Prospect Ramblings: Mid-season Guide Gems (part 2)

by Hayden Soboleski on January 22, 2017

Combing through the second half of the Dobberhockey Midseason Guide in this Sunday Ramblings…

***

Last week I gave readers a glimpse into the first half of the DobberHockey Midseason Guide – an invaluable tool released recently that will give all fantasy owners an edge as the season starts winding down. Mike Reilly being recalled by Minnesota? That was predicted in the Midseason Guide. Jordan Subban in Vancouver? Yep. Jujhar Khaira in Edmonton? Of course. Nashville's waiver pickup Brad Hunt? Yeah there's a profile on what to expect from him in there too (albeit in the St. Louis section). DobberHockey and DobberProspects writers have your back when it comes to your fantasy hockey leagues and we put out the content to prove that we are ahead of the game. I highly recommend getting your guide sooner rather than later to get the most out of the 160-page almanac.

 

It wouldn't be very fair of me to provide sneak peeks of only half the teams featured in the guide, so this week I'll provide some tidbit for the second alphabetical half. These ones are on the house:

 

Los Angeles: "Adrian Kempe, LW – The tools are all there for Kempe. He has size, speed, above average skill and works hard in all areas of the ice. However, the point production for a player of his talents has not quite materialized yet. The adjustment to the straight lines of the North American game is in progress but more time is needed."

 

Minnesota: "A spike in usage on November 25 has sparked an offensive surge from Jason Zucker that includes an increase in shot volume. He fired 33 SOG in 14 December contests, an average of well over two per game. Zucker is on pace for 148 SOG but should finish closer to 175 if the December pace continues."

 

Montreal: "Lehkonen and Carr see closer to 40% offensive zone starts but they also see the opposition‘s weaker lines. Lehkonen helps to drive possession though, while Carr has posted a -5.7 relative Corsi."

 

Nashville: "Trending Up: Sissons (5.6%), Fiala (5.7%) and Subban (6.3%) are the three lowest regulars when it comes to 5on5 SH%. It implies that had the pucks been going in at the regular rate then their point totals could have increased by as much as 40 percent."

 

New Jersey: "Surprisingly, college alum Miles Wood leads the Devils on highest quality of competition faced (albeit in limited action). That explains why he has a team-low relative Corsi of -8.5. He put up solid numbers for Boston College in his one year there (35 points in 37 games). Seeing him being used in such a difficult role bodes well for his future potential as an NHL regular."

 

Long Island: "Prince started the year with three two-point efforts in his first seven games and has cooled off significantly since. Simply put, he is getting third-line minutes and the Islanders lack the secondary scorers to help Prince stay on the right path. His numbers to date, including three points in four games to end 2016, hint he is one hot streak away from looking like a fantasy-relevant player."

 

New York: "Ryan Graves, D – Graves is one of the fastest risers in the Rangers system, and is currently playing his way into a potential call-up in the not too distant future. The young defenseman has shown a propensity for putting pucks in the net, finishing his final junior season with 15 goals, and his first professional season a year ago with nine. This season for Hartford, Graves is on pace to finish with double digit goals, and upwards of 40 points. Given that the Rangers have traded a good amount of their prospects and draft picks in recent seasons, it's good to see one of their middle round selections with the trajectory towards an NHL roster spot."

 

Ottawa: "Despite being a total non-factor offensively thus far, Ceci should not be forgotten just yet. He had 26 points last year with 18 of them coming in his final 42 games, good for a 35-point pace. He has seen a massive increase in overall ice time this year and is also seeing more time on the power play. Keep an eye on him as he could be a decent depth fantasy scorer if he can finally get rolling."

 

Philadelphia: "Ivan Provorov‘s plus/minus tanked to minus-8 in October thanks to the struggles of Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth. The ship has righted with Provorov going plus-4 through November and December. He is a complete player and should finish in the black by season‘s end."

 

Pittsburgh: "Jake Guentzel, C/LW The swift skater, good playmaker and opportunistic finisher would be in the NHL if he were with one of the many organizations that lack Pittsburgh‘s enviable forward depth. The former NCAA scoring machine had 14 points in 10 games during his first pro playoffs and has led the AHL Penguins in scoring all season. He even had three goals and an assist in five NHL games earlier this season. Guentzel uses excellent hockey sense in the middle or on the wing and has added some bulk to a reedy frame. Watch him carefully for a second-half NHL callup."

 

San Jose: "Labanc went from playing on the fourth line during the first quarter of the season to being a staple on Couture‘s line during the second quarter. That and the power-play time he now receives had him scoring at a 40-point pace in December."

 

St. Louis: "Parayko is getting nearly 40% of the available PP time and has taken over 100 shots on the season. He scored on five percent of his shots last year and, at this shot rate, that could mean a 10-goal second half."

 

Tampa Bay: "When Stralman missed nine games in November with an upper-body injury, Nesterov finally began producing with four points during that stretch. He still gets benched far too frequently to be considered a reliable option but he has been getting points at a solid rate since he got on the board. He could have a similar run if there are injuries to the Lightning defense down the stretch."

 

Toronto: "Brown started the year with just two points in 15 games but since then is hovering above 0.75 points per game. His overall season numbers are still not overly impressive which makes him overlooked at times. Buy low if you can to add a solid scorer for the final months."

 

Vancouver: "Troy Stecher has not lost any of his power-play time with Alex Edler‘s return to the lineup. That makes it all the more likely that he will see a rebound in his shooting percentage, as only two players since 2004-05 have finished a season with fewer than five goals and more than 180 shots (which is Stecher‘s current pace)."

 

Washington: "Madison Bowey, D – The well-rounded defender is capable of handling a variety of assignments. Tremendous skating and willingness to play physically helps Bowey defensively, allowing coaches to use him in a shutdown role, although he would do well to develop more of an edge. His mobility and excellent puck movement comes into play when his team has the puck. A captain in his final two seasons with the WHL‘s Kelowna Rockets, Bowey has leadership potential. He‘s ahead of his AHL rookie numbers, including penalty minutes."

 

Winnipeg: "Beware of Laine, as he has scored on 18.6% of his shots this season. If he continues at this pace, he would be only the 10th player since the 2004-05 season to finish a campaign with 200 or more shots and a shooting percentage over 18%. To put it in perspective: in Alex Ovechkin‘s 52-goal rookie season, his SH% was 12.2%. Is Laine a better shooter (by half!) than Ovechkin? No."

 

***

It wouldn't be a Sunday Ramblings without me posting the lastest First-NHL-Goal videos from the weeks past. Always my favorite highlights to watch.

 

Christian Fischer:

 

Markus Hannikainen:

 

Jujhar Khaira:

{source]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">First NHL goal for JuJhar Khaira <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ARIvsEDM?src=hash">#ARIvsEDM</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oilers?src=hash">#Oilers</a> <a href="https://t.co/94iQofbFce">pic.twitter.com/94iQofbFce</a></p>&mdash; OC (@OldComiskey) <a href="https://twitter.com/OldComiskey/status/821196485295480832">January 17, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

 

Michael Sgarbossa:

 

What  bunch of beautiful goals!

 

***

As always. thank you for reading and best of luck in your fantasy hockey leagues in the second half!

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih