So much happened around the NHL last week that to effectively analyze the impact on fantasy-relevant players, I’m breaking it into three columns (read Parts 1 & 2 HERE). This is the final piece, focusing on the prospects…
Chris Brown, Washington Capitals
The Caps gave up Martin Erat to acquire this budding power forward. Brown is close to making the jump and has played 12 NHL games already. The former college star at Michigan was drafted in the second round (36th overall) in 2009. Look for him to get a long look in camp in the fall and perhaps play the second half of next season in Washington. His fantasy value won’t arrive for several years, though. Brown was the fourth ranked prospect on the Coyotes according to the recently released THN Future Watch edition. Read more on him at dobbersports.com.
Sebastian Collberg, New York Islanders
Acquired in the Tomas Vanek deal, Collberg has scoring-line upside, but it will take some time for him to get there. I’d look for him in an Isles uniform in 2015-16 and on fantasy squads in 2017-18. He didn’t take the step forward in Sweden this season that we were hoping to see, which probably factored into him being traded. But he’s still one of the better prospects out there. He was drafted 33rd overall in 2012 and was ranked sixth among Habs prospects in Future Watch. Read more on him at dobbersports.com.
Hudson Fasching, Buffalo Sabres
In a minor deal that saw prospect Brayden McNabb (below) traded to the Kings, Fasching joins the Sabres organization. Fasching, the 65th overall ranked prospect in Future Watch, is a potential power forward who is having a fantastic freshman year for the University of Minnesota. He was also one of the better players for Team USA at the world juniors. But my interest in him as a fantasy prospect increased when I saw that the Sabres gave the Kings two second-round picks for him. Yes, there were other elements to the deal, but the bottom line is: the team was aggressively targeting him. I get the feeling that he’ll play his junior year in college and then, if it’s a big one, he’ll turn pro. You can read up on Fasching on dobbersports.com.
Calle Jarnkrok, Nashville Predators
Jarnkrok, third on the Red Wings list and 41st overall in Future Watch, is a two-way center with second-line potential, but there had been rumblings that he was looking to return to Sweden in the fall because it was unlikely he would see much NHL time next season. Nashville will probably give him several cups of coffee in 2014-15 (think 15 games in all) before he either makes the jump full time in 2015-16 or he does indeed head back to Sweden. Get more information and observations on Jarnkrok on dobbersports.com.
Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks
For years, Markstrom was considered one of the best goaltending prospects in hockey. And then he wasn’t. He has been decent at the American League level, but his NHL appearances have been lacking. And now that he’s 24, it’s getting close to the end of his “elite prospect” window. Time to put up or shut up. And in Vancouver, he now sits as the backup to Eddie Lack. The tools are all there, he just needs to have the confidence and consistency to run with it. Markstrom will either be a star starter in three years or he’ll be out of the league. Very high risk/reward here for fantasy owners and at this point it’s leaning heavily towards “risk.”
Brayden McNabb, Los Angeles Kings
Big defensemen who can move the puck are hard to find. McNabb, 6-foot-4, sits 14th in AHL scoring among defensemen. But he went to an organization that already has several young puck-movers and he’ll be in tough to crack the roster in the fall as a regular. The 23-year-old is exempt from waivers for one more season, so don’t expect him to enter your fantasy radar until 2015-16. And when he makes the jump, he’s likely not going to run a power play - certainly not within the first several years. He was Buffalo’s 10th-ranked prospect in Future Watch.
David Rundblad, Chicago Blackhawks
One of the best prospect defensemen in the world just two-and-a-half years ago, Rundblad has fallen from grace. Hard. In fact, when he was traded to Phoenix as the key part of the Kyle Turris deal, many saw it as the Senators getting taken to the cleaners. He’s still a really good prospect – who has nothing left to prove at the AHL level, but was the victim of the deepest defense group in the NHL with Phoenix. The problem is - he was traded to a team that is almost as deep. Any one of 25 other NHL teams would have been so much better for Rundblad owners. I’m afraid the misery will continue, however, because his potential is too high to just cut him loose. And we’re not going to see much from him next season unless Chicago jettisons a pile of blueliners in the summer.
In Part 1 (Thursday), we looked at Ryan Callahan, Jaroslav Halak, Ales Hemsky, Matt Moulson, Martin St. Louis, Lee Stempniak, Tim Thomas and Tomas Vanek.
In Part 2 (Tuesday), we looked at Cory Conacher, Martin Erat, Marian Gaborik, David Legwand, Roberto Luongo, Michal Neuvirth, Tuomo Ruutu and Dustin Penner.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section. Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.