Welcome back to my Prospects Ramblings column for this week! Today, I look at the recent RFA signings in the NHL, as well as a report from the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects camp happening literally just down the road from me!
Today marked a sharp step forward for two franchises as the Colorado Avalanche re-signed former first overall pick Nathan Mackinnon to a seven-year contract worth 6.3 million dollars per season. It also marked the signing of Mark Scheifele in Winnipeg to an eight-year contract worth 6.15 million dollars per season, locking up their potential number one pivot until the 2023-2024 season.
From a fantasy perspective, this may potentially alter some approaches if you have yet to conduct your keeper selection draft, as you've just had a big chunk taken out of your cap space. Fortunately, this really shouldn't alter your approach to if they're staying on your roster.
In terms of Colorado, Mackinnon will get every opportunity to continue his progression to what should be an elite forward in the NHL. Though his trajectory may not be following that which may be expected, that shouldn't let opinions of his fantasy value change. Ultimately, Mackinnon has the talent set to put up great totals in all the primary scoring categories in even relatively simple keeper leagues. At 21, he still has an immense amount of upside, though be mindful he is playing on an Avalanche roster that still has questions both up front and on the back end. That should maybe help you foresee the potential of a so-so plus/minus statistic.
Schiefele, while not boasting the same offensive talent as Mackinnon, will benefit immensely from the elite level of talent on his squad. With every chance he will skate alongside the likes of Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers, his offensive totals are likely to hit career highs and could make him an absolute needle-mover. If Mark Schiefele is in your lineup this season, he is going to bring a bite to your finances, but is perhaps the most likely player on your team (and possibly in your league) to improve year over year.
As the Toronto Maple Leafs held their prospects development camp just down the road from me in Niagara Falls, I had the unique opportunity to take in some of the action over the past few days.
While Auston Matthews has looked like his powerful self, and Mitch Marner proved that he is every bit the shifty forward all expected, perhaps the most surprising prospect was a slightly unheralded one.
Drafted in the third round just 13 days ago, James Greenway has looked to have the tools of a potential impact defender. With very good skating which is truly appreciated when seen live, he also possesses a big frame and deceptively good hands. While the Leafs elected to move forward with size in this years draft, it was not until Greenway at 72nd overall that they decided to draft a rearguard. While at the time I remained somewhat ho-hum about this pick, as my viewings had been relegated to video, Leafs fans should be excited about what he could potentially become. Slated to play for the University of Wisconsin next season, this young man could become the steal of the draft for the blue and white.
Thanks for stopping by for my first post-draft Ramblings posting! And feel free to give me a follow on Twitter!