Every Sunday, we share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Alexander MacLean and Dobber
1. My thoughts on Valeri Nichushkin and his white-hot start to the campaign: I think they guy is for real. Obviously not a 150-point player, but he’s exploding for 70 points in 70 games as a 27-year-old in Todd Bertuzzi-like fashion.
Yes, it’s a little out of nowhere, but big players like this almost always break out at 26, 27 or even 28. He showed signs that this was in him in 2020-21 – especially late. And in 2021-22, though he missed 20 games, Nichushkin finally surged ahead with big points (and big minutes on both special teams). He’s ascended to point-per-game status, though I am as of yet not convinced he can be relied on to regularly play 80 games.
Many of his owners are thinking they could sell him high right now, but I’m of the opinion that even trading a 70-point player for him would actually be selling low. I don’t make these knee-jerk reactions easily. At this point he’s the driver on his line, not a passenger. (oct24)
2. It isn’t really a big surprise that Jesper Bratt is faring well to start the year; he was a guy often discussed, positively, in these Ramblings in the offseason. The surprise is just how well he is faring to start the year: tied for fourth in the league lead in points, tied for second in assists, doing that skating just 17:14. It has just been an unbelievable start to the year for Bratt, even as the team has struggled at times (particularly in goal). Even with regression built in, Bratt is well on his way to superseding point-per-game status this year. What could he do if he were skating 20 minutes a night and not 17:14? I hope we get to find out because this is a superstar taking flight and I’d like to see how he can handle heavier minutes. My guess is: just fine, thank you. (oct27)
3. Danton Heinen is a Dobber Darling. Even though I had to give up on him a couple of years ago, I always keep an eye on my darlings and root them on. And if and when they eventually do break out, I don’t get surprised because that’s why they became darlings in the first place – they just took longer to get there. But at this point, to me, a “break out” for Heinen would be 50-p