A look at what to expect from prospects on Canadian teams as playoff hopes dwindle in this Sunday's Ramblings…
The trades have been made, the resulting call-ups have happened, and teams are settling in for the last legs of (for Canadian teams) disappointing seasons. The upside to this (other than favorable lottery positions) – oster spots opening for the next wave of talent to prove they're ready to improve their team's outcome next year. Here's a look at prospects of note on each of Canada's squads:
Trading away Hudler, Jones, and Granlund means that Michael Ferland (now off IR), Lance Bouma, and Josh Jooris are likely to spend less time in the press box from here on in. Ferland is already notable in fantasy leagues counting hits (166 on the year – 21st in the league despite limited games and ice-time), but Bouma and Jooris are unlikely to be fantasy relevant. Tyler Wotherspoon's NHL look was short-lived with the arrival of Jykri Jokipakka, who should also see consistent playing time for the Flames. He wont be a major point-producer, but his youth and size will surely force Calgary to test his limit, hopefully resulting in a second-paring position for the new addition. The latest call-up is AHL alternative captain Garnet Hathaway, who now has two points in four NHL games after producing 17 in 35 in Stockton. Jakub Nakladal is up to 11 games with the big club, but suffered an eye injury yesterday (no major damage reported). Another piece that may turn into a dependable defenceman for the Flames, but wont be picked up in any fantasy leagues until he puts up some points to go along with his not-bad SOG and hit totals.
It's still the Connor McDavid show in Edmonton, everyone knows that, and the lack of deadline movement and inevitable terrible finish means that not much has changed over the last few weeks. In fact, acquiring Maroon took away a potential audition spot, but right now I think the team is more concerned with their top prospects already in the NHL. Youngsters Anton Lander and Leon Draisaitl led the team in faceoffs won in their latest contest with 10 each (10/14 and 10/15 respectively), and McDavid was slightly over 50%, yet Columbus still had the puck enough to score six times…issues galore. On a much more positive note – freshly extended Brandon Davidson continues to provide all-around value with decent hits, blocks, and SOG numbers while pitching in 11 points in 50 games so far. His value to the Oilers is higher than it is to fantasy GMs, as he has excelled after returning from an undisclosed injury sustained in December (video below). He's playing second-paring minutes and a small amount of powerplay time; if the Oilers decide to give him a bigger chance on the man-advantage with Schultz now out of the picture, this kid could become a serious depth fantasy option in multi-category leagues. .Oh, and back to McDavid – five points in three March games so far, and only one of those come on the powerplay. He is a man-advantage all the time.
The most notable call-up of late was supposed to be Michael McCarron, but the power forward has put up a disappointing single point in seven NHL games so far. He is however shooting at a rate close to 3 SOG/game, indicating that he is in fact giving himself chances even if he fails to capitalize. Newcomer Stefan Matteau has been playing alongside McCarron, and gven his prepostorously low shooting percentage of 2.