Prospect Ramblings: CHL Risers and Fallers

by Hayden Soboleski on October 20, 2019

 

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There’s been some great DobberProspects coverage of the U17 Tournament of late, so as a diversion I thought I’d jump into the Canadian Major Junior leagues to pick out some players who are seeing their fantasy stocks rise or fall now approximately 10 games into the season. These are by no means the only players that belong on this list, just a handful that stood out to me as particularly relevant for your dynasty leagues. You’ll also note a lack of big names, because realistically it’s impossible for someone like Byram or Cozens to rise or fall based on such a small sample size. 

 

 

RISERS

Nick Robertson (TOR)

With their second-round pick in 2019, the Leafs got a player that many lists had near the bottom of the first round. Everyone agreed they got good value in a potential top-end twine-tickler. Well, he’s up to 12 goals and 20 points in 11 games (and yes, he’s still above a point-per-game pace if you ignore his powerplay totals). Add in the fact that he’s a Leafs prospect, and you can expect the hype level on Robertson to skyrocket if he holds up this point pace all year long.

 

Cole Fonstad (MTL)

Fonstad was ranked in most rankings’ top-100 in the 2018 NHL draft, so when he slipped to 128th he gained instant status as a sleeper value pick. In his D+1 season he didn’t up his point-per-game total by much, but he did manage to become more of a scorer than the year prior, notching 29. He remains assist-heavy so far in 2019-20, but he’s racking up points without a hiccup after being traded to his first new team in 5 years. If he continues to thrive on his new team, he gains more credibility as a versatile point machine.

 

Dmitry Zavgorodniy (CGY)

24 points in 12 games so far from the former 7th-round selection in the NHL draft. Sustainable? Probably not. Playing alongside the probable 1st-overall pick in 2020? Yep. Still, he’s scoring the lights out and that’s never a bad thing. He will be in a lot of highlight reels this season and that is good news for fantasy investors. 

 

Ilya Solovyov (Undrafted)

Saginaw took a chance in the CHL import draft, selecting the hulking Solovyov with the 52nd pick. Transitioning from the Belorussian national team where he earned just a handful of points over a season, he now leads the OHL in defenseman scoring thanks to a league-leading (tied) 17 assists in 12 contests. At 6’3″ and 210lbs, he has a notable advantage in this junior league full of younger teenagers, but with this kind of production he will certainly land on some radars next summer. 

 

 

FALLERS

Ty Smith (NJD)

Smith is one of the best defensemen not in the NHL yet. He’s a top prospect and that has not changed. He is however a fantasy faller because he failed to crack the Devils’ lineup out of camp as many thought he could, and he’s now playing on a weaker Spokane team than 2018-19, meaning his totals might see a dip. This doesn’t mean he’s bad now it just means his value as a trade-able asset in your leagues may go down.

 

Ryan Suzuki (CAR)

First of all – ain’t nothing wrong with 9 points in 8 games. But only one of those points is a goal, and his 2 SOG per game rate isn’t high enough compared to other top offensive threats. He’s also got high fantasy expectations as a first-round pick in the NHL draft, and the fact that Barrie is a much more competitive team this season than last. Hopefully he can take advantage of his scoring teammates and use the opportunity to add to his scoring repertoire. 

 

Gabriel Fortier (TBL)

Again, it’s hard to label 10 points in 12 games as a disappointing start, but Fortier’s points pace and, more importantly to me, goal pace is down from 2018-19, when he first cracked the point-per-game mark. I’m nitpicking, but the scoring rate in the QMJHL this season has been very high so I think it’s reasonable to note this decrease in goal scoring (3 in 12 games so far after 35 last season). 

 

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FIRST NHL GOALS TIME!

 

Lucky us, we’ve had even more prospects score their first ever NHL goals this week. Absolutely love watching these. Enjoy:

 

We knew it would come soon. Jack Hughes was just waiting for his brother to be watching:

 

What a tight angle on the backhand for Nick Suzuki, but he makes it work for his first:

 

Another Hab got his first in that game – Victor Mete was waiting a loooong time for his first:

 

Hayden Fleury goes old school with a wind-up slapper for his first:

 

Go to the net, and good thing follow. Gerald Mayhew times the play perfectly to knock in his first:

 

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Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih