The 2013 DobberHockey Prospects Report is out! If you purchased it, it will be available in your 'Downloads' section on the left side of this page (about half-way down).
And if you didn't purchase it.... what are you waiting for?
Oh, and for a cherry on top – Pavel Datsyuk would “love” to sign a contract extension. I guess I’ll have to move him up on my top 50 NHL trade values list….
Today’s ramblings are chalk-full of content to get you prepared for a fantastic day of hockey – the Prospects Report and two Conference Final games. Oh, and it is Saturday. Doesn’t get much better than that.
The FantasyHockeyGeek tools are amazing. A few times each year I really dig deep into my keeper league to figure out my own roster, my competition, and which players to target at the upcoming draft.
With my league adding hits last year, it has changed the value of players significantly. For example, Zdeno Chara is the third most valuable player in our league, and David Backes was also in the top 10. Having spreadsheets to compute these rankings for this year, projections, and a few years into the past makes ranking and evaluating players so easy.
And all of my league members are Dobber members (some more active than others), so they have access to my thoughts on basically every player. I rarely am able to pull wool over others, and that is just fine.
This isn’t a sales pitch (I have no stake in the company - great dudes run it, though) – this is a phenomenal resource and it will easily and quickly make you a better and more informed poolie. I use it to evaluate every single trade (not only mine but my competition’s, too).
I have a mega spreadsheet that has customized values specific to my league for 2013 and the previous three seasons. And once I start putting my projections together, I can input those, too.
And when the draft comes up, I can see which categories I am weak in, and as the draft goes on, I can generate rankings to give me the exact players to shore up my weaknesses.
Jarmo Kekalainen is happy to have three 1st round draft picks. I know I would be, too.
The Jackets pick 14, 19, and undetermined (depends how the postseason plays out).
Kekalainen in a potential trade:
"We're going to keep our options open and we're going to be open for talks," he said. "I've expressed the willingness to move one of those picks [prior to making a selection] if we could get some help for our team.
But we're not looking for any short-term fix or a quick solution. We're looking for a top prospect in return or a player that's still young and can contribute for our team for the long term.
Sidney Crosby is a tough dude – check out some gruesome details of his recent jaw/face injury. Ouch.
Roughly 10 of his teeth were affected, some irreparably, as the force from the puck would have pushed them through some of the supporting bone structure and severed the neurovascular pulp supply, which is a tooth’s connection to the nerves and blood supply in the mouth. Two teeth even went back so forcefully they damaged the inside of his mouth around his tongue.
Anton Forsberg (no relation to Peter) signed a contract with the Jackets, recently.
Just days after they signed Curtis McElhinney to a one-year deal, the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed another goaltender. On Tuesday, the team inked Anton Forsberg, a sixth round pick from the 2011 draft, to a three-year deal. A strong season in the Swedish Elite League helped raise the 20-year-old netminders stock, and he will likely have a chance to take the spot in the AHL that McElhinney occupied this season.
Forsberg won 24 games for Sodertalje this season, while posting a 2.08 goals-against average that was second-best in the SEL. He also was a part of the Swedish team that won gold at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
Some positive words on Patrick Roy from a former player of his.
What made Roy so special behind the Remparts' bench?
"He was confident and he always wanted to win," Etchegary said. "I never met someone who wanted to win as bad as he did. It was like, no matter who we played, a last-place team or first-place team, he wanted to score and win. And win badly. Off the ice, he's friendly and looks after the players, and on the ice he just tried to motivate us. He never tried to bring down a player; he just wanted to see us succeed and give us everything to get to that next level."
Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz has asked for a trade – Caps fans are probably happy hearing this as he was a giant defensive liability last season. He has struggled for a little while now after putting together a few nice years with Mike Green.
Do the Oilers make a move here? One, it would give them another defenseman. Two, it would give them three Schultz’s on the back end. Now that would be a fun game to call.
Justin Williams – the forgotten superstar. Some good stuff here on why he is such a good player.
An update on how some of the young Oilers are playing in the AHL postseason for OKC.
On Mark Arcobello:
Arcobello has improved since the first season. He started in Stockton, and came to us at the end of the year. Last year he had a great season, and this year he’s followed up with a banner season. With the way that Edmonton’s built, it may not be the right fit, but there are other teams that are looking. Both guys are playing well, I’m very happy with the way that they’re progressing and once again,that has to continue.
My all-time favourite HNIC theme:
The Islanders would be interested in Roberto Luongo under the right circumstances, according to Bob McKenzie. Could be something there – imagine him behind that young team?
Montreal has signed Tim Bozon to a rookie contract. Bozon is a gifted offensive forward who had 91 points in the WHL in 2012-13. He was drafted in the 3rd round last year and will likely turn pro for the 2013-14 season. He could still go back to the WHL, but what is left to prove after that sort of production?
Derrick Pouliot has signed an ATO (tryout contract) to join the Baby Pens during the AHL postseason (joining fellow prospects Scott Harrington and Olli Maata).
Pouliot, 19, helped the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) win its league playoff title this season and earn a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament. Pouliot finished that tournament with two goals, five assists and seven points in five games, helping Portland advance to the championship game where it lost to the Halifax Mooseheads.
The Weyburn, Saskatchewan native appeared in 44 games during the regular season with Portland, totaling nine goals, 36 assists and 45 points. He added 20 points (4G-16A) in 21 playoff game.
Couple of fitness posts for this week:
The NHL Draft Combine was yesterday – here’s my post on it last summer, in terms of what it tests and measures.
Phil Kessel, for example, had a poor showing at his combine. However, he is one of the best pure goal scorers in the game. Does it matter what he benches, how he interviews, or how strong his grip strength is? It is also a case of cart and horse.
Does a prospect have an elite ability to score goals because he is strong and powerful, or is it because of his hockey sense and instincts? Does a prospect who can’t even bench 150 pounds increase his goal output if he gets stronger? There are much more functional movements for hockey players that could easily be implemented – squats, deadlifts, and cleans all test a person through more hockey-based movements than a bench press, for example.In today’s increasingly statistical and analytical sporting landscape, NHL teams still view the combine as more art than science.
Today’s team to analyze is the Phoenix Coyotes
2013-14 sleeper: Chris Brown
Brown is a power forward who spent two years at Michigan before turning pro. As a rookie in the AHL last season, he scored 30 goals (29 regular season, one postseason). Brown earned a call up to the Coyotes near the end of the season, but he didn’t play much. He’s big, has a nose for the net, and gets around the ice pretty well, too.
I’m going to give you a second 2013-14 sleeper instead: Michael Stone
I went to see the Coyotes and Canucks play live this past season, and I came away really impressed with Stone’s game. I admittedly didn’t’ know much about him before that game – only that he was a solid young defenseman who had been bumped up to play with OEL on occasion.
He had nine points in 40 NHL games in 2013, adding 29 points in the AHL during the lockout. He’s physical and has a booming shot, but just needs to find that next level of consistency.