Fantasy Prospects Report – buy it here.
Rangers’ top prospect Chris Krieder has decided to stay in college for another year.
I'm a little nervous about this deal that I did in my keeper league. One week after landing Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Eric Tangradi for a package of Tyler Ennis, some blue-chip prospects and picks, I traded Koivu. The return? Visnovsky, Oshie and a 2013 first rounder (I gave him a second rounder). Now this is a league where positions do not matter, so Visnovsky is just a 45- to 68-point player. And while Koivu is a coveted asset, defensemen in this pool are shunned. Oshie will also be shunned if he gets injured again. Four years in the league and four injuries? That would too much and most poolies would have no interest – they won't care that one of those "injuries" was an appendectomy. And owning four defensemen in this pool is kind of rare – I also own Goligoski, Yandle and Karlsson. But what can I say? I don't shun defensemen as much as the other guys in that league do, and I've stated here often over the past year – points from defensemen are on the rise.
So I've gone from rebuilding around Malkin, Ennis and Yandle by having a bunch of young prospects, to suddenly putting my young team in the top half: Malkin, Parise, Yandle, Oshie, Fleischmann, J. Staal, Karlsson, Frolik, Visnovsky, Gerbe, S. Kostitsyn, Goligoski will probably make my pro team (count the Top 12 – playoffs matter). Very youthful and too many question marks. Farm Team is Omark, Tatar, Jeffrey, Tangradi, Matthias, Perreault and whoever I draft third and 15th overall (Huberdeau should be one). I tore this team apart last year. Pissed off because that latest run only brought me one trophy. When you rebuild, you should set yourself up for three or four trophies.
I like the draft this year. Granted, there is no Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos or John Tavares, but from one through 10 you have a group of players who are of such high quality that most drafts only have in their Top 4 or 5. It's a good year to be picking third, fourth, or even 10th in your entry draft. And a fantasy draft is much different from the real one, which is why I would take Huberdeau over Landeskog and Strome over Couturier.
As Angus noted yesterday in case you missed it – Voracek and a first for Jeff Carter? Portzline says that's the rumor. Carter+Nash=awesome. Both are big goal scorers so stick a set-up man on the other wing and you're laughing.
The Rangers buying out both Drury and Wolski absolutely ups their shot at Brad Richards. In fact, I think they'll get him now. That leaves other teams to take a shot at landing Carter, and the Blue Jackets are the favorites there. Just waiting for Bryzgalov to sign.
Doing some player profiles for the Forecaster, I had a sudden thought. Josh Harding is a top goalie in terms of talent, and probably off of everybody's radar. Any team with a weaker starting goalie would be wise to pick him up (he's a UFA) – and I wouldn't be startled if he stole the job by Christmas. Then again, with that wonky knee he could also disappear from the NHL, never to be heard from again…
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