Rolling into some Team Canada talk for the WJC, here's a few ramblings of players I've been meaning to mention.
Ty Ronning (NYR, 7th Rd 2016) had a terrific night on Saturday, firing 6 shots on net, ending up with two goals and two assists. He's seeing a surge in offense this season jumping from 0.78 PPG in 2016-17 to 1.34 PPG for the Vancouver Giants. He leads the team by a wide margin in points but having a healthy Tyler Benson (EDM, 2nd rd 2016) helps things.
Carter Hart (PHI, 2nd rd 2016) stopped 42 of 43 as Everett beat Portland 2-1. He's currently 13-3-1 with a 0.961 save percentage. HE HAS A 0.91 SAVEEEEEE PERCENTAGEEEEEEE.
Also a stunning 1.32 GAA.
He's good. He will once again showcase himself as most likely the top goaltender in the WJC tournament. If Canada wants to try and win, Hart will need to play like he has been all season. What a gem.
Stelio Mattios (CAR, 2nd rd 2017) has been stellar lately with a four-point night as Brandon beat Kelowna 7-4 last Saturday. Brandon has a number of players taken in the third round and beyond that will be worth keeping an eye on in deep leagues. Kale Clague leads the way as he currently has an astonishing 47 points in 28 games. He is constantly in the play and is much of the reason why the Wheat Kings top-line offense is so dominant.
One player on the roster is Tanner Kaspick (STL, 4th rd 2016), who today is playing on a line for Team Canada with Jonathan Ang and Drake Batherson. Tanner's Dobber profile describes him so that he "projects out as a bottom 6 grinding forward with some upside". The bottom-six forwards for Team Canada are always watched with a close eye and if he can add some of that grinding offense, he will have a chance to make this team. Both of his line mates have seen a rise in their offensive output this year from playing a somewhat similar game. Watch closely and if you're in a deep ROTO league, these are players who could add depth to your roster.
Fantasy Owners will soon get a close up look at Sam Steel. He finished with a 1.98 PPG in 2016-17 but with now with a Regina Pats team without focus C Adam Brooks, Sam has fallen to a 1.30 PPG pace. His abilities have not changed but many of his teammates have. He is still a terrific playmaker but on the grand WJC stage, you can evaluate for yourself how effective he will be when he arrives in the NHL.
This year, we've seen some playmakers struggle. Sam Reinhart has 11 points in 31 games for Buffalo while Ryan Strome currently sits with 13 points in 31 for his first year with the Oilers. Players who have the abilities to be dymanic playmakers are sometimes drastically affected by the systems and line mates they have to work with, let alone keeping themselves sharp.
People were ranting and raving about Anaheim "Steel"ing a prospect, but… it's been crickets so far in 2017. Watch closely and maybe you can either buy low or sell high, depending on how people set their price on him.
Thanks for reading! As always, you can find me at Dathockeydoe on twitter.
– Joel Henderson