Prospects Rambling – AHL highlights, Vasilevskiy thoughts, and 2016 Draft Ramblings

Hayden Soboleski


Taking a swing at the goaltending situation in Tampa Bay, some AHL top plays, and more talk about the upcoming NHL draft in this Sunday's Ramblings…


A prospect on everyone's radar right now is Tampa Bay backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy – one of the highest regarded prospects in his position for quite a few years. Ian Gooding over at DobberHockey wrote a great Ramblings yesterday on what to expect from him and other young strong goaltenders stuck behind established starters. If you had asked me a year ago, I would've said that Vasilevskiy is absolutely the goalie of the future for Tampa, and that as soon as Bishop's contract expires its time for the new guy. But after a stellar season, and now leading his team deep into the playoffs again, I wouldn't be surprised at all of Tampa chooses to hang on to the known commodity – Bishop. Whatever comes to pass – Vasilevskiy is too talented and valuable to be squandered in a backup role for long, so if the organization commits to Bishop with an extension next season, I would expect a team in need to trade for the young star with the intent of giving him a real workload. 


My personal fantasy outlook: I expect Vasilevskiy to be a starter, or at the very least a 1A half of a tandem, in 2017-18. I'm not sure where, and if its not in Tampa Bay it will likely be on a rebuilding team willing to take a risk on a possible star, rather than a contender signing an established guy. If it is on the talented Lightning squad, he is a shoe-in for a good amount of wins. If elsewhere, who knows. All that's for sure is that sooner rather than later (barring any further blood-clot inssues), he will be given a chance to prove he's all that scouts say he is.



The AHL playoffs are ongoing, with the conference semifinals nearly wrapped-up. Fellow DobberProspects editor Paul Zwambag is the go-to source for up-to-date bracket info in the form of NHL94 infographics (he has cornered the market).

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Daily <a href="">@TheAHL</a> Bracket Update:<br>Tonight’s Matchups:<a href="">#HERvsWBS</a><a href="">#CalderCup</a><a href="">#94Edition</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Paul Zwambag (@zwambag) <a href="">May 15, 2016</a></blockquote>
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I was planning on doing a recap of the tournaments top scorers like I did last week, but there hasn't been a whole lot of movement among top scorers. The Penguins' Jake Guentzel still leads the way with 14 points, and in only nine games played, less than others on the list. The Marlies' Connor Carrick is sitting in second (as a defenseman!), while future NHLers Anthony Mantha, Jakob Vrana, Nick Ritchie, and Zach Werenski all continue to have very very strong postseasons. With the exception of Guentzel, all of these players belong to eliminated or non-playoff NHL organizations, who are hopefully focusing on the positive of having these kids in their lineups soon.


Some notables from the last week of play:

– Tyler Bertuzzi's hat-trick to keep the Griffins alive

– Nick Lappin's move here against the Marlies

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Moves like Lappin ? <a href="">#TORvsALB</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AHL (@TheAHL) <a href="">May 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
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– Mike Amadio's OT goal on his birthday

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Scoring the overtime GWG on your birthday? Not bad… <a href="">#ONTvsSD</a> <a href="">#CalderCup</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AHL (@TheAHL) <a href="">May 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}


– This totally unfair moe and backhand snipe by Sonny Milano

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We see you, Sonny ? <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AHL (@TheAHL) <a href="">May 10, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}



Yesterday's Ramblings by Mark Allan touched on what to expect from teams in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. After the first three picks, there is a huge discrepancy between scouts, bloggers, and mock-drafters as to who will be taken where. In fact, between the spots of 4 and maybe 10, I dont think anyone can rightly predict the draft outcome, let alone separate players into tiers. Traditional wisdom says to select the best player available, regardless of position, but with such a large cluster of similarly-skilled players, that might go out the window. I predict movement by teams up and down the ladder in the first round, as managers in this situation will have the chance to truly focus on addressing their team's needs, which other teams ahead of them will also be well-aware of. We know what teams likely covet the tenacious Tkachuk, or prefer a playmaking Nylander. WIll such teams make a move to make sure they get their man when no-one knows how high they'll go? I sure hope so. This could be the most exciting draft day in a long time.



As always, thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy off-seasons!


Hayden Soboleski



Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Gabriel Eliasson 6.0 2.0
Tory Pitner 5.0 5.0
Charlie Forslund 5.5 4.0
Liam Danielsson 5.0 3.5
Timur Kol 4.0 5.0
Viggo Gustafsson 4.5 5.5
Marcus Gidlöf 6.5 3.0
Kim Saarinen 6.0 4.5
Gian Meier 4.0 5.0
Stian Solberg 8.0 8.5