A Look Around the NHL: Short and Long Term Sleepers (Part V)

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A look at some short and long term sleepers from New Jersey, the two New York teams, Ottawa, and Phoenix.


This series has been published over the past few months, team-by-team, in the daily ramblings. In Part V, we look at a short (next season only) and long term (next three or four years) sleeper for New Jersey, the two New York teams, Ottawa, and Phoenix.


Since many of these write-ups were done over the past few months, not everything will be completely up-to-date from a timing perspective. I went back and changed what I could, and hopefully nothing slipped through the cracks.


New Jersey Devils

2013-14 sleeper pick: Jon Merrill


Merrill is a dynamic two-way defenseman with a ton of upside. Do the Devils go the patient route with him and leave him in the AHL for a year or two? I think he is NHL ready now, but I am not the coach (nor the GM) for New Jersey. He has top pairing upside – 10+ goals, 45+ points, and solid peripheral numbers. Even if he isn't productive for a year or so, he will be worth the wait.


Long term sleeper pick: Reid Boucher


62 goals in 68 OHL games in 2012-13 for Boucher. Suffice to say… he's a natural scorer. He had two goals in 11 AHL games after turning pro. He isn't on the Devils radar for the immediate future – he has to improve many aspects of his game first. But he definitely has top six upside, and with the right development, he will be a go-to scorer at the NHL level, too.


NY Islanders

2013-14 sleeper pick: Matt Donovan


At the risk of sounding like a broken record (which I am, apparently) – read this. Or this. 


Long term sleeper pick:  Mike Halmo


The Islanders signed Halmo as a free agent out of the OHL last summer. He played his first season in pro hockey in the AHL in 2012-13, finishing with 14 points in 46 games. He's small but pretty gritty (he loves to hit, and he's quite good at it). He is also skilled and blessed with terrific hockey sense. He's a long term sleeper if there ever was one, but he has NHL upside. Halmo was a linemate of Andrew Shaw's in the OHL, and they are pretty similar players.


Great value in multi-cat leagues:


NY Rangers


2013-14 sleeper pick:  JT Miller

Stepan, Richards, Boyle, and Miller is a pretty decent 1-2-3-4 down the middle. Miller had four points in 26 NHL games in 2013, and eight goals and 23 points in 42 AHL games. He's a top six talent but just needs some more pro experience before he starts to produce more. Good size, great