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.
Last week, I had some fun using Dobber’s Frozen Tools “NHLe Calculator” to bring up some translated stats for various prospects. Taking their point totals from last season, the report calculates a translatable number, which differs depending on the league in which they posted those totals. It is a fun tool to play around with while you are in the middle of draft preparations.
If you missed it, here were my thoughts on the Western Conference. Today, I will be going through the Eastern Conference, choosing prospects who I believe hold a chance at cracking a roster spot. I will also provide a brief over/under on whether I think they will hit their projected numbers or not.
*I have tried my best to use prospect who have yet to suit up for more than three games with the club, which means not all of the names will be the “obvious” choice*
Player: Jack Studnicka
League: AHL Team: Providence Bruins
Points: 49 Games: 60
NHL Translation: 33
I’m going to go ahead and give Studnicka the under on this one. Sure, he is a consistent point-producer, a headache for opponents, and likely their best prospect upfront, however, his short term deployment should hinder his end of day production. Boston is heavily tilted towards the top of the lineup, and I don’t see him sliding up anytime soon. He is certainly worthy of hitting that threshold in the long-term, but for now, I’m capping him just under the 33 point mark.
Player: Dylan Cozens
League: WHL Team: Lethbridge Hurricanes
Points: 85 Games: 51
NHL Translation: 41
This is not easy for me to admit, but there is a strong chance that Cozens finishes under the said total. By a hair, I might add. I am personally very bullish on Cozens, and strongly believe that he is ready to take on NHL duties, and even creep into the club’s top-six (probably on the wing). However, to keep expectations realistic, it is likely that he blends in somewhere among their middle-six. Let’s say 40 points, with the potential to leapfrog that total, should he live up to my expectations and slide into a top-six role. Just imagine him skating alongside Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel…it could happen.
Player: Jake Bean
League: AHL Team: Charlotte Checkers
Points: 48 Games: 59
NHL Translation: 32
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I have a soft spot for Jake Bean, and am thoroughly upset with his utilization throughout the past two seasons. So far, he has thrived at the AHL level, posting 92 points over 129 matches. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes are known to boast a strong crop of talent on their backend, which certainly inhibits Bean from making that jump. This could easily be the reality again this season, especially with the re-signing of Haydn Fleury. In reality, even if he were to squeeze his way into the six-man rotation, I don’t see his utilization stretching any further than the third-pairing, for now. With that in mind, I’m going under at 32 and will be hoping for a trade, so that he can live out his proper top-four destiny on a team in need.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Player: Liam Foudy
League: OHL Team: London Knights
Points: 68 Games: 45
NHL Translation: 40
I stand firm on Liam Foudy being capable of 60-plus at the NHL level, but 2020-21 will likely not be the year to do so. Given his surrounding cast and the current system in Columbus, anything around 40 points should be considered a huge win. He is the type of player, who I believe, will catch the eye of the coaching staff, which should translate to further responsibility. But when Pierre-Luc Dubois has a production cap of 60-70, Foudy certainly has his work cut out for him. He is a fantastic two-way threat, who will thrive in Ohio. He could be great for a deep multi-cat out the gate, just not in points-only formats yet.
Detroit Red Wings
Player: Joe Veleno
League: AHL Team: Grand Rapids Griffins
Points: 23 Games: 54
NHL Translation: 17
After a run of “under” players, I’m pleased to announce my first “over.” No, Detroit is not great, and likely won’t put a ton of goals on the board. However, I do believe that Joe Veleno is ready to take on a role with the club, perhaps even a substantial one at that. I certainly feel that he is ready to slide into their middle six, as well as earn a spot on one of their powerplay units, likely the secondary. Given this theory, I could see a 25-plus campaign in the works. Nothing spectacular, but definitely over 17.
Player: Grigori Denisenko
League: KHL Team: Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
Points: 12 Games: 38
NHL Translation: 21
I’m on an “over” streak. Could Denisenko break the curse that seems to have plagued the Panthers’ organization’s depth charts? He is a skilled winger, who, assuming he makes the club, should be utilized in a middle-six role. If so, he brings a slick offensive game that should bolster their secondary scoring chances ten-fold. Given the club’s track record, he could definitely see time in the AHL, but if not, I’m giving him the benefit of doubt in saying he will certainly put up points out the gate. let’s go 35-plus.
Player: Alexander Romanov
League: KHL Team: CSKA Moscow
Points: 7 Games: 43
NHL Translation: 11
He has not posted significantly impressive offensive statistics at any point over his career, that’s no secret. Yet, he is still an impressive talent, who should see top-four deployment out the gate. With that in mind, I think he could provide a small dose of offensive prowess. Not much, but 15-plus is certainly doable, and then some. This is just a bonus to his obvious peripheral potentials for fantasy owners. Shea Weber and Jeff Petey are in clear control of both special teams units, but if he could sneak on as a number two guy on their pp2, things could happen.
