Filatov has been promised a top six spot? I think/hope something was lost in translation...

 

The big news in the hockey world yesterday was Viktor Tihkonov agreeing to a one-year, two-way contract with the Coyotes. Needless to say this is the dog days of summer. Today's ramblings will cover some odds and ends from various tweets and emails I have received lately.

 

Regarding the question of positions in limited keepers (a limited keeper is one where you can only keep a portion of your roster, say five or six out of 20, that sort of thing). Do I weigh positions? 100% yes I do. I may take a slightly inferior defenseman over a forward if I lack defensemen, the league puts extra value on defensemen, or I know not many defensemen will be available. The best player available strategy that teams use at the draft in real hockey doesn't lend itself to fantasy hockey as well.

 

Another thing regarding positions and keeping certain players over others - if you are in contention, try and get a feel for who the other contending teams in your league will keep. You can do this one of two ways - solicit them for trade advice and use your wit to see if you can get a read on who they value, or by simply guessing.

 

By seeing what the other teams have, you can see what they will be after at the draft. If most of your competition has starting goalies already, and you are debating between keeping a veteran goalie or a defenseman/forward, maybe opt for the skater. The odds that the goalie will fall in the draft are higher than the forward/defenseman (assuming none of your competition wants to handcuff you, something I have been known to do from time to time).

 

Do I avoid Russian players? In most cases, yes I do. The threat of the KHL is too large to invest  time/assets in talented Russians. This unfortunately includes both Evgeni Kuzentsov and Vladimir Tarasenko. Would I avoid them completely? Not a chance, but I'd prefer a less talented North American forward any day. One exception looks to be 2012 draft-eligible Nail Yakupov. Look out.

 

I'm really high on Los Angeles prospect Andrei Loktionov, but I'm also worried a bit. The Kings are stacked up the middle, and he is a center and prefers playing there. Does he think about a KHL return of he doesn't see ice time this season?

 

Where do I pick goalies? In a keeper, I'd gladly take one in round one or two - a tier one goalie, preferably - Price/Luongo/Lundqvist/Bryzgalov/Miller/Rinne. You can usually wait a bit to take another goalie if you are able to land one of those six.

 

In one year leagues, I'll usually wait a bit (depending on scoring categories). Goalies fluctuate from year to year quite a bit and there is a lot of value to be found if you read Justin Goldman a lot. He's helped me discover the likes of Quick and Reimer over the past few years. I personally would rather invest in a sure thing forward and take a risk on a goalie in a one year league than vice versa. The potential reward for risky goalies is usually way higher than for risky forwards. Look at Tim Thomas last season, as an example.

 

Detroit prospect Calle Jarnkrok excites me a lot. He's probably NHL ready now, but of course the Wings won't rush him. Tatar, Nyqvist, Mursak, and Pulkkinen are all good prospects, but Jarnkrok has the highest upside of the group. Detroit hasn't drafted/developed an elite forward since Franzen in 2004 (if you consider him elite, definitely in the playoffs).  I am hoping to nab him with one of my picks at my draf this summer in Vegas, but I know most of my competition reads this site so I may be out of luck (looking at you, Rhys).

 

Speaking of this draft - I am very excited for it. Most of my H2H keeper is meeting in Vegas for our annual dispersal draft. I'm going to post a column a week or two before to introduce the league and the members in it, and hopefully build some excitement from our readers regarding the draft. I've made several blockbusters in this league, both good and bad (Stamkos, Stamkos, Stamkos). I'm sure the draft is going to be busy for trades, especially with so many of us in one place.

 

Drew Doughty - do the contract negotiations affect his season? Probably not. How is that for a vague answer? Doughty needs to bounce back from last season, but the dip in production shouldn't be surprising. Young players (forwards, defensemen, goalies) usually struggle with consistency - the NHL is a demanding league to play in, especially bringining the A effort for 82 (or more) games.

