Prospect Ramblings: Which teams will have room for rookies? (Western Conference)

Hayden Soboleski

2017-03-26

Looking at available roster spots for next season's rookie class in this Sunday Ramblings…

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Last week I rambled speculation on which teams in the Eastern conference will have space for their upcoming prospects and which may force some players to fight for limited space. This week I'm working through the Western Conference, which has lots of young talent ready to grab spots next year. Let's get right to it.

 

Anaheim Ducks

UFAs: Nate Thompson, Patrick Eaves, Korbinian Holzer, Jonathan Bernier

Prospects waiting: Shea Theodore, Brandon Montour, Jacob Larsson, Kalle Kossila, Kevin Roy

The Ducks have had more defenceman prospects than spots for over a year now, spurring constant trade speculation over that time. This off-season will be no different, as the top 3 names on the waiting list are outstanding back-end prospects. Kossila has had enough success in his first AHL season to warrant a real look for the NHL next year, and there coud be room up front for him.

 

Arizona Coyotes

UFAs: Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, Zbynek Michalek

Prospects waiting: Most of their farm system

Arizona's roster is already loaded with prospects in their first year or two of NHL action. UNless the teams philosophy changes, any open spots next year will been open for for a mix of Christian Fischer, Brenden Perlini, Kyle Wood, Anthony DeAngelo, Anthony Duclair, or whatever very high draft pick they end up with after this poor campaign.

 

Calgary Flames

UFAs: Kris Versteeg, Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland, Michael Stone, Brian Elliot, Chad Johnson

Prospects waiting: Jon Gillies, Mark Jankowski, Rasms Andersson, Morgan Klimchuk

With neither goaltender likely getting a renewal, and the Flames passing on a Bishop trade for a year, the gate is wide open for future-starter Jon Gillies. 

 

Chicago Blackhawks

UFAs: Andrew Dejardins, Johnny Oduya, Brian Campbell, Scott Darling

Prospects waiting: Everyone who'se had a 20-game look this year

Tyler Motte, Tanner Kero, John Hayden have all got NHL games under their belt, but haven't exactly earned status as locks. Recent signee Luc Snuggerud could be a darkhorse candidate to steal on of the opening spots on the back end. Ville Pokka of Kyle Baun could finally make the jump but there aren't enough spaces to bet on that.

 

Colorado Avalanche

UFAs: John Mitchell, Rene Bourque, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Goloubef

Prospects waiting: Tyson Jost, JT Compher, AJ Greer, Rocco Grimaldi, Anton Lindholm

This team is an exception to this article, because they will make room for any young prospects who are ready. Greer and Compher will see significant time next season if they play like they are right now. Jost may return to NCAA another year, but if he signs in Colorado it will be for NHL action.

 

Dallas Stars

UFAs: Patrick Sharp, Ales Hemsky, Jiri Hudler

Prospects waiting: Denis Gurianov, Julius Honka, Jason Dickenson

A flush of promising defenders has blocked Honka's way to the NHL this season, but its hard to imagine he doesn't get a fair chance at a spot in 2017-18. If Gurianov plays like he did at the WJC, he could slide right in to a scoring spot that's opening up as UFAs leave.

 

Edmonton Oilers

UFAs: David Desharnais, Matt Hendricks, Tyler Pitlick, Kris Russell, Eric Gryba

Prospects waiting: Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Jujhar Khaira

The organization and fantasy owners ill be disappointed if Puljujarvi can't break the NHL again next year, and they will make room for him if they have to. There projects to be room available for Slepyshev and Khaira to get more permanant roles with the club.

 

LA Kings

UFAs: Jarome Iginla, Ben Bishop

Prospects waiting: Adrian Kempe, Paul Ladue, Jonny Brodzinski, Mike Amadio

Not alot in the system, but also not many spots opening. The first three names on the prospect list have already seen cups of coffe with the club and will vie for a rare permanant spot in training camp. Kempe and Ladue look ready and I think the team will make room for them.

 

Minnesota Wild

UFAs: Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, Nate Prosser, Darcy Kuemper

Prospects waiting: Luke Kunin, Alex Tuch, Joel Eriksson Ek, Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, Mike Reilly

There's a pretty obvious problem here. Unless the team moves out players of importance, these proven scorers are not getting the shot they deserve. One may make the team out of camp, and other may force the issue, but its a shame that prospects of this caliber may be left waiting another season.

 

Nashville Predators

UFAs: Mike Fisher, Vernon Fiddler, PA Parenteau, Brad Hunt, Yannick Weber

Prospects waiting: Pontus Aberg, Vladislav Kamenev

Fiala locked down his spot this year, and next year it should be one of the above. The team has a good thing going these days, so wont be in too much a rush so players will have to prove they've deveoped as much as they can in the AHL before making the jump.

 

San Jose Sharks

UFAs: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Michael Haley

Prospects waiting: Daniel O'Regan, Tim Heed, Roarke Chartier, Joakim Ryan

The Sharks went out of their way to make room for Labanc when he showed up this season, so its possible they do it for O'Regan who has been fantastic in the AHL. That being said, I have a feeling these UFAs stick around and severely limit chance for prospects to make the jump or even move up the lineup.

 

St Louis Blues

UFAs: Scottie Upshall

Prospects waiting: Robby Fabbri, Vince Dunn, Jordan Schmaltz

Assuming Barbashev is here to stay, Fabbri is the next forward to get a chance. On a weaker team he'd be a lock for next season but not in St. Louis. There won't be room for both d-men Dunn and Schmaltz, who coud battle for a depth spot.

 

Vancouver Canucks

UFAs: Jack Skille, Jayson Megna, Philip Larsen

Prospects waiting: Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko, Jordan Subban, Olli Juolevi, Jake Virtanen

The defence is already crowded with Stecher and Hutton in the mix, so finding room for Subban and Juolevi will be a challenge. Its a different picture up front – as Boeser will be full time right away, as is newcomer Goldobin. Jake Virtanen will get his annual crack at proving he can be useful. See Mark Allen's Ramblings yesterday on the state of the Canucks future.

 

Winnipeg Jets

UFAs: Chris Thorburn, Paul Postma, Ondrej Pavelec

Prospects waiting: Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, Eric Comrie

As nice as a goalie duo of Hellebyuk and Comrie would look in 3 years from now, after the disaster this year I dont forsee the organization etting the talented youngsters be at the reigns in 2017-18. Connor and Roslovic both looks exceptional, but there wont be room for both barring a trade. Connor is too good to not be in the NHL next year 

 

 

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A couple first NHL goals I have the pleasure to feature this week:

 

Brock Boeser gets Cancuks fans excited:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Brock Boeser is living out the Hockey dream!<br><br>Friday: Play in NCAA<br><br>Saturday: Sign NHL contract, play in hometown Minnesota, score 1st goal <a href="https://t.co/zCGqrMTMfV">pic.twitter.com/zCGqrMTMfV</a></p>&mdash; Bar South N Celly™ (@BarSouthNCelly) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarSouthNCelly/status/845770356984033280">March 25, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

 

John Quenneville knows where to go:

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here it is <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NJDevils?src=hash">#NJDevils</a> fans, the youngster, John Quenneville, with his first NHL goal, via the PP. 1-0. <a href="https://t.co/GEGwTeMgBU">pic.twitter.com/GEGwTeMgBU</a></p>&mdash; Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) <a href="https://twitter.com/EliteSportsNY/status/844347564606545920">March 22, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

 

 

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As always, thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy hockey playoffs. 

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih

 

 

 

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