Projecting Jason Garrison's point totals, Evgeni Kuznetsov's future, and choosing between some goaltenders and prospects. Read on...
I need your Canucks expertise. Where do you see Jason Garrison fitting on the Canucks power play? What kind of G, A, PPP production do you see from him?
The Canucks didn’t pay Jason Garrison $4.6 million to score goals, but they are counting on at least eight-to-10 from him. He has a bomb of a shot and is great at getting into position to use it. I profiled Garrison extensively over at the CanucksArmy – I think my post gives some insights into the kind of player he is.
As for production – I expect him to play with Alex Edler at even strength, as well as on the top power play unit. The Canucks missed the presence of Christian Ehrhoff there last year, and Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa typically see PP2 minutes and top defensive responsibilities.
There isn’t anyone else in the system ready for PP1 minutes – they are Garrison’s to lose. I’d project 10 goals, 35 points, with most of those coming on the power play (full season, of course, so for a lockout-shortened campaign just take that scoring pace and project it over the number of games he will play).
Do you realistically see Evgeni Kuznetsov coming over to play in 3 years time or so?
As a hockey fan I sure hope so, as he is a dazzling talent. It is such a tricky issue with Russian players – on one hand, it is a easy stereotype to make (they are a risk to remain in the KHL), but then players like Kuznetsov come along and reinforce that stereotype further. I’d say the chances of him coming over within the next three years are 70 to 80%.
At the end of the day, these guys are all competitive athletes, and regardless of money or family situation, they want to play in the best league against the best players in the world (although try telling this to Carl Soderberg, who is way too good for the SEL).
Points only league. I only have room for three of the four on the farm - the odd man out risks getting dropped at year's end, assuming he won't unseat a main roster player. Which three would you rather be sure to protect, or, which one of the four would you rather expose?
I’d drop Connolly. Bjugstad has superstar upside, and Zibanejad and Schwartz aren’t far behind, either. I like Connolly, but he has had to overcome the most injuries of the four, and he wasn’t all that good as a rookie pro last year (although Bjugstad has yet to play a minute of pro hockey).
In one of my keeper pools my farm team looks like this:
We are only allowed to keep 10 in our minors system
Our league settings on Fantrax track G, A, PIM, +/-, SOG, PPP, SHP, Hits, BLKs
We are allowed to keep guys in our minors as long as they have played less than 50 NHL games
My question to you, would you drop any of the above to pick up Nicklas Jensen? Hartikainen would be the obvious choice but "if" he gets to the show, I see him being a quality multi-cat player. I already have Gaunce so do I want another Canuck prospect?
Jensen is having a great start to the season in the SEL, playing against men. I’d take him over Gaunce, Hartikainen, or Fasth without thinking twice. Alain Vigneault is a huge Jensen fan and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the big Dane earn a spot with the big club when the lockout wraps up (he is currently playing with AIK in the SEL, leading the team in scoring, but he has said he will report to NHL training camp when the lockout concludes).
W, GAA, SV, SV%, SHO
How would you rank these guys?
Devan Dubnyk (Growing in to the starter)
Jose Theodore (Contract year!)
Martin Brodeur (More wins due to games played?)
Tomas Vokoun (Probably a strong GAA and SV%)
Dubnyk at the top (I did take him very high in the experts draft). Even with the rumored interest that the Oilers have in Roberto Luongo, I see Dubnyk as a solid bet for 30-35 wins with solid peripherals next year.
Brodeur will be in tough to repeat last season – the Devils simply aren’t a great team.
And with Vokoun and Theodore, you get a tradeoff. Vokoun won’t have the guaranteed minutes that the other three goalies will, but he is arguably the most seasoned and talented. Theodore could start 60 games, or 20, depending what happens with Luongo.
It sure is amazing the impact Luongo has on evaluating goalies around the league – from what I have heard, the following teams have at some point expressed interest in him:
Toronto, Florida, Columbus, Chicago, and Edmonton. Now if he goes to any of those places remains to be seen (I would be shocked if he isn’t traded shortly after the lockout ends), and his impact would be significant.
Assuming Luongo isn’t traded to any of the teams that the above goalies play for, here are my rankings: