The Prospects Report can be purchased here.
We were able to get our new shirt supplier to knock a couple of bucks off the DobberHockey t-shirts, as well as cheap shipping. We added new shirts about two months ago - have a look here!
Jamie Benn speaks with The Hockey News. He leads the AHL in playoff scoring.
According to Tarik El-Bashir, the Capitals are NOT interested in Anton Volchenkov. I don't see him as a good fit on that team - he can't make a breakout pass to save his life, and Washington thrives playing a quick transition game. It is why defensemen like Poti and Pothier were targeted as free agents - both can pass the puck out of the zone very quickly.
I could see Washington pursuing Gonchar or Martin very heavily. Gonchar is not as bad defensively as many people think, and Martin may be one of the most undervalued defensemen in the game.
Lost in all of the recent Kaberle hoopla is the fact that a superior defenseman is also going to be available this summer – Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar played tougher minutes than Kaberle on a significantly better team, and he has a better shot as well. Kaberle may have the slight edge in mobility, but that would probably be it. Gonchar has spent his entire NHL career in the Eastern Conference, so the safe bet would have him staying out East.
New Jersey would be a great fit, and they have a history of winning with Russian players (Brylin, Nemchinov, Tverdovsky, Mogilny, Malakhov, etc). They have a need for an elite puck moving defenseman, as it looks like Paul Martin won’t be back. They also lost Johnny Oduya in the Kovalchuk trade.
Here is a picture of Jaroslav Halak at age four. Great glove hand positioning.
John Tavares suffered a bone fracture in his foot during the World Hockey Championships, and it was only recently discovered by Islander doctors. He will be good to go by training camp, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much if I owned him.
Alex Svitov wants to return to the NHL. Svitov is an absolute tank at 6’3” and close to 220 lbs, and he plays with a very physical edge. He was drafted 3rd overall after Kovalchuk and Spezza in 2001. Probably the only worse third wheel than Cam Barker (who went 3rd after Ovechkin and Malkin in 2004). Depending on where he signs, I could see 30-40 points and 150-200 PIM. Svitov led Omsk last season with 95 PIM, nearly thirty more than anyone else on the team (the second highest total was 78).
It sounds like Louis Leblanc is going to return to Harvard... but who knows.
The Red Wings are rumoured to be close to a two-year extension with Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom is injury prone and his style of play is not going to improve as he ages, but apparently the cap hit with the extension is under $2 million per season. That would be a bargain for the Wings, as Holmstrom still is able to screen the goalie on the power play like no other.
The Colorado Avalanche re-signed Peter Budaj. Why? There are a TON of superior goaltenders on the open market, and they have a pretty good one in Tyler Weiman. I know DobberHockey goalie guru Justin Goldman was choked when this signing broke yesterday.
One young player I really like for the next three years is Patrik Berglund. I am not sure how he is valued in your league, but I see him as a potential 90+ point guy. He was hit by the sophomore slump HARD, dropping from 21 goals and 47 points to only 13 goals and 26 points. He’s big, strong on the puck, and incredibly gifted in the offensive zone. If you own him, be patient. If you don’t... go get him!
I found some interesting SEL statistics yesterday (they were in the comments section of the Omark video I posted below).
Since 2000, here are the PPG averages of the following players at the age of 18:
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson - 0.59
Nicklas Backstrom - 0.57
Jacob Josefson - 0.47
Anze Kopitar - 0.43
Alex Steen - 0.33
Loui Eriksson - 0.28
Macus Johansson - 0.22
Robert Nilsson - 0.18
Patric Hornqvist - 0.15
Mattias Tedenby - 0.13
The Bruins have re-signed Shawn Thornton to a two-year contract extension. Little fantasy relevance, although he has the “upside” to be a 15 point, 160-200 PIM guy.
Interesting story yesterday out of Philadelphia. Apparently a suicidal man had jumped into the Delaware River, and CBC Host Ron McLean came to the rescue and pulled him out of the waters. Read all about it here.
Matt Climie and Michal Neuvirth both had terrific games last night in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Final. The Stars won a close game 2-1 over the heavily favoured Bears.
John Carlson was pointless with three shots on goal for Hershey.
Hershey’s loss to Texas last night was only their second defeat in 39 home games.
Oiler fans, get excited. I stumbled across an amazing clip package showing what Linus Omark has to offer (the answer is a lot):