Thursday, August 25, 2016

Coyotes Add Crouse To Take On Bolland

To Arizona Pos Age GP G/W P Years Cap
Dave Bolland F 30 25 1 5 3 $5.5 mil
Lawson Crouse F 19 0 0 0 3 $894k
To Florida Pos Age GP G/W P Years Cap
2017 3rd Round Draft Pick
Conditional 2018 2nd Round Draft Pick

The Arizona Coyotes are taking on another pretty good asset in order to help a team deal with some cap struggles, as they have acquired a former 1st round draft pick in forward Lawson Crouse, while taking on a lump of a salary in Dave Bolland for a couple of draft picks.

Crouse, a top end prospect with size and skill, will be a big add to this franchise and certainly has some potential to make the jump into the NHL this season, but the Coyotes are not necessarily going to be a cake walk to join, given the competition in the queue.  He will certainly be a player to watch in training camp, as he could potentially be a 30-point player, if he makes the team full-time.

In Bolland, the Coyotes will take on a good chunk of salary for the next three seasons and there are some suggestions out there that he may not be ready to play to start the season, as a lower-body injury cost him the last 26 games of the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs with the Panthers and that injury limited his season to only 25 games.  Once upon a time, Bolland was a reasonable late round option for the hockey pool, but even if he does play any games this season, he doesn't carry any recommendations for even a sleeper pick.

It was a pretty steep cost for the Panthers to move $5.5 million of cap space out, as Crouse does have some real upside to his game.  Still, with all of that extra space, the Panthers can really add some talent to help them win this season and they still have a kid like Jayce Hawryluk in the wings, who could make the jump and be one of those rookies that sneaks onto everyone's radar this season.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

World Cup Player Notes (Aug 24)

The last word we saw on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was that he was dealing with a knee issue, but surgery wasn't really in the cards and that was back in the middle of May. One would wonder if rehab through the Summer didn't go as planned, as he was replaced on Sweden's World Cup roster on Wednesday, as Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm will be taking his spot.

There has been no word on what the injury to Kronwall will do to his availability for training camp, the preseason or the start of the regular season, but he is going on the list as a player to watch through the start of camp. joining Teemu Pulkkinen as a player on their roster in question and the two long-term injuries to Johan Frazen and Joe Vitale, who they don't expect to have this season.

The Swedes are now adding a good up-and-coming defender in Lindholm and is trending the right way in his career path.  Last season, the 22-year old finished with 28 points in 80 games and the expectation is that he'll continue to gain in those numbers.  The early projections on my end have him at 30 points, but those could certainly change with a good tournament and getting that head start to his year.

Stars Add Hudler to Their Offense

The top ranked unrestricted free agent has now come off the list on Wednesday morning, as the Dallas Stars have signed veteran forward Jiri Hudler to a 1-year, $2 million deal.

The addition of the veteran Hudler confirms the theory that the Stars are going to bring as many guns to every fight, as the talented forward should be able to add a little bit more play-making ability to a team that will be about scoring a lot more goals then their opponents, rather than the playing tight to the vest styles of recent memory.

The 32-year old Hudler had a bit of a down year in the 2016 season, splitting time between Calgary and Florida, playing 72 games, scoring 16 goals and 46 points in the year, good enough for 103rd among all forwards.

Looking at the lineup, the Stars are likely going to have Hudler somewhere in their top six, but even their top nine is going to look like an offensive force, something that they would probably prefer to have.  I think it will be a bounce back year, to a point, where I can see him get 55 points this year in Dallas.  He won't get the 70+ points that he had in Calgary, since it won't be top line minutes, but he'll play a big part in the new Dallas offense.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
Jamie Benn F 85 N
Tyler Seguin F 80 N
Jason Spezza F 60 N
Patrick Sharp F 60 N
John Klingberg D 60 N
Jiri Hudler F 55 N
Antti Niemi G 50 N
Kari Lehtonen G 50 N
Cody Eakin F 40 N
Valeri Nichushkin F 40 N
Ales Hemsky F 35 N
Antoine Roussel F 25 N
Radek Faksa F 25 N
Julius Honka D 25 Y
MattIas Janmark F 20 N
Patrick Eaves F 20 N
Johnny Oduya D 20 N
Dan Hamhuis D 20 N
Jordie Benn D 20 N
Patrik Nemeth D 15 N
Adam Cracknell F 10 N
Jamie Oleksiak D 10 N
Andrew Bodnarchuk D 5 N
Stephen Johns D 5 Y

