It may be the off season but there is no off season in fantasy hockey, and as such it is a busy time of year for those of us in deep keeper leagues with prospect rosters to scout and farm. This is when you can get an edge on the competition by keeping your ear to the ground and getting a head start before the magazines hit the newsstands next month. Here is what to look for, and where to find it.
First, DobberProspects of course! Based on the huge success of the Fantasy Ranking of 2016 NHL Draft Eligible player players post back in February, I decided to revisit the post and invite some outsiders like Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News, Scott Wheeler from Future Considerations, Mark Seidel from NACS and more to contribute to the Final Fantasy Ranking of the 2016 NHL Draft Prospects
This ranking is a consensus of over a dozen writers and scouts from DobberProspects and outside sites for the fantasy hockey value of the top 30 players from the 2016 draft. Don’t blindly draft players who were picked in the first two rounds of the NHL draft for your fantasy league as some of them just won’t translate in fantasy the way you think – Logan Stanley!
Don’t overlook the College players who were undrafted and signed NHL contracts in the spring. Drake Caggiula is this year’s big fish but I wrote an article highlighting the top College free agent players for 2016, read it here
All the NHL Development Camps are this month as well. Some are wrapped up, while others are just getting started. These are a great way to gauge where a player stands in competition and development with his peers. Our Associate Editor Paul Zwambag made a neat and tidy one stop shopping spot with all the links to each NHL teams Development camp rosters and dates. Read it here
And of course you know that over the month of July here at DobberProspects we are bringing you the first of what hopefully will be an annual occurrence each summer, the 30 in 30. This July each team scout/writer will be breaking down how that team made out at the NHL draft with review and analysis on each pick. In addition we give you the impact of any free agency signings and or trades that occurred. And finally we also include some scouting notes and observations from team development camps. Many of our writers have been able to attend their team’s camps and the insight is very valuable. You can find all the 30 in 30 articles on out Feature Story Page, found here
In the month of August the 30 in 30 continues with another round, this time looking at each teams prospect depth chart for each position as well as an organizational overview looking at what prospects are on the verge, who is developing and who is not.
Perhaps the most valuable, but often most risky source of fantasy hockey players coming to the NHL each year is from Europe. For every Artemi Panarin, and Carl Soderberg, there are dozens of Roman Cervenka, Petri Kontiola, Steve Moses, and Evgeni Medvedevs. It’s a bit of a crap shoot but when they pay off, it’s usually big! I had a feeling Panarin was going to be a great fantasy asset. He had good numbers in the KHL, but most importantly he looked great at the World Championsip and he was projected to play on a line in Chicago with either Toews or Kane. Of course I didn’t expect him to be a Calder finalist, I modestly projected 50 points. This year, one player to keep an eye out for in your fantasy draft could be Linus Hultstrom who is coming over from Sweden to the Florida Panthers. He may need to spend some time in the AHL while making his transition to North America but he has great offensive ability and a great shot. Who Knows, he may be the next John Klingberg. Another player to watch for is Vadim Shipachyov from Russia. The 29 year old KHL vet has been rumored to be coming to North America and he posted some pretty impressive offensive stats last year with 60 points in 54 games. I will be creating a list of the top European free agents this summer a little later on once the signings end, stay tuned.