Prospect Ramblings – Formidable Opponent – June 7 2018

Pat Quinn



Welcome back to my Thursday ramblings where now nothing much is going on except the AHL finals. I will go over the results of Tuesday’s game as the series is so far 2-1 for The Toronto Marlies. Also I will answer some questions!




Tuesday recap:


Marlies won 2-1 in a tight, low-scoring, one penalty all night, type game. The scorers for both teams are not really players you expect to put up points in the NHL, except for Andreas Johnsson (TOR) and Remi Elie (DAL) each with one assist


Garrett Sparks really has played incredible for the Marlies in the playoffs and during the season. Sure part of that is the team in front of him but he has also given Calvin Pickard zero chance to steal his starting role. I know lots of teams are in on attempting to trade for Philipp Grubauer but Sparks would be a fantastic get if a team can grab him cheaply enough.




Well since I only have 180 twitter followers I do not want to send out a request for questions and get none, so instead will answer my own questions to myself. Think of it as another (less funny) episode of “Formidable Opponent” #RIPTheColbertReport




Great Question Asker Person #1: “There are talks Montreal could take Kotkaniemi third overall, are they crazy? In a fantasy draft who would you take third?”


Wow, great question. Lately I have been reading a lot saying how Zadina and Kotkaniemi are actually very close, and honestly I do not see it. This is not to knock Kotkaniemi I just don’t know how you can pass up a player like Zadina in that spot, but it is Mark Bergevin. Mind you if they draft Zadina they may force him to play centre…


As for who would I pick in the three-hole in a fantasy draft, well I could take whoever is left between Svechnikov, Zadina, and Dahlin. Picking fourth I honestly would probably choose Wahlstrom over Kotkaniemi, Hughes, and Boqvist.



Great Question #2: “What positions do you put more emphasis on drafting in fantasy prospect drafts?”


Wow, another great question! I prefer to draft skilled wingers over centres and defensemen for two reasons. The first being that there are always a plethora of scoring centres and wingers who can put up points can fall off a cliff depending on where your league has them. The second one is that defensemen take too long to break out, and by the time they do they are usually over their games played limit.


A good tool here is to look at your leagues LW and RW top scoring position, see which has the least amount on it and target the skilled players in the draft in those positons later on. Of course take the best potential scoring player in the draft (the Dobber Fantasy Prospect Report will help with that), but if a winger and a centre are close in your/others personal projections then take the winger, way more value.



Great Question #3: “Are there any NHL rookies/young players who have played some NHL games and have not really broken out who you think could break out next season (if everything goes right)?”


Whoa! Fantastic question. I will list five with what I think they need to go right for them to beak out, but most are farther away from the trusty “fourth year bump”:


Christian Fischer (ARI) – The number one thing Fischer needs is more ice time, as he averaged just under 14 minutes of ice time per game last season in 79 games. He also barely shot the puck as he registered 1.95 shots and he will need to improve those numbers, especially as a power forward.


Pavel Zacha (NJ) – What Zacha needs to start is line mates who can score (i.e. no more Noesen, Boyle and Stafford), some puck luck as I do not know how many posts I saw him hit last season, also he shot 7.1%, and to be healthy all season. And what he really needs is coach Hynes to stop thinking Travis Zajac is a scoring forward and have some faith in his game instead of giving him 14 minutes a night.


Oliver Bjorkstrand (CBJ) – What Bjorkstrand could use is Alex Wennberg remembering he is a good player, as he spent a large chunk of time alongside him last season. More ice time, power play time, a shooting percentage above 6.7%, and strong play would go a long way to helping Bjorkstrand hit the next level.


Timo Meier (SJ) – Not signing Evander “career high of 57 points” Kane to a 7×7 contract… oh wait. Ok well then… The kid is a shooting machine so Thornton resigning and playing with Meier while Kane and Pavelski play together would help. Or keep Labanc and Meier together on a sheltered third line with high offensive-zone starts would be another way to help.