Salary CapThe salary cap situation remains fairly fluid with the addition of Hudler to their ranks, as their current projected 23-man roster still has $5.2 million to play with for the rest of the Summer.  Valeri Nichushkin is still in need of a new restricted free agent contract, just out of his entry-level deal, which will likely be a bridge deal.  There should be plenty of cap space for that deal and then they should be shopping for some better defensemen for the season.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Hockey News Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide 2016-17

At first glance,  +The Hockey News pool guide for the coming season is ramping up Connor-mania and it's hard not to look at that cover and think to yourself, "yeah, I think I would take Connor McDavid with the 1st overall pick this year."  His finish to the 2016 season left a pleasant taste in a lot of mouths, I would believe and the belief is that he is only going to get better and that could ramp up in a big hurry.

Now, they do project McDavid to lead all scorers in the league with 96 points in the coming season and as much as I think that might be a little high, compared to my previously published projections, it isn't the highest total of points, thanks to my pool scoring system, so don't be fooled.

If you go back to goalies, right near the end of the magazine, you'll find that Braden Holtby is projected for 46 wins and 7 shutouts, which would give him 106 points in the pool and he is far and away the best player to take.  So, there is that.  The goalies, especially the top end keepers, tend to go pretty early at my draft, but if your pool doesn't figure goalies to be quite as potent, then McDavid is the way to go then.

So, we'll say Holtby is tops, McDavid is next, then we have Sidney Crosby coming in at 95 points, Jonathan Quick in at 92 points, Patrick Kane down to 90 points, Carey Price returns with 86 points and then Jake AllenMatthew Murray in at 84 points.  Rounding out the top 10 we have Vladimir Tarasenko John Tavares tied at 83 points.

Out of this list, we see that the Hockey News is confident that Murray will indeed unseat Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh.  It looks like the expectations of the Penguins are still quite high, since they have Fleury still picking up another 29 wins, on top of Murray's 37 wins, which suggests a 66-win season.  66-16-0 would be an off the charts year, unless Fleury was to get moved at some point in the year, which would make some sense.

To the Hockey News' credit, they did point out that Petr Mrazek was going to take over in Detroit, edging Jimmy Howard out of the number one spot and by the numbers this year, there is no going back, with Mrazek in at 58 points and Howard in at 30.

Shall we stay in the crease?  Last year, their list was awfully short, only ranking 45 goalies and that wasn't good enough for the participation for the 2015 pool, let alone last season's pool, which saw 27 teams and 54 goalies taken.  Looks like they've made up for that, listing 60 goalies, so if we repeat the 27-team season, there will be enough names to go around.

Other revelations from their list include Ben Bishop still the number one guy in Tampa, since he's still going to don their uniform on opening night.  The Hockey News still has Ryan Miller over Jacob Markstrom in Vancouver, Brian Elliott will win 31 games in Calgary, Antti Niemi will best Kari Lehtonen in Dallas and the pairing of Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss might get much closer to a platoon system.

We already saw the top five forwards in the top 10, but Jamie Benn, Johnny Gaudreau (once he's signed), Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nikita Kucherov (once he's signed) and Alex Ovechkin will certainly have something to say, rounding out the top 10 of forwards here.

Ovechkin is slated to top Tarasenko in the goals department, suggesting another 50-goal campaign is upcoming, compared to his compatriot's 45-goal projection, while Steven Stamkos is up for 42 markers, Joe Pavelski could hit 40 and Kane should be at 40 as well.

The Hockey News has big things on the horizon for Alexander Radulov, as he joins the Montreal Canadiens in this circus, projecting him for 60 points this season.  I don't have him doing half of that and that's where I'm prepared to take him.

Among the rookie forwards, Auston Matthews could hit 65 points in Toronto, while Patrik Laine is down with 46 points in Winnipeg and Jesse Puljujarvi is also with 46 points in Edmonton.  William Nylander in Toronto, Dylan Strome in Arizona and Mitch Marner, also in Toronto, are all projected above Laine and Puljujarvi this year, 55, 50 & 49 points, respectively.  This certainly does have the makings of a good rookie race among forwards.

I have a feeling that we'll see a better brand of offense from the blueline this season, but the Hockey News doesn't seem to be so sure.  Sure, Erik Karlsson is projected to have a 77-point season, a top 10 skater, but the drop Brent Burns down to 64 points, Oliver Ekman-Larsson rises to 61 points, Roman Josi and Kris Letang finish around 60 points and P.K. Subban sticks with 59 points, rounding out the top six.

