Prospect Ramblings: Top 10 Eastern Conference Impact Prospects for 2016-17

Peter Harling





Last week Zachary Devine posted the Top Ten Western Conference Impact Prospects to help you get ready for your fantasy hockey drafts which are coming up soon. This week I take a look at the Eastern Conference and ten prospects who are poised to start making an impact on your fantasy team.

Auston Matthews - photo courtesy:

1. Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs used the first overall pick on Matthews who is expected to be the teams next first line franchise center since Mats Sundin. Matthews will step straight into the NHL and begin challenging for the first line job in October. He may need some time before he can take that job from Nazem Kadri, but don`t be shocked if it`s his job by Christmas. Not all first overall rookies make a significant and immediate impact. Steven Stamkos, Tyler Seguin and Joe Thornton come to mind. Yes Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin did but they were in a better environment with support players like Evgeni Malkin and Nick Backstrom. The best projection in my opinion is John Tavares, who had a poor supporting cast, and was made the franchise player immediately. He was physically mature at 18 and plays center as well. Using Tavares as a comparison for Matthews, Tavares scored 24 goals and 50 points in his rookie season. That is certainly fantasy relevant and a possibility for Matthews.

2. William Nylander – Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs tried to take the slow approach with Nylander and play him in the AHL all year, but his play commanded he be in the NHL. After a strong first half of the season he was dominating the AHL scoring despite having missed significant time with a concussion suffered at the WJC. He was given a NHL call up down the stretch and played too well for the Leafs to send him back to the Marlies. His NHL career will be full time going forward as a top six forward. The Leafs finished 28th overall in goals for last season, but help is on the way with the kids and Nylander should eventually flirt with a point per game pace.

3. Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers

Last year Ghost Bear took the NHL by storm and seized a Flyers top pairing job while he carried the team on his back to the post season. It would be easy to label Gostisbehere and Mark Streit as the top two on t