As far as fantasy-available prospects are concerned, many can be found in the recent proclamation of World Junior team announcements. With only a few big omissions that you should be potentially targeting in fantasy leagues (Trey Fix-Wolansky , Jett Woo, etc), the focus can be given towards the Holiday Tournament gift to every prospect following fan. As we move into 2019, we can focus on the massive class of draft eligible players so you can get a head start on planning for your draft but until then, here is a quick snapshot of what the WHL could bring to the U20.
Ian Scott – Prince Albert (TOR)
Calen Addison – Lethbridge (PIT)
Josh Brook – Moose Jaw (MTL)
Ty Smith – Spokane (NJ)
Jaret Anderson-Dolan – Spokane (LA)
Cody Glass – Portland (VGK)
Brett Leason – Prince Albert (undrafted)
As you can tell, Canada should have a quality showing for this tournament as I’d expect most of these players to make the team in the end. It’s possible they send Leason or Addison back to their squads, and let us not forget that Anderson-Dolan has to get back in the swing of things as well. Overall these will all be strong contributing members of Team Canada. Fantasy hockey fans will be watching Ty Smith and Calen Addison in order to scout out their potential at the pro level. My “player to watch” prospect will be Cody Glass. He has the ability to be a game changer for Team Canada and this could be an indicator of why Vegas opted to keep him over recently traded prospect Nick Suzuki.
Alexander Alexeyev – Red Deer (WSH)
He should play big, big, big minutes. (more on him below)
Lassi Thomson – Kelowna (2019)
You can read up on Team Finland from the Dobber Prospects predictions not too long ago. HERE
When it comes to draft eligible D-men, the story can change quite quick. He’s been a rising prospect for a little while and NHL couch scouts could see another step taken from Lassi. This tournament can influence.
Mads Sogaard – Medicine Hat (2019)
Philip Schultz – Victoria (undrafted)
Hulking Goaltender Sogaard is already putting up strong numbers (.925 SV% + 2.54 GAA) for Med Hat.
Filip Kral – Spokane (TOR)
Jiri Patera – Brandon (VGK)
Libor Zabranzky – Kelowna (undrafted)
Krystof Hrabik – Tri-City (undrafted)
They won’t be the most important bodies on their team but it does pile on for a city like Spokane who already is giving two players to Team Canada.
Milos Roman – Vancouver (CGY) **probably **
His role on the giants has drastically increased in importance ever since they traded their top scorer. His two-way game is one of the most impressive in the WHL and Slovakia certainly needs him.
Overall, I don’t think there are really any surprises to me. The WHL could play an important role in the tournament purely by the important additions from the back end. If Canada can get game-breaking contributions from Ty Smith and Josh Brook, they have a shot of making their respective teams quite happy. Ty Smith almost made the NJ roster this season and Brook is becoming a standout for a Montreal team who could really use from D prospect positivity.
One player I want to focus on from a fantasy perspective is Washington Capitals prospect 1st Rd prospect Alexander Alexeyev.
I’m not sure what all the contributing factors were to his end of the year draft slotting by fans but I often found myself asking why people had placed him so low. Some said it was due to offensive upside while others simply commented on his upside in general. I believe I had him somewhere around 20-23 overall on my list and I’d like to highlight a few of the reasons why.
I’ll leave it to you to imagine what type of impact he could have at the pro level.
I was watching a recent game of his when Red Deer took on Lethbridge on Dec 2nd. Alexander had come off a November month where he gathered nine assists in nine games. He quarterbacks the top PP for Red Deer and showcases a number of his skills. Let’s take a look at them.
He’s wearing number 4.
- Quick outlet pass + footwork = smooth transition to offense
2. Evading a strong forecheck with creativity (he whiffed on the pass, but hey)
3. Moving to shooting position + O-zone pinches
4. Power Play Potential (deception + strong tape to tape passes + decision making + quick release)
As you can tell by the time clock, the game hasn’t even reached the mid-way point. Red Deer ended up losing 5-4 in OT and Alexeyev finished the game with an assist.
What do you think?
Is he still available in your fantasy leagues?
How long do you think it’ll take him to crack Washington’s roster?
Hope you enjoyed a bit of a look into one of the strongest WHL prospects.
Until next time, you can find me at dathockeydoe on twitter covering the Calgary Flames and the WHL.