Prospect Ramblings – Formidable Opponent

Pat Quinn



Welcome to the Thursday Ramblings where I thought I would bring back a classic (again), and the best Photoshop skills this side of North America. I figure since I do not get many fantasy hockey questions I would just ask myself some, since I am the smartest person I know sitting on my computer right now.


First I need to start with my #GoodTweet of the week:


{source} <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>If it is opportunity he is after I have some bad news about joining that Vegas roster <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) <a href=””>July 24, 2019</a></blockquote>{/source}



Now on to the Questions and Answer section!





Q1: Where would you rank Nikita Gusev against the 2019 draft, present and future?


A: I did steal this from the Dobber Forum (and answered it) but I want to elaborate on it a little more and add for present and future:

If Gusev plays in the NHL, and signs on a team where the top six is not already set (ie. Vegas), he will get the most points of the 2019 draft players for the first two to three years. He is 27 and more physically (and mentally) mature than anyone available.

If you are looking to win you league in the next one to three seasons you should add him now as the price will be much easier to handle with the uncertainty around him leaving to the KHL if he does not get his contract demands. Also if you look to acquire him now, do not pay a huge fee as there is no guarantee he stays.

If your team is rebuilding than easily take any one of Kakko or Hughes one or two, and Turcotte three.

If I was to put Gusev in the mix I would rank it:

  • Jack Hughes
  • Kaapo Kakko
  • Nikita Gusev
  • Alex Turcotte
  • Bowen Byram (but if D is not that important choose any one of Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens or Trevor Zegras)

Guaranteed Gusev will post the most points of any 2019 draftee for at least three seasons, as long as he is on a team that believes in his skill. It is unknown if Vegas does



Q2: Rank these defense prospects (Upside and Opportunity): Makar, Hughes, Fox, Boqvist and Merkley


A: This is a tough one, but there we go

Upside (points only not multi-cat):

  • Ryan Merkley
  • Cale Makar
  • Quinn Hughes
  • Adam Boqvist
  • Adam Fox

I do actually believe, if developed properly Merkley would have the best upside of these five defensemen, but then the problem comes with his:


Opportunity (who is in front of the player and how long until they would be in a top role:

  • Quinn Hughes – Who could take 1PP time away from him on Vancouver? Edler?
  • Adam Boqvist – He does have Erik Gustavsson in front of him (and other prospects slightly behind him) but with his draft pedigree he should be given the 1PP spot sooner than later
  • Cale Makar – He will forever battle Sam Girard and Bowen Byram for 1PP time, but with how awesome all three are they appear like all three can top 50 points in a season
  • Adam Fox – Shattenkirk is still ahead of him on the roster AND the Rangers gave Trouba so much money so they may put him on the 1PP. As good as Fox he will not see 1PP time until the Rangers move Shattenkirk and keep Trouba off of the 1PP
  • Ryan Merkley – All he has right now in front of him is eight years of Karlsson and seven years of Burns. Good luck getting a chance unless one of those players are moved


Overall (adding both up):

  • Quinn Hughes
  • Cale Makar
  • Adam Boqvist
  • Adam Fox
  • Ryan Merkley (If one of Karlsson or Burns are moved by the time he is ready I would bump him to #2)



Q3: Best Ducks prospect to own out of Steel, Comtois, Zegras, Terry, Lundestrom and Jones


A: Well this question is vaguely defined, let me define it with some parameters:

No positional requirements, points only:

  • Sam Steel
  • Trevor Zegras
  • Troy Terry
  • Maxime Comtois
  • Max Jones
  • Isac Lundestrom (spots four to six are insanely close there)


Positional requirements, points only:

  • Troy Terry
  • Sam Steel
  • Trevor Zegras
  • Maxime Comtois
  • Max Jones
  • Isac Lundestrom (Lundestrom falls father here as the wingers would provide better value)


Positional requirements, multi-category:

  • Troy Terry
  • Max Jones
  • Sam Steel
  • Trevor Zegras
  • Maxime Comtois
  • Isac Lundestrom


I just want to point out here that it is not like Lundestrom is bad; it is just that the players ahead are much better. Lundestrom is likely a better real life player than a fantasy player



Q4: What kind of impact will Nikolai Prokhorkin have with the LA Kings in 2019-2020?


A: Prokhorkin is set to start as the third line C in LA, or potentially as a middle-six winger if the Kings still have Carter and decide to keep Kempe at C. Let me just say Kempe is a much better winger, and there is also a chance Prokhorkin starts as the second line C if Cater is Moved and Kempe is the third line C.

The problem with LA is that outside of Kopitar there are no great scorers anymore as Kovalchuk and Carter are getting defeated by father time. I would project Prokhorin in the 35-45 point range, unless two things go right for him: Todd McLellan loves him and plays him a ton, and he can sneak on the 1PP. If that happens then he should be in the 52-63 point range



Q5: Doug Wilson was saying quite a few prospects could make the Sharks roster, any guesses on who could make it?


A: There are quite a few that could make the team or get called up:


High Chance:

  • Antti Suomela – Played last season and should be more familiar with North American ice
  • Danil Yurtaykin – Would be good for the bottom six


Mid-Chance (a couple call ups if injuries occur):

  • Joachim Blichfeld
  • Josef Korenar – If Dell and Jones both falter look for Korenar to get a shot after a couple months in the AHL
  • Maxim Letunov – The Sharks love this player but he has been extremely slow to develop
  • Kyle Wood – Might finally get his chance at 23


Low Chance (Need AHL time but stranger things have happened):

  • Alexander Chmelevski
  • Ivan Chekhovich
    • NHL teams are going to regret letting San Jose draft both of these players late in 2017
  • Noah Gregor
  • Vladislav Kotkov – Attended Colorado camp in 2018, the Sharks like him so they (smartly) signed him.
  • Jeremy Roy – Please stop getting hurt


Also take note: Jonathan Dahlen went back to Sweden for 2019-2020


{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”sv” dir=”ltr”>VÄRVNINGSBOMBEN: Jonathan Dahlén uppges vara klar för en återkomst till Timrå. <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#twittpuck</a> <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#timraik</a> <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#hockeyallsvenskan</a> <a href=”″></a></p>&mdash; (@hockeysverige) <a href=””>July 24, 2019</a></blockquote>{/source}



Q6: Do the Washington Capitals really have one of the worst prospect pools in the NHL?


A: Yes, especially for fantasy. However, I just want to say as an NHL prospect pool I do not think they are terrible. Let me go over the positions:



The Capitals have one of the best prospects in the world in Ilya Samsonov that should be owned in all pools. Also the teams’ 2014 second round selection Vitek Vanecek is coming in to his own, and has a one-way contact for 2020-2021. Vanecek had better numbers than Samsonov in 2018-2019, but both will battle it out for the 1A spot in a much improved Hershey squad for this season.



There is no star prospect here, but Alexander Alexeyev is the best own for fantasy (if it is a multi-cat league). They also have solid depth with Lucas Johansen and Martin Fehervary projecting as solid middle pairing options. Tobias Geisser could become a second/third pairing guy; Connor Hobbs needs to stay healthy for a season and he could be a legit PP threat in the NHL; and Kris Bindulis can be a competent bottom pairing guy.



Connor McDavid McMichael is immediately the top forward prospect in the system. At best he can be a second line centre and at worst probably a third line center. Garrett Pilon is underrated but has been progressing nicely. Axel Jonsson-Fjällby is a goal scoring and short-handed threat but does not have a great upside but will be an NHLer. Leason may be able to become a second line power winger but I do not see it. Shane Gersich has the speed to play in the NHL but needs to start producing. Kody Clark and Riley Sutter both look like bottom six NHLers. Alexei Protas could be a wild card to develop but his outlook is pretty unclear.


The Capitals have plenty of NHLers but they are all bland middle to bottom line forwards and defense. Only McMichael, Alexeyev (multi-cat), Samsonov and Vanecek stand out



Q7: With Panarin, Duchene and Dzingle gone are there are rookies that can make an impact on the CBJ roster this season?


A: The easy two to make the roster and also make an impact are:

  • Alexandre Texier – Owns the highest upside of CBJ prospects
  • Emil Bemstrom – Is right behind Texier but does not have the speed AT can bring
  • Jakob Lilja – An underrated 26-year old player out of the SHL who should have all the chance possible to produce


The “last chance” player

  • Sonny Milano – This is his last chance to make an impact and he is already starting from behind after a bar fight went public:


The long shots to make it, who still likely need another season or two of development

  • Liam Foudy – Has the draft pedigree to make the Jackets
  • Trey Fix-Wolansky – Broke out last season and own tremendous skill



Q8: Will Kristian Vesalainen get a legit chance with Winnipeg this season?


A: He should as the Jets only have seven forwards signed to one-way contracts with Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor still to sign. The team has Jack Roslovic on the final year of his ELC but will need him for 2019-2020. That totals up to 10 players with only minor competition from the likes of Mason Appleton, Michael Spacek, and Seth Griffith (who I still think has NHL talent).

Vesalainen will be crucial for the Jets as they are an internal budget team and need all the small contracts of great young players that they can get. These Laine and Connor deals are going to hurt this team and they will likely (incorrectly) move Ehlers as a result.




Thanks for reading, if you have fantasy hockey prospect related questions send me tweets @FHPQuinn


Signing off with how I end my formidable opponent








Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Jérémy Davies 4.0 7.0
Brandon Biro 6.5 7.0
Maxime Lajoie 4.5 8.0
Mac Hollowell 5.5 7.0
Benoit-Olivier Groulx 4.5 8.5
Carson Meyer 5.0 3.5
Jiri Patera 6.0 7.0
Ben Jones 6.5 7.0
Joseph Cecconi 4.5 6.0
Adam Raska 5.0 5.0