AHL Report: Trade Deadline Shakeups

by Brayden Olafson on March 11, 2019

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Trade Deadline AHL Shakeup

 

The NHL trade deadline has came and gone, and with it, we’ve seen several big-name players swap out their uniforms for new ones. While the big names that were on the move will tend to get the most attention from us today, it’s important to keep tabs on the tadpoles as well. The NHL trade deadline also has a significant impact on the AHL, where the prospect shuffle often goes unrecognized. Just prior to the deadline I recall watching coverage of the Matt Duchene to Columbus trade on a major sports network. To paraphrase the commentators, who may simply have been critical of Pierre Dorion, the return from Columbus was “two conditional first-round picks, and prospects”… PROSPECTS! I almost felt offended by the way that they applied the generic term to two extremely talented and promising players – but I digress.

 

In stark contrast, the coverage that was given to Erik Brannstrom as the core piece returning for Mark Stone was overwhelming. The somewhat misleading scale that mainstream sports networks seem to portray prospects on makes me extremely excited to work with Dobber Hockey to provide the most accurate and consistent valuation of prospects. Today, I’ll do my best to provide an accurate representation of any fantasy-relevant AHL players who were impacted by the trade deadline.

 

Erik Brannstrom, OTT | 19 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 5-40-45, 20 PIM

Expected Arrival: Cups of coffee this year, full time in 2019-20

Ranking: 9D

Fantrax Ownership: 31%

 

The move to Ottawa will be an interesting one for Brannstrom. A commanding force on the back-end will bring memories of EK65 to the minds of Senators fans, but likely leave something to be desired… at least for now. He shouldn’t by any means be anointed the savior in the Capital city, but he’ll surely be a nice compliment to Thomas Chabot as the two develop together. He’s an absolute must-own in any sort of keeper league, but as is typical with offensive-minded defenseman, a growth curve should be expected even when he arrives in the NHL. His 3YP as shown above shouldn’t be a benchmark expectation for his rookie season in the NHL, but rather, an indication of him exceeding expectations and accelerating his development with the Sen’s.

 

Jonathan Dahlen, SJS | 21 years old

Dobber Midseason Guide

3YP: 22-25-47, 60 PIM

Expected Arrival: Cups of coffee this year, full time in 2019-20

Ranking: 54D

Fantrax Ownership: 20%

 

The curious trade that sent fellow Swede, Linus Karlsson to the Vancouver Canucks is a move that will likely benefit Jonathan Dahlen. While the 21-year-old had been experiencing a relatively positive first season in North America the Canuck’s pipeline had become coagulated. While Dahlen hadn’t officially requested a trade, his agent, JP Berry implied that there was a difference of opinion regarding how Dahlen was fitting into the Canucks organization. The move to San Jose puts Dahlen at the top of the left-wing pipeline. In an aging organization, the opportunity for him to play a potentially impactful role in the NHL should come sooner than it would have in Vancouver. Since moving over from the Comets to the Barracuda, Dahlen has been chipping in consistently playing alongside Finnish prospect Antti Suomela.

 

Brendan Guhle, ANA | 21 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 9-26-35, 40 PIM

Expected Arrival: This fall

Ranking: 20D

Fantrax Ownership: 12%

 

Somewhat contrary to the 2018 Fantasy Prospects Report, Brendan Guhle did not in fact make a full arrival to the NHL this fall. Rather, the 21-year-old kicked off his second full AHL campaign with the Rochester Americans. His move to Anaheim, however, has him quickly back on track to meet the expectations of the report. Since the move, the AHL All-Star has played exclusively in the NHL, logging significant minutes for the Ducks. His offensive capabilities are relatively untapped thus far, however, if this deployment continues, expect his production to follow quite quickly. Now could be a great opportunity to stash him away for safekeeping before the floodgates open, relatively speaking of course.

 

Cliff Pu, FLA | 20 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 17-33-50, 20 PIM

Expected Arrival: 2019-20

Ranking: 85

Fantrax Ownership: 7%

 

Any move, at this point, would have been a positive move for the former London Knight forward. After a great amount of success as a Sabre prospect playing in the OHL, Pu was a part of the disappointing return for Jeff Skinner and saw him debut this fall as a Charlotte Checker. The AHL has not been kind to 20-year-old, and after an extremely disappointing 44 contests with the Checkers, including a 5-game demotion to the ECHL, Pu was traded to the Florida Panthers. The former third-round draft-pick is a skilled forward who unfortunately seems to be struggling to make the transition to the pros. While it was relatively easy for Pu to become buried in the depth of the Checkers lineup, the move to Springfield should crack open a door for him to regain some confidence. At this point Pu’s future is in question, but not necessarily a player to entirely write off.

