The Fantasy Prospects Report was released on June 14! If you didn't pick it up, you can do so here. The NHL Draft is coming Thursday and Friday!
Unrestricted Free Agency opens July 13 and the NHL Entry Draft is July 7 (round one) and July 8 (the other rounds).
The Magic Man Pavel Datsyuk took last season off and now, at age 43, he has indicated that he will be announcing his retirement from pro hockey very soon. I remember that he was scouted out of the middle of nowhere in Russia, and drafted 171st overall in 1998 because no other scout even knew about him (or they heard of him but hadn't made the difficult journey to the middle of nowhere to watch him play). Back in the late 90s, even drafted prospects were off the radar – and to me, Datsyuk remained off the radar for the two years that he played in Russia after being drafted. That sort of thing is nearly impossible these days, with social media (and the Prospects Report!).
Datsyuk made the NHL in 2001-02 and had 35 points in his rookie season. From there, he was a fantasy owner's dream. A nice, steady trajectory upwards, going from 35 to 51 to 68 to 87 to 97! His best fantasy season was in 2007-08 when he was 29 years old, posting 31 goals, 97 points and going plus-41, not to mention adding 23 points in the playoffs. An eight-time 65-point player, a four-time 87-point player and to me a first-year lock for the HHOF.
This situation with Ivan Fedotov is quite serious. In case you hadn't heard, the Philly prospect goaltender signed with the Flyers and, to me, was a great dark horse. But he left his final day of training and was about to head to North America and was pulled aside by the Russian Army and charged with not fulfilling his military duties. He's 25 and doesn't have a huge window to earn an NHL job, so any extensive military stay (more than two years, I'd say) would be crippling. More details: