Welcome back for another edition of the Tuesday ramblings.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out our November 31-in-31 series here at Dobberprospects. Each day is filled with draft recaps, off-season transactions, and more.
Draft season is upon us.
Much like yourselves, I am sure, I have a couple of fantasy drafts in the near future (hooray) and am currently in the middle of grinding out all of my pre-game due diligence. As you know, there are many resources out there for you to scour through in order to get yourself prepped and ready for the big night, and one of the best stops out there is Dobber’s own Frozen Tools. Whatever it is you are looking for, chances are that FrozenTools will have it, at least in regards to research. If you are not familiar with the site, one of the more interesting research tools is the NHLe Calculator. This allows you to take any given player and insert both their point totals and games played from any season and it will calculate the NHL equivalent total (based on an 82 game pace). It’s a lot of fun.
With that, I thought I would have some fun this week and input each team’s prospects to see how they will fair during their (hopeful) rookie campaigns next season. Here, I have provided one prospect per team, who I believe holds a chance of making their rosters out of training camp. I have inputted their previous season’s totals and have been given an NHL projected number. For the sake of the argument, I offer my own over/under on whether they hit that total or not.
Here is the Western Conference.
Please note *I have done my best to choose players who have yet to suit up in matches, or at the very least, have had very little NHL experience. These totals are of course based on an entire 82 game (injury and demotion free) season.*
Player: Trevor Zegras, C
League: NCAA Team: Boston University
Points: 36 Games: 33
NHL Translation: 35
Yes, there is a strong chance that Trevor Zegras begins the year in the minors, and perhaps plays out his entire professional rookie year there. However, I remain very bullish on the former BU standout and firmly believe that he has what it takes to make an immediate impact on the club’s top-six, regardless of his natural position (C). If he does, in fact, make the club, I certainly will not count out a 45-plus rookie campaign. He is one of my personal favorites and could be a monster producer.
Player: Matias Maccelli, LW
League: SM-Liiga Team: Ilves
Points: 17 Games: 15
NHL Translation: 42
Yes, Barrett Hayton is the obvious choice here, but with a 20 game stint already under his belt, I thought I would inject a sleeper into the mix. Arizona’s 2019 fourth-round pick is having himself a nice season so far (these totals are based on his numbers during THIS season), giving him a nice boost of confidence before he heads into training camp. He is a long shot to make the team, and even if he was too, a 42 point campaign is quite the reach. Especially since the top scorer on the team had 45 points last season. That is a definite UNDER.
Player: Glenn Gawdin, C
League: AHL Team: Stockton Heat
Points: 47 Games: 53
NHL Translation: 35
Of course, Juuso Valimaki is my top pick for the club’s rookie candidate, however, next on the list, I have Glenn Gawdin. The Flames are fairly set in their ways in regards to roster spots. However, should they encounter any injury, or be granted an extended roster (thanks to COVID), I feel that a consistent AHL producer would be the right call. He is a natural center but could be moved to the wing if need be. With that said, I do not see him cracking any top-six minutes, so 35 points are out of the question for next season.
Player: Ian Mitchell, D
League: NCAA Team: University of Denver
Points: 32 Games: 36
NHL Translation: 32
Ian Mitchell has a bright future, and I do see him cracking a spot out of camp. I mean, if it were not for the shortened season in 2019-20, he likely would have gotten a look in the final stretch. With Adam Boqvist only progressing his game, and Duncan Keith still able to provide glimpses of offensive production, I do not see 2020-21 being the year that we see a full-out Ian Mitchell outburst. With that being said, I am not counting out a 25-35 cap. Crazier things have happened.
Player: Bowen Byram, D
League: WHL Team: Vancouver Giants
Points: 52 Games: 50
NHL Translation: 26
I will admit, Bowen Byram has me puzzled. Looking at the roster, especially with the addition of Devon Toews, he does not seem to slot into an initial roster spot. Yet, Byram holds too many intangibles to keep him aside and has all the makings of an NHL defender out the gate. In fact, the only obstruction standing in the way of him becoming a full-fledged number-one guy is Cale Makar, who will be in the front seat for the foreseeable future. If he is on the roster, he should have a good sniff at 30-plus points and is likely to be given top-four, and secondary powerplay minutes.
Player: Jason Robertson, LW/RW
League: AHL Team: Texas Stars
Points: 47 Games: 60
NHL Translation: 31
The Stars lack prominent point producers, especially on the right side – and that is exactly what Robertson can bring. He proved that with his 25 goals, and 47 point rookie output in the AHL last year. That is no easy task. Assuming he makes the club, I do not think it is out of the question to find him on the club’s top-six, catching fire with the top players on the totem pole. Not to mention, given his skill sets, powerplay time is also very much in play. All this resulting in a strong rookie campaign, worthy of 35-plus.
