How have some of the top defensive prospects in the fantasy hockey world faired so far through their respective training camps, and what should be expected of them in 2009-10?
1) Alex Goligoski – Pittsburgh
After notching 20 points in 45 games in his AHL/NHL transition year, Goligoski continued to produce
offensively in the preseason, scoring two assists in four games. His +3 didn’t hurt either, as it led
the Pens in their four preseason games. Goligoski, 24, added two assists in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over
the Rangers Oct 2nd, grabbing third star in the process. For now, the 2004 second round pick will be paired with Jay McKee at even strength and with Gonchar on the first power play. Dobber’s prediction of
46 points this season looks right on the button.
2) Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay
The real “monster” from Sweden, 6’7 Victor Hedman, scored two assists in five preseason games. Like
Goligoski, Hedman led his team in the preseason with a +3. By all accounts Hedman lived up to the hype, logging 26 minutes in each of his first two games in what amounted to a ‘trial by fire.’ Hedman passed the test with flying colors and will start the season as the second pairing defenseman alongside countryman Mattias Ohlund.
3) Erik Karlsson – Ottawa
Ottawa’s 2008 first round pick has a relatively quiet way about him on the ice but makes few mistakes
and appears more than ready for prime time. Karlsson played mostly with Philip Kuba and Brian Lee in the preseason and managed two points in five games. Most impressively, Karlsson led the team with a +5,
earning a top-four spot to start the season. Karlsson owners should be satisfied to this point, but the
real test will come in the latter third of the season when the 5’11, 170-pound defenseman may start to wear out.
4) John Carlson – Washington
After an impressive camp by all accounts, Carlson was sent to Hershey on September 22nd. This shouldn’t
come as a surprise to Carlson owners as the Caps’ absolutely require AHL seasoning from their blue chip
defenders. Both Mike Green and Karl Alzner played more than half of their first pro seasons in the
minors. Don’t expect Carlson to be any different. It will be a surprise if he plays 40 games with the
Capitals this season.
Carlson played two preseason games with Alzner and John Erskine, likely his future even-strength
partners. He averaged 18 minutes of ice time, scored no points and had an even plus/minus.
5) Alex Pietrangelo – St. Louis