On a personal note, it’s been something of a whirlwind these past three weeks for me. At the completion of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, I flew home to join my wife in packing, selling and moving all the possessions we’ve accumulated over the last near-decade. Some boxes went on a buddy’s truck this way. A few more went another direction. Even our former neighbour’s shed is home to some furniture that didn’t move quickly enough on UsedVictoria.
We then packed up our cars, drove and ferried our way to a tiny Gulf island where we’ve made a 27-foot fifth wheel our home for the summer. So far, it’s been amazing. Boat trips, camp fires, gardening and sleeping in. The internet is spotty and the cell service near-void.
With all that said, it’s time I rejoin my post at DobberProspects and start firing these Ramblings out with ferocity.
Not a day goes by that someone on Twitter doesn’t inquire to my fantasy ranking of the 2018 class. The thing is, every league has a unique set of categories that makes it near-impossible to pump out a glove that fits each hand.
This offseason, I’ve begun offering personalized rankings for people. I sit down and take into account all the categories, situations (rebuilding vs challenging) and everything in between to produce a set of rankings tailored specifically to you and your league. You can contact me on Twitter @Hockey_Robinson for more information.
Here’s a snippet of how I see this class breaking down in a points-only league where you start 6-8 forwards and four defenders.
- Andrei Svechnikov
The most physically-ready player in the group (choke back that DOB joke) is also the deadliest goal-scorer. He’ll be placed in a position to succeed right off the hop in Carolina and should see immediate returns. I fully expect him to cross the 30-goal barrier in 2018-19 and be deep in the running for the Calder Trophy. A top power play that features Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, Dougie Hamilton and Svechnikov sounds like a dirty proposition for the near-future.
- Rasmus Dahlin
Second overall in drafts like these are as good as you can get. Just let the pole position make the difficult choice between Svechnikov and Dahlin and you can take whoever is left sitting there. In this case, you can nab a pillar for your blueline for the next 15 years. Dahlin will take a bit of time to produce high-end fantasy numbers but by year-three, he could very well be sniffing around the 60-plus point zone. Joining Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt will thrust Buffalo into the ‘must-have’ category. Something we haven’t said in forever. His ceiling is a point-per-game blue liner and those are crown jewels in a points-only setup.
- Filip Zadina
He slipped down the draft board in Dallas last month but there’s no reason he should slip down yours. Zadina is a world-class finisher from the circles down. He blends power, speed and electric moves to embarrass defenders and goaltenders alike. It may take a bit of time, but by the end of 2019-20, he’ll be Detroit’s most dangerous weapon.
- Oliver Wahlstrom
The New York Islanders had a pretty bad week to start July, but they had a tremendous finish to June. Being able to grab an elite triggerman like Wahlstrom at 11th overall was a coup. Wahlstrom is a prime one-and-done candidate at Boston College and should then begin his ascension onto the wing of Mat Barzal. Once there, the Metro division will