Prospects Ramblings: NHL Trade Deadline Prospects and Fantasy Hockey Trading

Peter Harling



The NHL trade deadline is fast approaching and business is starting to pick up on the trade front. Some big names are on the move and be sure to check in on our parent site for the fantasy impact on the big and established names on the move.

For the prospects changing teams, or at least organizations, let’s take stock on what’s happened so far.

The Vancouver Canucks acquire Johnathan Dahlen from the Ottawa Senators for veteran Alex Burrows.

Dahlen really raised his stock with a strong World Junior performance with Team Sweden. He was one of the Senators top ten prospects and is an aggressive fore-checking forward. He has a very high compete level. While he plays an aggressive physical game he takes few penalties and plays a reliable two-way game; characteristics that translate well to the NHL and will endear him to both the Coach and the fans.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hockey prospect Radio – Sept 30, 2016. GM Dorian on Jonathan Dahlen. <a href="">#Canucks</a> <a href="">@SiriusXMNHL</a> <a href="">@ShaneMalloy</a> <a href="">@sportsology</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Aynsley Scott (@HockeyMinister) <a href="">February 27, 2017</a></blockquote>

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He may be an ideal third line energy player and he has the ability to score goals both from in front of the net via tips, rebounds as well as from his shot further out. His release is quick and can be unexpected.  Dahlen is 19-years-old and was unselected at the CHL import draft last summer so if he comes to North America he can play in the AHL if he is not quite ready for the NHL. Dobber believes this trade could expedite his arrival in North American and the NHL and I agree, Vancouver needs a youth movement and Dahlen may not be that far away.

This trade has the potential to be a big win for Vancouver.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="no" dir="ltr">For comparison sake:<br><br>Filip Forsberg – D+1 in Allsvenskan — 15g-18a in 38 GP<br>Jonathan Dahlen – D+1 – 24g -17a in 43 GP</p>&mdash; Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) <a href="">February 27, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The LA Kings acquire Ben Bishop from Tampa for prospect Erik Cernak, Peter Budaj and picks.

The main piece coming to Tampa for Bishop is prospect Erik Cernak. The Kings 2015 second round pick is playing in the OHL for the Erie Otters and is a big reliable defensive defenceman.  Cernak could be a very effective bottom six defensive defenceman but has limited fantasy upside. He doesn’t even rack up penalty minutes as a physical defender.

{Source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Dreadful return for Yzerman, who dealt Bishop — Top-10 in Hart voting and a Vezina finalist twice in last 4 years — for Erik Cernak</p>&mdash; The Draft Analyst (@TheDraftAnalyst) <a href="">February 27, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The Arizona Coyotes acquire Teemu Pulkkinen from Minnesota for future considerations

Pulkkinen was once a fantasy relevant prospect with tremendous upside. He is a proven prolific goal scorer at the AHL level but has yet been able to translate that in the NHL. As our Coyotes scout Keith Duggan pointed out this is a potentially good buy low opportunity as he could finally find his niche in the NHL with a young team in Arizona. It could also be his last chance! Speaking of former once good Red Wings prospects…

The Chicago Blackhawks acquire Tomas Jurco from Detroit for a 2017 third round pick.

Jurco has fallen off the fantasy hockey map after once being a valuable prospect to own. Zero points in 16 NHL games this season was enough for the Wings to pull the plug on the Jurco experiment and hope to recover an asset with the pick. This is another good buy low opportunity as he has struggled with injury and opportunity in the Wings system and was in desperate need of a fresh start. If you own Jurco, this is what you were waiting for.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">One scout on Tomas Jurco, acquired by Blackhawks: &quot;I've always thought he had a little bit more skill than what we have seen from him.&quot;</p>&mdash; Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) <a href="">February 24, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The trade deadline often applies to fantasy hockey leagues as well as in the NHL. Most of your leagues trade deadlines will be the same day or a few days after the NHL deadline and it can be a real deciding factor in final season standings.

There are so many factors to consider from roster size, salary cap, and number of keepers allowed in your league, but the trade deadline can help you secure a championship, or expedite a rebuild.

If your team is a contender you may want to go all-in and mortgage the future to increase you odds of winning. Many leagues only allow a few keeper players and some non-contending teams may have very good players that just fall short of their protected list. They won’t fit under your umbrella either, but they are a serious upgrade to your worst roster player. The trade: you send your worst roster player and your top draft pick or prospect for said player. You get a beefed up roster but lose in the long run. They get solid future assets for nothing.

If your team is not contending, or not even competitive you may want to blow it up.

Salary cap leverage is a key tool to help rebuild. Most capped leagues also have a cap floor, and if your team sucks, you probably have plenty of cap room. Use it! Offer to take teams players with high cap hits and low production to allow them to acquire other producing players. In exchange for bailing them out of cap hell, you ask for top prospects or draft picks. The key to making this work is often the term on the deal of the cap dump you are eating. If you can’t drop the player without a buyout penalty you don’t want to have to endure the cap hit for more than two seasons, otherwise it will be an anchor pulling your team down. But a few years can be digestible as your rebuild likely will take a year or two before your acquired prospects and draft picks start earning serious money.

For more on tanking listen to episode 10 of DobberProspects Radio and look for a the next episode (#12) recording Trade Deadline eve with DobberHockey Managing Editor Steve Laidlaw to guest as we talk more in detail about the trade deadline.

Enjoy the trade deadline


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Jonny Tychonick 4.0 3.5
Noah Chadwick 5.0 5.5
Logan Neaton 3.5 4.0
Rutger McGroarty 9.0 8.0
Parker Ford 4.0 6.0
Brad Lambert 8.5 8.0
Nikita Chibrikov 7.0 8.0
Cutter Gauthier 8.5 9.0
Danila Klimovich 7.5 6.0
Kirill Kudryavtsev 6.5 4.5