It finally feels as if there is some light at the end of the tunnel. No dates are set in stone, but folks, hockey is coming back sometime in the near future. While this is surely a breath of relief for all hockey fans, it sadly puts a confirmed end to all fantasy. To learn a little more about the impact this will have on your respected seasons, the draft lottery, and playoff pools, check out some tips from Dobber's own Ian Gooding here.
In other news, Dobber released its Top 200 Fantasy Prospects list for the month of May. That’s right, even with no games, the movements never quit. For this week’s installment of The Journey, I wanted to take a look at a few players who made nice jumps, and those who took some harsh falls.
Jesse Puljujarvi – Edmonton Oilers (March – 67, April – 65, May – 44 )
That’s right folks, the infamous Puljujarvi has crawled his way back into the top-50 of this list. You can thank a productive, resurgent season in the Liiga for this jump. Following a difficult transition in Edmonton, the 22-year-old took his talents back to his homeland for the 2019-20 season, suiting up for his former team (Karpat) in Finland's top league. Impressively, he picked up 53 points (24G + 29A) through 56 games and finished fourth in league scoring.
So, does this performance in Finland warrant a second chance in the NHL? If you were to ask me, the answer is yes. He may not be the top-line winger that many teams pegged him for back in 2017, but he still holds many intangibles that keep him right in a top-6 conversation. There is no denying that his time with the Oilers was filled with bumps, however, it’s hard for me to pin that on a lack of talent. As a top-5 pick, rushing in players before they are developmentally ready does happen and I personally believe that there is a case to be made here. Sometimes, patience is key and if he were to grow overseas for a year or two before making the jump, it could have been a different story. I think him heading home to grow his game is a very positive and necessary decision for his future.