New Jersey Devils
Player: Ty Smith
League: WHL Team: Spokane Chiefs
Points: 59 Games: 46
NHL Translation: 32
I’m a big fan of Ty Smith, and truly believe that he will be a strong force in the league, very soon. Unfortunately, I think his true potential and opportunity will come during his sophomore year. Despite his high-level talents, his minutes will likely be sheltered out the gate, as he adjusts to his life as a pro defender. While his impressive WHL career has proved that he could have me eating my words, I’m pegging him in and around the 25-30 cap for his inaugural season.
New York Islanders
Player: Oliver Wahlstrom
League: AHL Team: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Points: 22 Games: 45
NHL Translation: 19
Many owners had high hopes for Oliver Wahlstrom, who was drafted in the 11th spot in 2018. Since then, he hasn’t necessarily gone above and beyond his expected upside, but also hasn’t been a slouch. During his first stints as a pro, he has fired at a .50 clip, which is certainly passable. He’s got a sure-fire shot, capable of scoring from a variety of areas, so there is still time for him to develop somewhere within the club’s top-six. I wouldn’t bank on him setting the league on fire by any means, but should at least contest for 30(ish) points. Anything above, in my opinion, is a win.
New York Rangers
Player: Alexis Lafreniere
League: QMJHL Team: Rimouski Oceanic
Points: 112 Games: 52
NHL Translation: 50
Lafreniere should be given every opportunity to succeed during his draft+1 year and will likely see time alongside some talented names. Do I think he will conquer an 80-plus season? Maybe not, but it’s certainly a possibility. He brings a ton to the table, and even though producing as a rookie is no easy task, you certainly could not ask for a better situation. Starting on the club’s top-line with Mika Zibanejad is a very real possibility, as is time on the top powerplay alongside Artemi Panarin. Things could get spicy…quickly.
Player: Josh Norris
League: AHL Team: Belleville Senators
Points: 61 Games: 56
NHL Translation: 43
Josh Norris is another prospect who I have high hopes. He brings a little bit of everything, and can certainly etch his name on the scoresheet. Coming in as the top producing rookie at the AHL level last year, he should be a shoo-in for a spot on opening day. Where he slots in? Who knows. Predicting this club’s roster is a waste of both your time and mine. Because of that, I’m capping him at 40, with hopes and aspirations that he makes me look silly. The Sens still have at least one, probably two more years of sluggishness in them, so, until then, I will remain reserved.
Player: Tanner Laczynski
League: NCAA Team: Ohio State University
Points: 34 Games: 36
NHL Translation: 26
Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee likely have spots saved for them on opening day, so it would take a strong training camp for another young player to make the cut. However, there has been lots of talk of Lacynski being ready for NHL deployment right out of the NCAA. For me, this is a long shot. It’s likely that he would slot in on their fourth-line, at which point, he would be better-suited gaining reps in the minors for a year. This is an easy under.
Player: Samuel Poulin
League: QMJHL Team: Sherbrooke Pheonix
Points: 77 Games: 46
NHL Translation: 67
Poulin will surely test this number in due time, but I don’t see him hitting that mark next season. He should bring a great mix of categories for all of you multi-cat fanatics, but 67-plus is a large ask for a kid coming out of the Junior ranks. With that being said, if he were to catch time with their heavy hitters in a top-six role, the sky is certainly the limit. Of course, that could be a little ambitious for him in the short term. But why not daydream.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Player: Alex Barre-Boulet
League: AHL Team: Syracuse Crunch
Points: 56 Games: 60
NHL Translation: 37
With the Lighting in a bit of a cap crunch, this could be the season where we see a few of their stewing prospects make the leap up to the big leagues. There are a few names who could contest for this spot, but Barre-Boulet has a strong chance of coming out on top. He’s a known point-producer and a member of the 110-plus point club in the QMJHL, but his deployment will likely be kept at bay. I would assume somewhere among their bottom-six, meaning anything over 30 is a stretch for me.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Player: Nicholas Robertson
League: OHL Team: Peterborough Petes
Points: 86 Games: 46
NHL Translation: 50
A true talent and one that can certainly score his fair share of goals, but will likely fall just short of the 50 point bubble. While earning a roster spot is a fair possibility, getting in on the club’s top-six will be no easy task, while pp1 deployment is almost out of the question. He is dangerous, exciting, and definitely holds all the tools to become a stellar producer in time. Yet, for now, I think 15 goals and 20 helpers would be a very strong campaign, considering his likely deployment.
Player: Connor McMichael
League: OHL Team: London Knights
Points: 102 Games: 52
NHL Translation: 52
McMichael blew the socks off the OHL last year, and will surely be given a shot out of camp to strut his stuff in Washington. Should he be successful and make the team, I expect middle six deployment, given his strong offensive tendencies. Unfortunately, it would likely be on the club’s third-line, and potentially PP2, meaning 50 points would be quite the reach. However, he is an offensive force, with a strong read on the play and a knack for finding the right spots, so it is certainly not an impossibility.
Thank you for tuning in for another week of Tuesday Ramblings, follow me on Twitter @hall1289 for updates on prospects.