Happy one month of prospect ramblings to me, I am still here. It calls for a celebratory song:
Big news for the Czech World Junior squad as the New York Rangers officially loaned Filip Chytil from Hartford to play in the World Junior tournament.
(I cannot believe I did not link the tweet last week correctly, apologies)
Chytil has been sidelined a few different times this season in the AHL with random injuries but still sits sixth on the Wolf Pack in scoring with 12 points in just 15 games. The guaranteed addition of Chytil will give the Czech squad a great group of top four forwards that includes Martin Necas, Ostap Safin, and Filip Zadina. Once the tournament is completed Chytil is expected to rejoin Hartford in the AHL.
Lucas Johansen in his first year with the Hershey Bears is currently sitting tied for fourth on the squad with Riley “cannot buy a point at the moment” Barber. He sits first on the team in defense scoring with 14 points in 27 games and is tasked with the team’s top minutes and powerplay. Johansen looks to be advancing faster than the Capitals anticipated and is looking more and more like he could step into the lineup next season.
As noted above Riley Barber cannot buy any sort of points this year (not many of the Hershey Bears can this season), with 14 points in 28 games. It is not for lack of trying as he is routinely one of the most dangerous Bears every night. He will be an NHLer but how high up the lineup he can get is still up in the air.
Since coming back from the ECHL (a move based on available playingtime over overall play) Vitek Vanecek has thrown together a string of good starts for the Bears racking up three wins with one shut out. The completion of the game tonight for the Bears was not a great one for Vanecek, so I may have jinxed him. Long term there will be a battle between Ilya Samsonov and Vanecek for control of the crease, and while Samsonov has the first round pedigree in his favour do not count out Vanacek who may be able to sneak in an NHL role before him.
Ilya Samsonov is of coure expected to sign an ELC with the Capitals at the conslusion of his KHL season. He expressed his desire to come play in North America at the conclusion of his KHL deal this off season, and has said he has no problem starting in the AHL and working his way up to the NHL. Old story is here:
Stepping overseas to Russia for a moment, more specifically the MHL, potential 2018 pick Yevgeni Tsaryuk is having a great season with 31 points in 32 games leading all 2018 Russian draftees. He was passed over in the 2017 draft like most Russian players, but this season he has broken out in a big way and that may require some consideration from an NHL squad. He was not selected to the World Junior squad but Russia always has the same type of skilled forwards in the mix and he must not be a favorite of team Russia. Keep an eye on him if he is drafted in 2018.
One of the top prospects in the MHL is 17 year old Alexander Zhabreyev who currently has 25 points in 31 games. There will likely be little talk about him up to the draft and he may be passed over a few times as he has two things that are against him: being Russian and being 5’7. He possesses the skill to be drafted but it is likely we will not hear about him until an NHL squad tries to sign him.
A name I am interested in watching for the World Junior Championship is Artyom Manukyan (another Russian I know). The 19-year old forward was finally selected to the Russian squad and this kid oozes skill, but also lacks in size and weight as he is 5’7 and around 140 lbs. I talked about him last season in a KHL update (they are posted to this site monthly so you better be reading them!) as he was tearing up the MHL. Well he finished last season in the MHL with 105 points in 60 games, 66 of those being assists He had only two points through 24 games in the KHL with a veteran heavy Avangard Omsk team, so ice-time was an issue. He was sent back to the MHL and has five points in six games. He just needs an opportunity to produce offense and he will take off, which should be this tournament. If he has a strong tournament and gets back on track in Russia he could be a late pick in the 2018 draft.
Well now I have hit a wall / writers block at this point, so time for some random thoughts:
- The mismanagement of the Red Wings roster is insane. How do you not play Anthanasiou, Mantha, Larkin, and Frk as much as possible? I understand they have an abundance of bad contracts, and no good defensemen, but the team stinks so let the rookies (and Tatar) play.
- I know Braden Point is getting a ton of praise in Tampa but Yanni Gourde has been one of the better players for the Lighting as well. I took him late in a bunch of drafts and it is paying off beautifully. If the Lightning ship out a forward or two this off season they will be fine with both Point and Gourde getting additional ice time.
- Keeping on the Bolts, how does Kucherov seriously not ask for $10+ million? I hope he does as he is such a good player. Would make an interesting off season that year (which I think is next year) for sure.
- I still cannot believe the return for Alex Burrows was Jonathan Dalen. Along with that how was Nikolay Goldbin the return for Jannik Hansen. Well done Jim Benning.
- With the latest Jaden Schwartz injury I hope Ivan Barbashev can step up, produce and keep an NHL spot. He has the skill and smarts to be an NHLer just needs a consistent opportunity.
That completes another rambling for me. I am on the internets here @FHPQuinn
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