What a busy and hectic time of the year it has been. The holidays are always full days and add to it the excitement of the World Junior tournament and the fact that my whole family has been sick the last few days have been a blur to say the least.
Nevertheless, the hockey world trudges on and the prospects news you need to know is all right here.
Let’s start with some trades that have been happening across the CHL as the trade deadlines for those leagues are fast approaching. Keep in mind players competing at the WJC cannot be traded until they are finished and returned to their respective leagues.
The Kingston Frontenacs traded Carolina Hurricanes prospect Warren Foegele to the Erie Otters:
The Fronts are a middling team this year after previously trading sniper Spencer Watson (Los Angeles Kings) to Mississauga and losing Lawson Crouse, Michael Dal Colle and Roland McKeown to the pro ranks. Erie on the other hand is loading up for a Western Conference arms race adding Foegele to their offensive depth which includes Dylan Strome (ARI), Alex DeBrincat (CHI) and Taylor Raddysh (TB). Erie has elite top end offensive talent and the addition of Foegele gives them depth comparable to other Western powerhouse teams like London, Windsor, and Sault Ste. Marie. Foegele will provide excellent complementary scoring depth as well as bolster the faceoff prowess.
The Sarnia Sting trade Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nikita Korostelev to the Peterborough Petes:
Korostelev played in his 200th career and first game for the Petes Tuesday night scoring and goal and two points in a 3-1 win over the Fronts. Korostelev failed to make the Russian World Junior roster but is having a bounce-back season returning to the point per game pace. Korostelev should bolster the Petes offence as they are only one point behind Oshawa in second in the Eastern Conference and are looking for a deep playoff run to help their recent financial troubles.
The OHL trade deadline is Tuesday January 10th; other players who could be in play include Leafs prospects Jeremy Bracco and Stephen Desrocher, Mitchel Stephens (TB), Givani Smith (DET) Cam Lizotte, Ryan Mantha and Nathan Bastian
In the QMJHL the St. Johns Seadogs traded Winnipeg Jets prospect Luke Green to Sherbrooke
Since the trade, Green has four assists in 2 games with his new team. Green who was unhappy with his playing time on the second overall Seadogs asked for a trade. Now on the 15th overall Sherbrooke Phoenix he will get plenty of ice time.
The Gatineau Olympiques traded Colorado Avalanche prospect Nicolas Meloche to the Charlottetown Islanders:
Almost a year after acquiring Meloche from Baie-Comeau, the Olympiques traded Meloche after 54 games played over two seasons for Gatineau. Meloche is in his final season of junior and Gatineau is likely to miss the playoffs while the Islanders are currently fourth overall.
For those wondering, QMJHL winter trade period opens Sunday Dec 18 and closes Friday Jan 6. #qmjhl— Nolan Reid (@Nolan_TQN) November 29, 2016
In other prospect transaction news, there has been a series of players signing their ELC contracts with their NHL clubs over the holidays. Just prior to the WJC starting the Sens signed Filip Chlapik who has been excellent for the Czech Republic. Columbus signed Vitali Abramov who played for Russia in the CHL series but did not crack the Russian WJC team. Another participant in that tournament is Tyler Benson, who also failed to make the WJ roster for Canada but was signed by the Edmonton Oilers. The Tampa Bay Lightning signed a pair of prospects in Brett Howden and Mathieu Joseph. Joseph has been excellent for Canada at the WJC. The Winnipeg Jets signed their 2016 second first round pick big Logan Stanley. Finally Sam Steel and Alex DeBrincat, two disappointing and almost shocking omissions from their countries WJC rosters were also signed to by their NHL clubs, Anaheim and Chicago respectively.
Speaking of the World Juniors, the next episode of DobberProspects Radio is coming soon and will be talking about prospects standing out there, in the meantime, listen to the second guest from the podcast Russ Cohen of Hockey Prospect Radio talk WJC on TSN Radio
Toronto Maple Leafs top player Auston Matthews is hardly a prospect anymore as he is the Leafs best player at 19-years-old, but the sensational rookie was just named the NHL Rookie of the month by the NHL. Matthews has 20 goals and 34 points in 37 games already this season and is on a seven game point streak with 11 points in that span including four multi-point games in a row. If I had a vote for the Calder Trophy, he would get it.
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Tyler Motte was sent to the AHL today. I spoke about Motte in the premier episode of the DobberProspects podcast and he was having a great start to the season. Motte has been held to one point in his last 21 games played and was also scratched seven times.
Anthony DeAngelo is in suspension trouble again. This time it is a three game league suspension for abuse of an official. The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their appetite for DeAngelos shenanigans after they suspended him several times while he was in the AHL. He has elite offensive ability but seems intent of self-destruct.
Reid Boucher of the New Jersey Devils is on waivers. Yes this is current news. Yes I know the Devils already waived Boucher and he was claimed by Nashville, but they also waived Boucher and the Devils claimed him back. Now a day after claiming him back, the Devils are going to try to send him to their AHL team if he clears. The fact that the St. Louis Blues have also placed prospect Ty Rattie could make the chances of Boucher slipping through better. Rattie, the 23-year-old former WHL scoring sensation has not been able to crack the Blues roster. His prolific offense from his Portland Winterhawks days where he scored 121, and 110 point seasons has not translated to the pro level, but his career AHL scoring totals are decent with 137 points in 196 games. But Rattie is no longer waiver exempt and the Blues have limited him to just four games and he has played an average of 7:15 minutes scoring no points. If you have been holding Rattie on your fantasy prospect bench patiently waiting this is the break you were waiting for. Expect Rattie to be claimed and given a fresh chance to contribute to your fantasy stats.
Finally some other prospects that have made their NHL debuts recently include Matthew Peca and Adam Erne with the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is Erne’s second recall, but first NHL game. He had no points and played 12:03 on a line with J.T. Brown and Michael Bournival. Peca has played in four games with the Lightning and has two points in the last two. Peca played on a line with Vladislav Namestnikov and Alex Killorn. Peca is a little known prospect that is only 3% owned on Fantrax, but was an accomplished scorer in the NCAA for Quinnipiac and has translated that to the pro level in the AHL. He is an undersized two-way center that I have been a fan of for a few years now. I already own him in all my dynasty leagues and suggest you add him if you have a deep league like the DPFHL. While I don’t suspect he will stay the season with Tampa once their injuries subside, or that he one day will lead the team in scoring, but for a free add he has adequate upside if you have the room and the patience.
Another prospect making his NHL debut tonight is San Jose Sharks Mirco Mueller. The 21-year-old first round pick from the 2013 draft has eight assists in the AHL for the Barracuda and at only 12% Fantrax owned is widely available in fantasy free agent pools. Do not expect much offense however, he is still useful in leagues which reward hits and blocks.
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