Prospects Ramblings: Welcome Back Dobber & the Ridiculous Depth of the Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Depth

Peter Harling

2018-01-15

As I was scrolling through Twitter the other day I saw the best post I have seen in a long time

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I'm back. For good!<br><br>Ramblings – <a href="https://t.co/dbMZCmmeJ9">https://t.co/dbMZCmmeJ9</a></p>&mdash; Dobber (@DobberHockey) <a href="https://twitter.com/DobberHockey/status/952769956763942912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Welcome Back Dobber!

And marking the declaration of his full time return is the release of the 2017-18 Midseason Fantasy Guide. As mentioned last week by myself and over the weekend by Hayden the Guide is available now here

If you are unfamiliar with the guide, it goes without saying it can give you a competitive advantage in your fantasy season if you are within grasp of a Championship. Like a real team you may need to make some deadline moves to get you over the top. Who is expendable from your roster, and who do you target?

Also as in real life, if a win isn’t in the cards this year and you are looking to the future the guide can help there too. On each team page there are a couple of Fantasy Prospects that are close. I also contribute some articles including the 2017 NHL Draft risers and fallers as well as a look at the top Fantasy prospects for the upcoming 2018 NHL Draft.

And there is more! Dobber gives you his list of this year’s top College hockey free agents to keep an eye on that may be signing as free agents when the school season ends. Previous prospects that you may have gotten an early hint on in this category include Drake Caggiula and Alex Iafallo.

Still more, Dobber also takes a look in Europe at the top free agents and late bloomers that are likely to sign this summer as free agents and could make an immediate impact on your fantasy team next year.

***

While working on a Detroit Red Wings Top Ten Prospects Rankings for My NHL Trade Rumors last night I realized that the until last year, the Wings have not selected inside the top ten of a NHL Draft since 1990 when they selected Keith Primeau third overall. That’s insane!

While that is a result of having traded a few first round picks while they were competitive and having enjoyed the success of several Stanley Cups and a 25-year-streak of consecutive playoff appearances, their draft status suffered. That is not to say their drafting results suffered. The Wings did a remarkable job of finding NHL players late in first and second rounds as well as late into the draft. For a team to have the sustained success the Wings have enjoyed they have to be proficient at scouting, drafting and developing and they are arguably the model franchise for that.

***

Speaking of drafts, ICYMI our Canucks writer and draft aficionado Cam Robinson recently released his latest 2018 NHL Draft Rankings  hot off the heels of the World Junior. The post has received tremendous feedback and Cam also details how he ranks the top 75 players into tiers.

 

Cam has Rasmus Dahlin ranked number one, but there may be a surprise to some as to who he has at two (It is not Svechnikov)

 

 

One of the players Cam has ranked in the first round that raised some eyebrows is Dominik Bokk. Cam believes this is a widely underrated player who is flying under the radar that you need to know. This is what he had to say about him.

 

Dominik Bokk / LW-RW / 6’1 179lbs / 02-03-00 (SHL)

Agile, quick hands, elusive in the offensive zone and makes a habit of landing on the scoresheet. Destroyed the J20 circuit and now finds himself with Växjö of the SHL. Watch him continue to rise.

 

I will be updating my own 2018 NHL Draft ranking later this month or early February after I get another good look at many of the prospects at the CHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph later this month.

In the meantime, I added two new 2018 NHL Draft profiles to the Undrafted – Under 20 page today in USA top prospects Brady Tkachuk and Quinn Hughes. Be sure to check those profiles out in addition to the already profiles such as Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Ryan McLeod, Ryan Merkley, and Joe Veleno.

***

More Draft teasers for you to keep an eye out for, I am currently working on and collecting submissions for the first installment of the Fantasy Ranking the 2018 NHL Draft. This post is very popular on the site each year and I am excited to be getting contributions from guest writers such as Scott Wheeler (Athletic) Brock Otten (OHL Prospects), Russ Cohen (Sportsology/Hockey Prospect Radio) Adam Kimelman (NHL.com), and Ryan Wagman (McKeens). In addition to these outstanding guest contributors our own writers Cam Robinson, Zack DeVine, Kevin Wickersham and Will Scouch will be chiming in to give a thorough consensus ranking. Look for this later this week or early next week.

