Be sure to check out Brendan Ross' (@RossyYoungblood) ramblings over at DobberProspect as he breaks down the prospects that competed at the MasterCard Memorial cup and other happenings around the world of hockey.
Here is a recap of Henrik Samuelsson's Memorial Cup performance and his outlook for next season.
Back. This time for good. The illness ended up lasting (in that extreme state) for five days and required antibiotics. But as of Wednesday I was able to get back to work and catch up on about 13 days of emails. And today… it's a frantic sprint to the finish line on the Fantasy Prospects Report! Out Sunday, June 1.
The Los Angeles Kings remind me of this guy in my fantasy league (keeper). It's points only and includes the playoffs. He would finish last - or close to it - in the regular season and then win the playoffs. He would somehow stack his team with playoff studs (at the time it was the Devils and Red Wings), and the rest of his roster was crappy enough that he would finish close to last during the season. We had to make a rule that the winner of the playoff trophy picks last in the first round. That put a stop to his practice of tanking for a good pick and then raking in the playoff money. Later we added a rule in which the Bottom 5 teams (of 14) do not qualify for the playoff tournament.
Instead, the points that those five teams earn (i.e. what the players on those teams earn in the playoffs) will come off the regular season total. It adds a new twist to 'tanking' for top pick.
Anyway, the Kings remind me of that guy. They're really horrible in the regular season but you can't put them away in the playoffs. And if it's not Kopitar, it's Carter. Jeff Carter's been feasting on the Blackhawks. When was the last time he got eight points in three regular season games? Years? And Tyler Toffoli has a goal in each game against Chicago. These are games in which he averages about 12 minutes of ice time.
For those who don't follow the IIHF World Hockey Championship (this year in Minsk, Belarus), Team Russia spanked Team Finland 5-2 to win Gold. The Russians had Ovechkin, Malkin and Bobrovsky - and then it was pretty much a who's who of KHLers. I mean, how long was Sergei Shirokov on my Fantasy Prospects List? He opened the scoring Sunday, but the former Vancouver prospect was a Top 100 guy on my list for years. Viktor Tikhonov - pretty much played his way off the Coyotes. Anton Belov - had enough of the Oilers and is returning to the KHL. Alexander Burmistrov - are we gonna see him again in the NHL? The only other NHLers were Kuznetsov - who played the full KHL season, and Nikolai Kulemin.
For what it's worth, Tikhonov had a monster tourney - 16 points in 10 games to lead everyone.
And a guy who was never drafted and is still only 23 - Sergei Plotnikov - had 12 points. Plotnikov led Lokomotiv in scoring this season with 35 points in 53 games. I'm certain he'd get an NHL tryout if he made public any desire to play in North America. But I doubt that would happen.
Our buddy (Minny prospect) Erik Haula got over there in time to get into six games, but he managed just a point.
Kings prospect Oscar Moller had nine points in 10 games for Sweden, and apparently he could be offered a contract to come back to Los Angeles. He had a very impressive tournament on the top line with Michal Backlund and Joakim Lindstrom. The Kings would obviously be a tough lineup to crack, but any attempted return by him would have fantasy repercussions. Not just from what he could bring, which is decent secondary production. But also from the domino effect - keeps Tanner Pearson in the AHL, etc.
Jaromir Jagr announced that he has retired from international hockey. Looking more and more like it will be just the one more NHL season for him.
Canada, who was eliminated by Finland right off the bat, didn't have anyone besides Joel Ward, Kyle Turris and Cody Hodgson putting up points. Nazem Kadri had just three assists in eight games, for example.
You can get all the IIHF stats here and zip through some of the rosters if you didn't catch the games. I know during my five-day couch-banishment I caught every second of every game and highlight…but I didn't catch much once I got healthy.
And another big tournament ended Sunday as well - the Memorial Cup. The Oil Kings beat Guelph 6-3 to win it. Brendan Ross has been Tweeting from there and has full coverage over at DobberProspects, including a (fantastic) ramblings Thursday, and I have little doubt another ramblings is on the way.
But Phoenix prospect Henrik Samuelsson had FIVE points Sunday! Talk about wanting it. Latvian Edgars Kulda becomes just the second European (Alex Radulov) to win the Memorial Cup MVP.
Here's a sneak-peek of Samuelsson's profile (from the Fantasy Prospects Report):
Samuelsson completed an excellent season for Edmonton of the WHL, leading a strong Oil Kings team in scoring with a 35-60-95 line for ninth in league scoring. In the Memorial Cup Final, Samuelsson had a monster game, posting five points and leading the team to the Cup win. A center in junior, the Coyotes envision him to playing wing at the next level. He possesses a NHL frame and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around, playing an agitating game much like his dad, former NHL defenseman Ulf, racking up 97 PIM for a second season in a row. A skilled and physical forward, Samuelsson seems almost a lock to make the Coyotes, but that was expected last year and he was an early cut from camp. It was also a surprise to see him get cut from Team USA’s entry at the World Junior Championship, where it was thought he would be a leader for that team on and off the ice. Many attributed the cut to one of the main question marks in his game since being a first round pick in 2012 - his skating ability. That seems about the only thing holding him back from being a game breaker at the NHL level. The Coyotes have stated that they will not rush prospects anymore so look for Samuelsson to spend some time in the AHL this season.
Upside – David Backes (30-45-75, 100 PIM)
3YP – (22-40-62, 100 PIM)
Certainty (NHL, Upside) – 80%, 45%
Expected arrival – Will have cups of coffee with club/get a look this year, full-time in 2015-16
DobberHockey Draft Advice – A middle round option.
It's too bad Dustin Tokarski will not have a single shred of fantasy value next year. I mean, I can't think of a single way for that to happen. He could post seven shutouts in a row and win the Stanley Cup, and still not have value for 2014-15.
So far, Tokarski has faced 96 shots in this series and stopped 88 of them (0.917). Not game-stealing numbers, but not game-losing numbers either. This one's on the team, not the goalie. Granted, maybe Carey Price steals one, and there's your difference. But team vs. team, the Rangers have been better and are better.
Two assists for David Desharnais, but he has just seven points in 15 playoff games.
Are we finally closing the book on Daniel Briere's playoff magic yet? Or does he have one more trick up his sleeve? Not impressed by him at all anymore, and I was a huge Briere fan.
I'd like to see Nathan Beaulieu back in the lineup next game. I think the team is just a bit more dangerous when he's out there for a few shifts. He doesn't get a lot of ice time, but when he plays he adds an element that Bouillon just does not (I say this after the guy scores a goal, too).
Derek Stepan missed the contest with a broken jaw and subsequent surgery, but Derick Brassard got in there and won an astounding 18 of 24 faceoffs. That's a real difference maker. On the flip side, Desharnais won just seven of 25…
Another assist last night for Ryan McDonagh, who has seven of his 10 playoff points in just his last four games.
J.T. Miller, in the lineup for Daniel Carcillo, took a dumb penalty early, and I don't think I saw him again after that. In other words, he filled in for Carcillo just fine. Miller played about three minutes in all.
St. Louis puts it away in OT:
Top 10 Teemu Selanne moments:
- Top 10 Players Sure to Disappoint
- Ramblings: Top 10 Remaining UFA's and more (July 25)
- Ramblings: Schenn Signing, More Fantasy Hockey Questions
- Ramblings: Ryan Johansen, Brayden Schenn, Dan Hamhuis and more (July 26)
- Best in the West (2016)
- The Contrarian - Entering the Pool
- Eastern Edge - Ranking the Top Goalies in the Eastern Conference
- Ramblings: Are the Red Wings the 'new Canucks'? (July 27)