My eighth annual Prospects Report. My best one. Pick it up if you haven't already. An update will be released with 10 additional profiles (there's already over 400) and Brendan Ross's mock draft will give you all you need for the NHL Entry Draft. That update will be out within 48 hours after Cup is won.
Interesting details on the Evander Kane lawsuit here. Looks to me like an attempted money grab from some bully.
Also, UFC 174 is tomorrow and I'm putting together another pool for that here. Really just pick your winners, pretty straightforward...
So now you're starting to see the NHL prospect hopefuls begin to sign their contracts in Europe. Different prospects have different tolerance levels for "giving up". A North American would likely stick around until he's 25 or even 26 before hopping the pond. A European prospect would likely do it a year or two sooner. David McIntyre, who did play seven games for the wild a couple of years ago, signed to play in the SM-Liiga. He's 27, but I suspect that the fact that he played a handful of NHL games rather recently led to his staying in the AHL one more year in hopes of getting the call. Darryl Boyce is another example of this, but he's 29. He stayed even longer because he actually played 83 NHL games between 2010 and 2012 so he knew that he was sooo close.
Mattias Tedenby and Alex Urbom are a lot younger and they're European. Urbom, 23, played 20 NHL games last year. But he has less patience for the process because he knows that he could be a lot closer to home and make guaranteed money, and he knows that it would be another tough battle for a roster spot. The big one is Tedenby, who was owned in every keeper league as recently as two years ago. Tom Gulitti reports that Urbom has a deal done to play next year in the KHL, and that Tedenby is on the cusp of signing a similar KHL contract. Tedenby is 24 now - which was the spot he was drafted in 2008 (24th). He's played 120 NHL games but could never get it together. His most impressive season was his first one - he made the team in 2010 as a 20-year-old and had 22 points in 58 games. Seemed like a lock to become a solid scoring-line NHL player within three or four years. Instead, he declined. He couldn't even get going in the AHL.
The dangers of prospects in fantasy hockey. A tough lesson to learn, but if you can trade a couple of blue-chip prospects for a proven player who is already reasonably close to the threshold that you "hope" the prospects get to…then you do it. Because for every success story there's a Tedenby or an O'Sullivan or Filatov. Right now take a look at the Top 10 in rookie scoring from this season:
I hate to say it (and it doesn't seem right), but probably two or three of the above players will turn out to be busts. Though I think we can safely rule out MacKinnon. And I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to which one.
Well, okay, I'll hazard one guess - Chiasson. Not comfortable with him at all, the way he hit a wall after the 10th or 15th game.
The Flyers signed French star Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a one-year deal. Bellemare has been plying his trade in the SHL, but has been one of France's top scorers for the better part of a decade at the World Championships (26 points in 46 career games). His offensive numbers from last season look to have been padded a little by the likes of NHL prospects Oscar Moller and Bud Holloway, as well as recently-signed St. Louis Blue Joakim Lindstrom. So I wouldn't expect much for the Flyers in the season ahead. Bellemare is 29. At best a Raffl-like impact, but that's pushing it.
There was a rumor going around early yesterday that New Jersey's Adam Larsson was ready to head back to Sweden. Beatwriter Tom Gulitti got to the bottom of that one, stating that Larsson plans to remain with the Devils and is in contract negotiations. No plans to return to Sweden. Larsson is still only 21 and I consider him a 'buy low'. I still believe in him, though obviously the risk factor is significantly higher than it was a year ago. If you can get him for next to nothing and add him as a bench or farm player, I think it's worth doing. And I can all but guarantee that we won't see even 30 points from him this season or next. But I still consider him a long-term potential stud. Key word: potential. Teams don't give up on Top 5 picks very easily.
The 10 profiles that I have added to the Fantasy Prospects Report, based on your feedback, are:
Mikael Wikstrand, Pontus Aberg, Ryan Hartman, Nick Ebert, Christian Folin, Ryan Dzingel, Michael Keranen, Simon Hjalmarsson, Justin Bailey and Remi Elie.
I got 24 suggestions from you in the forum and it was admittedly hard to cut several of them to get to 10. And I couldn't do more than 10 because of time constraints.
The game on Wednesday was another nail-biter. If anything, I was confident in an LA win once they scored to make it 2-1. But despite what looked to be around 25 shots on goal (to New York's three) in the second half of the game, the Kings couldn't put one in. Remember this? How nuts was this one - Carter's stick literally waved just over the puck: