Prospect Ramblings: Change your coach, change your life

Hayden Soboleski



image courtesy of NBC



We’ve seen a number of coaching changes recently in the NHL. This has huge implications for all roster players, but the ones we care about most on this site are the kids still figuring out their spot in the lineup. So let’s take a look and see what has changed (or stayed the same) for prospects now playing under new coaching:


Edmonton (Ken Hitchcock replaces Todd McLellan)

  • This was huge news and a turning point for the struggling team…but there aren’t actually any youngsters to speak of in this situation.
  • The lone rookie Cooper Marody has seen his average TOI drop from roughly 8 minutes to roughly 4 per game, but he isn’t overly fantasy relevant regardless.


Chicago (Jeremy Colliton replaces Joel Quenneville)

  • Despite being a young coach familiar with the team’s prospect system from the AHL level, not all youngsters are seeing immediate returns with the new boss. 
  • Henri Jokiharju saw his TOI drop over 5 minutes between his first game under Colliton and his last…and was a healthy scratch against Tampa Bay. Last night upon returning, he played only 15 minutes. Luckily for fantasy owners, he still shot, hit, and blocked despite lower time, but this is a bad trend.
  • Dominik Kahun‘s overall TOI is reasonably unchanged since Colliton took over, but his PP time has plummeted. Bad news there… not getting an extra minute and a half of time with Kane and Toews is definitely a hit to the fantasy value.
  • Luke Johnson‘s TOI hasn’t changed and is still a 4th-line player unlikely to be fantasy relevant anyways.
  • Ditto for Alex Fortin.


St. Louis (Craig Berube replaces Mike Yeo)

  • Zach Sanford played alongside Tarasenko recently and his 2nd- and 3rd-highest ice times of the season so far came in the games immediately after hiring Berube, which i extremely promising. But, he’s still under 14:00 per game so don’t make any fantasy bets based on this for the time being.
  • Sammy Blais’ ice time hasn’t changed yet, and is still not high enough to warrant serious fantasy consideration unless the lines get scrambled
  • The most positive impact of anything in this article – in both games since Berube took over, Robert Thomas has seen over 1:00 per game on both the PP and PK. He has 3 points in 3 games, and is clearly getting tried out as a leaned-upon top-six forward. Monitor this situation closely – if he makes an appearance on the top line with O’Reilly and Tarasenko, he could see a offensive breakout.


Los Angeles (Willie Desjardins replaces John Stevens)