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