My first Ramblings of the 2020-21 NHL campaign. Buckle up.
What I've found this year, as it is in the real hockey world, that the prospect pool for drafting was the best it has been in years. Generally I am happy with my ability to pick up players later in the draft. I find prospects in that 20- to 23-year-old range and pick them up, and generally they pan out if not that year than by the season after. But I couldn't ignore the deep draft this year and the high upside of so many players. I aggressively traded to get a couple of higher draft picks and as a result, I had a nice injection of youth that my team needed. Hopefully this avoids any rebuilds for the near future and I can enjoy a lengthy stay as a competitive team. Next year things will be back to normal. Once again I won't care as much that I lack high draft picks, and once again I won't trip over my own mother to grab an 18-year-old prospect.
I had three drafts this season, all in the last two weeks, and I do have some observations that I'll share below.
Are people reaching for Egor Sharangovich?
It's always exciting when a player emerges from out of nowhere. But I find fantasy owners overcompensate for this by taking the player too early. He's not going to be this year's Dominik Kubalik. The hype around him, the 'real hockey' hype, is about his tremendous improvement as an overall hockey player. And he's found the confidence in his breakout KHL season that has him shooting more – and scoring more. His shot volume is way up to nearly three shots per game in his 34 KHL games. He scored 17 times in those 34 games for an inflated SH% of 17.9%. He offers good speed, reasonable size, and a sound work ethic that has endeared him in the hearts of Devils fans. I can see him becoming a 20-goal, 40-point player almost immediately. But his upside doesn't go much higher than that. I think if all goes well, a fair outlook for his peak is 25 goals and 45 points. If you want to cross your fingers and have everything work out perfectly for him, then highest I would go at this point looking ahead five years is something in the high-50s if he has continued chemistry with Jack Hughes. That's nothing to sneeze at, and I can adjust this as I see more, but honestly that's it. The easy money is on the first scenario (20 goals, 40 points).
He's no Kubalik because Kubal