Say what you want about Sergei Gonchar’s play in the second round, but for him to go and represent his country after several lengthy playoff runs and injuries – at his age, while he is without a contract for next year – is amazing. Kudos to him and he has my full respect.
I agree with Angus’ assessment of Jared Staal yesterday, however my fantasy hockey ears perked up when I saw how the ‘Canes signed him immediately. They still had over two weeks, why the rush? The fact that they put so much focus and attention on him has to mean something. His brother is Carolina’s superstar. Then again, so was Martin Kariya’s. But I digress. Jared was said to be the most talented of the brothers, but with the worst work ethic. Maybe with Eric and an eager Carolina staff pushin him, he can find a way.
As the June 1 deadline approaches for signing 2008 draft picks, the signings are coming fast and furious. The Devils signed their two studs Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson. One of them could/should make the roster in the fall, but I don’t see both in there. The Devils also feel that Adam Henrique is in the mix, so three battling for one or possibly two spots. My money is on Josefson for the more complete game. Meanwhile, enjoy watching them tear up rookie camp again. Josefson will be more of a second-line two-way type, but the speedy Tedenby is allll offense baby. Both are profiled in the Prospects Report.
The Blues signed Anthony Nigro and RW Anthony Shattock to contracts. The ’08 sixth rounder and fourth rounder respectively, were each a point a game in junior, but are not currently on my fantasy radar (a radar that spans several hundred prospects). Ditto for the Panthers signing Scott Timmons.
Want a sneak preview of the Prospects Report? Here is our profile for Teemu Hartikainen, whom the Oilers signed over the weekend:
Teemu Hartikainen, LW (TY 227)
(LY – 270)
The sixth rounder from 2008 continues to make steady progress in the SM-Liiga. Last year, he notched 33 points in 53 games which is an admirable total in that league – especially for a player who's better known for his tenacity. Touted as a warrior and ultra competitive, he evokes images of Esa Tikkanen because of his ability to distract opponents, but he doesn't have nearly the skill as the former Super Pest. He will make an ideal third-line centre with a slight chance of hitting his upside as a second-line centre. He's an excellent skater with decent skills, but he lacks the creativity to be a high-end scorer. He's more likely to get a goal by outworking an opponent – which is not necessarily a bad thing – but that requires a player to play balls out all the time to produce. There aren't a lot of guys who do that, so don't expect too much offence. He'll need a year in the AHL, but after that expect him to jump to the NHL – especially with the last place Oil.
Upside: Tuomu Ruutu, (25-35-60, 70+ PIM)
Certainty (NHLer; Upside): 75%; 40%
The above “Certainty” percentages indicate that we are 75% confident that he will become an NHLer and 40% confident that he will get 60 points in the NHL in at least one season.
This is my last ramblings for the next week. I will leave you in the capable hands of Jeff Angus as I leave hockey and my laptop behind and fly to sunny Mexico. It was a long, tough season – no tougher than any other season, but throw moving into a new house and watching a one year old from the home office (daycare is only for mornings) and it sucks the energy