Prospect Ramblings: Off-season Preview, Gems from the 2015 Draft and More

Peter Harling

2016-06-13

2016 nhl draft Buffalo

Welcome to the Fantasy Hockey off season. The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Stanley Cup Sunday night in San Jose, officially kicking off the off season in all the keeper leagues. For all of you who have long been waiting for your trade deadlines to lift and to begin researching your draft, todays prospect ramblings is for you.

First let’s look at what the NHL off season schedule looks like.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Buyouts start Wednesday, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/2016NHLDraft?src=hash">#2016NHLDraft</a> on June 24/25, FA negotiations start June 25, the 2016 off-season calendar: <a href="https://t.co/8wtPwmZ0L0">pic.twitter.com/8wtPwmZ0L0</a></p>&mdash; General Fanager (@generalfanager) <a href="https://twitter.com/generalfanager/status/742191221469241344">June 13, 2016</a></blockquote>

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The first order of business is the buyout window. With the NHL expansion expected for the following summer this should be a relatively inactive buyout year for two reasons. First being teams my hope to expose potential buyout candidates in an expansion draft and wash their hands of said contract for free. Second the NHL and NHLPA have been negotiating the rules for an expansion draft. This will be the first expansion since the introduction of the salary cap and as such is uncharted territory for an expansion draft. The NHLPA will not want to allow teams to expose players with no trade or no movement clauses built into their contracts, and force the teams to protect them. This could cause some problems for certain teams with a surplus of contracts with such clauses. One potential solution is to allow teams another amnesty buyout for players with a no move clause to provide the freedom to protect players they do not want to expose to the expansion draft. Some players you can expect to see receive a buyout include

Jared Cowen, Toronto Maple Leafs, one year, $4.5 million.

Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild, one year, $7.5 million.

Bryan Bickell, Chicago Blackhawks, one year, $4.5 million

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PR16-cover-1-768x994The next date to look forward to is the June 25-25 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo. There are plenty of great quality draft guides available that you can buy. Here are some of my favorites, which I highly recommend. First, the Dobber Prospects guide has 188 pages including 100 draft eligible profiles, mock draft, over ten charts ranking players in