The Journey: Post-Hype Sleeper Prospects

Jokke Nevalainen



Welcome to “The Journey”! This is my first article on the main site, and I have big shoes to fill because Brad has been doing a great job with this column. My name is Jokke Nevalainen, and I’m writing from Tampere, Finland. I’m a Junior Associate Editor at DobberProspects where I write weekly prospect ramblings among other things. I also contributed to Dobber’s Fantasy Prospect Report – If you haven’t purchased it already, I suggest getting it from the Shop with Dobber’s Fantasy Guide. Combine the two and the price is beyond reasonable


The idea for this week’s article came from the Dobber Forum where one member was asking about post-hype sleeper prospects. This means prospects who were highly-regarded during their draft year but their development hasn’t been as quick as expected. Some of their shine has been lost and they’re potentially undervalued now. Here are three prospects who fit that description.


Dylan Strome – Arizona Coyotes


Strome was drafted third overall in 2015 after he dominated the OHL to the tune of 129 points in 68 games. Yes, he played on the same team with Connor McDavid but they often played on different lines. His end result was some of the best production we’ve ever seen in the OHL from a 17-year-old – in fact, only McDavid, Sam Gagner, Jason Spezza, John Tavares and Mitch Marner have had a better points-per-game average at the same age during the 21st century.


But Strome’s value started to take a nosedive when he was sent back to the OHL for two more years after the draft. He continued to dominate and even managed to improve his points-per-game mark both times while playing without McDavid. But prospects of his calibre shouldn't be playing junior hockey for two more years after their draft. Strome would have been better served playing in the AHL but the NHL-CHL agreement prohibited that.


Strome started this past season in the NHL but was sent down to the AHL a