Where is the love? Jakub Voracek may be the safest prospect to snag this season and in many leagues he is waiver fodder. Steven Stamkos gets all the attention. He is supposedly the superstar top pick to which we've become accustomed. With the success of past first overalls in their first years, you can't blame poolies for going after this kid. We have been truly spoiled by instant-impact rookies from the number one slot. It should happen for Stamkos, but Voracek may be an even safer prospect for this season.
As Dobber discussed, other players like Nikita Filatov have gotten minimal attention while fantasy players have paid huge sums to grab Stamkos. Filatov has monstrous upside partially because he is very much an unknown. This creates excitement and intrigue and allows for greater upside due to those unknowns. As we learn more about him, it is very likely his upside will come down to a more typical star range. Still, it is either a positive or negative that he is a wild card depending on the type of risk taker you are.
On another note, there is something to be said for a known commodity. The allure of upside and unknown is powerful with young prospects, and so much is positive until something goes wrong. Jakub Voracek has done nothing wrong thus far. But we all know that, so he might not be as interesting. He is an extremely well-rounded prospect that few are extremely excited about. Sure, he is owned in most leagues with prospect teams, but most one-year leagues aren't taking him as a late draft gamble.
In yahoo, the fantasy system I usually play in, Voracek isn't even drafted in enough leagues to be given an average draft position ranking. Even after many waiver wires opened, Voracek is only owned in 5% of leagues. Meanwhile, the heavily hyped Stamkos is drafted on average as the 130th pick in drafts and is owned in 79% of yahoo leagues. That discrepancy is unrealistic considering their track records and talent when compared. Stamkos is the better prospect at this point yes (even just for trade value alone), but Voracek has done nothing to hurt his stock. It has only improved.
So what if Voracek is just a prospect who is 90% likely to reach a point-per-game level. He has an upside for about 90 points. Is that bad? It is much better than a player like Filatov who is 20% likely to reach 100 points or more. Stamkos is someone you could peg for a 70% chance or so to reach 90 points with an upside for 100. Is that extra upside worth much more than the certainty in Jakub Voracek?
There is something to be said for the known commodity. What do we know about Voracek?
- He was one of the youngest players drafted in 2007. Born August 15th, 1989
- He finished with 86 points in 59 games as a Q rookie. He finished 21st in scoring with a 102-point pace.
- Last season, he finished fourth in the Q in scoring with 101 points in only 53 games. He was on pace for 133 points in 70 games when the league leader had 114 in 65 games.
- He has been described by scouts, DobberHockey writers and various experts as clutch, well-rounded and a man among boys.
- He had a fantastic camp in 2007 according to many experts, and this season the Blue Jackets said he was too good to continue to play in the prospect tournament
- He was the number one player in the ISS rankings throughout several months in the year before he was drafted.
- He is currently ranked seventh in the Dobber prospect rankings, and the prospect guide predicts he is 99% certain to be a NHLer with a 50% chance of exceeding 90 points.
- He is a right winger not a center.
- He is considered by many observers to be bigger, stronger and more complete than the majority of the prospects he's played with. He reportedly added 20 pounds of muscle this year.
- He will potentially play with huge talents like Rick Nash, Filatov, Derick Brassard and Kristian Huselius.
- He is the second-leading scorer for the Blue Jackets this preseason.
There are so many positives. These last couple years he has eliminated any concern about inconsistency and taken his offense to the next level. The accolades of maturity and NHL readiness can be read everywhere. The only negative I can think of is possibility that he will be susceptible to missing a few games with injury due to his style. He has done nothing but improved in his play.
Jakub Voracek needs at least a portion of the interest a guy like Stamkos is getting. Dobber Nation, let's fix this in not only keeper leagues obviously but in one-year pools as well. I'll take a chance on an instant impact, sure-bet NHLer with 90-plus point upside as a late pick any day. Will you?