Welcome back to Forum Buzz, where I peruse the DobberHockey Forums and weigh in on active, heavily debated, or otherwise relevant recent threads, reminding folks just how great a resource the Forums are. Nearly anything might be covered here, other than trades and signings, which usually get their own separate write-ups on the main site and are also normally covered in the next day’s Ramblings, or questions that are specific to salary cap issues, which is the domain of the weekly Capped column. To access the specific forum thread on which a question is based, click on the “Topic” for that question.
Topic #1 –In an eight team league where forward positions don't matter, and categories counted are G, A, SOG, HIT, and PPPts, and 18 forwards are rostered by each team, how should these five players be ranked: Pavel Buchnevich, Roope Hintz, Patrik Laine, Josh Norris, and Brayden Point?
I'm sure the temptation of many will be to put Buchnevich last among this group of players who are more widely known or highly touted. But here's an interesting tidbit – Buchnevich is one of just two players (Tyler Bertuzzi being the other) who's played at least one game in six NHL seasons and seen both his points per game and SOG per game rates rise every single season. As surprising as it may sound, he's also the only one of the above group who bested the point per game mark for 2022-23. Still, he's already 27 years old and plays for a team which found significant success this season in rolling with three scoring lines, whereas each of these other four is seemingly locked into the top six and PP1. The good news is Buchnevich will likely continue to be able to play alongside talented forwards, including, even if not part of PP1, on the man advantage; but on the flip side, when he's getting barely 18:00 per game, picturing him doing better than he did this season is indeed difficult. Still, he's yet to not make strides from one season to the next, and he has natural room to continue to be able to do so, making it difficult to count him out.
Hintz was covered in a recent Goldipucks column, where I noted his stats seem