Prospects Ramblings: Prospects from the Combine, Calder Cup and recent signings

by Peter Harling on June 6, 2017
  • Prospects Rambling
  • Prospects Ramblings: Prospects from the Combine, Calder Cup and recent signings

It is Prospect and draft guide season! The DobberProspects team is proud to release the 11th annual edition of the DobberHockey Fantasy Prospect Report. This is only my second time contributing to the guide and this time I contributed all the draft eligible profiles and charts and rankings.

If you have purchased the guide in the past, you know what to expect. If not, here is an idea:

Top 50 charts – a consensus ranking of the top 50 prospects to never play a NHL regular season game.

Top 25 goalies – compare Dobbers list to senior writer Jason Banks

Team prospect profiles – 30 teams top prospects and what you need to know

The top 100 2017 NHL Draft prospects profiles – The who’s who for the 2017 draft

2017 NHL draft charts – Top goal scorers, best power forwards, top playmakers and much more

Top 25 2017 Draft forwards – Compare Dobbers rankings to mine

Here is a sample of some of the draft profiles

Conor Timmins, RD (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL)

Timmins may be one of the closest to ready for NHL defencemen from the ’17 draft. He missed the ’16 draft by a few days so he is one of the older players, he plays a consistent two-way game and brings some intensity to the defensive end of the ice with his high compete level. He is a very smart player who reacts and reads plays well. He is an elite puck mover and can drive transition and run a powerplay as a puck distributor. At 6-1 he plays above his size as he can deliver big open ice hits and clears traffic in front of his goal. With two NHL drafted defencemen who are older on the Greyhounds roster ahead of to start the year, Timmins was the top defenceman by seasons end.

Upside: Physical offensive defenceman (Ryan McDonagh) 10-25-35 +60 PIM

Ostap Safin, RW (HC Sparta, CzechU20)

Safin is a hulking winger that played all over the Czech league levels, and represented the Czech at the Hlinka and U18. Not only does Safin have ideal size, he has excellent skating and offensive skill. His hockey sense is also good, but at times can take a dumb penalty. There are some concerns about his compete level and commitment to defence. Safin is a true power forward that can go through players, drop his shoulder and drive the net hard. He is a handful along the boards and in the cycle, but can also read plays and make creative and skillful passes.  

Comparable (Milan Lucic) 20-30-50 +80 PIM

 

If you want to purchase your copy of this digital guide you can get it here: Dobber Shop

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For those of us in deep keeper leagues this is an important time of year to pay attention to the transaction page of Elite Prospects. Lots of important prospects, both drafted and undrafted, sign contracts and make the move to North America. Some play in the AHL, some in the NHL, and some of those can have a fantasy hockey impact. The last few years some players to stand out include Artemi Panarin, Alex Radulov, and Nikita Zaitsev to name a few.

Top of the list so far this year is the Vegas Golden Knights signing of Vadim Shipachyov. At 30-years-old he is far from a rookie or prospect, but still a player likely unowned in your fantasy league and one you should be able to draft. Shipachyov has been a proven KHL scorer and those in North America recently had a chance to watch him play for Russia at the World Championship where he scored 13 points in ten games. You won’t have to wait on him to produce for you, but don’t expect him to be around for a long time.

The Florida Panthers recently signed an interesting prospect to keep an eye on. Henrik Haapala was the Liiga leading scorer with 60 points in 51 games and led the league in assists as well with 45.  The 23-year-old is an undersized offensive playmaker at 5-9 and 165 pounds, but he will be given a chance to make the Panthers NHL roster in camp.

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On a recent edition of the DobberProspects Radio podcast, we had McKeens scout Jimmy Hamrin on as a guest.

There hve been a lot of Swedish players and prospects, both drafted and free agents that have recently signed NHL contracts. Who are they? Will they play in the NHL next year? What will their impact be?

Jimmy answers these questions and more on the prospects you need to know, such as;

Philip Holm (D) Vancouver Canucks

Jonathan Dahlen (F) Vancouver Canucks

Filip Sandberg (F) San Jose Sharks

Kevin Stenlund (F) Columbus Blue Jackets

Marcus Hogberg (G) Ottawa Senators

John Nyberg (D) Dallas

Andreas Borgman (D) Toronto Maple Leafs

Calle Rosen (D) Toronto Maple Leafs

Carl Grundstrom (F) Toronto Maple Leafs

Oscar Fantenberg (D) LA Kings

Oskar Lindblom (F) Philadelphia Flyers

You can listen to that episode here: DobberProspects Radio Episode 21

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The NHL Scouting Combine was last weekend. This event is growing in media popularity, but I am not sure what impact it actually has on draft day. This year however, the competition for first overall is between Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier. Patrick has been the favorite all year but his injuries hampered his season somewhat. Perhaps his physical testing at the combine to see how his health and strength measure up as a possible predictor to avoid future injuries was a factor for New Jersey Devils who own the first overall pick.  The Devils even tweeted out their head-to-head results comparison

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From the rest of the field, here is how prospects finished up. One player who tested very well that I think is somewhat underrated and will crack my June draft ranking (spoiler alert) is Josh Norris who finished first in two categories.

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One player who had some embarrassing results was Casey Mittelstadt who bested Sam Bennett’s performance of zero-pull ups with zero pull-ups and one bench press. Now Bennett had a shoulder injury which is why he posted his result and I am not sure why Mittelstadt had his poor results but don’t let that skew your perception of his value. Mittelstadt is arguably the most dynamic offensive player in the draft and could end up being the top fantasy prospect in the entire draft class.

Here is what Mittelstadt had to say about his results, pretty bang on!

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The AHL playoffs have reached the Calder Cup Final and it’s the Grand Rapids Griffins with a 2-0 series lead over the Syracuse Crunch. The Griffins have had a great playoff and had an impressive five game series win over a strong San Jose Barracuda team. AHL rookie defenceman Joe Hicketts has had a strong first year as a pro and has been an impact player in the playoffs.Who is Joe Hicketts you ask? He was a undrafted defenceman from the Victoria Royals, probably due to size at 5-8. He was a try out player at a Red Wings camp in 2014 and walked out with a NHL contract. “Little Joe”is a very physical player despite his size and is extremely competitive. In his rookie season he established himself as a stable in the organization and posted a respectable 34 points in 73 games. In the postseason he has been a factor as well leading the Griffins back end and posting another seven points in 15 games. He is a prospect on the rise and trending towards becoming a NHL player with some offensive upside and peripheral stats value to boot. At only 30% Fantrax owned, he is worth looking into.

Other Detroit Red Wings prospects to watch in the final include Tyler Bertuzzi, who is proving to be money in the playoffs and also offers both offensive and peripheral stat value. Rookie Evgeni Svecnhikov is also having a strong playoff with five goals and 12 points in 15 games. Two other players who have had some NHL time and are looking to make it back include Martin Frk and Tomas Nosek. Nosek has 18 points in 15 games.

On the Crunch, Corey Conacher and Yani Gourde are the league leading scorers with 22 and 20 points in 18 games each. Both are more likely to be minor league players for the better part of their careers with limited fantasy value.

Tampa Bay Lightning 2014 fourth round pick Ben Thomas is a defenceman from the WHL playing his first full season in the AHL and is one of the fastest rising prospects in the Bolts system, and was named the Crunch rookie of the year. His 21 points in 71 regular season games was decent production and he raised the bar in the playoffs with four goals and six assists in 18 games so far. At only 10% Fantrax owned you may want to put the 6-2 right shot defenseman on your watch list.