Prospect Ramblings: Potential Stand Out Prospects for the 24-Team Playoff

by Pat Quinn on July 22, 2020
  • Prospects Rambling
  • Prospect Ramblings: Potential Stand Out Prospects for the 24-Team Playoff

 

 

Welcome to the Thursday Prospect Ramblings. This week I will go over one prospect for each team that I feel has a potential chance to stand out in these playoffs if given the opportunity.

 

I was going to finish my decade of drafting series with the EJHL, CJHL, OJHL, MJHL, and compare them to the BCHL and AJHL piece I did to in the beginning but there were not enough players on those leagues to really merit a good ramblings. There were eight from the EJHL, six from the CJHL, 21 in the OJHL, and six in the MJHL. Perhaps I should have included the OJHL in my original piece as they only had one less than the AJHL. Well let me just say that 23% of the OJHL players drafted turned out, which is five.

 

My plan now is to look at the countries outside North America and see how those players turned out between 2008 and 2018. That will be next week. Right now, let us see my #GoodTweet of the week:

 

 

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I am going to run down my list East to West from Exhibition to play-in teams

 

 

East

 

Boston Bruins

  • Anders Bjork – I really do not know what extra to add here that Dobber already added on Monday. He looked good then got hurt, then came back looked good and was hurt again. Hopefully he can play these playoffs without injury

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Alex Barre-Boulet – A skilled player on the small side for the Tampa Bay Lightning that has been great in the AHL. Stop me if you have heard this story before. With the potential to play in the top nine for Tampa in the playoffs, Barre-Boulet could have a coming out party that could result in Tampa having full confidence in unloading a contract this short off-season

 

Washington Capitals

  • The smart money here would be to give this spot to Connor McMichael but the Capitals have a few vets up front they would play over him even at the expense of scoring, so I am going a different route here 
  • Alexander Alexeyev – The Capitals may have the top seven currently compiling Carlson, Orlov, Gudas, Kempny, Jensen, Dillon and Siegenthaler, as well as Fehervary as his eighth spot competition. Well that may seem like a lot (it is) but he has played well in this short camp and if a few injuries were to occur and he was to get a shot in the line up I could easily see him not leaving due to his combination of size, skill and skating

 

Philadelphia Flyers

  • It is pretty much a toss up between Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost, but only one can win
  • Farabee – He already solidified himself as an important player for the Flyers once he was in the line up. He could play anywhere in the line up and gave a boost to any line he was on

 

 

Play-in teams

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Samuel Poulin – There are not really any Penguins prospects that could make an impact on this list so by default it goes to Poulin. He likely is still not 100% ready for the NHL but if he was

 

Montreal Canadiens

  • Nick Suzuki – He was already one of Montreal’s best players before the league shut down, and with many Montreal players already reluctant to want to play in this tournament from the start (not to mention the GM trading away players at the deadline), Suzuki may give them all a boost if they follow his lead

 

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Jake Bean – Possibly the best defenseman prospect not inn the NHL right now (hot take I know), but if given a shot on the crowded blue line he could surpass Fleury and TVR
  • Honourable Mentions as sometimes it is too tough to pick one under the right circumstances:
    • Morgan Geekie – If given a solid opportunity on a scoring line he may never leave
    • Alex Nedeljkovic – Does anyone trust both Reimer and Mrazek to either stay healthy or consistent? Nedeljkovic could finally break out if he gets hot, even though his earlier attempt this year (behind an injured Canes blueline) was not good

 

New York Rangers

  • The extremely easy answer here is Igor Shestyorkin as he alone could take the Rangers far in the playoffs, but instead I am going to go on a more forgotten route:
  • Vitali Kravtsov – Everyone seems to have forgotten about him as I do not hear much myself (you hear that poolies, better make some offers)

 

New York Islanders

  • Oliver Wahlstrom – The Islanders need scoring and Wahlstrom is a better candidate than Kieffer Bellows due to the fact that he does not need his line mates as much to put up points like Bellows. Both could be factors but I would give the edge to Wahlstrom
  • I was going to choose Noah Dobson, who is said to be having a “fantastic” camp alongside Andy Greene (but who is not having a great camp though), but the Islanders have eight defensemen ahead of him (Adam Pelech back healthy) and Trotz loves to play vets over young players

 

Florida Panthers

  • Owen Tippett – Who knows what Quenneville will do as he enjoys putting Mark Pysyk and Michael Matheson as wingers, but if Tippett can get a chance he could be a force
  • Sleeper candidate: Aleksi Saarela – Could he FINALLY get a prolonged NHL shot?

