Prospect Ramblings: Explaining my Top 10 Keeper League Prospect list (Jun 16)

Paul Zwambag

2016-06-16

2016 Prospect Report Cover

The offseason is here, but the ramblings continue…

With the Dobber Prospect Report available now. I am going to ramble/defend my Top 10 keeper league prospect list that can be found in the prospect Report, along with the next 40, as well as a group of writer's lists. (Any prospect who hasn't played a single NHL game)

1

Patrik Laine

In fantasy hockey, there are very few left wingers with Laine's talent. He is going to impress from the very first game in the NHL. He is fitting into a team that is much better than a second overall pick usually starts their career with. Winnipeg won the lottery move from sixth overall to second.

2

Auston Matthews

Matthews is a generational talent, but the centre position is so deep in fantasy hockey, that I moved him down from his NHL mock draft first overall position to second on purely being a centre. If he was a winger he would be back at the top of the list. Position value is key in keeper leagues, especially at the top of the drafts.

3

Jesse Puljujarvi

Columbus has been rumoured that they are willing to move down in the draft this year. Puljujarvi could use his size a little bit better, but once he figures that out, he will be a dominant presence in every zone, he also brings incredible hockey sense and is a terrific setup guy. His injury could be scaring the Blue Jackets front office, but how can Kekaläinen pass on a fellow countryman who has an NHL level shot.

4

Mitch Marner

Marner is in a tough spot here, so many different opinions of being NHL-ready or back to the OHL for another year. He dominated at every level (regular season, playoffs, Memorial Cup). Returning to London could mean leading his team to back-to-back OHL Champs and MC champs and becoming an impact player at the World Juniors. What are the chances Leafs keep him after the nine game mark this fall?

5

Kyle Connor

Connor signed his first contract with the Jets in April, he will not be relied upon to carry his team in offense, but can learn the NHL game from a second or third line roster spot and still put up points as a rookie. Connor is an incredible skater who possesses top end speed. Like Laine, Connor comes to a team with already top talent surrounding him. Should fit in nicely with this Jets roster.

6

Dylan Strome

Coyotes have not rushed their prospects as of late, but Strome could make an impact early in training camp and his nine NHL game tryout to make the roster. Strome is at the same crossroads as Marner, just a step behind. Strome doesn't have the hardware Marner won this past year. If he grows into his 6'3" frame he could be a top-end pivot in the Coyotes organization.

7

Jimmy Vesey

There are many rumours around Vesey ever since he finished his last year of school at Harvard University. Nashville Predators are losing out on a top talent, it all depends on where he chooses to sign. There are many links with Vesey to Boston, Buffalo and even the Toronto Maple Leafs. Keep an eye out where he lands come July 1st.

8

Christian Dvorak

Dvorak showed his leadership, helping lead London Knights to a Memorial Cup victory this past year. Dvorak should be putting on a Coyotes uniform full-time this fall. It will be a huge question who he plays with, Max Domi and Anthony Duclair had pretty good rookie seasons, Dvorak could have a similar rookie year in Arizona.

9

Travis Konecny

Konecny should get his chance to be a Flyer in October. He may start in the AHL to begin the year, but I don't think it will take him long to prove he deserves a shot at the NHL. Konecny's style of play fits with the Flyers organization; hard-hitting, intense, playing on the edge kind of hockey. His skillset will see him on one of the top two lines in Philadelphia by the end of season.

10

Mathew Barzal

Barzal could replace Kyle Okposo on John Tavares' wing to start the year. Putting a young kid with an impressive shot with Tavares could be deadly. Barzal is ready to play in the NHL. Hopefully the Isles don't take the slow approach with him and throws him in the top-six immediately.

This top 10 is part of my top 50 keeper league prospect list that can be found in the Dobber Prospect Report. You can purchase the Report HERE. Along with Dobber's other Fantasy Guides he puts out to begin the year and throughout the year. It is one of, if not the only guide that gets updated whenever there is big news out. The magazine guides can't keep up with Dobber's online direction, a quick PDF download and you have the latest information.

***

Apologies for missing last week, Zachary Devine filled in for my Thursday Ramblings spot, if you missed it, check it out HERE. Zach did a great job of wrapping up the Calder Cup Final with a few standouts. I agree with Zach, the Blue Jackets have a great group of prospects ready to jump to the NHL. Could be an interesting couple of years for Blue Jacket fans.

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As for missing my ramblings last week, I was attending the Formula 1 event in Montreal this past weekend, some sunny days, a cold and windy race day made for an incredible weekend of up and down racing. My Sunday afternoon started off with Lewis Hamilton (favourite driver) winning the Canadian Grand Prix and ended my Sunday night off with watching my favourite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins hoist the cup for the second time in my hockey fandom career, fourth in my lifetime, which is a pretty incredible feeling. Hearing stories of fans never seeing their favourite teams win a Championship really makes me feel spoiled that I have now watched the team I cheer for hoist the cup twice, first two I wasn't as involved with professional hockey as I am today.

Congratulations Pittsburgh Penguins!

 

Pittsburgh Penguins - photo courtesy: USA TODAY Sports Images

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Feel free to leave comments, questions or concerns below, have fun playing the game of Fantasy Hockey.

Paul Zwambag
@zwambag

 

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