Prospects Pulse, Part I

Justin Goldman




During the first five days of free agency, the goalie storyline centered around new opportunities for Mike Smith, Jose Theodore and Semyon Varlamov. But over the last five days, the storyline has focused on the shifting situations of many top-flight prospects, including some that poolies have been harvesting for months, maybe even years.


With that in mind, for the next two School of Block sessions, I want to evaluate the fantasy value of the NHL teams that have seen major changes to the landscape and atmosphere of their goaltending depth charts. Please note that due to the numerous moves during July, I did not publish a Top-125 Prospects Rankings this month. Why?


There's just far too much movement taking place. Each time a goalie moves teams, it drastically influences how other prospects around them are ranked. If I were to publish it last week, the entire thing would be obsolete and inaccurate by today. With that being said, the August update will be the first release of my new Top-150 Rankings.


But be sure to pull up our updated NHL Depth Charts (as of this morning) as you go through the first set of teams!


ANAHEIM – With the addition of Jeff Deslauriers to a new two-year deal, Anaheim instantly watered down both Iiro Tarkki and Timo Pielmeier's current fantasy value. For the upcoming season, JD and Tarkki will try to provide Syracuse with much more consistency than last year's tandem of Pielmeier and J-P Levasseur.


For Pielmeier, his short-term value is crushed by JD's arrival – he now appears to be heading back to the ECHL. This is a major blow for Timo, especially with the second year of JD's contract an NHL salary and Tarkki an RFA next July.


Tarkki, however, is still in a positive situation. His RFA status could open the door for him to be re-signed, thus a potential suitor for Jonas Hiller's new backup (Dan Ellis will be an UFA) next summer. But his short-term value has been slightly reduced, as he'll now be paired with the talented Deslauriers, as opposed to an inexperienced and blossoming Pielmeier. He's no longer the clear-cut #3 for the Ducks.


For Tarkki, he still controls his destiny. If he has a strong rookie season or takes the starting job from Deslauriers, at 26 years of age, he could present a slightly younger option as Anaheim's backup after next season. But don't forget the tie-in between Ducks goalie coach Pete Peeters and Deslauriers – they spent time working together in Edmonton.


Because of this slight edge in contract and comfort for JD, a duel between him and Tarkki has already started and will play out over the next 12 months. Who wins, you ask? Why, the One From the Stands, of course. It should also be noted that Igor Bobkov will also most likely play this season with his new OHL team, the Kingston Frontenacs.


BUFFALO: Since Jhonas Enroth is still pondering the qualifying offer he received from the Sabres, his current value is still somewhat unknown. The addition of Drew MacIntyre to play with David Leggio in Rochester makes Enroth's current value even more unsteady. This tweet from Andy Strickland also lends a hand to more Enroth uncertainty.