Welcome to the new and improved Thursday prospect ramblings, or the same ones as always but now I am back gearing up for the fantasy hockey year!
I am going to go over the first 15 teams (alphabetically) and pick a prospect (or young player in case some teams have no room) to not overrate/underrate in our upcoming fantasy drafts.
FYI: Overrating means you should not reach for the player and underrate means don’t like them slip for too long! There are always “sleeper” young players fantasy GMs reach for, here is who not to reach dramatically for or let slip too far down the draft list.
Also shout out to the fantastic Elite Prospects page for this, support and follow them
The most hectic time of the year is officially here for us. Bunch of leagues starting each day, which means lots of manual roster updates and adding new players to the db. Here’s just a handful of the leagues we cover at #eliteprospects pic.twitter.com/tnNbagJGFY— Eliteprospects (@eliteprospects) September 5, 2018
Jacob Larsson and Marcus Pettersson – As great as these two players can be there is no room in the top four in Anaheim (save for the annual Fowler injury), and the one who makes it will likely be saddled to Luke Schenn keeping the players points low. On any other teams these two could likely step in to the line-up as a #4-#6.
Troy Terry and Sam Steel – Those with early drafts may feel inclined to take either of these players, but I would hold tight until they are at least said to be on the roster opening night. No one wants to waste a pick
Ondrej Kase – Enough has been written on him so I do not need to go in to detail, but he could play top line opening night so someone will look to snag him.
Marian Hossa as he is retired…. Hahahahaha… ok anyway….
Dylan Strome – Yeah, I am not a big Strome fan and I hope he proves me wrong, I really do! He also now has Stepan and Galchenyuk ahead of him at C, and has to compete with Dvorak for third line centre playing time as well as better wingers.
Vinne Hinostroza is my sexy Arizona pick and I plan to snag him later in drafts but earlier than other draftees can… unless you are in one of my pool, then he is a bust. But I will go for the overlooked player:
Christian Fischer – Fischer adapted very fast to the AHL in his first full season, and last season he did not look out of place. His 33 points were fine for a player with low minutes, but if you look at the Coyotes they are missing that big power forward/net front player and Fischer can bring that. He has a chance to play PP1 and in the top six this upcoming season, though a safe bet is on the third line and sit and hope he become the net front player on the powerplay.
Charlie McAvoy – Lots of potential fantasy GMs will be reaching to draft McAvoy thinking he will get all the powerplay time, boy will they be mistaken. McAvoy is fine to get if your league counts hits and is deep enough to enjoy his ~30-35 points. If Krug is gone let someone reach on McAvoy and just grab Chara late, who does similar production but is taken way later in drafts.
Ryan Donato – His nine points in 12 regular season games was very impressive, but he also only got in three playoff games which may let him slip down many draft boards. If you can snag him late he should be a top six forward for Boston, and a player that jumps in on PP1 when Bergeron gets hurt.
Rasmus Dahlin – Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Yes, I am saying do not overrate him. There is no guarantee he takes the 1PP spot for Ristolainen, but he will thankfully take minutes to ease Risto’s workload. I feel like people will draft him assuming he will immediately be the #1 dman on Buffalo, as he is amazing, but he won’t get to being a top level dman overnight, it will take some NHL experience first.
Casey Mittelstadt is the sexy pick here but everyone should know about him, and if he slips and you snag him that’ll be fantastic, but let us go with:
Tage Thompson – Now there is a very likely chance he could play in the AHL for a season as the Sabres are surprisingly deep up front, but they moved ROR for him and he must be in the team’s plans. I would take a late flyer on him in hopes that he comes in to camp to prove that the Blues made a mistake moving him.
Noah Hanafin – Sure he is the new shiny toy in Cowtown, but he is also likely third in the pecking order for PP1 time and still has to prove he can put up points. There is no need to reach for him over Gio, but you could snag him around the same time Brodie goes for fair value.
This is a tough one as who knows how Peters’ will roll out his lines as he kept Skinner on line three last season in Carolina. I think I will go with Mark Jankowski because I think he is better than the numbers show. He has taken his sweet time to get to the NHL and is stuck as the third line centre, but that player will at least have Neal to play with (and a hopefully improved Sam Bennett) so there is far greater chance to score.
The other rookies – Martin Necas, Valentin Zykov, Warren Foegele, Aleksi Saarela, Janne Kuokkanen, and Julien Gauthier will all be fighting for two to three roster spots. Necas will likely have the inside track to a top three centre spot but after that it is all up in the air. So do not reach for any of them until the cards fall in Carolina and a sense of what the roster will look like appears.
Andrei Svechnikov – What I have Dahlin as an overrate and Svechnikov as an underrate! How dare I! Hear me out, forwards can transition to the game much quicker in fantasy than dmen giving AS the edge here. Also not to be forgotten, Svechnikov is a fantastic player and I feel he has been under hyped this upcoming season, get him if you can he will be great.
Victor Ejdsell – There is no guarantee he makes it or plays in the top nine so do not reach up the board to get him.
Also be wary of GMs reaching for Alex DeBrincat as he will go a lot earlier than he should (unless of course Coach Q give him 1PP time).
Dylan Sikura – He should land in the top six pretty easily for Chicago. He may be a known quality and if that is the case keep an eye out for how well Dominik Kahun plays in training camp as Kahun could sneak his way on to this roster and produce.
Samuel Girard and Tyson Jost – Both will be fantastic players but how soon is unknown. Girard has Barrie blocking him from prime offensive minutes, and Jost has other players to compete with for playing time. Out of the two Jost will likely produce much better this upcoming season.
JT Compher – He may just end up as a third liner but he has an extreme low on-ice shooting percentage of 5.2% and a PDO of 95.3, and if those numbers rebound to normal levels the puck should go in a lot more for him while he is on the ice. A good late round flyer choice.
No one really as the team is coming back mostly complete. I doubt anyone will reach for a Columbus rookie / young player as the only one really is Dubois and he appears to be awesome, BUT be warned I am keeping him in a small keeper league so he will likely have a sophomore slump this coming season.
Besides Dubois, make sure you can draft Josh Anderson and Bjorkstrand as both should take another step forward this season.
Valeri Nichushkin – He posted such mediocre numbers in the KHL I do not know how he will fair in the NHL, but if he plays alongside Benn and Seguin a reach should be fine if you want to risk it.
Miro Heiskanen – Although Dallas apparently would not trade him for Karlsson he is not Karlsson and has Klingberg ahead of him for powerplay time. I do not believe he will be a big time multi-cat stat stuffer but you never know
The roster is pretty set and there is no young player that looks like he could slip.
I guess Evgeni Svechnikov as you make think it is Andrei if you’ve had a few too many drinks. I still believe that E. Svechnikov will become a good player but who knows if he will get the chance on Detroit.
Anyone on this team they will be bad. Just hope you can grab Larkin, Mantha, Zadina and Rasmussen, the latter two should make it but it is Detroit and they are young skilled players not mediocre players Holland can give big contracts to, so it is no guarantee both rookies make it.
Ty Rattie – Anyone can produce in his spot so if the Oilers lose or he stops scoring that RW spot will be given to another more talented player.
I feel Oscar Klefbom is too established for this list, so I will leave him off but let you, the reader, see that he should be given a second chance this season in fantasy.
Jesse Puljujarvi – The Oilers need to make it work with him so he will be given more opportunity to produce, I say do not let him slide but in fact he would just be a good late round flyer.
Dale Tallon trading away top line players for nothing… wait that is only in expansion drafts….
I would say the entire bottom six since the top six are pretty well set (save for the RW spot next to Trochek and Huberdeau), so a third line consisting of three of Borgstrom, Hoffman, Malgin, McCann, Vatrano, Tippett, Mamin, and/or Haapla with one getting the coveted second line spot. The fourth line will likely consist of Brouwer, MacKenzie and McGinn, and even if Brouwer is sent to the minors that line will barely produce. The only guaranteed target in here should be Borgstrom but even then reaching for him would be ill-advised as he will see limited powerplay time.
This is too tough to judge as a third line consisting of the above mentioned players should produce better than most third lines, so really get confirmation on the line then draft players off of it if your draft is deep enough.
Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe – Both are out of the top six with the arrival of Kovalchuck and a healthy Carter, so expect minimal points.
LA are one of the oldest and slowest teams in the NHL and with no rookies in the top six do not expect a player in a good position to really fall in the draft.
Jordan Greenway – He will eventually be good, and I would not put it past Boudreau to set Greenway up to produce immediately as he is the best coach in the NHL, but I doubt that time is now. He should either be a last round choice or waiver fodder in leagues.
Joel Eriksson Ek – EE is a very good player but can he produce in the NHL is the question. I would bet he can (at least low 50’s) and this season perhaps we see Koivu take even more of a defensive role to allow EE to play in the offensive zone more. I would risk a late round flyer on him if most of Minnesota is off the draft board.
Alright, well tune in next week for Part 2!
Follow my twitter here: @FHPQuinn as I am soooooooooooooooooooo bad at checking comments. You have to yell at me there to fix stuff or we can debate!
- Prospect Deep Dive: Matthew Boldy
- NCAA Report - Ryan Poehling (March 2019)
- Prospect Ramblings: Camp Rosters for U18 Worlds (April 8)
- Prospects Ramblings: The Shane Wright Factor
- SHL Report - March 2019
- DPR Episode 52: Junior Scoring Leaders, Shane Wright, and NCAA Free Agents
- QMJHL Report: First Round of the 2019 Playoffs
- WHL Report: First Round of the playoffs... and beyond