Welcome to my Thursday ramblings that I am deeming the #RandomAssortment ramblings, as these are just random players I want to highlight. Let’s go!
Jeremy Bracco – Bracco has been fantastic in his second year on the Marlies and has routinely been the team’s best player night in and night out. Bracco was a player drafted late in the second round because of #Size but the skill was always a top 20 talent in 2015. He is shooting under two shots per game, but that really is not his game as he is more of a playmaker. I have no idea where he would slot in on the future Babcock team with already small wingers, as Babcock loves a grinder on each line. On another team Bracco could easily be a top six winger and a mainstay on the top powerplay, but on the Leafs he may be stuck in the bottom six and second powerplay. The Leafs are so deep on the wing.
Riley Barber – Barber has been fantastic for the Bears this season registering just a hair under a point per game in his first healthy AHL season. Barber is second in the AHL in shots with 204 and looks to be quite ready for the NHL. The problem for Barber is that the Capitals are also deep on the wings with older contract-locked talent that already kept Barber off of the NHL squad to start the 2018 season. If he makes the Capitals in the 2019-2020 season he will likely stay in the bottom six.
Ty Smith – Perhaps I am a homer but I feel that in the first round the Devils might have made the best value pick with Smith at 17. He has 59 assists in 56 games and is shooting close to three shots per game, and this is with Smith playing with Canada at the World Junior Championship. On the Devils he can easily supplant Butcher on the top powerplay and that may knock Butcher to the Severson-never-get-a-chance territory. Smith should be a top prospect out there, unless you are in one of my pools then he is a bum and trade Smith to me.
Peyton Krebs – Krebs is awesome and Kootenay sucks. That is really the best way to define him. He should be a top five pick at the 2019 draft and if he slips it would be a a boon for whatever team selects him. His 67 points are 17 points better than second on Kootenay and 28 points up on Kootenay’s third place player. If he was traded at the deadline more talk would be surrounding this kid.
Joseph Veleno – Oh look the player who everyone at Dobberhockey said “should go a lot higher thank the Red Wings got him at 30th overall” is sure looking good for Drummondville in the QMJHL. He is only up to 102 points in 56 games, but that is not two points per game, so he is a bust. Veleno is only 20 points up on the next best Drummondville player and sits third overall in QMJHL scoring. It may take him a few years to get to Detroit but he looks like a solid choice.
Alexander Khovanov – I expected Khovanov to produce better than the 70 points in 62 games he currently has as I thought he was a huge faller in the 2018 draft. He is playing better and more consistent to his game but the production is lacking with a player of his skill. There is still a chance he can become a productive middle-six player for Minnesota in the future.
Bode Wilde – 70 points in 59 games for Wildejust shows the skills he possesses. His problem of course is the play in his own end, which has slightly improved this season as he continues to work on it. He can become a game breaker on the back end for the Islanders in the future, as he has the talent, but it is in the boom/bust style. That means that he can become amazing, or a TJ Brennan style player (stuck in AHL forever).
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