A fantastic read by Kirk Luedeke on my favorite prospect at the 2011 Draft - Ryan Murphy.
One simple trick to identify sleepers for next season - take a look at the points-per-game stat. Remove the top scorers, any injury prone players and stars who have had injuries (Crosby, for example).
Looking at the list, Derek Roy (35 points in 35 games) pops out. Drew Stafford (50 points in 59 games) and Andy McDonald (46 in 55) are also interesting names.
Johan Franzen scored five goals against Ottawa back in early February. Since that game, he has two goals total (including one last night).
Claude Giroux will approach 80 points this season. As his role with the Flyers continues to grow, where will he end up? It is an interesting debate - there are those who think he would excel on a team with less depth (more ice time), and there are those who think he excels on Philadelphia due in some part to the depth (better linemate quality). Which side of the coin are you on?
The Lightning have had a successful season without getting much production from their defense. I am a bit surprised, even with their lack of a top end star.
Guy Boucher's system in the AHL worked so well because he utilized defensemen from an offensive standpoint. Hamilton defensemen like PK Subban and Yannick Weber created odd-man rushes, pinched as muich as they could, and supported the forwards more than defenseman do on most other teams.
The lack of a true offensive defenseman has probably been the main reason why no one has emerged. Victor Hedman isn't ready yet. Brett Clark is the leading producing defenseman with eight goals and 30 points. There isn't an offensive defenseman in the system close to making the jump, either.
Keep an eye on Tampa Bay this summer - they will probably go after an offensive defenseman (trade or free agency). A great potential sleeper pick (depending on who the player is, of course).
Kristian Huselius played for the first time in 20 games last night.
I am back after spending the past five days in Phoenix – it was rough coming home from the sunny heat to the rain of Vancouver. Monday is usually Dobber's day to ramble but I am covering him off.
Corey Perry is three goals from 50 – will he get there?
Lubomir Visnovsky scored his 18th of the season last night (a surprise start after he sustained an injury against the Sharks). The mark is a club record for Anaheim defensemen.
RJ Umberger recorded his 56th point of the season last night. I had him in the 40's, as I figured he would lose ice time to the young offensive talents. Voracek/Brassard/Filatov all have proven the old adage that hockey is played on ice and not paper is true.
Matt D'Agostini has been one of the best secondary scoring forwards in the league over the last 15-20 games. He had two more helpers last night.
Marc-Andre Gragnani scored his first career goal last night. He possesses decent offensive upside.
Jhonas Enroth is one of the most exciting goaltenders to watch - far from conventional, but he utilizes his speed and reflexes to stop the puck. He only allowed one on 36 shots against Carolina on Sunday.
Miikka Kiprusoff showed why he is still an elite goalie last night, stopping 34 of 35 shots. The Flames are barely alive in the playoff chase.
Paul Stastny has been shut down for the season by Colorado.
Curtis Glencross has only one point in his last six games.
I have criticized Mike Smith in the past, but he was sensational for Tampa Bay last night. Smith shut out the Blackhawks in Chicago.
Just when I was ready to write him off, Simon Gagne started to score again. He has 11 points in his last six games. Any offensive resurgence he has will directly (and positively) impact Vinny Lecavalier.
Corey Crawford has started 24 straight games.
Enroth - no helmet, no problem: