Ramblings: Pulock and Hinostroza; Letang’s Performance; World Juniors – January 6

Michael Clifford

2018-01-06

I haven’t talked much about the World Juniors in these Ramblings as I tend to avoid prospects that aren’t on the cusp of the NHL. I am not a trained scout, nor do I have any experience in scouting. I often rely on the opinions of much more informed people which makes Dobber Prospects an invaluable resource for me.

Having watched most of the tournament’s games, and now that it’s over, here are two guys I was very impressed with (outside of the usual suspects like Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Dahlin).  

Jake Bean

Another good young defensive prospect for Carolina? The devil, you say?

A point-per-game defenceman over the last two and a half seasons in the WHL, I’ve been impressed by Bean just because of how unimpressive he is. I know that sounds weird, but it’s how well he plays without a lot of flash to his game. He looks for outlet passes instead of banging it off the glass. He seems pretty good about picking his spots when it comes to jumping in the play. He also doesn’t make glaring mistakes that make you wonder if a coach can trust him once he starts levelling up.

I don’t know how much fantasy value he’ll have in the next 2-3 years in Carolina. They still have trouble scoring (though Martin Necas should help eventually) and assuming they sign Noah Hanifin long-term, the Hurricanes will have Hanifin, Justin Faulk, Jaccob Slavin, and Brett Pesce all signed through 2020. That is a glut of talented defensemen that can make it hard for Bean to rack up big minutes, especially on the power play. This likely seems a longer-term project for dynasty owners than if Rasmus Dahlin were to join the Sabres or Canucks next year. He has the skills and the smarts to be very good in the NHL, it’s a matter of the opportunity afforded him.

Eeli Tolvanen

I am aware of the tear he went on early in the KHL season, but watching him among his peers in the WJHC was something else.

When you see clips of a guy, they’re almost always the end of a play. We’ve seen Tolvanen snipe on goalies and dance on defencemen and that’s all well and good. What impressed me with Tolvanen is his ability to always look for the dangerous plays in the offensive zone. Sometimes with a young scorer, they’re one-dimensional. A gu