Ramblings – The 10 Best Undrafted Free Agent Signings of the Past Month (Apr 20)

Dobber

2020-04-20

Last week I gave my prediction of how things will go for the NHL. You can find that here.

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Also last week I listed my Top 10 signings of drafted prospects of the highest fantasy interest. This week, I will look at the undrafted prospects who were signed and are of interest in fantasy leagues.

NHL teams are getting much better at drafting. And what's more – they are getting much better at developing. They have an entire army of people dedicated to walking their prospects through every step of life, from health to fitness to finance to how to handle the media. Practices and drills have been honed to near-perfection. So once a player is drafted, he is thrust into an environment and situation where he can best reach his potential. An undrafted player may initially have the potential to be better players – but look at the mountain they need to climb just to keep up with their drafted peers! What I'm saying is, you aren't going to find as many undrafted players becoming stars as you once did. I feel strongly about this when it comes to college hockey. There may still be the odd gem coming out of Europe, and Artemi Panarin proved that just five years ago. But in college? The days of the undrafted star might be done. Torey Krug might be the last.

Look at last year's crop. At the time, Max Veronneau was the best of them. What's he done? The top undrafted players in the league now besides Panarin, Krug and Sergei Bobrovsky are Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Iafallo and Tyler Johnson. Neil Pionk is coming off a great year and Nate Schmidt is having himself a solid career. Mats Zuccarello has had himself a really nice career with several seasons considered fantasy-worthy, and Frank Vatrano could still yet become something decent. But that's it. And Iafallo and Vatrano are the only relatively new ones.

Will there ever again be an undrafted player come out of the NCAA and score 65 points in the NHL? Marchessault and Johnson were signed out of junior (both by Tampa Bay – well done). What are we looking at – every five years 'maybe' you get one undrafted college player who reaches the 55-point mark? And every five years 'maybe' you get one undrafted Eur