Prospects Rambling: Tracking Fantasy Hockey Off-Season Moves in Drafts and Free Agency

Peter Harling

2018-07-10

One of the biggest challenges for off-season Fantasy Hockey is keeping up to date on what moves and transactions are made in the real world and how it may impact your fantasy keeper decisions. This is even more difficult in deep keeper leagues that mirror the NHL and have full prospect rosters, or at least very deep ones.

With that in mind here are some tips for how you can stay on top of what is happening, who is going, who is coming and what other players stand to gain from these moves.

First visit us here daily throughout July and August as we are posting a new team focused article daily. The summer 31-in-31 series is back by popular demand. July takes a look at what each team came away with at the NHL draft, has a look at what each teams Development Camp roster looks like and what moves have been made so far. Catch up on the series here.

It would also be wise to check in regularly on the EliteProspects home page to see the latest transactions. I just had a look and here are some things that I took away from that.

European Free Agents

It is always a roll of the dice when talking older free agents from Europe. But here is my take on it. They are free to acquire, simply draft or sign them to your fantasy team. They almost always have short-term and cheap contracts so minimum financial obligation and they are also often minor eligible. If they are a boom or bust, either way you find out pretty quickly. You may be adding the next Artemi Panarin, or he may be on the waiver wire by Thanksgiving (Remember Vadim Shipachyov). The point is, it costs little to find out, and you don’t have to wait four years for him to develop like entry draft players.

One that stood out is Czech center Jan Kovar, signed by the New York Islanders, the 28-year-old comes from the KHL . He is a KHL All-Star, Playoff leading scorer and Champion with his former team Magnitogorsk and has averaged over a point per game the past five seasons with 286 points in 285 games. With John Tavares signing with the Leafs, the Islanders first line should be Beauvilier-Barzal-Eberle, leaving a vacancy in the 2C slot that the Islanders will hope Kovar can fill.

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The Russian factor rears its ugly head.

Don’t think the “Russian Factor” is a legit concern? Heading back to Russia are former first overall pick from the 2012 NHL Entry Draft Nail Yakupov. Sure Yakupov has panned out to be the biggest first overall bust since Alex Daigle, and there is an argument to be made that he is just never going to cut it in the NHL regardless of his passport. But I think he reminds me too much of another Russian bust in Nikita Filatov. Both players were considered to be not Coach friendly. Maybe Yakupov figures it out how Alex Radulov has and makes a big comeback, but if you own him in any fantasy format the