The Journey: Top Fantasy Prospects In The WHL
Hello fantasy enthusiasts and welcome back to The Journey. Yes, the weeks may have begun to blend into one by now, but hopefully I can bring you a little joy and excitement in the form of some fantasy prospect talk.
If you missed last week's installment, I mentioned that I will be spending the next few weeks bringing you the top fantasy prospect from region to region. So far, I have covered the QJMHL and the OHL which were packed full of potential. So, if you missed them, make sure to give them a read.
This week, I will be heading West to the WHL, which is considered slightly inferior to its brother leagues out East in regards to 2020 prospects. Nonetheless, there are still some noteworthy talents could sneak into your fantasy lineups for years to come.
Fantasy Upside: 9.0
NHL Certainty: 8.5
You likely won't see him go top-5 this June. In fact, you may even see him fall outside the top-10. Regardless, Seth Jarvis has been catapulting up the scouting ranks since the beginning of the season, and is blossoming into one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft. Leading the charge on a top-seeded Portland Winterhawks squad, the Winnipeg native sat second in the league, recording a stellar 98 points in just 58 regular-season matches.
The 18-year-old brings a very exciting brand of hockey to the table, highlighted by his phenomenal skating abilities. With an extremely quick first step, Jarvis is able to blow past his opponents, often leading to high-level scoring opportunities. He possesses fantastic edge work, cutting in and out of areas, enabling him to create open space for both himself and his linemates. He's got a deadly accurate shot that allows him to beat goaltenders from all areas of the ice. Whether it is in tight, mid-range or on the rush, his ability to fool goaltenders serves as a constant threat.
While offense is his main MO, he also plays a great 200-foot game. Thanks to his elite skating ability, Jarvis is able to play all three of the zones at a very fast pace. This is clearly evident in the stat department as he posted a plus-53 rating this season. If you throw all of this into a blender and combine it with his ability to play both center and the wing, you could be looking at one very promising fantasy worthy prospect.
While he is likely two, maybe three years away from seeing any NHL action, Jarvis is undoubtedly worth the gamble in your dynasty drafts. He seems to have it all: A strong and elusive shot, great vision and the ability to feast off flat-footed defenders. He has high potential to be a very sneaky steal in this year’s entry draft.
Position: Right Defense
Fantasy Upside: 6.0
NHL Certainty: 8.0
Arguably the most anticipated rearguard emerging from the west is the Brandon Wheat Kings' own Braden Schneider. The Saskatchewan native is a large, smart and effective defender who carries all of the necessary tools to become a solid top-4 down the road. His development has refused to sit stagnant, as he seems to progress his game with each year that passes by.
At 6-2, 210 lbs, size will not be an issue and with his transition still a few years away, there is only room for growth. He enjoys the physical aspect of the game, and punishes opponents with solid but smart open-ice hits. He sees the game well and is positionally sound, yet he also enjoys jumping up in the rush from time to time. He should rack up assists with his consistent decision making and crisp passing.
Hes yet another great skater om the back end who could put up decent numbers at the next level. Hits and blocks are a sure bet here, so the potential is available in all formats. If you are eyeing out a guard from the West, this is your guy.
Fantasy Upside: 8.2
NHL Certainty: 7.0
Fifth in goals, fifth in points, fifth in shots, fifth in power-play tallies and 50% in the face-off circle. Do you notice a trend? Well, that's because consistency is exactly what you will get from a player like Connor Zary. A solid, serviceable prairie boy who plays above average in almost all facets of the game. Sure, he likely won't step in as your top point-getting forward. However, you can definitely expect a hard-nosed multi-purpose player that serves up a ton of extra benefits to your fantasy squad.
Zary shows great intelligence and is able to bring intangibles that many simply can't. While the offensive potential is evident, his strong physical play around the puck may be his most polished feature. He plays a strong, tenacious game and grinds for every win. As a top-line center, he showed great versatility playing a critical role in almost every situation imaginable for a high-flying Kamloops Blazers team.
While second-line centre may be his ultimate cap, the style of play and above average skill definitely warrants a pick in your draft. His game reminds me a little bit of Mathew Tkachuk: Speed and physicality with sneaky good offensive talent. Don't hesitate to pull the trigger should he be available in the early rounds of your draft.
Position: Left Defense
Fantasy Upside: 5.0
NHL Certainty: 7.0
He may not be your most promising defender in regards to offensive talent. However, Guhle's game brings a little bit of everything to your future fantasy lineups. Considering his two-way style, a 40-point sophomore season should be considered a giant win. This will likely shoot his draft stock a little higher than perhaps it should and a 40-point junior season may sit as his career cap.
He does carry a very heavy shot, a shot which he is not shy using in any situation, so there is hope for some untapped potential. Yet, his offensive attributes are considered on the weaker side with a lower ceiling than most
What he will bring you is a solid two-way, sturdy defensive game. He knows how to toss his weight around and if he manages to add some pounds to his large 6-3 frame, he could cause some decent damage. He's a good skater who plays a smart, mistake-free game. Given his long reach and solid zone play, there could definitely be some translated peripheral stats for all of your multi-cat owners,
All in all, Guhle is a sound player that will serve as a nice middle-of-the-pack defender. I do suggest taking a number and waiting until later rounds before you rush into drafting him.
Thank you for tuning for another week of prospect talk. Make sure to catch next week’s article as I will be updating you on a few of the fantasy prospects who jumped up the rankings for the month of April. Stay safe and be well out there.
As always, catch me on Twitter @hall1289.
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