Prospect Ramblings: Prospects with Sneaky Good Opportunities to Score

Pat Quinn




Welcome again to the Thursday prospect ramblings.


Well it is the end of August and it has fully hit the “nothing really going on” portion of fantasy hockey. There are no big trades, no big *cough* RFAs *cough* signings, no training camp, and no rosters gaining shape. There are a few moves regarding prospects moving leagues but their play is generally all that concerns me there. There are also barely any fantasy drafts taking place, so we are all waiting as time seems to slow down until October 2nd. Well there are the European leagues getting started, so that is at least exciting.


I am going to discuss prospects on rosters that may have sneaky opportunities to post points, those rosters may either be terrible (Ottawa), have a lot of older players, or really just seem like they have no room.


Before I start here is my #GoodTweet of the week:


{source}<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”tl” dir=”ltr”>Hahahahhahahahahah binnington!?!?!? <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) <a href=””>August 25, 2019</a></blockquote>{/source}


How on EARTH is Binnington a top 10 goalie? Like are you kidding me? Maybe give him, oh I do not know, one and a half to two seasons worth of games before declaring him better than 22 other NHL goalies. Thanks. That is some Hardcore recency bias. I will be one of those fantasy GMs that will be happy when one of the other GMs drafts this kid far higher than they should. 







Let me get this team out of the way first. There are a tonne of open spots on this roster, and this team will be baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. However this team will still offer you players with 30-~40 points for the end of your draft, instead of taking a third/fourth liner on a better squad for the potential for more points (or better +/- peripherals). Players to pick that should have a line up spot:


Rudolfs Balcers – Balcers did not look out of place once he joined the Ottawa line-up posting 14 points in 36 NHL games. He has the skill to play in the NHL, as shown by posting pretty good AHL numbers between 2017 and 2019, but will not have much in line mate support for this season, unless he can grab on to a 1PP spot. If he can stay on the second line and get some 2PP time I could see him scoring around 40 points, which is much better than you would find grabbing a third/fourth line player that gets no powerplay time.


Erik Brannstrom – This is a warning to not draft him too high as Chabot will still get the prime minutes, but also do not wait too long on this kid as he can still produce if given any sniff of powerplay time. I just would not expect much even strength scoring with the current Ottawa roster.


Drake Batherson – Batherson burst on to the scene in Ottawa with five points in his first three games, and then followed that up with three points in the next 14 games before being sent back down to the AHL. He played three more games at the end of February registering an assist, but spent the rest of his time lighting the AHL up with 1.05 points per game. As bad as Ottawa could be I can still see Batherson scoring around 50 points, as he may be a forgotten late round gem.


Max Veronneau – At Princeton University in the NCAA Veronneau was a top scorer and in Ottawa he may settle in to that second line / third line scoring position with modest powerplay time, or as an undrafted college UFA he could fizzle out, put me on the former position. I think Veronneau can be a decent NHL scoring forward, but not one that blows you away. He will probably be a consistent 20-20 threat, and this upcoming season could see him post 35 points with decent SOG stats.


Long shot: Alex Formenton – I register Formenton as long shot because I think she should at least spend a season in the AHL before going to the NHL. He had a nine game trial to start the season which he was fine in, but looked overwhelmed by the end. A full season in the AHL can keep him out of the losing environment Ottawa will be and will help him gain scoring confidence for the future. If he does make the roster, I would put him around what Batherson did in 2018-2019, around 15 points in 40 games. However, if it all clicks and he can gain a meaningful roster spot production in the 30-40 range is possible.







The Wild are an odd team, stuck in the “good enough to squeak in to the playoffs but not good enough to go anywhere” realm. The team has vets scattered throughout, some promising young players, and arguably one of the best NHL head coaches. Not including Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala, and Ryan Donato.


