Prospects Ramblings: Prospects Making Noise

by Peter Harling on January 7, 2020

Back to normal life resumes as the holiday season has concluded along with the World Junior Championship. There has been so much excellent WJC coverage here I decided to go back to a more regular ramblings style, so here goes.

On Wednesday I am going to watch the Utica Comets in Bellville as the Canucks AHL affiliate takes on the Sens. These teams are both pretty loaded with promising prospects, but the one I will be watching the most is the Canucks free agent acquisition Brogan Rafferty. The American defenseman is only 2% Fantrax owned because he signed as a free agent after the 2019 season from the NCAA to very little fan fare. In his rookie season in the AHL, the 24-year-old has an eye popping five goals and 30 points through 36 games. I already own him in both my fantasy leagues and I would be surprised if he does not get a NHL call up before the season ends. At 24-years-old already and dominating offensively in his rookie season as a pro he could be NHL ready in the immediate future. I will have more follow up and a scouting report on the DobberProspects Podcast after tomorrows game….

In case you missed it, LA Kings prospect and 2017 first round pick Gabe Vilardi has made a successful return from a very concerning back injury. Vilardi was limited to just four games last season in his crucial development season as a rookie in pro hockey. He was not even ready to return for the start of this season, but has come back and now has 17 games played. To date he has four goals and 11 points which considering he is still a rookie, and missed virtually all of last year is very promising. His fantasy ownership is really low due to the injury status (18% Fantrax) so I strongly suggest looking into him as a free pick up of a potential top prospect…

Last week I talked about Kingston import and 2020 Draft prospect Martin Chromiak coming to the OHL. This week another one of the top 2020 NHL Draft prospects announced he is coming to the OHL. Jan Mysak is coming to play with the Hamilton Bulldogs who drafted him 20th overall in the 2019 CHL Import Draft. If there is a last minute injury, you can bet Mysak will be added to the CHL Top Prospects game, which will be held in Hamilton on the 16th of this month. 

You can add Washington Capitals prospect Hugo Has to the list now as well. Has was the Caps 2019 fifth round pick and was one of the better players for the host Czech team at the WJC. The 6-4 defenseman had a goal and three points in five games and is on loan to the North bay Battalion for the balance of the season…

The CHL leagues are all having their trade deadlines this time of year, so look for plenty of top prospect movement as impact players move from rebuilding teams to contending teams as rentals. The QMJHL had a monster day yesterday seeing names like Jared McIsaac, B-O Groulx, Raphael Lavoie, and Dawson Mercer on the move….

Nashville Predators rookie Dante Fabbro is having a great season after graduating from the NCAA with the Boston Terriers. But did you know the Predators have two more top prospects developing with the Terriers? Bostons top two scorers are Nashville draft picks, defenseman David Farrance ( a 2017 third round pick) and center Patrick Harper (2016 fifth round pick). Harper was just named the Hockey East Player of the Month with five points in two games. Harper is a senior so look for him to sign as soon as the Terriers season is over to avoid becoming a free agent in August. Harper is only 1% Fantrax owned so look for that to increase significantly once he signs….

On the player of the Month note, LA Kings prospect Jacob Ingham was named the OHL Goalie of the Month for December, and has been named Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks. In his fourth season in the OHL and first as a member of the Kitchener Rangers, the 2018 sixth round pick has been dominant. He has a 2.52 GAA with a .929 svs% and is 8-2 in his last ten starts. Still a bit of a wild card as far as prospects go, but the 19-year-old is 0% Fantrax owned and worth a watch list note, if not a long shot as a free agent add if you can be patient…

More goalie thoughts, Florida Panthers prospect Spencer Knight has been as advertised as a NCAA freshman. The Boston College net minder was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month with two wins over Notre Dame including a shutout and allowing only one goal in 54 shots. I drafted Knight in the first round of my fantasy draft, then a few days later Florida signed Bobrovsky to a seven year $70 Million contract. I was not happy about it at the time, but given the play of both goalies this year I feel pretty good about it now.

Thats it for today, thanks for reading.