Rising, Shining, Falling NHL Prospects

Dobber Sports

2007-09-22

 

 

With many teams having their third and even fourth preseason matchup in the books, there's never a better time than now to take stock of the September showings that have been markedly more super than any other series this month. Who would make a good pick up, would you put down, and who should you keep?

Rising:

Casey Borer, D (Carolina)
– Seasons of 9, 11, 11 and 11 points in the NCAA don't usually belie offensive success at the next level, but that was the case Friday night in Carolina''s tuneup against Nashville. The 22 year-old defenseman scored a shorthanded goal that proved to be the game-winner in a 3-0 shutout. Borer also set up the marker that made it 2-0, and finished with a +2 rating in the 3-0 victory.

Verdict: Take a chance in your keeper league. While Borer faces a laundry list of competition that includes Mike Commodore, Tim Gleason, Bret Hedican, Frank Kaberle, Dennis Seidenberg, Nic Wallin, Glen Wesley and fellow rooks Noah Babin and Brett Carson, the heady rearguard has made the most of his audition. Add to that a blueline ripe for the IR- Kaberle missed all but 27 games last season, while Wesley (39) and Hedican (37) are no spring chickens- and Borer's chances of playing at least a handful games look good. But just why should you draft a defender who never scored more 42 points at the college level? It's all about Carolina's system. With an offense built on the long pass, and Borer an expert at just such a skill, primary and secondary assists should be plentiful.

 

Matt D'Agnostni, RW (Montreal)– A major junior scoring star picked late in the Draft by the Habs, only to become a top-line NHLer? No, it's not Michael Ryder. But Matt D'Agnosti got to play a similar role yesterday against the New York Islanders. Winging it on the line with fellow kids Guillaume Latendresse and Tomas Plekanec, the 190th overall pick in 2005 scored both the first and the final goals in a 3-2 OT victory.

Verdict: There could be something here. Third in goals both during the regular season and playoffs for the Hamilton Bulldogs as a rookie pro, the 20 year-old likely won't play a significant role this year in the NHL- but that doesn't mean he's useless. If you need a prospect or two to round out your farm team, D'Agnosti is a good choice. His visible chemistry with Latendresse and Plekanec leapfrogs him ahead of bubble call-ups like Duncan Milroy and Corey Locke, and puts him on an even keel with Mikhail Grabovsky.

 

Shining:

Jonathan Bernier, G (Los Angeles)- The four-ring goalie circus in LA has added another act. Jason LaBarbera, Erik Ersberg, Dan Cloutier and J.S. Aubin have taken a backseat to Bernier, the 11th overall pick in '06. After making 16 stops on 17 shots on September 16th, the 20 year-old made 18 saves two nights later.

Verdict: Kings GM Dean Lombardi has had nothing but good things to say about Bernier, and despite the four goalies under contract, it appears as though he'll get his chance. Putting Cloutier on waivers is a positive sign for Bernier o