It's been one year since I wrote my first column for DobberHockey. Writing – or talking — about hockey prospects is quite often a forward-looking exercise, but you can learn a lot by looking back. It's educational and fun to assess a team's drafting or scouting record to see how they did. So, I thought I'd take a look at how well I've done giving you advice on fantasy hockey prospects.
Giving my own grades is a conflict of interest, so I'll err on the side of being a hard-ass so that this doesn't seem like an exercise in self-congratulation.
Here's a look back (chronologically) at some of the players I've written about in the last year, and my take on how good my assessment was. If anyone hasn't seen some of the columns and wants to go back and read them, they're all archived here. As always, feel free to offer your own opinions down below. It's part of what makes this site – and the Internet – a great place to talk hockey. If you don't think I'm being tough enough, fire away.
Kyle Turris – He's been a disappointment for me so far. He finished last year in the AHL with decent numbers – 63 points in 79 games – but has had trouble carving out a big role with Phoenix this year. He's been scratched for six games and missed three games with an upper body injury. In the 18 games he's played, he's netted just four goals and three assists. A good buy-low candidate, but as long as Dave Tippett is the coach, Turris will find it difficult to earn more ice time. He has yet to justify my optimism.
Alex Pietrangelo – I was worried about Pietrangelo's lack of playing time in the NHL. Shortly after I wrote about him, he was sent back to junior and played great for Team Canada at the world junior tournament and finished the year with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. He's on pace for 42 points and appears to have arrived. I think going back to junior helped him, but his lack of playing time in early last year doesn't appear to have hurt him.
Logan Couture – I was concerned about injuries robbing Couture of valuable development time, but he kept on rolling in the AHL last year and is making a smooth transition to the NHL this year. I've liked Couture as a prospect since seeing him play junior B when he was 15. My expectations were once high for him, but they waned a bit. He's now meeting my earlier expectations and is a Calder Trophy candidate. My concerns were unfounded; Couture will be just fine.
Eric Tangradi – Tangradi has struggled to adjust to the pro game and has only shown brief flashes of his skill in the AHL. He was almost invisible in a nine-game trial in the NHL earlier this year. As a Tangradi owner, that disappointed me and ticked me off. He's one of those power forwards who is going to take time to develop if he develops at all. Maybe the hat trick he scored the other night will help him get untracked, but he's a prospect that requires patience. If he does make it in the NHL, he'll likely be a streaky scorer. Time to get the lead out, Eric.