Jakub Vrana (WSH) – Not getting scratched by Barry Trotz because he is the “young guy in the lineup” would go a long way! Really I think everyone and their dog expects Vrana to break out next season, but he only will if given second line ice time. This would of course be a break out of non-PP1 time so don’t expect anything above 50-55 points if it does happen.


High hope for a breakout: Andre Burakovsky (WSH) – JUST STAY HEALTHY AND PRODUCE WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE BURA.



Great Question #4: “Who do you feel could be overrated for their draft slot come the NHL draft?”


Mediocre question but I will answer anyway. Brady Tkachuk. I feel like a team will reach too far to take him and leave better skilled players on the board. This is not knocking Tkachuk at all, as he will be a guaranteed NHLer, but more that I think his upside is really capped at around 55-60 points. I could be completely wrong too; no one ever knows 100% with this stuff.



Question #5: “Any potential fallers in the draft I should target?”


Tough question as everyone has rankings all over the place, including myself.


Russians: A little advice here is always look at the Russian players as they tend to fall because GMs are scared of the “Russian Factor” which is a dumb made up thing. On that note though the big three skilled Russian forwards in this draft could fall lower than they should – Grigori Denisenko, Vitali Kravtsov, Alexander Khovanov, Kirill Marchenko, Ruslan Iskhakov, and Nikolai Kovalenko


Possibly late round gems:  K’Andre Miller, Jonatan Berggren, Dominik Bokk, Bode Wilde and Benoit-Olivier Groulx


#AttitudeProblems: Ryan Merkley. I just find that whole notion stupid. He will mature when he grows up and when a team drafts him and talks to him about it. The biggest question with him is can he get good enough in his own end to be trusted to play in the NHL.


Risk: Martin Kaut. I included this portion only because it was reported that Kaut left the NHL draft combine (once completed) to have “minor heart surgery”


{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Martin Kaut went home early from <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NHLCombine</a> due to heart issue and needs to undergo a minor surgery.</p>&mdash; Jiří Vítek (@czechDuster) <a href=””>June 5, 2018</a></blockquote>{/source}



Question #6: “How are you so cool?”


I just am, thanks though! 



Question #7: “Favorite prospects who have been drafted/signed and not named Kirill Kaprizov?”


This one is tough because I like a ton of prospects.


Current favorites are: Henrik Borgstrom (FLA), Filip Chytil (NYR), Nick Suzuki (VGK), and Sam Steel (ANA)


Players I hope turn out are: Dmitri Sokolov (MIN) and Josh Ho-Sang (NYI)


Just come over (or come back) to North America and Play: Nikita Gusev (VGK), Stanislav Galiev (WSH), and Alex Khokhlachev (BOS)



Question #8: “How many fantasy hockey leagues are you in that count prospects?”


I am in two big keeper leagues (I recently joined another because… I do not know why) that count 20 prospects. I have been in my main one since 2009, finishing top three seven out of eight years, and the other since about 2012 (finally got the crummy full keeper team to respectability). I am also in two other partial keepers, one yearly yahoo H2H (I hate yahoo playoffs), and two draft style officepools ones. I am the guy who takes the rookies, or players you didn’t know were playing, late in those pools and it either works or it doesn’t.



Ok that is all for today. Follow my twitter and perhaps I will do one where I get actual questions one day.

My twitter: @FHPQuinn

“Please clap” – Jeb Bush




Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Zakhar Bardakov 5.5 2.5
Pontus Holmberg 6.0 9.5
Joseph Woll 7.5 9.5
Kirill Slepets 3.5 4.0
Jesse Pulkkinen 7.5 7.0
Cole Brady 4.0 4.0
Jeff Malott 4.5 5.0
Kristian Reichel 4.0 4.5
Pavel Kraskovsky 3.0 3.0
Dmitri Rashevsky 7.0 5.0