Thanks for joining me for Tuesdays’ ramblings.
Before I get started, I suppose I should take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Dave Hall, and if you are not familiar with my work, I cover the Columbus Blue Jackets, and more recently, the Florida Panthers here at Dobber Prospects. I also pen a weekly column with Dobber Hockey called “The Journey”, where I cover all things prospects and do my best to point you towards the future stars among the fantasy world.
I am a lifelong Vancouver Canucks fan, I have two young boys and I thoroughly enjoy following hockey prospects. Of course, I also enjoy long walks on the beach, but I digress.
Follow me on Twitter @hall1289, as I am always open to talk shop. I look forward to rambling for you!
First things first, if you have not been keeping tabs, be sure to follow our off-season 31-in-31 series that began November. 1st. You know what they say, November is the new July, and we have all of your favorite team’s off-season transactions, draft recaps, and eventually, development/training camp updates for you.
Be sure to grab Dobber’s 2020-21 Fantasy Guide while you’re at it. It’s officially in the Dobber Shop and loaded with content. Read it, enjoy it, and beat your friends in fantasy.
To ease my way into these Ramblings, I am going to keep it light this evening and offer a few updates from around the prospect world. Not to worry, I will dive into some juicier topics over the next few weeks. With that in mind, if you are ever itching for some extra information, do not hesitate to throw questions my way. I am a man of the people!
I’d be a fool not to start by delivering three of my (not so) hot takes regarding the recent team Canada WJC camp invitees. If you missed the announcement, here is the list:
*It was announced shortly after that Chicago’s Kirby Dach will also be taking part in the festivities.*
My (not so) hot takes:
#1 – Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael, Bowen Byram, Peyton Krebs, Philip Tomasino, Samuel Poulin, Thomas Harley are all pulled from the tournament to fulfill NHL camp duties.
I know what you’re thinking – who is this guy? Yes, I will admit, this is a highly unlikely scenario. But is it, really? We currently have no indication as to when NHL camps will open, and if a schedule suddenly drops with a January start date, I would not be shocked to see their respected NHL clubs flip the switch and ask for their return. Given the circumstances, teams will need to be creative with their rosters and provide cheap alternatives. This could spell an above-average number of rookie man-games, and you can bet that they will want their players heading to camp healthy and ready.
While this scenario certainly takes away from the overall strength and experience of the team, it does open up a window for a new crop of up-and-coming heroes. Cole Perfetti, Quinton Byfield, and Jack Quinn – enjoy the limelight.
#2 – Adam Beckman’s coming out party
Based on recent conversations (arguments), it has occurred to me that Minnesota Wilds’ 2019 draft-pick continues to remain undervalued, and even somewhat unknown. However, if his 107 point production in 2019-20 has indicated anything, it’s that he is on the verge of a significant stock increase. Assuming the crop of the above-mentioned names do, in fact, leave for NHL camps, look for Beckman to show the world that his “recent” success is no fluke. I, for one, am a firm believer in his talents and am very excited to see what his future has in store with a growing Minnesota roster.
I mean, just look at his career totals.
| Jr Super Series
| SAAHL U15
#3 – Shane Wright forces his way into the line-up
Make no mistake about it, folks, Shane Wright is the real deal and he will be out to prove that during camp. The kid sits second all-time among OHL U16 players, sitting right behind John Tavares, firing at an incredible 1.14 clip. At 6-foot-0, 183-pounds, he has the size to compete, and the skill to produce, even amongst the best around the globe. He is an up and coming star and has primed himself to become a Canadian staple for years to come, let’s get that started now.
It seems that the coaching staff is in my corner on this one, here is what Head Coach Andre Tourigny had to say about the importance of having the 16-year-old join the camp: “It’s important because he’s a hell of a player.”
Simple yet effective words.
If, and when he is successful, he joins an elite list to join team Canada as a 16-year-old (will turn 17 during the tournament). A list that includes Sydney Crosby, Connor Mcdavid, and of course, the great one himself.
How can you deny talent like this based on age!?
Now, for some not-so-great news:
Just one game into his professional career, which has begun in Finland (loaned to HPK – Liiga), Detroit’s’ 2018 second-round-pick has re-aggravated a nagging shoulder injury. This is the same injury that kept him out for the better portion of the 2019-20 campaign, and will now see him miss upwards of yet another six months. This means that he will be held to just 36 games total, split between a few teams, over a two-year span.
He continues to show promise as a well-rounded piece to the Red Wings’ backend plans, so here’s to hoping he can make a full recovery and jump right back in unscathed. Who knows, depending on where this season ends up, perhaps he will not be too far behind his competitors.
Here is a fun one:
That’s right, the saga continues for the former first-round pick. Could fantasy owners finally see returns from the former offensive “dynamo”? Well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
After a lackluster performance in what was supposed to be a resurrection stint in Finland, combined with his inability to translate even a hint of his offensive upside to the NHL ranks; not to mention the addition of new flashy talent, the odds seem very stacked against him. The prospect of him seeing any powerplay opportunities are nothing more than a distant memory, and with Thomas Harley officially in the picture, I don’t foresee a scenario in which we see Honka in a Stars uniform again.
To me, this deal looks to be nothing more than a cheap option to buy time while they continue to shop him around. It is a two-way contract and will see him earn just 90k at the AHL level, meaning they can stow him away for pennies, while they hope for either a resurgence in performance or a deal to miraculously presents itself.
I am not sure about you, but with this lack of NHL hockey, I have been getting my fix through games overseas. I have never been so invested in the KHL, and I suppose this helps:
The closest the league has come to this in the past 10 seasons was 83 players, a total that was hit during the 2015-16 season. That was also a full season, not 35%. This, I am sure is propelled by the recent pandemic. However, with a higher number of players heading overseas to play, this number does shock me a little bit.
Leading the way is recently drafted Blue Jacket, Yegor Chinahkov, with seven goals and six assists. Much like the rest of you (I am sure), I did not know a ton about this kid when he was selected. However, I have been keeping very close tabs, and so far, am quite impressed with his offensive ability. There are several young players that I am really enjoying in the KHL at the moment, and I will surely dive into those at some point.
To wrap things up, and to take introducing myself a little bit deeper, I thought I would share my current prospect “dream team”. Keep in mind, this “team” is not a list of players who I think show the most upside (of course the team would look a lot different), rather the team that I personally enjoy following, and will do my best to target in future fantasy drafts. You can probably expect me to follow these players a little closer on Twitter than others. Everyone has “their” players, here are mine as of today:
Thanks for tuning in, I look forward to bringing you weekly Rambles going forward.