Alex Nylander, Team Canada (again), Czarnik and Zykov

by Pat Quinn on December 21, 2017

 

 

Welcome back to me writing things on the computer called ramblings. Last week I was complimented for posting some ska, so I will post some more. Listen to this as you read and it will make the read better (I’ll dedicate this song to Ethan since he said he loves SKA so much being from Orange County).

 

 

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Huge news at the World Junior Championship as the Buffalo Sabres have loaned Alex Nylander to Team Sweden for the tournament.

 

 

Hopefully the move boosts Nylander’s confidence as he has not looked the same this year since returning from injury. The top prospect currently has only six points and 19 shots in 15 games so far for the Rochester Americans, and two games were multi-point games giving him points in just four of the 15 games. But to be fair everything Buffalo Sabres this year appears to be awful so these numbers could be misleading to his play, but from what I have seen (once) and read he has not been as great as last season.

 

Heading into the tournament Nylander will now be the go-to forward for Sweden and could be split from Elias Pettersson (whose name I always spell incorrectly) to make their shallow group of forwards more dangerous.

 

In my opinion Sweden does not have the same up-front power as Canada, USA, Finland, and Russia. The Swede’s power lies in having the best defense core in the tournament and will be a treat to watch.

 

Going back to Rochester for a second, I stay baffled at how Seth Griffith does not get a full-time NHL roster spot. All he does is light up the AHL when he is down there, and when he comes up he gets stuck on the third or fourth line and expected to produce with plugs. Get him some power play time and a top six spot for a small period to let him show what he can do.

 

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Alright now I have to talk about Team Canada again. I know all DobberProspects writers have gone over them so go here and check out any old ramblings posts!

 

Here are the latest Team Canada lines (taken from exhibition game against the Czech Republic 12/20/2017 – Dube was a scratch):

 

Steenbergen-Steel-Kyrou

Katchouk-Thomas-Raddysh

Gadjovich-McLeod-Batherson

Comtois-Howden-Formenton

 

Clague-Makar

Mete-Timmins

Bean-Foote

Mahura

 

Looking at these lines I completely fail to see how a line of Tippett-Glass-Suzuki could not be seen to make this team better. I would honestly put that line up against the Steel line as being Canada’s top line. Which would you prefer, feel free to comment below. For the record I prefer the Glass line.

 

Which three would I remove to add the trio of Tippett-Glass-Suzuki? Well that would be Gadjovich, Comtois and honestly Taylor Raddysh (I have rarely been impressed).

 

I just do not see how this team can be the run-away favorites of the tournament like in years past. Will they be a top team? Yes. Are they the favorites? I would say this tournament does not have a favorite, but if I had to list them there is an argument to put Canada as low as fifth on the list but also still first.

 

Perhaps I am just being an upset Canadian armchair GM thinking I can make a better team (I can though).

 

Latest power play lines for Canada (same game):

 

PP1

Clague

Steel-Steenbergen-Kyrou

Raddysh

 

PP2

Makar

Thomas-Batherson-Bean

Katchouk

 

I cannot disagree with any of those set ups, but as a Devils fan I would prefer to give McLeod a spot on the power play so he can stand out more.

 

Credit to Mark Masters for the line information 

 

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A couple names to watch in the AHL:

 

With all the rookies the Boston Bruins currently have playing in their forward group I am surprised Austin Czarnik was not able to crack it. It may have been a numbers game, but currently the centre has 25 points in 21 games for the Providence Bruins as he continues to bide his time in the AHL, and look like he can absolutely produce in the NHL.

 

Valentin Zykov is taking over the AHL at the moment. The power winger, acquired by the Hurricanes from the LA Kings for Kris Versteeg, now has 25 points in 27 games, 17 of those points being goals. Zykov’s points per game and shots have improved each season since he first entered the AHL in the 2015-2016 season. He is currently on a six game point streak, with nine points (seven goals) in those games. He may never be a first line scorer but he looks like he can be a second line power winger that can chip in on the first power play unit planted in front of the net.

 

 

That is all for this week, no random thoughts at the end as the only one that would be up is “sleep is good”.

Follow my twitter which I inconsistently tweet about hockey @FHPQuinn