 

Some Jarnkork highlights:

 


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TheRook said:

TheRook
... I cant wait for the draft. This year should be a lot of fun. Angus, didnt you know Rhys called dibs on all detroit prospects back at the start of the league. Too bad no one listens to him.

i have to worry more about Tim Lucarelli staying off my draft board. Seems he is on it every year and this year he picks right in front of me. Might have to make him drink some of my good scotch along with our 1 beer per round rule to speed up the blurred vision.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

Esquire said:

Esquire
.... Jeff, I may have to overdraft Jarnkrok just to keep him from you. And thanks for the congrats, Dean. First piece tentatively scheduled to be out tomorrow.

As for the Detroit prospects, I am still very high on Nyquist. I think he and Tatar are the two top prospects behind Smith. Both players are different enough that I can't really guess who will be the best in the prime of his career. For the short-term, Tatar gets the nod because he's already put in time at the A, but Nyquist college career was nothing to sneeze at.

Sentium's point about their edge as wingers versus centers is bang on. Detroit has converted centers to wing in the past, but natural wingers have an advantage in their system. After Tatar/Nyquist, Mursak has an edge on Pulkkinen, Jarnkrok, and now Jurco if only because he'll get time this year.
August 11, 2011 | url
Votes: +0

DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... You should be more concerned about Loktionov's injury history so far. Not promising for his career.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... He's actually almost a carbon copy of Nyquist as far as puck control, deking ability and slick passing is concerned. Nyqyuist plays with a bit more hustle as he has that trait that he never ever ever stops moving his feet. Both need to put on more muscles. Tatar is just slightly behind them in terms of skill, but he's tougher, pretty much a bigger, stronger and faster version of Hudler.

So the three of them are all close in terms of upside and ability and whatnot. Nyquist and Tatar are obviously closer to the show and here's what I consider to be their biggest advantage over Jarnkrok for us fantasy players: They're both wingers, Jarnkrok plays mainly center.

And if we continue down the list you have Pulkkinen, Jurco and Mursak there for various reasons.

My two cents anyway smilies/smiley.gif
August 11, 2011
Votes: +1

ultrawhiteness said:

ultrawhiteness
... I would too, sentium.

BUT... while he may not be close to being NHL ready, i do think he has the highest upside of that group. his puck control and vision is a step above, imo.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Oh, and I'd rank Jarnkrok behind both Tatar and Nyquist among Detroit forward prospects.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

sentium said:

Dakkster
... Yeah, Jarnkrok is not even close to being NHL ready. There's the strength issue and also his injured shoulder, an injury that will probably set his development back another year as far as coming over to North America is concerned. At least that's the talk from Andersson. He also needs to improve his defensive play a lot. Two years away at the very least.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... No way is Jarnkrok NHL-ready, IMO. He's a shrimp and will need a lot of adjusting whenever he comes over to North America.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

Princeton said:

Princeton
Me too. To: Indiana Pwns

I think Angus is misdirecting the other owners in his league while he really snags his choice of Tatar? Just joking.

Although I was also curious as to why he thinks Jarnkrok has a higher upside than the other players mentioned.
August 11, 2011
Votes: +0

Indiana pwns said:

indianapwns
... Hey Angus - nice update for the day!

I'm curious to know why you see Jarnkrok as having the highest upside of the detroit forward prospects. After digging a little myself, I see that he was drafted higher than the others, and is a relatively similar height. He is also playing in a very good mens league in the SEL, but what exactly screams "higher upside" to you than the others? I know hockey's future has him ranked 7th (not exactly in terms of upside) behind Smith, Tatar, Mursak, Nyquist, Pulkkinen and Sheahan, but I'm a little curious as to your reasoning. Thanks in advance!
August 11, 2011
Votes: -1

Dean Youngblood said:

Dean Youngblood
Congrats to Rhys I noticed this earlier today but congrats to your buddy Rhys on becoming a writer for the dudes over at TheHockeyGuys.net
August 10, 2011
Votes: +0

SlowTriathlete said:

slow triathlete
Loktionov The Kings should deal Loktionov to the Sens for Foligno. Deal would make sense for both teams. Sens need a creative centre and the Kings could use a decent wing and foligno could play in 3rd line role and contribute both energy and some goals.
August 10, 2011
Votes: +0
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