Ramblings: Outlooks on Kraken, Flyers, and Other Teams; McMichael; Byfield Update – October 7

Michael Clifford


Hockey fans around the world are starting to rejoice at the same time as the countdown to the season winds down. We're five days from the start of the season, and it sure seems preseason goes faster than we remember? At least it did for me.

Anyway, this weekend is a big weekend for fantasy hockey drafts so let's get to some help for the fantasy owners out there.

Of course, there is our 2021 Dobber Hockey Guide. It has been updated throughout exhibition and is sure to help anyone from the amateur hockey fan to the hardcore fantasy analyst. We have projections, rankings, depth charts, prospects, sleepers, busts, power-play configurations, and a whole lot more. Dig in.

Secondly, the KKUPFL Tier 1 Draft from the fellas at Keeping Karlsson. If podcasts or YouTube videos are more your thing, I joined the KK guys for the Draft of Drafts, as it were. These have auction values but there are dozens of players discussed.

Finally, I'm going to take the next two Ramblings to give all my thoughts on this NHL season, as best I can. I am going to discuss the teams and the league today, and then tomorrow I'll talk important players. The first part will have some team predictions, league trend predictions, and the like. Part two will discuss specific players and their values. Good? Good. Let's roll.


It has been funny to see the reactions to Seattle this summer/fall. I am in the camp of most people that the Kraken didn't do nearly well enough at the expansion draft. They didn't really hold teams over the barrel to load up on picks and prospects as they probably could and should have.

With that said, that Seattle may not have drafted the best team they could, or acquired as many draft picks as they could, doesn't mean this is a bad team. We can't let one piece of information affect the other because they're not relevant. The number of draft picks they have next year doesn't tell us whether the roster they have now is good or bad. I think that's something that is getting people to see the Kraken as a worse roster than they really are.

This Seattle team isn't bad. The top line of Schwartz-McCann-Eberle, for example. How much worse is that than, say, Comtois-Zegras-Rakell? Or Dahlen-Couture-Meier? Or Arvidsson-Kopitar-Brown? In other words, is that top line demonstrably worse than many of the top lines in their own division? Maybe, maybe not. It's at least a conversation. They also have Joonas Donskoi on the second line, a guy who has been on the second line in Colorado – a Cup contender – in recent seasons. They have Calle Jarnkrkok – a good defensive winger who can score 15-20 goals – on the third line. While they may not have gamebreakers like a Panarin or a McDavid, they have a deep forward group without glaring weaknesses. Not being bad in some areas can be as important as being elite in others. It gives them an advantage over some of the teams across their division and conference.

The same goes with the blue line.