Prospect Ramblings: WJC Fantasy Risers & Fallers

by Hayden Soboleski on January 6, 2019

image courtesy of Yle

 

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That’s a wrap! Team Finland are the 2019 WJC Champions. Hopefully our Canadian readers didn’t quit following the tournament early after their unfortunate early exit, and our American readers aren’t too emotionally snuffed after that fantastic finish. Here’s a quick fantasy takeaway from the tourney:

 

Official Players of the Tournament:

IIHF Top Forward: Ryan Poehling (MTL)

IIHF Top Defenseman: Alex Romanov (MTL)

IIHF Top Goalie: Pyotr Kochetkov (undrafted)

 

Media vote all-star team:

F Grigori Denisenko (FLA)

F Philipp Kurashev (CHI)

F Ryan Poehling (MTL)

D Alex Romanov (MTL)

D Erik Brannstrom (VGK)

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (BUF)

 

 

These players have all obviously increased their fantasy stocks. Congratulations for owners of any of the above – you now have the option to sell high should you need trade bait for a late-season acquisition! Or, hold on until they get the chance to be just as good in the NHL one day!

 

Other Fantasy risers:

  • Aleksi Heponiemi (FLA) ended up tied for the tournament lead in points while holding down a top-line spot on Finland. He can skate with the best of them.
  • Morgan Frost (PHI) scored a bunch of points for the most-watched team, so his stock certainly rose despite Canada’s overall poor showing.
  • Emil Bemstrom (CBJ) is only 5% owned on Fantrax, but that’s been rising over the last week since he led the Swedes in scoring.

 

Fantasy fallers:

  • Filip Zadina (DET) was a letdown for Team Czech Republic. 1 point in 5 games on the top line after netting 8 in 7 last year. The other linemates disappointed too but produced a bit better than that. Make no mistake, he’s still a top prospect to own, but his perceived value took a hit.
  • That’s it. Its hard to truly drop in fantasy value after being named to a best-on-best tournament, while under the age of 20. 

 

My personal honorable mentions:

  • I loved the play of Alex Alexeyev (WSH) on Team Russia. The entire corp played well, but he made great decisions and executed his plays confidently and precisely. 
  • Josh Norris (OTT) was my MVP for Team USA. The guy looks ready to challenge for an NHL spot sooner rather than later, he simply does it all.
  • Sasha Chmelevski (SJS) was also a huge standout for me, being dangerous at all times is what gets you a top-six gig in the big leagues.
  • Anton Lundell (2020) looked fantastic for his age. We will be hearing his name more in the next year for sure.

 

*All opinions are my own, based primarily on in-game viewings during the tournament. For some equally valid opinions, that will certainly be arguing with me over what I’ve written, check out the DobberProspects editor team on twitter @Hockey_Robinson, @JokkeNevalainen, and @FHPQuinn.

 

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FIRST NHL GOALS TIME!

 

Devon Toews comes up clutch for his first – amazing effort to follow his own rebound for a second chance:

 

Ryan Graves likes to play a simple game, but that doesn’t mean always sitting back when opportunities arise in the slot:

 

Sean Walker holds onto the puck until he sees something he likes – a wraparound chance that he capitalizes on:

 

Juuso Riikola reminds us that sometimes its as simple as a well-placed blast from the point:

 

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Thanks for reading, and get ready for the DobberHockey Midseason Guide, coming soon to keep your fantasy streak going through the second half of 2018-19!

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih