Prospect Ramblings – Linemates and sustainability (Oct 16 2016)

Hayden Soboleski

2016-10-16

Looking at who the league's top prospects are playing with whether you can expect line-up changes in this week's Sunday Ramblings…

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Its finally here! The season has begun and fantasy nuts are excited to finally see their drafting pay off. In the case of those of us in keeper leagues, we are finally catching glimpses of our prized, formerly-benched prospects finally playing in the NHL, but where are we seeing them? And will we keep seeing them there?

 

Using the addictingly useful Frozenpool tool by Dobberhockey, I'm taking a look at the ice time and line-mates top prospects have received so far, and deciding if I believe this to be long-term or subject to change. 

 

Auston Matthews

Through two games, the top pick has spent almost 75% of his even strength time centering William Nylander and Zach Hyman. There have been brief periods of replacing Hyman, but usually only after he had been busy killing penalties and needed a rest. I do predict this combo will change in the future, but for the better. Matthews is quickly establishing himself as the top player on the team, and I think the Leafs will take the opportunity to put someone with higher scoring upside than Hyman on his wing, In no case should we expect Matthews to receive less ice time or worse line-mates.

 

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Mitch Marner

Unlike Matthews, who's line gets almost 20% of the Leafs' even strength time, Marner's get only 11% – the lowest of the 4 forward lines. This is mainly due to the fact he plays 81% of the time Bozak, who is not the team's strongest option at center. But like Matthews, Marner is showing that he is too offensively gifted to squander. This probably wont come from a line change, unless him and Nylander swap RW spots, but rather from his line receiving more ice time as a group as they gain more chemistry and become more dangerous. 

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mitch Marner with his first NHL goal! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TMLtalk?src=hash">#TMLtalk</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandWitness?src=hash">#StandWitness</a> <a href="https://t.co/CFPIEYlaQa">https://t.co/CFPIEYlaQa</a></p>&mdash; Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) <a href="https://twitter.com/MapleLeafs/status/787441633260400640">October 15, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Travis Konecny

Spending nearly 90% of the game with Couturier may imply that the Flyers have put Konecny in a reserved, defensive position, but this is not the case. 78% of that time has Voracek on the other wing, which is excellent news for the talented youngster – especially since this line gets the second-most ice time on the squad. I fear this will be short-lived however, given the historical production of Giroux and Voracek together. Unless Konecny can unlock Voracek's scoring like Giroux already can, the pair will probably be reunited as soon as the team gets desperate for offence. In addition, Schenn returning from suspension will likely replace Couturier. Despite all these players still being talented top-sixers, expect some rocky patches as changes are bound to happen around him.

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Fantastic outlet pass by Provorov almost sets up Konecny's first NHL goal <a href="https://t.co/mFXZoQRtBw">pic.twitter.com/mFXZoQRtBw</a></p>&mdash; Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) <a href="https://twitter.com/BroadStHockey/status/787485667756417024">October 16, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Patrick Laine

The most disappointing percentage for Laine – 26% – the percentag