***

With the World Junior still fresh in my memory I got to thinking about past WJC and some players who impressed me that have yet to make it to the NHL. The first one is Finnish goalie Veini Vehvilainen. The 20-year-old goalie was passed over in the draft again this year and is playing in Finland playing with Karpat in the Liiga. In 27 games he has strong stats with a 1.71 GAA and a sv% of .931 and a 16-4-5 record. This strong play follow his impressive performance with Finland in last years WJC where his GAA of  1.51 and Sv% of .931 on a woeful Finland team was very impressive.

So Why has been overlooked in two NHL Drafts? Good question, perhaps he is too short at just 6-0? For the past three seasons he has been playing as a teenager in Liiga but on a different team, JYP. His stats were not as impressive there, but still quite good. Last year was his worst before he was loaned to Sport (Still in Liiga) where his numbers rebounded. He is a prospect I will try to keep on my watch list in hopes he is signed by an NHL team and I can snap him up as a free  agent.

The other player I thought of is Martin Reway, a Montreal Canadiens draft pick from 2013 who had a breakout 2015 WJC scoring four goals and nine points in seven games as the Captain of the Czech Republic. The undersized 5-8, 170 pound sniper had a life threatening heart condition that cost him the entire 16-17 season. There was a feel good moment at the start of this season as he attempted a comeback with Montreal, and was assigned to their AHL affiliate the Laval Rocket. That was short lived as he played in just five games with two assists before being released. Now a NHL free agent he is playing in the KHL with HC Slovan Bratislava and has one goal and three points in 11 games. I suppose Reway was always a long shot to make it due to his size, but I was really hoping he would.

***

It seems to be impossible to watch any junior hockey these days and not see a Philadelphia Flyers prospect that has huge upside. The Flyers were the top ranked franchise in our last Organizational Prospects Rankings and here are some reasons why.

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are running away in the OHL and Flyers prospect Morgan Frost is driving the engine and riding a league best 20 game point streak in which he has 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points. Frost is the OHL leading scorer overall as well with 71 points in 42 games. Not bad.

In the WHL they have possibly their most exciting prospect in Carter Hart who backstopped Canada to Gold at the WJ recently. His league play has been ridiculously good, I mean its crazy what he is doing. His 15-3-0-1 record is very good. Add to that he has five shutouts and a league leading GAA of 1.44 and Sv% of .957. In 19 games he has only allowed 27 goals and his WJ stats are equally impressive facing the worlds best players in his peer group. Hart is a regular winner of the WHL Goalie of the week/month awards, may as well call it the Carter Hart award at this point. Flyers fans have been long suffering poor goaltending but Hart seems to be the answer

2016 first round pick German Rubtsov was recently traded in the QMJHL to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan where is just over a point per game scoring pace. Rubtsov was solid but not spectacular for Russia at the WJ posting a goal and four points in five games

In the NCAA the Flyers only have three of the top five scorers. Tanner Laczynski, Cooper Marody and Wade Allison. Laczynski is second overall with 34 points in 24 games with Ohio State as a 20-year-old sophomore. Cooper Marody is having a breakout junior season at the University of Michigan with 31 points in 22 games. Philadelphia may try to get the third overall scorer to turn pro after this year. Wade Allison is another super sophomore that sits tied for fifth overall in NCAA scoring with 15 goals and 30 points in 22 games for Western Michigan University.

Speaking of watching junior hockey, I caught the Guelph Storm in Ottawa game last night and you guessed it, a Philadelphia Flyers prospect was all over the ice. Big Isaac Ratcliffe was making his presence felt as the 6-6, 200 pound winger was physically punishing the poor 67’s players. Ratcliffe plays on the Storms top line with Alexei Toropchenko and 2018 Draft prospect Cam Hillis. While Ratcliffe only had one point (assist) in the game, he carried the re than Ottawa could handle in front of the net. From my notes “He’s a big mean dude” – Philadelphia Flyers fans are going to love him when he arrives.

As impressive as these prospects all are, don’t forget the fact that the Flyers already have on the roster Nolan Patrick, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, Shane Gostisbehere, and in the AHL Mike Vecchione, Mikhail Vorobyev, Philippe Myers, and Oskar Lindblom are all playing well and trending towards the NHL. It’s an embarrassment of riches to be sure.

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Timur Mukhanov 8.0 7.0
Alexander Pashin 7.0 2.5
Felix Unger Sörum 7.5 8.5
Charles-Alexis Legault 4 6.5
Alexander Pelevin 3 2
Tyler Tucker 5.0 6.0
Matt Kessel 4.0 7.5
Aatu Räty 8.0 7.0
Jackson Blake 6.0 6.0
Ryan Ufko 7.0 6.0

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