 

Carl Grundstrom, LA | 21 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 21-22-43, 28 PIM

Expected Arrival: 2019-20

Ranking: 130

Fantrax Ownership: 9%

 

The price for Jake Muzzin came at a relatively affordable cost to the Toronto Maple Leafs. With that being said, Grundstrom’s file is nothing to balk at. The left winger quickly becomes one of the Kings most NHL-ready prospects, with an offensive ceiling to go along. His 3YP might be a little steep for where he’s at right now, but a 2019-20 arrival is a lot more possible with the Kings than it would have been with the Leafs. Two goals in his first two games with the Kings since the trade is a nice start.

 

Emil Pettersson, ARZ | 25 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 11-17-28, 20 PIM

Expected Arrival: Cups of coffee this year, full time in 2019-20

Ranking: 200

Fantrax Ownership: 2%

 

The elder brother of young Canucks phenom Elias, Emil shouldn’t earn any points for association. The now 25-year-old has shown flashes of NHL-level ability in the AHL, but has been unable to bring his game to the next level, despite having every opportunity to do so. The move to Arizona has relevance, but not as much as his 2% of owners might hope – if you’re part of the other 98%, don’t be running to the waiver wire over this trade.

 

Jean-Sebastien Dea, FLA | 25 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

3YP: 12-24-36, 52 PIM

Expected Arrival: 2019-20

Ranking: 456

Fantrax Ownership: 4%

 

Since his move to Springfield from Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Dea has been on a tear in the AHL. His four tallies in a Thunderbird uniform are two-thirds of his total as a Penguin in five times the amount of games played. Unfortunately, his production is likely to plateau, and his status in Sunrise has him no closer to a full time NHL role than in Pittsburgh. If there is one saving grace for Dea, it’s that upon expiration of his current contract, the 25-year-old will become a group-6 unrestricted free agent, giving him the opportunity to sign anywhere of his choosing. For a fringe NHLer such as himself, this leverage should allow him to find the perfect fit next fall. So while Florida may not be the ultimate destination for the Laval native, he’ll surely be on the hunt for an NHL opportunity next fall.

 

Darren Raddysh, NYR | 23 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

Not featured

Fantrax Ownership: 2%

 

Taylor’s brother had a great rookie season in the AHL last year and has already eclipsed his offensive contributions as a sophomore. The move from Chicago’s farm system to the Rangers’ is a relatively lateral move in terms of opportunity. He’ll be competing with former exceptional status OHLer, Sean Day, for a spot in the Rangers surprisingly positive looking defensive depth chart. As Raddysh had played on an AHL only contract last year, he wasn’t featured in the prospect report. As reflected by his ownership rate, he’s a fringe prospect and should not be expected to become much more than a shutdown defender at the NHL level.

 

Laurent Dauphin, NSH | 23 years old

Fantasy Prospects Report

Not featured

Fantrax Ownership: 3%

 

Dauphin has bounced around the league a fair amount, including two unsuccessful stints in Arizona. He’s a solid option in the AHL at this point, and the 3% ownership is basically limited to stragglers who’ve yet to give up hope. I wouldn’t bet on the move to Nashville changing his outlook much either – regardless of what opportunity comes his way Dauphin is very unlikely to make any sort of fantasy impact.

 

Trades aside, the AHL has seen it’s fair share of exciting prospects continue to excel. If you’re in a shallower league, players like Drake Batherson and Alex Barre Boulet are absolutely guys to bet on to make an impact next fall. Batherson will certainly be a full-timer in Ottawa, while Barre-Boulet’s opportunity in Tampa will have to be monitored closely.

 

Something that may have gone slightly unappreciated in the Cam Talbot – Anthony Stolarz trade is the fact that the Oilers have a top-notch goaltending prospect in Bakersfield who’s been making a ton of noise throughout the AHL the last few months. Rookie, Shane Starrett has 17 wins including two shutouts in his last 18 starts, thrusting Bakersfield to the top of the AHL’s Pacific division. While the transition from the AHL to the NHL can absolutely still prove to be a challenge for goaltenders, as we’ve seen in Toronto with Garrett Sparks, the opportunity for Starrett in Edmonton could be slightly brighter, making him someone to certainly keep an eye on.

 

See you in April, folks! Find me on Twitter @olaf1393