Welcome back to The Journey, where we follow hockey prospects and their paths to the NHL, providing fantasy predictions and analysis along the way.
It's the end of the month again, which means it's time for another edition of sink-or-swim. We’ll examine three former blue-chip prospects whose values have taken a hit and whose futures now seem uncertain. Should you trade them while they still have name recognition or hold until/buy low before they turn things around and get back to their dynamic ways?
Post ideas for future players in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @beegare. Past editions have looked at Kaapo Kakko, Erik Brannstrom, Eeli Tolvanen, Juuso Valimaki, Kailer Yamamoto, Nick Robertson, Cody Glass, Owen Tippett, Jack Roslovic, Filip Zadina, Kirby Dach, and David Farrance. This month, the spotlight is on Martin Necas, Filip Chytil, and Max Comtois.
Before getting to those three, a quick update on Sink-Or-Swim alumni Jack Roslovic. Since being promoted to the top center role in Columbus, the 25-year-old has 12 points in his last eight games. Over that stretch, on top of his (obviously inflated) 123-point pace, he's averaged a hit, 2.6 shots, and 6.6 face off wins per game. The six-minute bump in ice time clearly agrees with him, and his rate stats indicated all along that he was being more productive than his cumulative stats showed. Still, this has been an encouraging stretch for all of us beleaguered Roslovic owners.
The question now will be what to expect from him next year. If we look back beyond these eight games, Roslovic has scored at a 57-point pace over his last 40 games. That lines up almost exactly with his 58-point pace from 2020-21. Like Nico Hischier, who is finally putting it all together around his 300th game, Roslovic is almost 100 games past his projected Breakout Threshold. So is his ceiling in the high 50s? I have a hunch he is capable of pushing well into the 60s—a hunch supported by his high IPP (73) and preferential usage (67 OZ%). Plus, it wouldn't be surprising to see the inconsistent but young and talented Blue Jackets settle down and take a step forward next year. Roslovic would benefit from that and certainly remains an intriguing sleeper if he keeps getting this much ice time.