Prospects Ramblings: Looking at the road to World Juniors, the Memorial Cup and more

Peter Harling


2017 WJC

The Canada Russia series ended last week which means the World Junior is just around the corner. The QMJHL won both their games against the Russians led by Carolina Hurricanes prospect Julien Gauthier in game one, and 2017 NHL draft prospect Maxime Comtois in game two. Other players who made a case for their inclusion on the Canadian roster this Christmas include Anaheim prospect Sam Steel, Tyler Benson (Edmonton), Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay), and goalies Callum Booth (Carolina) and Evan Fitzpatrick (St. Louis) who combined in the QMJHL series to allow just one goal against with Booth earning the shutout.

Looking ahead to the WJC which will be held in Toronto and Montreal again this year, the IIHF today announced the schedule for the ten pre-tournament games which will run from December 19th to the 23rd in eight cities across Ontario and Quebec.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Pre-<a href="">#WorldJuniors</a> games announced. Games in 8 Canadian cities <a href=""></a><br><br>Préalable au Mondial junior: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; IIHF WJC (@iihf_wjc) <a href="">November 21, 2016</a></blockquote>

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The Canadian team got some big news today as the Arizona Coyotes sent their top prospect Dylan Strome back to the Erie Otters after he had only managed to see action in seven of the Coyotes first 17 games. Strome will join the OHL top scorers in Taylor Raddysh and Alex DeBrincat who have 48 and 41 points each. The addition of Strome should help propel the Otters into contention for an OHL championship and possibly a Memorial Cup run. With Matthew Barzal already returned to the WHL by the New York Islanders the duo of Strome and Barzal should give Team Canada a strong one-two punch down the middle.


Speaking of the Memorial Cup, the CHL today announced the three finalists to host the 100th Memorial Cup. The Regina Pats, Hamilton Bulldogs and the Oshawa Generals are the three teams on the short list to host in 2018. The Windsor Spitfires are the 2017 host city.


The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled prospect Jake Guentzel. The 2013 third round pick and University of Nebraska-Omaha alumni made his pro debut this year and after 11 AHL games with two goals and six points he made his NHL debut Monday night. The College star made quite the debut, scoring on his first shift, on his first shot. The last Penguin prospect to accomplish that feat was Mario Lemieux. Guentzel then scored his second career NHL goal joining Warren Young (1984) and Rob Brown (1987) as the third Penguin to post two goals in their NHL debut.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jake Guentzel's first NHL goal. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Evgeni Malkin's Ego (@EvgeniMaIkinEgo) <a href="">November 22, 2016</a></blockquote>

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Guentzel is only 15% owned in Fantrax leagues, which after Mondays performance is sure to increase.


The Ottawa Senators placed forward Matt Puempel on waivers the other day and the New York Rangers claimed him today. With fellow former Sen Mika Zibanejad out for several months Puempel should be given an opportunity to play a little more regularly than he was for Ottawa. It is a good situation for Puempel as the Rangers on having a great season. Puempel is only 11% owned in Fantrax leagues and could be worth a claim in deep leagues with an emphasis on leagues with peripheral stats such as hits.


Dallas Stars top defenceman John Klingberg was a healthy scratch Monday after missing a team meeting. The Stars recalled prospect Julius Honka from Texas to replace him and the offensive defenceman posted his first career point, an assist and had five shots playing over 20 minutes


New York Rangers prospect Pavel Buchnevich and his back troubles continue to be a problem this season. He had an MRI that fortunately revealed no structural damage but expect the rookie to miss the next two-to-three weeks while he rehabs and strengthens his back.


On a positive note, Vili Saarijarvi will make his debut with Mississauga after returning from a wrist injury. Saarijarvi has missed the entire season and was traded from the Flint Firebirds in the off season. The Red Wings prospect will bolster an already strong Mississauga defence featuring 2017 draft prospect Nicolas Hague.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Owen Beck 8.0 9.5
Lane Hutson 10 10
Joshua Roy 7.5 9.0
Jacob Perreault 5.0 5.0
Filip Mesar 7.0 7.0
Jesse Ylönen 4.5 7.5
Alexander Gordin 2.0 1.0
Nate Schnarr 4.0 4.0
Jack Smith 1.0 1.0
Lias Andersson 7.0 7.0