Calgary Hitman defenseman Jake Bean turned 18 today. Bean is the top WHL prospect in the draft and shifting through a group of defensemen which includes Bean, Dante Fabbro, Olli Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev and Jakob Chycrun is a great problem to have if you are an NHL general manager with a pick in the top 20. None of them should remain after that point, and if they are, it is a steal.
The last two picks of the draft could be decided tonight as the San Jose Sharks face the Pittsburgh Penguins down 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks first rounder belongs to the Boston Bruins as part of the Martin Jones trade that looks like a steal. The Penguins top pick is the property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Looking at the Boston choices at 14, I like them taking one of Jake Bean or Boston University commit Dante Fabbro. Both make-up the second tier of defenseman so it will come down to who the Bruins feel is a better fit. If Boston does go for one of these two rearguards, they can take a swing with the 29th pick in a high skill player like Vitali Abramov or Alex DeBrincat.
For the Leafs after taking Auston Matthews at number one could turn their attention to the blueline. Dennis Cholowski and Samuel Girard could both be there at the bottom of the first, but the Leafs also have pick 31 as well, so even more young talent will head to Toronto.
Speaking of the Toronto Maple Leafs at what point does the embarrassment of riches become a problem? The Leafs have two picks in each of the first four rounds of this year's draft as well as three second-round picks in 2017. The Marlies roster is chocked full of youngsters that did well in some call-up time with the Leafs, and that is to say nothing of the Mitch Marner situation next year, who either stays in the NHL or returns to the London Knights. The Leafs could be a mover and shaker on the floor of the First Niagara Center later this month.
In the Calder Cup final, the Lake Erie Monsters are giving Columbus Blue Jackets fanbase a reason to look forward to the future, besides selecting Jesse Puljujarvi. The youthful explosion of talent has percolated up to the AHL level, and some players will be getting long looks for key positions with the Jackets.
Daniel Zaar is a player coming into his own after spending the last few seasons in Sweden after being selected in the 6th round of the 2012 Entry Draft. Zaar is a complete player with a good shot and has adapted well to North American play. After posting 43 points in 71 games for the Monsters, he’s added seven goals and five assists in the Monsters playoff run and has scored a goal in each game of the final. Zaar is a player to watch for next year and is worth a slot in deeper dynasty leagues.
Zach Werenski has made the transition from the NCAA to the AHL look like it was hardly a step at all. His all-around play for the monsters looks polished and is third in team scoring in the postseason. Werenski should challenge for a top-four spot in Columbus this fall and the thought of pairing him with Seth Jones for the next eight-plus years should make Columbus fans very excited.
The Monsters are out to a 3-0 series lead but will not play Game 4 until Saturday, taking 11 days to play the first four games.
The 10th annual Dobber Prospect Report is out right now. It’s a great resource as you prepare for your league’s entry draft or to find players to target for trade talks. The Dobber Prospect Report includes:
Top 50 prospects not to have played in the NHL, compare Peter Harling ranking v Dobber versus the consensus
30 teams top prospects report including their top player's fantasy upside, NHL comparable and more
Aynsley Scott (Sirius XM Hockey Prospect Radio producer) three round mock draft and top 60 NHL draft prospects
Over 90 draft eligible player profiles and scouting reports with fantasy upside and NHL comparable
Top 25 Entry draft forwards, including lists from Peter Harling, Aynsley Scott and Dobber himself.
You can purchase your copy of the report in the shop
By Zakk Devine @Zakkthebear