Prospects Ramblings; Development Camp guide, CHL Import Draft and NHL Draft Analysis

Peter Harling


With the NHL Draft in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start looking forward to next season and getting updated on the prospects and their development. NHL development camps are getting started and many are open to the public, or tickets can be purchased at a low fee. Check out your local NHL teams web site for specific details but below is a handy quick reference for all 31 NHL teams info

Development camp rosters and schedule information…

Below is a list of every team with their rosters linked or if they haven't been released, also the teams development camp schedule if it has been released already. This list is an easy, quick way of looking through most of the NHL teams prospect rosters all in one place.

***Updated June 29th to include Anaheim, Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, and Montreal

*** Updated June 30th to include Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Toronto

*** Updated July 3rd to include Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks

*** Updated July 4th to include Minnesota Wild

*** Updated July 7th to include New Jersey

Anaheim Ducks – ROSTER,Camp Camp starts June 29-July 2, scrimmage on July 2 @ 10:00am

Arizona Coyotes – ROSTER, camp starts June 26-30, scrimmage on June 30 @ 6:00pm

Boston Bruins – ROSTER, camp starts July 6-9

Buffalo Sabres – ROSTER, camp starts July 8-11, 3-on-3 tournament July 11 @9:15 am

Calgary Flames – ROSTER, Camp Starts July 4-6, scrimmage July 6 @ 9:30am

Carolina Hurricanes – ROSTER, camp starts June 28-July 1, prospects game July 1 @ 12:00pm open to the public

Chicago Blackhawks – ROSTER, camp starts July 17-21, scrimmage on July 21 @9:30am

Colorado Avalanche – ROSTER, camp starts June 26-29,

Columbus Blue Jackets – ROSTER, camp started June 26-29, 3-on-3 tournament on June 30 @ 4:30pm

Dallas Stars – ROSTER, camp starts July 7-11

Detroit Red Wings – ROSTER, camps starts July 7-11, scrimmage July 9th

Edmonton Oilers – ROSTER, camp starts July 1-5, scrimmage Jult 3 @ 11:30am

Florida Panthers – ROSTER, camp starts June 27-30, scrimmage on June 30 at 9:00am

Los Angeles Kings – Roster, camp starts June 27-30, scrimmage on June 30th at 10:00am and is open to public

Minnesota Wild – ROSTER, camp starts July 8-13, Scrimmage July 11 @2:30pm & July 13 @5pm

Montreal Canadiens – ROSTER, camp starts July 2-6

Nashville Predators – ROSTER can be downloaded, camp started June 26 – June 30, scrimmage on June 30 @ 7:00pm

New Jersey Devils – ROSTER, camp starts July 11, 3-on-3 scrimmage July 12th

New York Islanders – ROSTER, camp starts June 27-29, scrimmage June 29

New York Rangers – ROSTER, camp started June 26 – June 30, scrimmages on Wed, Thu, Fri @ 10:00am

Ottawa Senators – ROSTER, camp started June 27 – July 3, scrimmage on June 29 @ 6:15pm

Philadelphia Flyers – ROSTER, camp starts July 7-12, 3-on-3 tournament July 11 @ 1:00pm

Pittsburgh Penguins – ROSTER, camp starts June 28 – July 1, 3-on-3 competition on July 1 @ 3:00pm

St. Louis Blues – ROSTER, camp starts June 28-July 1, scrimmages 2:45pm daily

San Jose Sharks – ROSTER, camp starts July 3-7, scrimmage July 6 @7:00pm

Tampa Bay Lighting – ROSTER, camp started June 27 – July 1, 3-on-3 tournament on July 1st .The 3-on-3 tournament will be live streamed on

Toronto Maple Leafs – ROSTER, camp starts July 7th

Vancouver Canucks – ROSTER, camp starts July 4-6, Top Prospects Game July July 6 @6:00pm

Vegas Golden Knights – Roster, Camp starts June 27-July 1, scrimmage on July 1 @10:00am

Washington Capitals – ROSTER, camp started June 27 – July 1, scrimmage on July 2 @ 10:00am

Winnipeg Jets – ROSTER, camp starts June 26-30, scrimmage on July 1st @ 10:00am

HF forum has a good thread listing players which have been invited as free agents to NHL teams camp.2017 NHL Development Camp Invites


The CHL Import Draft will be held on Wednesday June 28th at 11:00am EST. You can follow the draft live here

The two top players to watch for in the draft are the two top rated prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft, Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov. It is expected that the Barrie Colts will select Svechnikov who has expressed interest in playing in the CHL and is already in North America playing in the USHL where he dominated.

A long shot player to be selected could be Toronto Maple Leafs 2017 first round pick Timothy Liljegren. Liljegren struggled in his draft year and needs to show last year was a write off. He struggled playing pro in the SHL and depending on how things go at the Leafs Development Camp and following rookie tournament there is a possibility he is not ready for the AHL.

For fantasy hockey purposes the Import Draft is good to follow because the CHL teams do some homework on players and speak to their agents before drafting to gauge their interest in coming to North America and playing for their organization.

NHL teams which drafted players in Chicago may prefer their new prospect to come to North America where they can get a head start on adjusting to the North American game, and culture. The CHL plays more of a pro style game than many other junior leagues as well.

Getting players to play junior over playing pro in Europe can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s hard to begrudge a player from earning a living.


In case you missed it, DobberProspects Radio had a round one NHL Draft recap and breakdown immediately after the first round. Listen here

Some thoughts on players selected after round one…

The second round was very strong; while the 2017 draft lacked some top end talent it had good mid-range prospects.

Jason Robertson is a player I expected to be a first round pick and was selected 39th overall by Dallas Stars. Robertson has great hockey sense and one of the best shots I this draft but skating is weak and he desperately needs to add strength.

I was very happy that the Nashville Predators selected Grant Mismash with pick 61, he will be a huge hit in Smashville and is a marketing dream for the Preds.

In the third round I thought Vancouver had a great pick at 64 in goalie Michael DiPietro. With Thatcher Demko the heir apparent there is no need to rush DiPietro who is coming off a Memorial Cup Championship, and can play out the rest of his junior career and compete to back stop Canada in the World Juniors.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got a steal at 76 with Alexi Lipanov who was not widely ranked very high by a lot of North American bloggers. However several more credible scouts such as Craig Button were very high on Lipanov.

While it was rather surprising the Nashville Predators didn’t take a defenseman in the first round (Hard to argue with Tolvanen who was ab absolute steal) they hit a home run with pick 92 late in the third round with David Farrance. The Boston U. commit was ranked 56 in our prospect report and is a potential impact player.

In round four, Matthew Strome who some thought would go much higher, even the first round fell to 106 at Philadelphia. This just goes to show how important skating is as that is the knock on Stromes game. Skating is a skill that can be improved and developed and the Flyers may have got a great value pick here is Strome can get it up to at least average.

At 115 the Edmonton Oilers picked big Ostap Safin. The Czech winger has all the attributes scouts are looking for, size, skill, skating and smarts. So why did he fall so low? I asked that at the draft and was told this:

You know how some players drive the bus? Safin is the passenger”

That is a concerning statement and I have never seen him play live, but if he can get into the drivers seat he would have an ideal mentor in Milan Lucic to model his game after and could become a fantasy beast in multi cat leagues.


In round five, two OHL defensemen who were on a lot of scouts and writers DND (Do Not Draft) list were Peterborough Petes Cole Fraser and Flint Firebirds Fedor Gordeev. I had a lot of viewings of Fraser who reminds me of Mark Fraser as he is a big, defensive physical defenseman. Those types of defensemen are very rare because they typically can’t skate well enough or lack any offensive vision. The old ‘glass and out’ mentality simply isn’t good enough these days. Fraser is a pretty good skater; he is tough as nails and is arguably the best fighter in the OHL. While many prospects drafted need to improve their play away from the puck, Fraser needs to improve his with it. He is a long shot to make the NHL but I did see significant improvement with the Petes this season.

Gordeev is a player I saw live once when Flint passed through Kingston early in the season and I was very impressed. He is a big guy, and is a powerful skater. I could hear his skates carving up the ice as he carried the puck through the neutral zone and he has a heavy shot from the point. Because he was not on any raft lists I didn’t follow up on him much this season. The big Russian moved to the Toronto area at a young age and will compete against another big Leaf defense draft pick in Kingston Frontenacs Eemeli Rasanen.

In round six I was pleasantly surprised to see Petrus Palmu drafted 181st to the Vancouver Canucks. We have discussed Palmu on several episodes of the podcast and in my viewings of him this season I was highly impressed. The 20-year-old is a very shifty player; he has an explosive first step and is a dynamic offensive player. He dominated as an OA playing with Nick Suzuki in the OHL, but was not as effective at the World Junior with Finland. Where Palmu plays next year is a god question, he has already signed a two-year contract with TPS in Liiga to play pro in Finland. Now that he is drafted he could play in the AHL for the Canucks affiliate in Utica.

In round seven with the second last pick overall my jaw almost hit the floor when the Nashville Predators picked Jacob Paquette at pick 216. This time last year Paquette was ranked in a lot of rankings top 100 lists after his rookie OHL season when he carved out a top four role on a strong Kingston Frontenacs roster. Paquette failed to develop his game offensively, perhaps his Coach Paul McFarland (Recently hired by Florida Panthers as Assistant Coach) had him play the shutdown role as he is exceptionally strong defensively and makes excellent defensive reads. His skating is very good and with a new Coach and expanded role next season in Kingston I think the Preds found themselves another defensive stud and great value with Paquette


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Mikulas Hovorka 4.0 5.5
Fabian Lysell 8.5 9.0
Jakub Lauko 6.0 6.0
Matthew Poitras 7.5 7.5
Alexander Nikishin 9.0 9.3
Alexander Rykov 7.0 7.5
Justin Robidas 5.5 4.5
Zion Nybeck 8.0 3.0
David Kase 4.0 6.0
Jacob Julien 6.5 6.0