DobberHockey continues our division-by-division analysis of every team's pipeline in Part II. This time, it's a visit to the Southeast Division, home to some of the league's best one-line teams. But do Ilya Kovalchuk or Vincent Lecavalier and Steve Stamkos have any help on the way?


The Contenders

Washington

RW Dmitry Kugryshev 3.4
C Anton Gustafsson 3.4
C Mathieu Perreault 3.4
LW Oskar Osala 3.2
C Joel Broda 3.2
LW Stefan Della Rovere 3.2
RW Francois Bouchard 3.2

D Karl Alzner 3.6
D John Carlson 3.4
D Josh Godfrey 3.2

G Semen Varlamov 3.5
G Michal Neuvirth 3.4
G Braden Holtby 3.25

Commentary:
Despite not having any Ovechkins, Semins or Greens on the way, the Caps have outstanding depth at every position. They present seven forwards who should be the property of keeper league teams around the world, although many of the names are unknown at this point. Oskar Osala almost went back into the Draft after contract issues, but the Erik Cole clone ended up re-signing and has five goals in nine AHL games. Joel Broda was a fifth round pick just this past summer, and leads the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors with nine goals and fifteen points. Stefan Della Rovere also earns points thanks to a hot start; the pest, who was profiled in the DobberHockey Prospect Report, has suddenly become a power forward. The seventh round selection has an incredible thirteen goals in fourteen OHL games, to go along with 54 PIM. On the back end, the Caps have three stud prospects who can make an impact at the NHL level, and three goalies with starter upside.


Florida


RW Michal Repik 3.4
RW Evgeny Dadonov 3.4
LW A.J. Jenks 3.2
C Matt Rust 3.0
LW Kendall McArdle 3.0

D Keaton Ellerby 3.4
D Colby Robak 3.25
D Adam Comrie 3.2

G Jacob Markstrom 3.6
G Sergei Gayduchenko 3.25

Commentary:
On the other end, the Florida Panthers barely met the requirements for each position. While they have studs at F, D and G, there's little depth. A big part of this is the exclusion of Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik; after all, both are under the ten game limit as it stands now. However, this is meant to be an analysis of players who are not yet at the stage of fighting for NHL jobs, and using the strict standards of that other prospect website don't allow for that. The Panthers will be demoting and re-calling the pair throughout the year, and both started the year on the roster; it's pointless to consider them virgin prospects. Anyways, Florida's saving grace at this time has been 2008 second round selection Jacob Markstrom. A 3.6 is a high rating, but Markstrom is one of the top two goalies in the SEL. He's worthy of consideration with the Berniers and Helenius...s... of this world. In terms of obscure prospects, keep an eye on Evgeny Dadonov. The 19 year-old has landed a full-time job in the KHL, and has responded with a very solid six points. He was first mentioned in the 2007 Mock Draft as a highly skilled winger with 75-point potential.


Atlanta


C Daultan Leveille 3.4
C Riley Holzapfel 3.2
RW Spencer Machacek 3.2
C Jonas Enlund 3.0
C John Albert 3.0

D Paul Postma 3.2
D Arturs Kulda 3.2
D Andrei Zubarev 3.2

G Ondrej Pavelec 3.8
G Chris Carrozzi 3.25

Commentary:
I may crack on Atlanta's prospect depth a lot, so here's a rare compliment: they did not do as badly as I thought they might. While there is still no immediate help to be found in the Thrashers pipeline, there are some intriguing options poolies need to begin considering. Paul Postma, for example, is a 6'2 offensive defenseman from the WHL who is on par with, say, Washington's Josh Godfrey. After scoring only 24 points in his draft year, Postma has improved his numbers every year. He notched 14 goals and 42 points for the Calgary Hitmen in 2007-08, and is on pace for a whopping 57 points this year. Up front, the myserious Daultan Leveille has made a seemless transition to the NCAA; the wafer-thin forward is in a four-way tie for tops in points among MSU skaters. Oh yeah, and while he can't technically be counted, Zach Bogosian is ****ing awesome.


Carolina


C Zach Boychuk 3.6
C/RW Zac Dalpe 3.6
LW Drayson Bowman 3.6
LW Chris Terry 3.4
LW Samuel Morneau 3.0
RW Jakub Petruzalek 3.0

D Jamie McBain 3.4
D Michal Jordan 3.25
D Brett Carson 2.8

G Magnus Akerlund 3.4
G Mike Murphy 3.25


Commentary:
How quickly have the Carolina Hurricanes turned around their drafting? Seven of the above ten players were selected in either 2008 or 2007. While any team could theoretically boast such a stat if they were poor enough, the amazing thing about the group is that most keeper league GMs will agree that Boychuk, Dalpe and Bowman are worth high picks in a prospect draft. Chris Terry is a name that hovers right below that list; the OHL star continues to do nothing but score at a ridiculous pace with eleven goals in eleven games, and looks like a future second line forward. On the backend, Jamie McBain is a solid second-tier option for most teams, and 2008 selection Michal Jordan is second on the Plymouth Whalers in scoring. Net and depth are the big problems here; neither Murphy or Akerlund are bluechip goalies, and Jordan and McBain are the only two defenders that are worthy of a pick in even a 32-team keeper.

