The Journey: Highlighting Maccelli, Spence, and Others (March 2022)
Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way. This week, we’ll jump around doing some quick hits—brief observations about prospects from a range of leagues who are worthy of note.
Timelines for Pro vs. Junior Prospects
The longer I play in keeper and dynasty leagues, the more I've started mentally bumping the value of prospects like Matias Maccelli, who are producing well at a young age in the AHL. Would you prefer Adam Beckman (MIN) or Sasha Pastujov (ANA), for instance? Beckman led the WHL in scoring two years ago but Pastujov, as a 2021 draft pick, might have more buzz right now, especially after roaring out of the gates this year in the OHL. Pastujov has since come back down to earth, and both he (54 points in 45 OHL games) and Beckman (24 points in 45 AHL games) have been somewhat underwhelming.
Given the choice, I would lean towards the underperforming AHL guy because he's a couple years closer than someone doing pretty well in junior. Beckman could conceivably get a call up to the Wild any time, whereas Pastujov is likely at least a couple years away. That's two years where he's taking up a spot on your farm instead of providing even depth coverage as an NHL rookie. Even though Beckman isn't having the strongest year on paper, he's likely grappling with all the intangibles of the pro game that don't come into play in junior. If he can figure things out, he could be contributing to your team by next year.