With the NHL awards coming up this week I thought it would be fun to da a Dobber Prospects Awards. I polled a few of our writers to help collaborate the voting and I came up with 12 awards. Following the guidelines of the top 50 rankings from the Dobber Prospect Report prospects must not have played a NHL game to be eligible for an award, and the awards are with a fantasy hockey focus. Without any further ado, I give you the first ever fantasy hockey prospect awards by Dobber Prospects.
Biggest Boom or Bust: Alex DeBrincat, 2016 Draft.
DeBrincat is a supremely skilled sniper who has produced some pretty lofty scoring numbers for the Erie Otters in the OHL. That’s the Boom factor. He is also 5-7, 151 pounds, that’s the bust. He is so small and one dimensional that he has to score at a prolific rate in the NHL to be an effective player.
Runner Ups: Matthew Phillips (2016 draft), Josh Ho-Sang (New York Islanders), Sean Day (2016 draft)
Most Underrated: Adam Mascherin, 2016 Draft
While smaller players are widely more accepted in today’s NHL and are more capable of succeeding, and at 5-10 you may dismiss Mascherin as small, but that would be a mistake. He is short but built like a truck. He has above average strength for his age and is a deadly sniper. He reminds me of Mike Cammalleri.
Runner Ups: Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes), Daniel Zaar (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Top CHL Player: Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Hard not to go with Marner on this one after he won the MVP for the OHL, OHL playoffs, Memorial Cup and the CHL.
Runner Ups: Dylan Strome (Arizona Coyotes), Ivan Provorov (Philadelphia Flyers)
Top NCAA Player: Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets
Connor dominated the NCAA and was a Hobey Baker finalist, After the school year he followed in Dylan Larkins footsteps and played for Team USA at the World Championship.
Runner Ups: Jimmy Vesey (Buffalo Sabres) Luke Kunin (2016 draft)
Top European Player: Patrik Laine, 2016 Draft
Laine will be the second overall pick at the 2016 draft in Buffalo after Auston Matthews who also qualifies for this award after playing last year in the Swiss league. Laine gets the edge in fantasy terms while Matthews gets the edge at the NHL draft.
Runner Ups: Auston Matthews (2016 draft), Jesse Puljujarvi (2016 draft)
Best Sniper: Patrik Laine, 2016 draft
Laine has drawn comparisons to Alex Ovechkin by virtue of his sniping skills. His shot is elite by NHL standards already.
Runner Ups: Alex DeBrincat (2016 draft), Timo Meier (San Jose Sharks)
Best Playmaker: Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Marner has been filling YouTube highlights for a few seasons now with his sublime playmaking abilities. He has delivered countless tap in goals for those lucky enough to line up next to him.
Runner Ups: Auston Matthews (2016 draft), Matthew Tkachuk (2016 draft)
Top Goalie: Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks
Demko was the top ranked goalie in the prospect report by both Dobber and Jason Banks after a dominant season in the NCAA. The Canucks signed him up to his ELC to prevent the risk of losing him as a UFA next summer the way Nashville lost Jimmy Vesey.
Runner Ups: Ilya Samsonov (Washington Capitals), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes)
Best Power Forward: Lawson Crouse, Florida Panthers
His offensive totals may not have as high a ceiling as other candidates, but his physical play and all-around game will lend to higher totals in other stat categories making him the overall top performer.
Runner Ups: Timo Meier (San Jose Sharks), Kieffer Bellows (2016 draft)
Best Offensive Defenceman: Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers
Provorov will make the jump to the NHL in October and challenge for the top pairing defenceman before long. He scored over a point a game last season in the WHL leading all defencemen in scoring.
Runner ups: Zach Werenski (Columbus Blue Jackets), Anthony DeAngelo (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Most Improved: Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes)
After being passed over in the 2014 draft, Aho was eventually drafted in the 2015 second round. Fast forward and he is centering the Finnish top line between Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine at the World Junior winning Gold and again representing Finland at the World Championship. Now Aho is the Hurricanes top ranked prospect and one of the best overall in the world.
Runner Ups: Philippe Myers (Philadelphia Flyers), Kevin Labanc (San Jose Sharks)
Top Overall Prospect: Patrik Laine, 2016 Draft
Matthews is ranked first overall for the draft based on a positional bias. Laine has a higher offensive ceiling and this is fantasy hockey.
Runner Ups: Auston Matthews (2016 draft), Mitch Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs)
This concludes the 2016 Dobber Prospect Awards, Special thanks to Cam Robinson, Zach Devine, and Paul Zwambag.