Tampa Bay

C Dana Tyrell 3.4
LW Luca Cunti 3.4
C James Wright 3.2
C Paul Szczechura 3.2
LW Radek Smolenak 3.0
C Alexander Killorn 3.0
LW Johan Harju 3.0

D Ty Wishart 3.4
D Mark Barberio 3.25
D Vladimir Mihalik 2.8

G Riku Helenius 4 5 4 4 3 3.8
G Dustin Tokarski 3 5 3 2 3.25

Commentary:
Much has been made of Tampa's quick re-stock of the prospect pool. But in the big picture, how do the Lightning compare? Not bad, actually. Tampa has plenty to offer the fantasy GM. Dana Tyrell may not project as a superstar, but he'll be a consistent 55-point forward who will be a lower-round mainstay. On the other end, Luca Cunti is a truly incredible individual talent. But his frightening propensity to fail to live up to even moderate expectations in leagues he should be dominating hurts his stock. Elsewhere, Paul Szczechura is the best-kept secret in the prospect world. The 22 year-old is scoring at a 1.2 PPG pace in the A, and really should be up in Tampa showing the league that he can be a poor man's second liner. In goal, where the Lightning are traditionally strong, Riku Helenius retains prospect status due to a poorly-planned logjam ahead of him, and Dustin Tokarski has shown flashes of being the next great late-round find. He has a ridiculous 1.48 GAA in 12 games for Spokane of the WHL- great numbers for even a goalie playing for a trap team.

Head-to-Head


Forwards


Tyrell/Cunti/Wright/Szczechura/Smolenak/Killorn/Harju (3.37)
vs.
Boychuk/Bowman/Dalpe/Terry/Morneau/Petruzalek (3.47)
vs.
Leveille/Holzapfel/Enlund/Machacek/Albert (3.12)
vs.
Repik/Dadonov/Rust/Jenks/McArdle (3.2)
vs.
Kugryshev/Gustafsson/Perreault/Broda/Della Rovere/Bouchard (3.49)

Winner:
Carolina has a lot to be proud of; with just a little more depth they'd have a system on par with Washington's. But it's the amazing depth AND power of the Capitals that propel them ahead. Tampa Bay comes in third thanks to a similar setup to Washington's, but they lack the starpower at this point. Florida and Atlanta are the also-rans, with Florida coming in last.


Defense

Alzner/Carlson/Godfrey (3.4)
vs.
Ellerby/Robak/Comrie (3.28)
vs.
Postma/Kulda/Zubarev (3.2)
vs.
McBain/Jordan/Carson (3.15)
vs.
Wishart/Barberio/Mihalik (3.15)

Winner: If there's any position the Southeast can boast to be among the best at, it's undoubtedly D. Many of the league's best depth offensive defenseman will hail from the division very shortly. Again, though, Washington takes the cake. Their one-two-three punch of a future all-star 30 minute guy, a future two-way 40-point defender and a PP QB is just nasty. No other team really comes close.

Goal

Helenius/Tokarski (3.53)
vs.
Murphy/Akerlund (3.33)
vs.
Pavelec/Carrozzi (3.53)
vs.
Markstrom/Gayduchenko (3.43)
vs.
Varlamov/Neuvirth/Holtby (3.48)

Winner:
Of course, if there's ever a category the Southeast can lead the league in, it's quality goal-tending. Markstrom, Pavelec and Helenius all boast all-star potential, while the second-stringers are nothing to sneeze at- at least one will end up a starter somewhere, if not two or three. In the end, it ends up a three-way tie between the teams that currently own the rights to Pavelec and Helenius. Washington, as always, has superior depth. But the spotty play of both Neuvirth and Varlamov pushes them into the second tier. And two second-tier goalies don't compare to one bluechipper.

Overall


Washington: 3.46
Tampa Bay: 3.35
Carolina: 3.32
Florida: 3.3
Atlanta: 3.19

Conclusion: The Washington Capitals walk away with the division title. Alex O, Alex S, Nick Backstrom and Mike Green can rest easy knowing a steady supply of youngsters is enroute. However, the Southeast should no longer be considered a target for jokes about prospect strength; the future is quite bright indeed for every team- yes, even Atlanta.

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