Image Courtesy of The Athletic
Welcome back to my weekly Prospect Ramblings. Some weeks are structured, some are a little more loose and random thoughts. This week is the latter. We’re just going to go over some of the thoughts from the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and the early week in the prospect world. From the junior hockey to the NHL, the prospect world never stops.
Cale Makar is pretty solid. Yes, that’s a bit of an understatement. With a point in each of his first five games, he has helped push the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-0-0 record, making them the last undefeated team in the NHL. Makar has the opportunity to tie the record for consecutive games at six tonight (Wednesday, October 16th, 2019) when the Avalanche face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has held his own the defensive end of the ice and has looked as advertised offensively and in transition thus far in the early goings of the season.
Tweet Courtesy of @PR_NHL
Makar could be starting a very special career. I don’t think enough people realize how special this next generation of defenders is. Between Makar, Rasmus Dahlin, Miro Heiskanen, Quinn Hughes and so many more, the position of defenseman is truly changing in front of our eyes.
Cayden Primeau has started the season strong in Laval of the AHL. The Montreal Canadiens prospect has stopped 50/53 shots in his two games to start the season and has looked good doing it. Goalies are tough to judge because so often is their performance all over the place but Primeau seems to have found some success early on in the season. His rise from a seventh-round pick in 2017 to potential “Goalie of the Future” in Montreal is impressive. He won’t be rushed with Carey Price ahead of him and on a long-term deal but he could make the back-half of that Price contract interesting.
Kirill Kaprizov, the Minnesota Wild prospect and arguably the best player not in the NHL, became the youngest player in KHL history to score 100 goals. That’s an impressive feat considering he was about three years younger than Nikita Gusev, now of the New Jersey Devils. It seems like there is a pretty good chance that Kaprizov finally makes his way to North America next year when his contract in the KHL is up, but it’s still no guarantee even with his comments in a Russian paper. For now, Wild fans and hockey fans alike will have to watch him challenge for a scoring title in Russia.
Tweet Courtesy of @KHL_eng
Thatcher Demko will be taking on the starter’s role temporarily in Vancouver while Jacob Markstrom deals with some personal matters. It’s expected that Markstrom misses the week and returns at some point this weekend so it looks like Demko will have a three-game workload this week with a back-to-back on the weekend where he’ll likely get one game. This could be a big opportunity to show that he deserves more work and can possibly earn a start-split with Markstrom as the year progresses.
If you have him on your fantasy squad, start him. Vancouver’s been decent and Demko will be playing for a larger role so he should be motivated. He made his season debut last night against the Detroit Red Wings and got the win stopping 22/23 shots and providing a solid backbone for the Vancouver Canucks. A big week ahead for the young Vancouver netminder.
The 2019 NHL Draft had some clear winners right off the hop. Colorado brought in a haul with top-end talents like Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook joining the organization. The Carolina Hurricanes seemed to find every bargain in the draft from Anttoni Honka, Patrick Puistola AND Dominic Fensore all in the third round to finding gems like Tuukka Tieksola and Blake Murray later in the draft. The one team that was flying under the radar was the Los Angeles Kings. They had a sneaky good draft class, highlighted by Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev and destroyer of Champions Hockey League play Samuel Fagemo. They also already have first-round pick Tobias Bjornfot playing games for the NHL club.
Tweet Courtesy of @theTonyFerrari
The Kings may be a franchise thats lacking talent on the NHL club at the moment but they’ve done a stand-up job restocking the cupboards recently. They have been known for producing high-end defensive prospects over the years but the high-end offensive talent that they have started to assemble is impressive, to say the least. Turcotte is off to a hot start with the Wisconsin Badgers and Fagemo has been lighting the world on fire, including a four-goal day against the Cardiff Devils in Champions League play. As for their second-round steal, Arthur Kaliyev? He’s doing stuff like this.
Tweet Courtesy of @caitlinsports
Thanks for joining me for another Prospect Ramblings! I’m here every week, mid-week talking prospects. I’ll be back next week with another edition of my Wednesday Ramblings and another edition of “Shift Work” which took a week hiatus but will be back with a look at Russian 2020 Draft prospect Alexander Nikishin! Which prospects have stood out to you recently? If there’s anyone you want an opinion on or think has been standing out lately, comment below or send me a message on Twitter @theTonyFerrari.