The 2013 DobberHockey Prospects Report… one day away. Get excited.
The Oilers signed a defenseman yesterday – Anton Belov from the KHL. The 6-4 defenseman had 26 points in 46 games last year, and the Oilers beat out five or six other teams to get him (including the Penguins). I bet Belov took one look at their depth chart and said to himself… “ice time!”
Quick scouting report – great skater, huge, not very good defensively. Will be interesting to see how he adjusts. 6-4 215 pound offensive defensemen don’t grow on trees. This hurts Oscar Klefbom’s ability to crack the roster next year – Belov is a similar defenseman and more experienced at the pro level.
Assuming the Oilers don’t add another defenseman, they currently could roll with Schultz (J and N), Smid, Petry, Belov, and Potter/Klefbom/Fistric. Still need another defenseman in there, but this is a good signing for the organization.
The latest DobberNation podcast is fantastic. Give it a listen here. Brock Otten dishes some great thoughts on OHL prospects, including Bo Horvat, Max Domi, Sean Monohan, and Darnell Nurse (who he really likes).
Otten's draft day guesses:
Monohan to the Oilers at #7 (paired with Nail Yakupov)
Zadorov to the Flyers (a physical defenseman, perhaps pairing him with an offensive guy in a year or two)
Nurse to Calgary at #6 (a replacement for Bouwmeester)
Ryan Hartman (Boston or San Jose late in the 1st round – energetic, physical, but skilled player)
Max Domi to Columbus (could be a replacement for Gaborik in a few years)
Bo Horvat to Phoenix at #12 (a do-it-all replacement for Shane Doan down the road)
Danny Cleary played the entire Chicago series with a separated shoulder and broken finger (suffered in Game 5 against the Ducks).
A great read – not fantasy relevant, but important – Kris Letang remembers his friend Luc Bourdon, five years later.
This just in – all teams and players dive:
Not a huge surprise – the reason for Tortorella's firing was the fact that some players (including a few in the core) were tired of his style. Gee… ya don't say?
Sportsnet's Michael Grange rips Tortorella a new one in this interesting piece.
Today's team to analyze – the Philadelphia Flyers
2013-14 sleeper pick: Erik Gustafsson
For a team with issues breaking the puck out of their own zone, the Flyers will need all of the puck movers they can get this season. Gustafsson is exactly that – he won't score a ton of goals or make the highlight reels with a big hit, but he's a steady and mobile two-way defenseman who doesn't cost a lot of money against the salary cap. When the inevitable injury hits Andrej Meszaros again, there could be a top four spot with his name on it. He had three goals and eight points in 27 games with the Flyers in 2013. Very respectable production for a rookie defenseman.
Long-term sleeper pick: Jason Akeson
Akeson is older than most prospects (23), but don't hold that against him. He led the Flyers AHL affiliate in scoring in 2012-13 with 20 goals and 53 points, and as the team looks to get younger and cheaper, he could find himself in the top nine (or even top six) this season. The offense may not come right away, but that is his game and the Flyers will put him in a position to produce.