Prospect Ramblings: Rookie ice time edition

Hayden Soboleski




In our last Ramblings post, Tony Ferrari took a look at some rookie NHL debuts and how they fared from a fantasy and real life perspective (you can find that here


This time around, I’m going to check on the ice time and usage that rookies are being used for so far. It’s too early to judge a player’s compatibility, but its never too early to get the DFS edge by knowing who’s playing and how often.


As always, my go-to site for collecting these stats is Dobber’s FrozenTools. Check out the ridiculous amount of data here:


  • Two Anaheim rookies were on the most-used line at even strength in Game 1 – Troy Terry and Max Jones. That line (centered by Henrique) also had a massive offensive zone start percentage. If they are going to be tried out as a scoring line, buy your stock now because there is certainly potential there.


  • In Boston, Karson Kuhlman seems to be playing exclusively at even-strength, which makes his 14 minutes TOI a bit more impressive. That being said, he hasn’t done much with it so far and his centerman is currently Par Lindholm, so I’m not expecting a surge here.


  • It’s only one game in for Buffalo, but Victor Olofsson played almost his entire contest with Eichel and Reinhart, including over 2 minutes of PPTOI. I would gladly take a gamble on this situation – that’s a talented line and he’s gt the talent to stick there on a shallow forward corps.


  • It’s a good news/bad news situation for perennial top prospect Martin Necas. On the one hand, his ES linemates are Wallmark and Foegele, and they were the least used line in Game 1. On the other hand, he’s on the top powerplay unit and got over 3 minutes and a goal with it. The Canes have more depth than ever up front so keep an eye on how this shakes down.


  • Game 1 TOI for the two Columbus high-potential rookies: Alex Texier: 16:52 TOI, 2:45 PPTOI, Emil Bemstrom: 9:10 TOI, 1:44 PPTOI. One is winning the battle so far.


  • Alex Nylander spent most of his time with Kane and Toews two nights ago. Not a bad spot, but he was victim to some brief line shuffling, and was not on the powerplay with them. He got a goal which is promising, but only one shot despite the best possible linemates means this might be a mirage.


  • 22:23 opening night ice time for Cale Makar. Over 6 minutes on the powerplay. This kid is going to be everywhere.


  • Cale Fleury comes in just under 15 minutes for the Habs so far and managed 4 hits in that time. The fans will be eager for more very soon.


  • Same goes for linemate Nick Suzuki, who is playing with Domi and is getting a tryout on the top powerplay unit. I could easily see the Habs focusing a ton of their offense through this youngster, so don’t be afraid of him just because of his uniform.



  • Top PP time for Kaapo Kakko, but not top line at even-strength. Buchnevich is getting the Panarin-Zibanejad time for now, but it won’t be long before he gets his shot there.


  • Only 12:24 for Adam Fox in his debut, and that includes a small appearance on PP2. Underwhelming in all fantasy regards. We might have to patient on this one with Trouba capable of carrying the big minutes.


  • Hands up if you had  KHL transfer Danil Yurtaykin on your Sharks opening night roster. Keep them up if you thought he’d have 2 straight games on the Couture line. If your hand is still up you’re a liar. Unfortunately, he’s doing very little in any fantasy category with this opportunity, so gamble now but prepare to cut bait soon.


  • Another workhorse on the back end was Quinn Hughes, who got over 23 minutes in Game 1 for the Canucks. Over 3 and a half minutes on the powerplay too. I expected a gradual offensive responsibility handover from the veteran Edler, but its happening now, don’t get caught sleeping.


  • It may be partially due to a lack of options, but Ville Heinola is seeing just under 20 minutes on Winnipeg’s blueline. 72% offensive zone starts over two games, he is clearly there to score points first and ask questions later. Big opportunity.




Hayden Soboleski






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