Player: Evan Bouchard, D
League: AHL Team: Bakersfield Condors
Points: 36 Games: 54
NHL Translation: 27
Tyson Barrie threw a wrench in my original predictions of Bouchard cracking top powerplay minutes, but I still have high hopes for the kid this season. After a very strong (AHL) rookie campaign, and now, a similar outing in the Allsvenskan League (16 points through 19 games), he is more than ready to take on top talent at the NHL level. Given his history of offensive production, and his constant need to shoot the puck, I don’t see how you could argue the potential of a 30-plus rookie campaign. Also, If he steps even a single foot on that top-powerplay unit, things may get spicy.
Los Angeles Kings
Player: Alex Turcotte, C
League: NCAA Team: University of Wisconsin
Points: 26 Games: 29
NHL Translation: 24
Okay, I do believe that Gabe Vilardi likely beats him out as the “lock” prospect to make the club, but Turcotte still holds a fighter’s chance to slot in right behind. He is a well-known two-way master, an obvious offensive talent, and a potential captain for the future. He may get banished to third-line deployment out the gate, however, should they choose to slide him up to top-six deployment, he could catch anywhere from 35-50 points with ease.
Player: Kirill Kaprizov, LW/RW
League: KHL Team: CSKA Moscow
Points: 62 Games: 57
NHL Translation: 72
I think anywhere from 70-80 points out the gate is a fair assessment, based on what we’ve seen to date. The Russian phenom is one of the more anticipated prospects, and there is a large amount of pressure for him to come over and perform instantly. Although, I don’t think that’s phasing him for a second. He has the potential to be a monster, even at the NHL level. Despite my usual “realistic” approach, I will not be surprised to see him catapult over the 72 point plateau. I am gunning for him early.
Player: Philip Tomasino, C
League: OHL Team: Niagara Ice Dogs/Oshawa Generals
Points: 100 Games: 62
NHL Translation: 43
I have a personal gut feeling that the Preds will grant Eeli Tolvanen one last kick of the can, in which case, Tomasino may be on the outside of the bubble. Yet, if he does catch a chance, he brings a very nice mix of NHL size and offensive prowess that the club can utilize in a middle-six role. Scoring has not been a particularly strong suit for the club lately, so his rookie output may be capped. However, his overall upside is certainly high, and he should be one of the club’s more utilized players in the next few seasons.
San Jose Sharks
Player: Alexander Chmelevski, C/RW
League: AHL Team: San Jose Barracuda
Points: 27 Games: 42
NHL Translation: 26
Chmelveski was a consistent producer during his Junior days (OHL) and managed to translate that into a respectable rookie campaign with the Barracuda (27 points in 42 games). It’s setting up to be another lackluster season in San Jose, and there should be a healthy battle between a few young guns to solidify the last few roster spots. The 21-year-old holds just as good of a chance as any to make the opening roster and I think anywhere from 25-35 is reasonable for his production rate.
St. Louis Blues
Player: Scott Perunovich, D
League: NCAA Team: University of Minnesota-Duluth
Points: 40 Games: 34
NHL Translation: 42
I have no doubts in my mind that last year’s Hobey Baker winner will be a powerhouse defender in due time. Yet, with the current makeup of the club’s backend, I do not foresee next year being that time. At least not right away. With the heavy-hitting offensive threats in the top half of the defensive core, his rookie deployment could be conservative, making anything over 30 points a sure challenge. Long term, I don’t see him having any issues hitting that number, and then some.
Player: Olli Juolevi, D
League: AHL Team: Utica Comets
Points: 25 Games: 45
NHL Translation: 22
It has been quite the journey for the 22-year-old Finn. After being selected fifth overall in 2015, he has struggled to stay healthy, resulting in a slower than expected developmental path. When in the (AHL) lineup, he has contributed at a decent rate, but his potential has somewhat flatlined and hasn’t quite lived up to the initial hype. The Canucks will have a few spots open next season, and GM Jim Benning has made it quite clear that it looks to be OJ’s spot to lose. I do have him under the 22 mark, but I also think he could hit the 20-25 mark, under the correct circumstances – deployment pending.
Vegas Golden Knights
Player: Peyton Krebs, C/LW
League: WHL Team: Winnipeg Ice
Points: 60 Games: 38
NHL Translation: 39
If Krebs is to crack a spot, 39 points should be a breeze for him to hit. Despite a set back with an achilles injury, the Winnipeg Ice Captain has been as consistent as they come throughout his career and has given Vegas every reason to consider him for a look. A healthy Cody Glass complicates things a touch, but if his recent play is any indication, the coaching staff should lose some sleep over their decision. There is potential for him to be quite the player out the gate.
Player: Ville Heinola
League: SM-Liiga Team: Lukko
Points: 12 Games: 15
NHL Translation: 30
I do anticipate that Heinola cracks the 30 point plateau, but not during his rookie season. With Morrisey and Pionk clear owners of both power-play units, there is little room for the young Finn to squeeze in. Second pairing deployment is likely his cap for the immediate future and his previous totals do not exactly scream out “30-plus point defender”. Give him time.
Thanks for tuning in for another week of Tuesday’s Ramblings. Check-in next week for my East Over/Unders and as always, follow me on Twitter @hall1289.