Brendan Ross with an in-depth look at Nail Yakupov, a prospect many consider to be the best since Sidney Crosby.
Brayden Schenn may not have his name pencilled in on the Calder Trophy any more, but he did have a hat trick in the AHL last night. He'll be back up with the Flyers if he keeps lighting the lamp with regularity. As I wrote about below with Grachev on the Blues, Schenn would be in the NHL right now if he were playing in a different city (Flyers have more depth and less cap space than most other teams).
A few readers today are noting their frustrations with a few Sabres - Leino, and Ennis. The frustrations stem from a lack of PP ice time. Depth, which Buffalo has a lot of this season, is the enemy of fantasy hockey. Unless the goal of your league is to accumulate as many 45-55 point players as possible, teams with three even scoring lines rarely make good bets to pick players from.
With no clear cut number one PP guys (aside from Vanek and Pominville) up front, the Sabres are likely going to roll with different combinations and the hot hand for much of the season. Know what you are in for when you draft guys from teams with a lot of forwards with comparable skill sets and talent levels.
Geno Malkin is out tonight - more knee soreness. The team is not calling it a setback. ACL recoveries generally have soreness in and around the site of the surgery - perhaps his is more painful or the team wants to be more careful. Either way, not great news for Malkin owners (like myself).
Peter Mueller skated today with the fourth line - Adrian Dater speculates that he won't be playing tonight. No word on what he is dealing with, exactly. I don't think he'd be skating if his concussion symptoms had returned.
Evgeni Nabokov is starting tonight for the Isles.
As McDonald is out with a suspected concussion, the Blues are going to dress Evgeni Grachev tonight. Grachev had a stellar preseason and would very likely have made the NHL on a team with less forward depth than St. Louis.
The Oilers have put Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle together tonight for the game against Vancouver.
AHL scoring star Alexandre Giroux has bounced around over the last few years from Washington, to Edmonton, and now Columbus. He's failed to stick at the NHL level - speed and skating the biggest culprit. The Blue Jackets have called him up to play with Umberger and Vermette on line two tonight.
To make room for Giroux, the Jackets sent down Cam Atkinson.
Sounds like the Kabanov-to-Sweden rumors were just that – rumors. Kabanaov was traded to the Shawinigian Cataractes yesterday, who are hosting the Mem Cup in 2012. A great situation for him.
Light night of games – only four teams were in action. I caught some of the Buffalo/Carolina game. Some thoughts:
Jamie McBain had an assist and looked pretty decent. Saw almost four minutes of PP time.
Jason Pominville was clocked by Bryan Allen – Pominville was fishing for the puck at his feet. He left the game with what appeared to be a concussion.
Luke Adam had three shots on goal, but ended the game pointless. He saw a ton of PP time (over seven minutes) – the Sabres are giving him every opportunity to continue the good play.
Rick DiPietro sustained a concussion the other night after getting a puck off of the mask. There isn’t really much else to say here – another season, and DiPietro/Connolly/Hemsky are on the sidelines.
More coming later in the morning.