Top 10 Keeper League Forward Prospects

Jeff Angus

2010-08-20

Nazem Kadri

 

I have a few general rules when it comes to building a team in a fantasy hockey keeper league. One of the more important ones is to not plan beyond a two or three year window. You are not building a real NHL club, and too often fantasy hockey poolies place an emphasis on youth and prospects over proven veterans with gas still left in the tank. So using my general rule, take a look at your team(s). Can you realistically say you will have a shot at winning the league at some point within the next two or three seasons? If not, time to scrap the rebuild and start adding proven NHL talent.

 

Keeping my rule in mind, I have compiled a list of the top 10 keeper league forward prospects to own (assuming standard keeper league rules and scoring categories). Using the two or three season scope, I balanced the long-term upside of these players with their NHL readiness. The cut-off point for this list is 25 games played at the NHL level. Kyle Turris and Logan Couture are two players who may have cracked the list, but both have played over the limit (in Couture's case, he has skated in exactly 25 NHL games).

 

This list is in order, so I probably wouldn't trade the fourth player straight across for the fifth player, and so on. However, unlike my previous lists, I haven't broken down forward prospects by position, so positional requirements in a specific league may change my rankings. I didn't split the forwards into centers, left wings, and right wings because many times prospects don't play their natural position at the NHL level. Many times skilled players skate at center during college and junior because they excel with the puck on their stick, and playing center allows them to do that on a more regular basis. However, many of these players are too slow, too small, or not good enough defensively to play the position at the NHL level. Some recent examples include TJ Oshie (although he moves back from time to time), Zach Parise, Jordan Schroeder, and Jordan Eberle. Another natural center that cracked the top 10 list below will probably shift to wing, but for a different reason.

 

I have also included a stylistic comparison for each player. Don't get insulted if I have compared an unproven prospect to your favourite current or former NHL superstar – I am just comparing playing styles.

 

My previous lists:

 

Top 10 Keeper League Centers