Welcome back to the Thursday prospect ramblings. For the start of 2020, I need a formidable opponent to ask me some prospect questions and what do you know I just happen to have the perfect person at my disposal who is extremely smart. So, get ready for another of my non-scheduled but always entertaining formidable opponent ramblings, with possibly the most expensive and professional photo-shop in the history of DobberProspects.
First, let us check out my #GoodTweet of the week:
The goal no one knew was a goal until like 15 seconds later??? What haha https://t.co/5JCiLrSEjO— Pat Quinn (not that one) (@FHPQuinn) January 22, 2020
Question: What would your top five Calder ballots be if you voted and your opinion mattered in this stuff?
Well first, there is no need to be rude by saying my opinion doesn’t matter! Secondly here it is:
- Cale Makar (Col) – He is probably everyone’s clear cut favorite and if not, you are either a homer or just wrong
- Quinn Hughes (Van) – Took over the 1PP role rather quickly (thankfully) and looks great out there most nights. It certainly helps his cause that he was not rushed to the NHL (like Makar)
- John Marino (PIT) – I straight up do not think the Penguins would be where they are without Marino playing 20 minutes a night since he was put in to the lineup, especially with all the injuries to Dumolin, Letang, Schultz as well as playing Jack Johnson so much
- Victor Olofsson (Buf) – 35 points in 42 games before injuries make it too hard to not put him in my top five
- Ilya Mikheyev (Tor) – Yes, he is 25 and is very close to the 26-year-old limit, but he was a great two-way force for the Leafs before being injured and I thoroughly enjoy watching him play.
Question: Why do you not have any goalies in your top five, and how would you rank Merzlikins and Samsonov?
Simply put: Sample size. Same reason I would not have voted Jordan “half season” Binnington for 2018-2019 (well and Pettersson is better). If these rookie goalies were to take over the crease (like Blackwood ahs in NJ) early and play great for a full season they would be launched to the top spots. Unfortunately, Elvis needed Korpisalo to be hurt before getting his run of starts and Samsonov has needed Holtby to play poorly to gobble starts, but once playoffs emerge you can bet Washington and Columbus will go with the season’s original starter (especially when one has a Stanley Cup ring).
To answer the second part, I have covered the Capitals here at Dobber Prospects since 2014 and was stoked when they drafted Samsonov in 2015, so I have been following him ever since. Sure, he never really got to be a full-fledged starter in the KHL but his talent is undeniable. The Capitals will for sure let Holtby walk this summer and Samsonov should take over the crease with ease. He will be one of the better Starters to own in the NHL for a long time.
Elvis, I did not know much of but would check in from time to time at the beginning of 2017. He is a very good goalie and I have no idea what Columbus plans to do with Korpisalo and Elvis, but I would advise them to stick to Elvis and trade Korpi for forward help.
Also: Samsonov is ahead of Elvis in my rankings
Question: Let us stick to the Capitals, is McMichael for real or is this season just some crazy outlier?
I am mostly at a loss. He looks fantastic this year but last season he just looked good enough to be picked between 17 and 35. I think he can jump to the NHL for 2020-2021 but he will not get top six time there by limiting his upside. There is also the fact that the Capitals have 11 forwards signed for that season, and the only two up for a new contract in the 2021 off season are Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana who are not going anywhere. Expect McMichael to continue to tear up the OHL for another year unless the Capitals can move out a forward.
Question: What do you make of Gerald Mayhew and Sam Anas with the Iowa Wild?
Signed out of the NCAA in early 2017, Mayhew has been steadily progressing in the AHL since arriving there. He has matched his 2018-2019 goal total of 27 in 71 games a lot sooner with 35 games. At 27 it seems like he is just destroying the AHL but perhaps he is a late bloomer that could become a top six scorer in the NHL… or stay as a top AHL player for years.
Anas signed with Minnesota at the conclusion of the 2016 NCAA season having up and down point total seasons of 28, 61, and 38 in ~65 games. He currently has 43 points in 43 games and at 26 the 5’8 scorer may have run out of time, but also may have created an NHL career in the future.
For both players it is best to see what the Wild do at the deadline, but they could be sneaky good adds in keeper pools for the future. If you have an open spot there are worse players to use it on.
Question: As a Devils fan is there anyone on the Binghamton squad that could become a top six scorer in the NHL?
Sadly, I really do not think so. I think Mikhail Maltsev has the skills to be a top six winger but he will need some positive development and hit the right timing to really contribute.
Jesper Boqvist doesn’t count as he is just down there for the all-star break.
Fabian Zetterlund has an outside shot but I would be a very low percentage.
Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian, I think can become good third line players that can chip in offensively occasionally.
Joey Anderson is destined for the bottom six but stranger things have happened with hard working players.
If Nick Merkley can put all the knee issues behind him, he could become a scoring winger but I sadly think too much development time has passed for that to happen.
Brett Seney is undersized playmaking centre but there is no room for him in the top six with Hughes and Hischer, and I think Zacha would be the perfect 3C that can still put up good numbers if given wingers that can produce. Long term if he is to make the NHL I do not nee it in New Jersey.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this month’s edition of…
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