pittsburgh trades Sergei Plotnikov to the Arizona Coyotes for Matthias Plachta and a conditional pick.

Plotnikov was signed out of the KHL last summer as a free agent like Artemi Panerin in Chicago. Unlike Panerin, Plotnikov has not panned out scoring only two assists in 32 games with the Pens. Plotnikov signed a one year entry level deal and could bolt back to Russia next year depending on how the season finishes in Arizona.

Arizona trades Mikkel Boedker to the Colorado Avalanche for Kyle Wood, Connor Bleackley  and veteran Alex Tanguay.

Wood is having a strong season for the North Bay Battalion in the OHL. Wood is a 2014 third round pick and a project, but he has good size, and plays a sound two-way game and projects as a reliable NHL player with some fantasy upside.  Bleackley is also a 2014 draft pick but remains unsigned. Unless he signs with the Coyotes he will go back into the draft and Arizona will receive a second round pick as compensation.

– Calgary Flames trade Kris Russel to Dallas for Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock and a conditional second round pick.

Calgary gets younger adding two good prospects and a pick. Pollock signed his ELC and is scoring around a point per game pace in his fourth year in junior with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Jokipakka is further along and playing in the NHL and has six points in 40 games. His fantasy value in standard shallow leagues is low, but he has upside and value in deeper keeper leagues.

– Ottawa Senators trade Shane Prince and a 2016 seventh round pick to New York Islanders for a 2016 third round pick.

Prince is a small offensive forward who has three goals and 12 points in 42 games with Ottawa. Prince had been used sparingly in Ottawa, with a fresh start in Brooklyn he may have an opportunity to see more ice time. Prince proved to be a capable scorer in the AHL but has yet to see his offence translate in the NHL

– Montreal Canadiens trade Devante Smith-Pelly to New Jersey for Stefan Matteau

Matteau, a former 2012 first round pick is a year younger than Smith-Pelly and has one year remaining on his contract, whereas Smith-Pelly will be a RFA this summer. Matteau needs a fresh start with a new team as he has been used sparingly and a healthy scratch when in the NHL. Matteau’s fantasy value is limited outside of leagues which score hits and penalty minutes.

***

With all the injuries and players they have traded away, the Toronto Maple Leafs called up several players from the Toronto Marlies. William Nylander, Kasperi Kappanen, Nikita Soshnikov and Zach Hyman all made their NHL debuts on Monday Night in a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The kids were all held off the score sheet but none of them looked out of place and were all given ice time late in the game.

Other players made their Leafs debut as well including Brooks Laich, Ben Smith, and Connor Carrick. Carrick was also impressive displaying some grit and dropped the gloves. Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello called Carrick an ‘A’ prospect.

***

As mentioned in a ramblings last week, Detroit Red Wings prospect Andreas Athanasiou is playing with the big club and had a monster game Monday night, scoring two beautiful goals

After setting up the play, he is in the right place to score the first goal

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Athana-we-see-you! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LGRW?src=hash">#LGRW</a><a href="https://t.co/b2v5AH8mfT">https://t.co/b2v5AH8mfT</a></p>&mdash; Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) <a href="https://twitter.com/DetroitRedWings/status/704506579312201728">March 1, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Speed, hands, and creativity make his second goal of the game a highlight reel goal

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Andreas Athanasiou's perfect toe drag became a highlight-reel goal for the Red Wings: <a href="https://t.co/UdhkSqmxta">https://t.co/UdhkSqmxta</a> <a href="https://t.co/6lsx8g8zgR">pic.twitter.com/6lsx8g8zgR</a></p>&mdash; SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) <a href="https://twitter.com/SBNationNHL/status/704517215429726208">March 1, 2016</a></blockquote>

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If you have Athanasiou on your prospect bench, feel confident bringing him up to your active roster as he is in the NHL to stay.  Pavel Datsyuk was asked post game about Athanasiou and said “he’s not fast, he’s lightning. I remember when I was that fast.”

***

2016 NHL draft prospect Logan Brown was named the OHL player of the week after scoring seven points in three games including four goals and three assists with a plus -2 rating. Brown is projected as a first round pick, ranked 14th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting in January’s Midterm rankings. His Windsor teammate Christian Fischer of the Arizona Coyotes was also considered for the award with four goals and three assists in three games. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner was the other skater considered for the award with two goals and five assists for seven points in three games. The final candidate was goalie Devin Williams of the Erie Otters who went 2-0-0-0 with a shutout and a 0.5 GAA and .973 save percentage while setting a new franchise record for wins with 37. Williams is an overaged and undrafted prospect who could be the next player signed to a contract as a free agent out of the CHL with  Dryden Hunt signing with the Florida Panthers two days ago.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlaPanthers?src=hash">#FlaPanthers</a> Dryden Hunt (<a href="https://twitter.com/huntsy22">@huntsy22</a>) has moves and a booming shot: <a href="https://t.co/AlNY1wxD4g">pic.twitter.com/AlNY1wxD4g</a></p>&mdash; Cats on the Prowl (@Cats0ntheprowl) <a href="https://twitter.com/Cats0ntheprowl/status/704491351858159616">March 1, 2016</a></blockquote>

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