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.

&nb