Prospects Ramblings: Athanasiou offer sheet, Rookie Tournaments and “Studley Hungwell”

by Peter Harling on August 23, 2017
  • Prospects Rambling
  • Prospects Ramblings: Athanasiou offer sheet, Rookie Tournaments and “Studley Hungwell”

Usually in my ramblings posts I tend to follow some sort of a theme. Well it’s the off-season and not much is happening so today is going to be pretty rambly as I may go all over the board on topics.

Let’s start with the news of the day, Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is still not signed. The Wings are in some cap trouble and don’t have a lot of room to sign him. In fact they are currently almost $4 million over the cap. The word on the street is that he has been made a “significant offer” from a KHL team for a one year contract. I have long been an advocate of AA and have owned him for years in my dynasty league. It would be a real nut shot if he left for the KHL on the eve of the season I believe he could breakout. On the surface it seems like he is a goner, but there is a shred of hope still. Assuming Johan Franzen will be on the IR al season and his $3.954 million comes off the cap, that get the Wings back to a legal cap hit. Now the question becomes how much will it take to sign AA?

Probably between $2 and $2.5 million AAV on a bridge contract of 2-3 years is my guess. It’s safe to say rookie Michael Rasmussen the Wings 2017 first round pick will be returned to junior, opening up almost $1 million more in cap. The Wings also have nine defensemen listed on the roster on capfriendly, none of which are waiver exempt. Nine defense is too many so one has to try to pass through waivers, Xavier Ouellet and his $1.25 million cap hit could make it. Another possibility would be Jonathan Ericsson and his $4.25 million cap hit. Ericsson would be sure to clear waivers and it opens up a decent chunk of cap space to use to sign Athanasiou.

The KHL contract certainly gives Athanasiou strong negotiating leverage and creates a sense of urgency on the Wings part. Another NHL team could also really put the screws to the Wings by making him a RFA contract offer. As per MyNHLTradeRumors, here is the 2017 compensation rules for RFA contract offers.

2017 offer sheet compensation …

Average annual value

Draft Pick Compensation

$1,295,571 or below

None

Over $1,295,571 to $1,962,986

Third-round pick

Over $1,962,986 to $3,925,975

Second-round pick

Over $3,925,975 to $5,888,960

First-round and third-round pick

Over $5,888,960 to $7,851,948

First-round, second-round and third-round pick

Over $7,851,948 to $9,814,935

Two first-round picks, second-round pick, third-round pick

Over $9,814,935

Four first-round picks

 

As mentioned I am a big fan of AA, but if I were a NHL GM I would seriously consider making a contract offer in the $3 million for three or four year range. The compensation is only a second round pick, and the Wings would be hard pressed to match.

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There are going to be a number of prospects turning pro as there are every year. One player I think that is way under the radar and could not only make the NHL, but do so in a top six role is Bruins prospect Anders Bjork. I see four of the top six forward roles being locked up by Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak (if he signs – speaking of offer sheets!), David Krejci. David Backes is likely a fifth given his contract, but 38 points last year is a concern. That leaves a probable second line left wing position open to competition. The contenders would be Frank Vatrano, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner, and Anders Bjork. Belesky flamed out last year posting three goals in 49 games, Spooner is falling out of favour in Boston fast and that leaves Vatrano and Bjork. Bjork posted 52 points in 39 games with Notre Dame and is an offensive wizard. My forecast for Bjork this coming season is 40 points; the Dobber guide only has him for 17 points so I am going out on a limb here.

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Speaking of projecting, I was a guest host on a recent episode of Keeping Karlsson and we went over a bevy of prospects and Calder candidates and projections for tons of prospects. Some of my favorites for the Rookie of the Year include Charlie McAvoy, Clayton Keller, Brock Boeser and Tyson Jost.

I was on just before news of the Travis Zajac injury which slightly changes my projection for Nico Hischier. I had him in the 35-40 point range and feel that he may be able to better that now that there is an opening as the Devils number one center. His main competition will be Adam Henrique now and possibly Pavel Zacha, but I feel the Devils want Zacha on the wing. Hischier gets plenty of recognition for his offensive skills and vision, but he is an underrated and very committed defensive player as well. He could thrive as a rookie.

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The Ducks have a deep blue line and recently signed free agent veteran Francois Beauchemin to a one-year contract. What does this mean for Ducks prospect defense?  It changes nothing for key players like Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen, Hamphus Lindholm, and Josh Manson. Kevin Bieksa and his $4million contract ensure he gets ice time as well. That’s five, Beauchemin makes six; leaving the likes of Brandon Montour, and Jacob Larsson on the outside. One of Larsson or Montour or both could stay with the team until injury opens up a spot, but if that doesn’t happen soon one could go to the AHL to get some games in.  Of course the Beauchemin signing could be a precursor to a trade where the Ducks move a defenseman out for a top six forward, who knows.

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Now for a little plug for one of my favorite writers. Jamie McKinven who played NCAA and some pro has a great blog called Glass and Out where he writes about hockey tips, hockey tales from the road and other interesting articles. My favorite is an article titled Hockey as a Second Language and has little chestnuts in it like this definition

“Studley Hungwell”

A player who gets too cocky or arrogant. Sometimes players tend to get cocky if they are on a winning streak and things are going well

I highly suggest checking it out and subscribing.

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Prospect tournaments are starting up. The Traverse City tournament which features eight NHL teams prospects will be held September 8-12 and includes Detroit, Carolina, Chicago and New York Rangers in one group and Columbus, Dallas, Minnesota and St. Louis in the other.

Watch all the games streaming live with no geographic restrictions on DetroitRedWings.com

Here is the link to the tournament schedule

Live close by? Go see the games live, $10 a day gets you four games, tickets available here

So far the only roster announced is Carolina

The Young Stars Classic in Penticton features prospects from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg and will be held September 8-11. No rosters have been announced at this time.

Last year the Canucks streamed the games live for free via their Facebook page.

For a complete list of all the tournaments here is a handy article over on The Hockey Writers Fan Guide to NHL Prospect Tournaments

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