Prospects Ramblings: There Is No Off-Season In Fantasy Hockey

by Peter Harling on July 18, 2017

There is no off-season in fantasy hockey and with hockey prospects, with the majority of NHL Development Camps wrapping up the focus shifts to some upcoming tournaments.

Before we move on, let’s look back first. The Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs dev camps are over and Russ Cohen, Mike Augello and Anthony Mingioni share their takeaways from their camps on the season ending episode of the Off The Post Podcast.

Speaking of podcasts, our friends at Fantrax have recently launched a new fantasy podcast network with the top podcasts in all the major sports including hockey. I am pleased to announce that both the Dobber podcasts DobberProspects Radio and Keeping Karlsson are part of this prestigious network. You can still find both shows on all the regular places you are currently listening, but now we are on Fantrax more of your competition may be listening.

One more podcast note for you, I was recently invited by Guy Flamming to guest on the latest episode of the Pipeline Show to talk all things DobberProspects and the podcast. You can catch my segment at the 40:42 mark but if you don’t subscribe to the show I highly recommend it, TPS is one of the best podcast shows and has great guests.

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Looking back at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft now, some of the top prospects have been signing their ELC’s. What does this mean for their fantasy value?

The sooner to sign prospects from the draft are typically the ones most ready to play in the NHL, and therefore should be contributing to your fantasy stat line sooner than later.

That said; don’t expect all the players that signed to break the NHL this fall. Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick are the most likely to play in the NHL this year.

Don’t be surprised if 31st overall pick Klim Kostin makes a strong push, he was the first signed player from the draft and in my interviews at the draft I asked some pretty in the know media such as Bob McKenzie, Russ Cohen and more who could be most NHL ready outside of Nico and Nolan and they were all quick to say Klim Kostin. You can hear all the interviews in episode 25 of DobberProspects Radio

The other prospects signed that now have a chance of making the NHL include Martin Necas (Carolina), Timothy Liljegren (Toronto), Miro Heiskanen (Dallas), Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil (NY Rangers). I don’t think any of the three Vegas first round picks will play in the NHL this year as Vegas will play the smart long game and send all their picks to junior even though they signed.

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Speaking of drafts, it’s never too soon to look forward to the next NHL Draft. One of our hottest up and coming staff writers Kevin Wickersham has taken over the Thursday ramblings assignment and made his debut with a look at The Top Prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft. The 2018 draft looks to be another rich draft with both top end talent and depth. Acquire as many picks as you can for this deep draft!

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Looking forward to the upcoming prospect events, our good friend Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst penned a great article on this topic that is worth bookmarking if you want to track the draft eligible prospects. The Key Prospect Events for 2017-18 article has all the dates, locations, participating teams and links you need to do your own research for the 2018 NHL Draft.

The next big prospect event is the World Junior Evaluation Camp coming up July 29 – August 5 in Plymouth Michigan. The teams involved are Finland, Sweden, Canada, and host USA. Some of the rosters announced so far are Sweden and USA

Some players that jumped out at me from the USA roster include 2018 draft eligible prospects Quinn Hughes and Brady Tkachuk. The one player I am really hoping makes the team is Sean Dhooghe who went undrafted in the 2017 draft but won the hearts of San Jose Sharks fans at their recent development camp as an invite.

As for the Sweden roster, I noticed it is much smaller but the one player who stood out has to be potential first overall 2018 NHL prospect Rasmus Dahlin

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Remember Frederick Gaudreau? He is the Nashville Predators rookie who split time last season between the AHL and the NHL but had three goals in the Stanley Cup Final to make a name for himself. His timing was excellent as he parlayed that breakout performance into a new three year, two-way contract. He will compete for a roster spot on the fourth line in Nashville and could be a good late round or free agent fantasy  add to your roster in deeper leagues. Another Pred he could be competing with is Emil Pettersson, a 2013 sixth round pick who also signed a new two-way deal. Pettersson is the older brother of Vancouver Canucks top 2017 pick Elias. Both brothers are very talented, tall and slim. For more on Emil listen to McKeens European scout Jimmy Hamrin talk about him on the DPR show

Another player recently signed is free agent Alexander Georgiyev, the 21-year-old goalie had impressive numbers in Liiga last year with TPS posting a 1.7 GAA in 27 games. Our former writer Marco Bombino approves of the signing

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A great way to do Fantasy Hockey research on prospects to see who may be closer to breaking the NHL is to review team depth charts. We will be providing each teams prospect depth charts in our August 31-in-31 series, but in the meantime you can get a head start by checking out the Hockey News Team Page where you can find the Forecaster projected depth charts. It stays very up-to-date and is a great resource. A new location to find organizational depth charts is my favorite research site, EliteProspects.com. If you are in a cap league, capfriendly is another good source. Keep in mind all these depth charts are basically subjective rankings, my suggestion is to look at as many as possible, use your judgement to form your own consensus and go from there.