Clowe is a game time decision.
Tampa Bay has signed winger Richard Panik to an entry-level contract. The skilled winger has top six upside.
Colorado expects both Stefan Elliott and Tyson Barrie to contend for roster spots this fall. Does that mean they don't plan on selecting a defenseman at #2 in the draft?
Alex Frolov has signed a three year deal with KHL club Avangard Omsk. This comes as a surprise to.... no one.
Jaromir Jagr had a hat trick against the USA yesterday - Ray Shero is over watching the tournament and he will speak with Jagr at some point during his trip. Neal-Crosby-Jagr? Not too shabby... how about sliding Malkin over to the left side?
As always, if anything breaks in the Jagr story, I'll have more. At this point it is in the pipe dream stage.
Justin Goldman weighs in on the Philadelphia goaltending "situation."
Patrik Berglund has six goals in seven games for Sweden at the WJC. Look for a big season in 2011-12 (30 goals, 30-40 assists depending on linemate quality).
Both Chris Pronger (back) and Mike Richards (wrist) have undergone or will undergo surgery this week. Explains the poor/absent play from both during the final month or so of the season. Richards looked ineffective, and Pronger was decent but far from his usually dominant self.
I’m working on my top 10 keeper league RW list. Having a small issue putting it together – where do I put Claude Giroux? He wasn't considered a C for my 2009-10 list because he is listed most places as a RW, but he has played C for most of the past season.
As I have said before, I put players where they actually play, as it is only a matter of time until they are placed by Yahoo! (or whatever site you use) at their accurate positions. Giroux plays C, not RW. He was drafted as a RW and projected as a RW, and played there for the past few seasons. His value as a player is higher at center because it lets him have the puck more.
David Backes is another RW who has converted to C because he gets to have the puck on his stick more often.
Giroux would have definitely cracked my top 10 center list, so I’ll make an updated list with him included if I decide to leave him off the RW list. Any guesses (with or without Giroux) as to what the list looks like? I’d also appreciate some feedback on how I should go about putting players at positions.
If you can, grab Eddie Lack now. A skilled goalie who is playing his first season in North America shouldn’t be as dominant as Lack was in 2010-11 with Manitoba. He is large (6’5”) and very, very quick. Pekka Rinne comparisons are not far off. He’ll follow the Cory Schneider path behind Luongo, but like Schneider, he won’t last there for long.
With Emelin coming over to Montreal, it is assumed that he will win a top six spot. I don’t see Hamrlik returning. Markov/Wisniewski is one of the most interesting debates of the summer.
Do you “buy low” on Markov, who is coming off of two serious ACL procedures? Or do you “buy high” on Wisniewski, hoping that 50 points and lots of minutes were a sign of things to come, and not a blip in the radar?
Don’t forget about Josh Gorges, one of the most underappreciated top four defensemen in the game. He isn’t big or fast, but he knows the game well and makes smart plays all the time. A lot like Dan Girardi.
Swiss-born forward Sven Bartschi is quickly climbing up the 2011 draft charts. He has been a big part of the success in Portland (WHL) this season. The Winterhawks are stacked up front (Brad Ross, Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter, and Ty Rattie), but Bartschi has stood out – especially lately.
He had over 30 goals and 85 points in the regular season, and has added 10 goals and 26 points in 19 playoff games. He’s a fantastic playmaking winger and has top line upside. I wonder how he’d look alongside Johansen and Nash in Columbus in a few years?
Don’t expect to see Mikael Samuelsson back any time soon.
On that note – Manny Malhotra skated on his own yesterday, in workout gear and a full cage. As I tweeted a few months ago, his surgeries went as well as expected and now his recovery is way ahead of schedule (think top 5 or 10% of all people who sustain this injury).
The skating is a big issue, regardless of what the Canucks say. It says that the pressure has lessened enough for him to exercise in some capacity. He may not return this spring, but it isn’t a completely closed window.
Sticking with junior hockey (no NHL games last night) – the line of Devante Smith-Pelly, Justin Shugg and Casey Cizikas has been dominant for Mississauga. The line had 10 points last game, including three goals from Smith-Pelly.
Smith-Pelly has almost a goal per game through 18 playoff contests. He’s a recent pick of the Ducks. Skilled forward who needs to keep working on the offensive side of the game – he plays hard at both ends of the ice and brings a lot of energy. More on all of these prospects in the 2011 Prospects Report… out in a few weeks.
Cizikas is known from his recent World Junior play – big, strong, and gritty – it’s easy to project him as a heart and soul second or third line forward.
Shugg is an undersized skilled forward drafted by Carolina. He’s had seasons of 39 and 41 goals over the past two, and like all undersized forwards needs to get stronger to move on to the next level. All three have NHL upside, ranging from limited and safe (Cizikas), to potential scorer but a bigger risk (the other two).
A few NHL castoffs of note – Patrick O’Sullivan has 10 points in 11 games with the Houston Aeros, and Ryan Potulny has 10 goals in 13 games with the Binghamton Senators. Bobby Butler has seveon goals.
Jagr with three: