Prospects Rambling: Sens Hot Prospect Batherson, Dansk Injury and More

Peter Harling


Oscar Dansk - photo courtesy:

New Jersey Devils prospect Nikita Popugaev has left the WHL and signed a two-year deal in the KHL with CSKA Moscow. At first glance this would seem to be the latest example of the “Russian Factor” at play, and killing his fantasy keeper value as many owners will be believing he will now never play in the NHL. But he leaves Prince George in the WHL, an average team for a powerhouse roster in the KHL filled with NHL players and top prospects highlighted by Kirill Kaprizov, Valeri Nichuskin, Mikhail Grigorenko and several more. After his mid-season trade last year from Moose Jaw to the Cougars his offensive production dropped off dramatically and that trend carried over into this year as he had posted only two goals and five assists in 13 games. The Cougars apparently tried to trade him to another WHL team but for “Personal reasons” he and his family decided to sign a pro contract in the KHL instead. Playing with more talented players in a higher level of competition in a pro league could actually be very beneficial for his development…if he can make the team. His contract is for two-years and is a three way deal KHL-VHL-MHL which are the Russian junior leagues and the KHL. The contract is only for two years and I did not expect he would be threatening to make the NHL before that time anyway so he could easily play out this deal and come back to North America and play in the AHL or NHL…

The Ottawa Senators had a great value pick in the 2017 draft when they selected Drake Batherson in the fourth round with the 121st overall pick. Batherson is this weeks top trending prospect and here is why; his 17 goals, 12 assists and 29 points in 16 games leads the QMJHL in scoring. The Sens prospect is a highly underrated prospect, he has size at 6-2, 187, he obviously has skill, he has speed and he is has vision and smarts to go with it as well giving him the whole package. Batherson had a solid draft year and playoff and was a standout at Sens rookie camp, but the 19-year-old just isn’t ready for the NHL yet says Sens Coach Guy Boucher “It was just tougher once he got to the exhibition (games). He wasn’t bad, but it was a little too much for him at that time. He had been probably the revelation of camp until then.”

Like I said he is underrated and the Sens fastest rising prospect, and he is only 3% Fantrax owned, so look for him in your deeper dynasty leagues as he appears to be a projectable prospect…

The lack of NHL Participation in the Olympics may provide an opportunity for some of the elite prospects outside of the NHL to play. Some of the names I am seeing on Twitter who could represent their countries include; Rasmus Dahlin (2018), Miro Heiskanen (Dallas), Eeli Tolvanen (Nashville), Troy Terry (Anaheim), Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis), Jake Bean (Carolina) and Dylan Sikura (Chicago). CHL players will be allowed to play in the Olympics, even if they have signed a NHL contract, players in Europe can go and it is expected NCAA players will be released to participate as well. This could be a great scouting opportunity to see how some of these prospects fair against pro competition…

Who is Oscar Dansk? He was the Erie Otters goalie when they went from being the worst team in the OHL, to an elite one. Sure Connor McDavid had a lot to do with that but Dansk was an elite OHL goalie and subsequently drafted early in the second round (31st overall). I was very high on him as a prospect but admit I sold my stock after he struggled in both the AHL and ECHL after he turned pro. He went back to Europe where I figured he wold never see the light of NHL day again. But, he revived his career and Vegas signed him as a depth goalie. After injury took out Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban Dansk suddenly found himself with a starting NHL job on one of the hottest teams. Dansk has played in three games, has a 3-0-0 record a 1.34 GAA and a .959 Sv% – Simply outstanding numbers. His Fantrax ownership has jumped up 23% in the last week to 45% as he makes an excellent short term option while hot (Remember when Fleury comes back it`s his net). The bad news is Dansk left the game Monday night with an injury after he appeared to tweak his leg while making a save. He stayed in the game but was pulled after allowing a goal and speaking to trainers. Hopefully it is not too serious…

More Vegas new, Vadim Shipachyov has been a disaster since signing with Vegas. He has not been handled well or played particularly well and now the news is he is headed back to Russia. Unlike the Popugaev situation, there is no silver lining here for fantasy owners who blew a high draft pick on him in hopes he would lead Vegas in scoring this year…

Even more Vegas news! Shea Theodore has finally been recalled to Vegas after dominating the AHL with five goals and 11 points in eight games in Chicago. Theodore clearly belongs in the NHL so go ahead and activate him on your roster as he should be here to stay. Making way for Theodore is Griffin Reinhart who has cleared through waivers and been loaned to Chicago in the AHL. Reinhart, a former first round pick of the New York Islanders and promising asset has now fully landed in the “Bust” category. If you still own him in your fantasy league, sell, sell, sell! If you can’t find a taker the just drop him.


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Tristan Luneau 7.5 8.0
Zachary Nehring 4.5 5.0
Jacob Julien 5.5 5.0
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0
Miko Matikka 6.5 6.5
Nathan Smith 6.2 6.0
Jan Jenik 7.2 6.5
Ilya Fedotov 6.0 3.0
Noel Nordh 6.5 7.0