As we do each and every month here at DobberProspects, I’ve opened up the mailbag and solicited any and all prospect-related questions to help you navigate the straits of the fantasy world.
Some of you are pressing for a title and need to know which assets to move to load up, while others (the sad ones) are on the other side of the stream, looking to acquire all the picks and prospects you can to reload for the future.
We’ll do our best to help you decide who to keep, who to drop and who to watch.
Question: “How do you go about determining if a teenager is going to be a serious fantasy asset if they aren’t drafted early?”
Answer: This is a terrific question and one that has many potentially accurate answers.
In the actual NHL draft, teams need to take stock of the entirety of a player’s ability. They need to decide if this is the type of player who has the physical and mental tools that will allow them to succeed at both ends of the rink.
For fantasy – especially leagues that focus primarily on scoring categories, we don’t need a guy who is going to bring leadership or penalty killing prowess, we want tangible results.
When looking to mine for potential fantasy gems, there are a few key aspects that I look for.
The first thing is pedigree. Has a player shown he's been capable of producing serious results in the lower levels? This may be a short or long term view of a player, because we know that if a guy wasn’t taken at the top of the draft, there is probably some warts somewhere.
But has that been cleaned up in their draft-plus one campaign? Were they on a stacked OHL club as a draft-eligible player and weren’t given the type of opportunities that they are now capable of handling? Are they maybe developing physically a little later than some?
Next up, and this is a big one, is opportunity. This can be a double-edged sword, though. Do we value a player heading to a top-end team because they’ll be surrounded by elite players and the team should have the puck more? However, ipso facto, that youngster is unlikely to gain the primo deployment needed to put up gaudy numbers because they’re stuck down the depth chart.
Or perhaps we value a player heading into a situation where the team is struggling but they’ll automatically latch onto a top line/top power play situation? Hello Brock Boeser.
I believe there is credence for both to be important but I prefer the guy who gets the top minutes – especially on the man-advantage.
Finally, trust your gut. I love smart players who can skate well. I find those are the ones that can force their way into nice spots sooner and find the scoresheet with regularity.
I stay away from young defenders and power forward types as their marinating time is often much longer.