Ramblings: Thoughts on Ellis, Staal, Bjugstad, Jost and more … (Mar 05)



Man, what could have been with Ryan Ellis this year. If he can stay healthy I think he can out-produce PK Subban and Roman Josi. Perhaps even hang up there with Karlsson, Klingberg, Burns and Gostisbehere. Three points Sunday gives him 20 in 27 and 11 points in his last eight games. Keep in mind that he needed a few games as a ‘training camp’ of sorts. At 27 he’s in his prime. The problem is, he missed 38 games this year, 11 last year, three the year prior and 24 the season before that. That’s 76 games missed in four seasons. Or 19 per season. But man, I’m very bullish on him next year if you don’t mind a 65-game player.


The Preds continue – and will continue – to screw with fantasy owners by sitting their regulars here and there. Sunday it was Craig Smith, Mike Fisher and Roman Josi. And they still won. With 17 games left and only Subban and Calle Jarnkrok having played them all, I think you can expect each regular in the lineup to miss two games down the stretch. Especially if they win anyway.

I think the Blackhawks knew what they were doing when they traded Ryan Hartman. I had never been impressed with him as a prospect, and then I was shocked when he became an NHL regular last year. I was shocked again when he began the season with five big games. But he’s since come back down to earth and now he’s just another depth guy. Really not impressed with what I’ve seen, nor the stat trends with him. The Hawks got a first-round pick and a solid prospect in Victor Ejdsell.


Tyson Jost has seen a huge jump in ice and PP time lately, averaging about 16 minutes per game the last four games. He’s seen 19 minutes of power-play time during those games in getting onto the top PP unit. Just one point though, but that kind of ice time makes him worth watching to see if things starting changing for him.


Don’t look now but the Panthers have won 13 of their last 16 games. Last week at the trade deadline, I had packed it in on the regular season in the most basic of my three keeper leagues (strictly points, with a playoff component, no positions). I’m the defending playoff pool champion in that league though and still have a good team, so I made a few trades from the bottom of my roster (20 players, so I considered the bottom five or six of them in terms of regular season current and upside). In the end, one of my decisions was to drop a 30-point Jason Spezza or a 45-point Keith Yandle. At the time, Dallas had a 74% chance of making the playoffs whereas Florida was at 34%. So I dropped Yandle. Dallas is now at 82.5% while Florida shot up to 75.7% with four wins since that moment so I’m already regretting the move.