Historically, one of my most common faults in assessing the immediate future of prospects in the fantasy arena is expecting production from rising prospects, who simply may not have an opportunity. If you’re a regular reader, you might’ve noticed that recently, I’ve begun to put an enormous amount of emphasis on discussing what opportunity will be available to prospects in the fall. The reason for that is simple – if an organizations’ NHL lineup does not project to have a hole in the lineup, a prospect’s opportunity can sometimes be very narrow.
All too often, we apply expectations based solely on a player’s individual performance, entirely forgetting the situation that they may be coming into. In many respects, the opportunity a player has is a more important factor than his individual achievements or ability when evaluating his short term potential. With that in mind, today I want to discuss several prospects who will enter the 2020-21 season at various levels, with high expectations. We’ll discuss what other factors are at play that could impact their success, and whether or not their high expectations are justified and can be counted on.
First and foremost, Alexis Lafreniere will emerge from the CHL with arguably higher expectations than any other rookie. Upon kicking off his rookie campaign, Lafreniere will be approaching 19 years of a