Prospects Mailbag: December Edition

Cam Robinson

2016-12-21

 

Back again for another rousing look at some fantasy upsides, comparisons and deeper dives in the world of prospects!

Thank you to all who contributed questions and if you didn’t make the cut this month, keep on sending them my way as I do my best to answer as many as possible.

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Question: Thoughts on Kirill Kaprizov: what kind of upside does he have and how good are the odds he gets there with the Wild?”

 

Answer: Kaprizov is hanging with some lofty company as one of the highest-scoring teenagers in KHL history. Now, the KHL isn’t exactly an old entity, but there have been some very talented players go through there as sub-20’s scorers.

His current 0.81 point-per-game output sits behind just Nikita Filatov (0.85) and Evgeni Kuznetsov (0.84) for those who played at least 25 games in a teenaged season. His 30 points in 37 games is even more impressive knowing he sputtered out of the gate with just four points in his first 15 games.

This month’s World Junior Championship will be a coming-out party for the 19-year-old forward. He has a very good chance of leading the Russian team in scoring and propelling them into the medal rounds.

Kiprizov has a very high ceiling and after finishing out his contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa after the 2017-18 campaign he should be crossing the pond as one the premier players outside of the NHL. A stint in the AHL to adjust to the smaller rink and more physical play wouldn’t be unexpected but once he arrives and earns a top six role in Minnesota, he should make a mark.

He is a high-quality asset that should be owned in most dynasty formats.

 

Question: One that's intriguing me quite a bit is Mangiapane. Seems to have adjusted to the AHL smoothly… who can we compare him to and how does he project in the NHL. In my mind, I keep thinking PA Paranteau & C. Brown type?”

 

Answer: Andrew Mangiapane is the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey players, never receiving any respect.

Passed over in the OHL draft, he was pegged as a middle rounder after compiling 51 points as a walk-on for Barrie in his NHL draft year but went undrafted due to concerns about his size. He then went on to produce a 104-point season and Calgary took a flier on him in the sixth round. Now in the AHL, the diminutive forward has found early success against the professional ranks.

His speed is by far his greatest asset, something that separates him from some other smaller framed, offensive forwards. He can burn defenders off the rush and is willing to outwork those who are blessed with more size.

While not quite as large, he has been compared to Ondrej Palat and I can see the resemblance as well. He’s a player who refuses to quit on either end of the puck and as demonstrated a very sound two-way game.

He remains somewhat of a project prospect, but with each impressive showing at the AHL-level he gets closer to realizing his dream of playing in the NHL. Helping matters is the fact that he’s in the Calgary organization who covets skill over size.

 

Question: Would love to hear your thoughts on the goalies in the Hurricanes system. Mainly looking at Nedeljkovic and Helvig. Thanks!”

 

Answer: Jeremy Helvig has the size and determination that you want from a future NHL goaltender. His draft season stats were propped up marginally by a strong Kingston team and the loss of some key players has dropped his save percentage down. In my opinion, he’s a project goaltender, but if developed properly could be a player one day.

Alex Nedeljkovic is a very nice prospect. Despite being undersized – just six feet – he offers explosive reactions and a strong, tight b