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Established: Ilya Mikheyev – Currently healthy and playing with Tavares and Nylander, watch out
  • Forced his way on to the third line: Nicholas Robertson – Has put himself firmly on line three with Alex Kerfoot and Kasperi Kapanen, and could be a sneaky good player for the Leafs in the scoring position of forcing his way further up the line-up

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Lots of people have been watching Liam Foudy, but they are forgetting about:
  • Alexandre Texier – Already lined up with Dubois and Bjorkstrand, he may just get points by accident

 

 

West

 

St. Louis Blues

  • I am of two minds here:
  • Klim Kostin – I know the Blues are deep up front but this kid can bring it and hopefully he can sneak on the roster and not leave as he can provide both scoring and checking if need, but scoring would be preferred
  • Ville Husso – Who knows which Jake Allen will show up, and I am just not a believer in Binnington long-term (I am fully ready to be wrong here FYI) so if something was to happen where Husso had the net I could easily see him taking off

 

Colorado Avalanche

  • I was going to pick Bowen Byram here, as he is the sexier pick for poolies (especially if Makar is still sidelined when the NHL starts), but then we forget about:
  • Conor Timmins – Was likely good enough to play in the NHL midway through 2019-20 after his injuries the year prior. He is not a top point producing defenseman but he can product a sneaky amount of points and multi-cat stats. He is the safer pick

 

Vegas Golden Knights

  • With Cody Glass missing the playoffs the next likely candidate for Vegas is:
  • Peyton Krebs – Krebs is good, I do not know if he could step in to the line up and really be a factor right now, but he has the skill to score if sheltered properly

 

Dallas Stars

  • Jason Robertson – Gurianov is pretty established with how he ended the season and his previous call-ups, so here Robertson can be the forgotten player. He may not yet be in the Stars’ spread out top nine, but if they really need skill and scoring he can easily take a spot

 

 

Play in

 

Edmonton Oilers

 

Chicago Blackhawks

  • The Blackhawks have so many here between Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik, Nicolas Beaudin, Adam Boqvist, and Philipp Kurashev. Kubalik is too easy of a pick, so are Boqvist and Dach, so I will go a bit in left field with:
  • Nicolas Beaudin – Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy are slightly “unfit to play” (too many Oreos), and do the Blackhawks really want Seabrook out there with McDavid playing 22 mins a night? Beaudin could end up as a fantastic add at even strength for the Hawks

 

Nashville Predators

  • I should pick Eeli Tolvanen or Phillip Tomasino, but because Hynes is the coach and he somehow gets offense sucked out of teams, I will go with:
  • Connor Ingram – If one of Saros or Rinne get hurt, and the other is inconsistent, Ingram can become a brick wall for the Predators

 

Arizona Coyotes

  • Victor Soderstrom – He can easily take the number six spot from Jordan Oesterle and Ilya Lyubushkin and not look back. Will not get the points everyone expects right off the bat as he still has OEL and Chychrun in front of him

 

Vancouver Canucks

  • Since Quinn Hughes is too easy of a selection I will go with
  • Young Tyler Toffoli who is apparently better than Brock Boeser
  • Kole Lind – The Canucks are quite full in the forward ranks but Lind could surprise if called upon

 

Minnesota Wild

  • Kirill Kaprizov ……
  • Calen Addison – He can move the puck and if he could snag the PP1 spot out of the mini camp he will be one to watch
  • Honourable mentions should go to forwards:
    • Gerald Mayhew who put up 61 points in 49 AHL games (1.24pt/g)
    • Sam Anas who lead the AHL with 70 points in 63 games (1.11pt/g)

 

Calgary Flames

  • With Andrew Mangiapane solidifying himself with Backlund and Tkachuk, and Dillon Dube looking very solid in the bottom six, people may have forgotten about:
  • Juuso Valimaki – Valimaki will soon become the best defenseman on the Flames and if he is good to go for playoffs he may never leave the ice

 

Winnipeg Jets

  • Sami Niku – The Jets do not have the best defense core (to put it lightly) and if Niku can step his game up, they could get much closer to average than they are now

 

 

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