Luke Kunin – Kunin is a player coaches will love. A hard-nosed leadership type player that can score. He should be a full-time NHLer this season, and with the crappening of the roster at the hands of ex-GM Paul Fenton there is the ability to do so. Kunin’s problems will be the established vets in front of him that will take up meaningful ice time, even though he likely tops out as a 50 point scorer. For 2019-2020 scoring around 35 points should be an easy feat for the former first round selection.


Nico Sturm – Sturm is a big bodied centre that has some skill but will ultimately be better at shutting opponents down. He should take over Eriksson Ek’s spot on the fourth line, as the Swede should be moved up the line-up, and with another season likely still left in Koivu that leaves the fourth line centre spot open for Sturm’s first NHL season. With Koivu’s injury history it would not be surprising to see Sturm moved up the line-up throughout the season with possibly some PP time, scoring around 25-30 points should be attainable.


Kirill Kaprizov (oops it is not 2020-2021 my bad)







The Ducks have gone more towards the rebuild side of things, but with how well they have drafted over the years this should be fairly quick for them. It also helps that Bob Murray has not done one of his patented bad UFA signings to jam up the roster.  The Ducks will not be very good but will have good scoring throughout the roster.


Sam Steel – Steel is one of my favorite prospects and he could easily supplant Henrique as the 2C by the seasons end, but he may be more suited to a third line sheltered role. Thankfully the Ducks will not be anything special this season so good young Ducks may slide in your draft. Steel should get good even strength minutes and 2PP time, giving him the ability to score above 40 points for 2019-2020.


Troy Terry – Terry may be slightly overvalued in drafts due to his great AHL performance, but if he is still there around the end of your draft snatch him up. Do not draft him too high as there is no guarantee he can post above 40 points this season as he is not guaranteed 1PP time, and he will likely play with Steel on a sheltered line.


Max Jones – Want a good multi-cat sleeper pick then take Jones late. He may not get a lot of ice time but this kid will soon become a great multi-cat player, especially if he can start to score in the mid-50 point range. In the short term expect good hits and shots but mediocre scoring, I would peg him around the low 30’s and late 20’s for the points.


Daniel Sprong – Sprong may not have played in the AHL last season but he really needed to and likely still does, but his status requires him to be on waivers so he will get minimal NHL minutes. The Ducks right wing is pretty full already with Kase, Silfverberg, and Terry, but with Kase you should expect some injuries and that is where Sprong could capitalize. I would only expect around 20 points, but there is a chance that Sprong could score 30 points with the right roster ability.





Columbus Blue Jackets


This team will definitely not do very well for 2019-2020, with questions up front and in net. The Blue Jackets have some expensive contracts with term tied up to not very good players, and will need to inject youth in the line up to score. With Panarin gone Columbus will not be picked early, with Atkinson and PLD being good mid-round choices, but later there should still be a couple sneak picks.


Alexandre Texier – Texier has a prime top six wing spot for the taking this season, but with Tortorella as coach he may move up, down, in, and out of the line up with no rhyme or reason. If Torts likes him Texier could grab some 1PP time, if Torts decides he does not hit hard enough one night he could be on line four for 10 games. With second line ice time, plus 2PP time, I could see Texier hitting the 45+ points, but adding in the Torts line shuffle, I would keep Texier around the 35-40 point mark and love anything above.


Emil Bemstrom – Bemstrom is a good prospect that may play all NHL games but will likely start in the AHL. There is also not a lot of roster room, but this kid will be too good to hold down for too long. You can expect him with about 60 games to score around 25-30 points. Although he is not a good final round pick he would be much better for a late round season add that may sneak under the radar.





That is all for me. Keep reading the 31-in-31 articles here, mine (Washington) comes out on the 30th!


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Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Garin Bjorklund 5.5 5.5
Hunter Shepard 8.0 4.0
Mitchell Gibson 7.0 5.5
Clay Stevenson 8.0 7.0
Stepan Gorbunov 4.0 4.5
Matvei Shuravin 5.0 6.5
Justin Poirier 8.0 6.0
Noel Fransen 7.0 5.0
Alexander Daryin 5.0 2.0
Carson Bantle 4.0 3.5