Prospect Ramblings: Drouin Returns, Players of the Week, Good Reads, And Andreas Johnson

Peter Harling

2016-03-07

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The breaking prospect news of the day was the announcement that Jonathan Drouin finally got some good advice, swallowed a big piece of humble pie and chased it down with a big swig of pride.  Joe Smith of the TB Times reported that Yzerman stated Drouin called him last week and expressed an interest in returning. Yzerman called it a “pleasant surprise”. Yzerman would also not rule out a salvageable relationship with Drouin moving forward. There has been a lot of speculation regarding his return by teammates and by all reports everyone is saying the right thing. The Lightning lifted the suspension on Drouin and he will report to the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.

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The NHL trade deadline was last week, but the AHL trade/loan deadline was today at 3 p.m. and there was some minor movement.  The transactions list on the AHL web site can be found here as it may be updated from the time I am writing this. Here are some of the more relevant moves of the day.

The Charlotte Checkers and the Utica Comets, affiliates of the Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks) made some moves. It gets rather complicated and technical but the long and the short of it is Charlotte acquired defenceman Blair Jones and LW Dane Fox from Utica.

 The Bakersfield Condors acquired LW Zach Boychuk from Charoltte, RW Andrew Miller from Edmonton, and Nick Pageau from Norfolk.

Other AHL/NHL transactions of note include Tyler Wotherspoon being recalled by the Calgary Flames. Wotherspoon has already played six games in the NHL this year and will get another cup of coffee here to try to win a roster spot for next season.

Mason Geertsen was recalled from the ECHL to San Antonio in the AHL.

 Former London Knight and Boston Bruins prospect Jared Knight was recalled to Iowa from the ECHL as well. Knight is an interesting file, widely considered a bust at this stage, he showed significant promise as a power forward with some offensive upside while in the Bruins system. Knight has failed to realize his potential and likely never will, but this recent recall given him an opportunity as a reclamation project for the Wild.

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On to more relevant players, Bruins prospect Frank Vatrano has been named the AHL player of the week. The Bruins late bloomer has developed into a prolific goal scorer in the AHL with a league leading 29 goals in only 28 games. He also leads the league in powerplay points with 12 and shots with 145. Vatrano wins the award by virtue of his hat trick this weekend where all three goals were unassisted. It is also his third hatty of the season. Vatrano has fantasy relevance as his goal scoring skills are considerable.

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hat's incredible: The third unassisted goal of the game for <a href="https://twitter.com/Frank_Vatrano">@Frank_Vatrano</a> gives <a href="https://twitter.com/AHLBruins">@AHLBruins</a> an OT win. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PORvsPRO?src=hash">#PORvsPRO</a> <a href="https://t.co/T7Zdm9mAkC">pic.twitter.com/T7Zdm9mAkC</a></p>&mdash; AHL (@TheAHL) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAHL/status/706610573384011776">March 6, 2016</a></blockquote>

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The Hockey Writers author, Bill Schoeninger has a great read today; Four Breakout NHL Prospects You Need to Know. It is a must read for Fantasy Hockey GM’s in deep keeper leagues as it outlines some players you probably have never heard of. Get to know Philippe Myers (PHI) , Andrew Nielsen (TOR), Jake Walman (STL), and Ziyat Paigin (EDM) and keep these names on your watch list for your next draft. They all have super sleeper potential.

Another one of my favorite writers is @BrockOtten who has released his version of the OHL Coaches Poll, ranking the best OHL players in a variety of categories from most underrated, best shot, skater etc. read that here.

Find my latest edition of the top 100 prospects in hockey on Todays Slapshot here

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The OHL player of the week award goes to Peterborough Petes undrafted over age forward Hunter Garlent. He scored six goals and one assist in two games for the Petes, who clinched a playoff spot over the weekend. The 21 year old is having a career year with 80 points in 62 games and is currently 12th in league scoring. Garlent is a long shot to receive a NHL contract.

Florida Panthers prospect Lawson Crouse was runner up last week with eight points in four games as the Kingston Frontenacs are having a franchise record setting season and are a serious contender for the Memorial Cup. In goal, London Knights Tyler Parsons who is 2016 draft eligible was also a candidate with a 2-0-0-0 record and a 1.00 GAA and save percentage of .965.

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With the spotlight in Toronto focused on the prospects debuting with the Leafs and looking very good, don’t forget about another of their top prospects over in the SHL in Andreas Johnson. The 21 year old seventh round pick by the Leafs is tearing up the SHL with 19 goals and 42 points in 51 games and sits seventh in league scoring. Johnson could come to North America once his season is over and join the Marlies for a Calder Cup run and begin his North American career. Otherwise he could join Sweden for the World Championship, either way he will quickly gain the attention of fantasy GM’s looking to snap up the next top player from Europe A la Artemi Panerin.

Watch this end-to-end rush by Johnson

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">End-to-End Rush: #88 ANDREAS JOHNSON <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Leafs?src=hash">#Leafs</a><a href="https://t.co/04pAS5WqFI">https://t.co/04pAS5WqFI</a></p>&mdash; SHL Prospect GIFS (@SHLProspectGIFS) <a href="https://twitter.com/SHLProspectGIFS/status/705510554035683334">March 3, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Andreas Johnson makes the most incredible saucer pass I have ever seen!

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">His namesake sang &quot;Glorious&quot;. That isn't even CLOSE to how good this Andreas Johnson pass is. Pass. Of. The. Year. <a href="https://t.co/vkIRJYBr8b">pic.twitter.com/vkIRJYBr8b</a></p>&mdash; Paul Wheeler (@fourthlinewing) <a href="https://twitter.com/fourthlinewing/status/702591898330992640">February 24, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Be sure to be following our ever growing list of player profiles for 2016 NHL draft eligible prospects here

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Frederik Dichow 6.5 5.5
Ridly Greig 7.8 8.0
Zack Ostapchuk 6.0 7.5
Jack Studnicka 8.0 8.0
Brett Murray 5.5 7.0
Prokhor Poltapov 7.5 7.0
Isak Rosén 7.5 7.5
Luke Evangelista 7.5 6.5
Connor Ingram 6.0 6.5
Yaroslav Askarov 9.0 8.0

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