There’s a significant amount of pride to be had for the fantasy owner who is regularly the first to make a claim for the quietly surging players, as well as the prospects who are closest to breaking out. If you’re a regular reader of DobberHockey and DobberProspect content, chances are that you're that person in your fantasy leagues. The long running sub-series of The Journey ‘Fastest Rising Prospects’ has always been one of my favorite resources for finding those players, especially when I was pinched for time and my fantasy squad needed that extra bump.
With that said, if you have been a faithful reader of The Journey, you may have noticed that over the past year, I’ve tried to put my own spin on this sub-series from time to time. Whether it be grouping players in tiers that match up with the depth of various fantasy leagues, or including the fastest falling prospects, there were some unique aspects to the series in 2019.
Today I’m throwing it back to the original format of the series. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the different iterations though- are there some additional aspects that you found valuable? Do you see the series as a quick hit-and-run resource? I’d love to know.
So, who are the fastest rising prospects of the last month?
LW | Pierre Engvall, Toronto Maple Leafs
October – 180th | November – 160th (+20) | December 81st (+79)
The Leafs have done well to utilize the developing Marlies squadron in support of their offense-saturated NHL roster, perhaps one of the best in recent years. Despite their core of forwards being developed for all intents and purposes, the team has continued to churn out a reliable stream of players to satisfy the need of their bottom-six forwards, and bottom defense pairings.
Engvall is the most recent of success stories to emerge from the Marlies. The 6-5 winger was cast by the Leafs in place of a fellow Marlie alumni, Trevor Moore, who hit the IR in November. Since joining the team, Engvall has gradually made himself more comfortable, and began making a name for himself thanks to an explosively long stride and powerful frame.
At 23 years old, he’s beginning to fit the shadow of a typical NHL power forward. For the foreseeable future, he'll have to solely rely on production from an even-strength role.
You should pick him up if… You’re itching for a good bit of cheap extra offense this year and next, but don’t need much else for another year or two.
RW | Yakov Trenin, Nashville Predators
October – 234th | November – 168th (+66) | December – 104th (+64)
While most of the Nashville forward corps, and the team as a whole has been doom and gloom for the last few months, 22-year-old Russian Trenin has emerged as one of the few bright spots for the team in the months of December and January. After blowing the faces off of Milwaukee Admirals fans through October and November, Trenin found himself at the top of the list for being recalled to Nashville. It should be noted that the third-year AHL veteran, and QMJHL alumni nearly tripled his rate of production from any other professional season this year – it truly was a coming out party.
Since joining the Preds, Trenin has delivered with a little bit of everything, including an intriguing bout with the formidable Zdeno Chara.
Despite a hot start with the team, he’s found himself being rotated in and out of the lineup as the team seeks a winning formula. Ultimately though, based on his personal success and holistic contributions, it seems as though Trenin will be a part of that formula.
You should pick him up if… You’re willing to gamble on a player who hasn’t locked down a full-time NHL job, but is capable of providing decent offense and excellent physical stats.
C | Ryan Suzuki, Carolina Hurricanes
October – 172nd | November – 180th (-8) | December – 130th (+50)
Carolina became home to the younger brother of Nick at last June’s draft, but after signing the 18-year-old, he was inevitably returned to his OHL club in Barrie. The young centerman is noted for having an ultra-dynamic playing style thanks in part due to his smooth and fast puck skills as well as his creativity and vision in the offensive zone. Despite all of this, he started the year relatively slowly with Barrie. On Friday, January 10, Suzuki was dealt from Barrie to the contending Saginaw Spirit, a team where his skillset may have a better opportunity to flourish.
Considering his slower than expected start to his draft+1 campaign, Suzuki was able to muster up a point-per-game pace prior to Christmas. The recent transaction that sent him to Saginaw may catapult him further ahead in Dobber’s rankings next month as he already apears to have found some chemistry with projected 2020 top-10 draft selection Cole Perfetti.
You should pick him up if… You’re interested in adding a player with the potential to score 80 points in the NHL one day, but can afford to wait at least two years before you get anything from him.
Thanks for reading, @olaf1393