There is lot’s happening in the hockey world right now, with the NHL Draft lottery resolved, CHL Finals about to begin, AHL playoffs heading into round two, the U18 all done and the World Championship about to begin, how does it all relate to fantasy hockey, and in particular prospects?
Today’s prospects are tomorrow’s fantasy performers. You can watch top prospects compete in these late season tournaments against elite competition to get a glimpse of who is poised to make the jump from prospect to player.
Let’s start at the Draft Lottery. First, in case you missed it we have been all over the entry draft this year. Here is what you want to go back and review if you missed any of it.
The Draft prospects with profiles can be found on the Undrafted – Under 20 page. There are a handful posted already and more to come, so check back often.
We posted our Fantasy Ranking the Draft Eligible Prospects with a consensus ranking back in January with contributions from several DobberProspects writers and guest writers such as Steve Kournianos, Scott Wheeler, Mark Seidel, Ryan Wagman, Anthony Mauro, and Brock Otten. We will be updating this closer to the draft.
For another look, the DobberProspects staff ran a Mock Draft where a number of the writers selected on behalf of the teams they cover. It is the highest viewed post all-time on our site so give it a read. As I write this we are currently drafting for the Mock Draft 2.0 post draft lottery, so look for that on our Feature Page.
Still want more? No problem, I have posted the first DobberProspects Top 31NHL Draft Rankings with a short note on each player. This will be updated again before the draft so check back soon.
Several of our recent Prospects Ramblings have draft insights you won’t want to miss. Most recently, Hayden Soboleski wrote about who were The Draft Lottery Luckiest (And Unlickiest)
Looking beyond the first round for a good value pick? A good place to look is for older prospects who may be late bloomers and passing through the draft for a second or third time. They are more established, will take less time to arrive on your active roster and are more of a defined asset. My Prospects Ramblings Top Ten Overage Prospects Re-Entering the Draft has you covered there.
And of course we have been providing an article a month on the draft with contributions from Max Marko and Joel Henderson with a whole bunch of prospects you need to know. Find them all on the Feature Page
Also on the Feature Page you will find our CHL league articles. Kathryn Jean has been covering the OHL, Brayden Sully (Draft Geek and DubNetwork) writes on the WHL and our Habs writer Michael Barrett has been covering the QMJHL. There are plenty of prospects performing in the CHL playoffs, listen into the DobberProspects Podcast Episode 16 where we discuss several players from all three leagues. Don’t forget that some of the prospects eliminated from CHL playoffs have had the opportunity to turn pro and are either playing in the AHL or practicing with their team learning the pro game.
A good read on prospects shining in the AHL playoffs by Mark Allen sums up who the top players are for you to look for in coming fantasy drafts.
The U18 tournament concluded and many of the prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft were on stage for one last showing to the scouts before the draft. Last week I wrote about several of the top performers in my U18 Prospects Ramblings.
The U18 does not mark the end of international tournaments for the season; they save the best for last. The World Championship is about to begin and last year there were several prospects use the WC stage as their coming out. Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine were front and centre but they were no surprise. Frank Vatrano, Sebastian Aho, and Michael Matheson more subtly served notice. Who will be the prospects to make their mark this year?
Not all the teams rosters are set or announced, but like last year Team USA looks to have another young roster. We may not get a look at Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Cal Peterson who looks to be the third goalie for the USA, but expect Boston Bruins star prospect Charlie McAvoy to play a prominent role. Another player to watch will be 22-year-old Daniel Brickley. The 6-3 205 pound defenceman from Minnesota State University is an undrafted free agent that posted eight goals and 31 points in 31 games. The Bruins have another prospect playing on USA to watch, Anders Bjork just finished his junior season with Notre Dame posting 52 points in 39 games. Two of the Gold Medal winning members from the USA World Junior Roster will be on centre stage in Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes top prospect and potential Calder Candidate for the coming season and Minnesota Wild power forward Jordan Greenway.
Last year Team Finland was led by Laine and this year they will look towards Edmonton Oilers prospect Jesse Puljujarvi. Puljujarvi fell short of cracking the NHL in his post draft year but by no means does that mean he won’t make an impact in the NHL next year. Look to his performance in the coming tournament for indications of his breakout is coming sooner or later.
Dallas Stars defenceman Julius Honka has little left to prove in the AHL and will make a strong case to crack the Stars roster, but first he will showcase his talents for Finland in a prominent role anchoring their back end.
Team Canada will have youth in the net with Winnipeg Jets goalie of the future Eric Comrie, and Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard tending goal. The Canadian roster is made up of mostly NHL talent but two NHL rookies who had great seasons and will be looked to for offence on Canada are Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers and Brayden Point from Tampa Bay.
With all this great hockey to watch my PVR is running out of room and I can’t keep up with all the action. It is a labour of love to be sure and my fantasy roster is the beneficiary, as is yours for reading and frequenting DobberProspects.