Welcome to the Thursday ramblings, let’s just DIVE RIGHT IN on the early season scoring surprises and non-surprises
Victor Olofsson (Buffalo – 7th round, 2014)
The late round pick broke out in the SHL last season for Frölunda with 43 points in 50 games. Currently he leads the AHL on points with 14 points in eight games. A lot of people did not see that coming, if he is available in keeper leagues grab him up in hopes this is not some crazy hot streak and that it can transition to the NHL.
Drake Batherson (Ottawa – 4th round, 2017)
I have to eat some crow here, I never thought much of Batherson (and Formenton for that matter but he can’t be sent down and currently has zero NHL points) and found him to be average at best. He still may turn out that way but as of now he is playing fantastic in the AHL with nine points in six games, and adding to the total with one goal today in a losing effort to Binghamton. It should be no time before he is back in the NHL.
Alexander Nylander (Buffalo – 1st round, 2016)
He might be sitting fourth on the Americans in points but he has eight points in eight games so far on the season. A vast improvement on his disappointing 2017-2018 season with 27 points in 51 games. I remain convinced that whatever injury he started the season on the shelf with last year hampered him through most of the year as he never looked the same. You may have a chance to acquire him in keeper leagues and now would be as good a time as any as he should only improve from here.
Michael (Islanders – 1st round, 2014)
A player a lot of fans are considering bust by now is having a great start to the 2018-2019 season as he has eight points in seven games. His previous season was pretty bad with 24 points in 60 games, but people forget his first year in the AHL (2016-2017) where he had 41 points in 75 games which is pretty good for a first year player on a bad AHL team. Dal Colle currently leads Bridgeport in scoring as well. As long as the Islanders don’t sign any more fourth line players to term contracts he should have a chance to get in a few games as the season winds down.
Denis Gurianov (Dallas – 1st round, 2015)
This is a pick that was feeling like a bust as well (considering the players that went later) but in reality in his rookie AHL season he was scratched, and in his second year Texas had a veteran line up that offered him low ice time. Now in his third AHL season he is getting ice time and has put up his seven points in his last five games, including a goal in each of those five games.
Not surprising as all: Henrik Borgstrom has seven points in five games.
Stelio Mattheos (Carolina – 3rd round, 2017)
This may be his fourth WHL season (at 19) but he has improved in every season with points of 30, 61 and 90. Currently he has 20 points in 12 games as the newly crowned captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Hurricanes may have drafted another great offensive weapon for the forward corps.
Cody Glass (Vegas – 1st round, 2017)
He had 102 points in 64 games in 2017-2018, how could he improve on that 1.59 point per game rate? Well just post 20 points in your first nine games for a 2.22 ppg rate. Glass is awesome.
I would highlight Morgan Frost dominating the OHL but people should just expect it by now
Akil Thomas (LA – 2nd round, 2018)
I still have no idea how he fell so far in the draft but the third year OHL product has 20 points in 13 games, and should once again improve on his point total from last season’s 81.
Kirill Maksimov (Edmonton – 5th round, 2017) – sometimes goes by Kirill Maximov FYI
Thomas’ teammate on the Niagara IceDogs has been chugging along with him in scoring with 19 points in 13 games. The Oilers picked a good one in 2017 as he exploded the following year with 80 points in 62 games and is so far improving on those numbers.
I am not going to mention 2020 first round pick Alexis Lafrenière as there is no surprise to what he can do
Dmitry Zavgorodniy (Calgary – 7th round, 2018)
Now THIS player is screaming “steal” in his first season after being drafted. He currently has 26 points in 15 games for Rimouski, leading his teammate Lafrenière by one point, good for first overall in point scoring. Is he a product of Lafrenière of is a lot of it his own doing, time will tell but as of right now keep your eyes on him and if your league is deep enough add him.
Ivan Chekhovich (San Jose – 7th round, 2017)
Ever dangerous in the QMJHL the skilled Russian somehow fell to the seventh round in 2017. The Sharks capitalized and drafted him. Although he has not improved on his point totals in the QMJHL (as they remain the same) he is a highly skilled player who should eventually see his way in to the NHL.
As a Devils fan, seeing Jacob Josefson lead the league in scoring and Mattias Tedenby sitting tied for fourth makes me sad. I wish they developed in to NHL players / were given a chance under DeBoer (Tedenby) or did not get hurt hampering their development (Josefson). That will bring me to a current Devils prospect:
Jesper Boqvist (New Jersey – 2nd round, 2017)
The key for Boqvist this season will be staying healthy as the skill is there, he just needs to play. He sits right now with eight points in 11 games (good for being tied for sixth in scoring) and that should improve as the year progresses. His contract is up after the2018-2019 season and expect the Devils to sign him and bring him over to North America as soon as that is done.
Thanks for reading. Send complaints or praise (or money) to my twitter @FHPQuinn