Prospects Pulse, Part II

Justin Goldman

2011-07-18

Enroth

 

Over the past week, very little free agent goalie movement took place. But this was an expected occurrence, as spots get filled quickly and many goalies that had fantasy value last season turn up homeless. Such is the situation currently facing goalies like Ray Emery, Marty Turco and Pascale Leclaire, along with some solid AHL goalies like Tyler Weiman and Mike Brodeur.

 

So the spotlight continues to shift, as teams are essentially done bringing in new names and now taking care of their restricted netminders. Over the past week, Jeff Frazee, Jeff Zatkoff, Marc Cheverie and Tyler Plante all re-upped with their respective teams. But Jhonas Enroth, Chad Johnson and Riku Helenius still have to agree to terms.

 

Enroth's decision clearly has the biggest fantasy impact, as his opportunity to post good stats in around 20 games behind Ryan Miller is on the line. Enroth does deserve a little more money for what he brings to Buffalo, but if he loses this opportunity, he may never get one again. The Sabres also have plenty of options outside of Enroth, so I hope he bites the bullet and agree to terms before it's too late.

 

The free agency winds also swept Martin Gerber over to Vaxjo in the Swedish Elite League, while Barry Brust, who really flew under the radar for the Binghamton Senators last season, signed to play in Germany's DEL for the Straubing Tigers. Coming back over from the KHL are Yann Danis and former Flyers prospect Scott Munroe, both of which fill a veteran role in the AHL. The Charlotte Checkers also signed former Boston College goalie John Muse to a new two-way contract.

 

So with this movement in mind, here's the next set of fantasy updates and advice in Part II of the Prospects Pulse series.

 

EDMONTON – With both Barons goalies on the move and Bryan Pitton an UFA, the Oilers added former Devils and Islanders prospect Yann Danis into the mix last week. Danis played in the KHL last season and posted a 3.10 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 31 games for Amur Khabarovsk.

 

Although it is unclear who the Oilers sign to play with Danis, I like the fit because he's a former AHL Calder Trophy Champion (2007 with Hamilton as a backup) and has 49 games of NHL experience with Montreal, New Jersey and the Islanders.

 

Now the burning question is whether or not Danis' counterpart will be Olivier Roy, or if the Oilers sign another UFA instead. It must also be pointed out that many analysts (including myself) feel that the Oilers should be looking to replace Nikolai Khabibulin. This team simply has no time to waste on a goalie that lacks consistency. If they want to make the playoffs, they'll make a move.

 

This means it's time to put a vested interest in Devan Dubnyk's fantasy value. This hinges on the fact that I consider him as the most improved full-time NHL goalie from last season. He played with confidence in October, but his movements and rebounds were really uncontrolled. But by April, he had proved legitimate starter upside and had improved all areas of his game, including his durability.

 

So with a summer to further refine his game, there's no reason why Dubnyk can't earn 50-55 starts this season. Depending on Edmonton's actual faith in his abilities, they could sign an UFA like Turco or Emery to be that veteran presence, thus making Khabibulin quite expendable, possibly even available to join Danis in OKC.

 

My advice? Expect Dubnyk's value to rise and Khabibulin's to drop. Expect Roy to begin his pro career in the ECHL, which i