Every Sunday until the start of the 2018-19 regular season, we'll share 20 Fantasy Thoughts from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week's "Daily Ramblings".
Writers: Michael Clifford, Ian Gooding, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. A player that I’ve been asked about a handful of times is Erik Haula. He went from being a fourth line center on a bubble playoff team in Minnesota to anchoring the second line and second power play unit on a powerhouse. He scored 29 goals and 55 points in 76 games. Recording career-highs in goals, assists, points, shots on goal, hits, power play goals, power play points (18 times as many as his previous career-high) and time-on-ice is groovy for a 27-year-old. But, is this a mirage or a trend to come?
It’s difficult to assess his previous work as his role is completely different than it was at any time during his tenure with the Wild. But, is that role secure? Vegas will be players in free agency this summer. If they fail to land the big fish in John Tavares, that doesn’t necessarily mean Haula is safe as the 2C long term.
The Golden Knights made two very astute draft picks last June in selecting Cody Glass (sixth overall) and Nick Suzuki (13th overall). Both players are tremendous talents. Both players are centers. Neither is able to be sent to the American Hockey League next year due to the CHL-NHL agreement, and it can be argued that at least one of them will be given a very long look at cracking the lineup as soon as this fall. Long-term, Glass and Suzuki present major obstacles to Haula maintaining his offensive deployment. If you’re a Haula owner, it’s a situation that needs to be watched very closely.
Another situation to keep an eye on is the psychological aspect of the entire Golden Knights’ squad. This is a team that could be ripe for an extra slow start out of the gate next fall. The Stanley Cup hangover is real. And this version may hold extra drowsiness. (june2)
2. Something I wonder sometimes: Does Alex DeBrincat get overlooked in drafts next year? As far as rookies go, he’s never discussed among the elite of this year’s crop, which isn’t necessarily a huge fault of the hockey community. This was an absolutely loaded year for rookies. All the same, DeBrincat had 28 goals, over 50 points, over two shots per game, and did all that playing under 15 minutes a night. He did garner more ice time as the season wore on, though, and this team needs scoring from its wingers beyond just Patrick Kane and hopefully a rebounding Brandon Saad. Maybe he flies under the radar and gives us a reasonable average draft position (ADP) for 2018-19? Maybe. (june1)