Ramblings: Preseason Check Ins, Colin White and more (Sept.20)

Neil Parker


Colin White - USA TODAY Sports Images


Determining how to evaluate the Five W's of preseason games is important to succeeding in the late rounds of deep-league drafts. Below are a few notable performances from Monday's games that stood out and why.


Kyle Okposo registered four shots and logged 19:15 of ice time. It's encouraging to see Okposo in position to put the puck on net. Following a down season that ended with some injury concerns, Okposo is in position to have a solid rebound showing with Buffalo's improved outlook. 

Jake McCabe registered an assist and had four shots and two blocked shots. There aren't many fantasy settings where McCabe is going to be a serviceable fantasy asset to start the season, but he offers some cross-category appeal and modest offensive upside for cavernous settings.

Joseph Blandisi recorded two assists and won 11 of 16 faceoffs. Faceoffs aren't important, but coaches and talking heads love a guy who wins in the dot. Blandisi has flashed offensive upside in the past and has been a scorer at every level. There are openings to seize in New Jersey.

Neal Pionk logged the second-most minutes (22:55) on the Rangers and scored the overtime-winning goal. I'm going to try this spin-o-rama Friday, and for what it's worth, Pionk posted solid numbers in the NCAA the past two seasons.

Charlie Coyle scored and registered seven shots over 23:34 of ice time. This is exactly what you expect to see from a player in his prime that's playing against inferior competition. The 25-year-old forward has also improved his point total in each of the past four seasons.

Mike Reilly recorded six shots and logged 23:26 of ice time. With a job up for grabs on the Minnesota blue line, Reilly's offensive upside and puck-moving skills will allow him an opportunity to crack the roster for Opening Night. He has 53 points through 102 AHL games the past two seasons.

Connor Hellebuyck saved 34 of 36 shots and played the entire game. Steve Mason projects to receive the bulk of starts for Winnipeg, but Hellebuyck could push for this to be a near-even timeshare. He's going to be cheap in drafts, and there is plenty of upside.