Some of the surprise notes in their list include a guy like Shayne Gostisbehere, who appeared to be nothing less than a dynamo, they now have as a regular Joe Schmoe, down with 43 points, well down in the rankings.  I don't think it was surprising that they projected Shea Weber to have less points than Subban this season, but only 47 points seems a bit low.  Everything else, you could make somewhat of an argument for, I suppose... although the difference between Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, 47 & 39 points, seems a bit of a big gap.  Maybe that's just me then.

Overall, it is a fairly comprehensive magazine, which is generally worth it's value in reading, even if it is only used as a preseason gauge to the rest of the season.  I would always recommend that you do up a comprehensive list of your own, just to make sure you're getting what you really want, at times that you feel more comfortable taking players and then using guides like this or my own projections as helpful hints or suggestions, throwing large grains of salt at them as well.  This one still remains the best one out there, even though it isn't quite as dynamic as a blog site and has to be done pretty early to make publication dates.

Senators Bridge Ceci

On Tuesday, the Ottawa Senators finally came to terms with defenseman Cody Ceci, as the two sides signed off on a 2-year bridge deal, reportedly worth $5.6 million in total.

According to some reports out there, Ceci's side was looking for an immediate long-term deal, somewhere in the 6-year range, but one could argue that his numbers have been decent, but not where the team would him to be to secure him for the long haul.  When this 2-year deal is complete, he will remain a restricted free agent and he will have arbitration rights, where he could really get a nice payday.

About his numbers, his 2016 season was good, but wasn't awesome.  In 75 games, the 22-year old finished with 10 goals and 26 points, which was still good enough to be 59th overall in defenseman scoring, but wasn't going to earn him that long-term deal.

His potential still has some road to be reached and I think there is an upside to his game that the Senators haven't seen and this deal will help motivate him to get there.  The current projection on him in my numbers is 30 points, a number that still has some play to it, for sure.  Those projected 30 points would have him in the 11th or 12th round in my last mock draft and getting him there could be a real bargain.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Bobby Ryan 7.250 Dion Phaneuf 7.000 Craig Anderson 4.200
Mike Hoffman 5.188 Erik Karlsson 6.500
Derick Brassard 5.000 Cody Ceci 2.800
Mark Stone 3.500
Kyle Turris 3.500
Zack Smith 1.888
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 0.900
Clarke MacArthur 4.650 Marc Methot 4.900 Andrew Hammond 1.350
Chris Neil 1.500
Curtis Lazar 0.925
Chris Kelly 0.900
Tom Pyatt 0.800 Mark Borowiecki 1.100
Mike Blunden 0.738 Thomas Chabot 0.894
Nick Paul 0.670 Chris Wideman 0.800
Logan Brown 0.925 Patrick Sieloff 0.894 Matthew O'Connor 0.925
Matt Puempel 0.900 Mikael Wikstrand 0.813 Chris Driedger 0.755
Casey Bailey 0.874 Michael Kostka 0.800
Buddy Robinson 0.750 Andreas Englund 0.776
Francis Perron 0.703 Fredrik Claesson 0.700
Phil Varone 0.700 Macoy Erkamps 0.655
Ryan Dzingel 0.700 Ben Harpur 0.653
Max McCormick 0.650 Cody Donaghey 0.617
Ryan Rupert 0.632
Vincent Dunn 0.611
Zach Stortini 0.600
Chad Nehring 0.600

Pool worthy, non-pool roster players, assumed roster fill-ins injured/retired cap hits, in the system

Salary CapThe cap hit on Ceci's deal is very reasonable, especially given the upside that this kid has offensively.  The Senators will be prepared to pay him appropriately, but his $2.8 million right now is a much better reflection of what he has done, more than what he will be worth, but he'll get that in the Summer of 2018.

The 23-man roster, in colour above, is now coming in with $6 million and change before they hit the salary cap ceiling, which will leave them lots of room to make some moves, if necessary, closer to the deadline or even before.  The Senators have some young players that could easily slip into those blue spots and really make this roster interesting.

World Cup Player Notes (Aug 23)

The off-season core muscle surgery that Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn undergone will indeed keep him out of the World Cup of Hockey and he was replaced today by San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture.

When the surgery was originally announced in the middle of July, the outlook was unclear as to whether or not Benn would have been able to participate in the tournament, but it looks like the Stars and Hockey Canada are going to take the cautious approach to his recovery and why wouldn't they?  The two sides are only dealing with an MVP finalist and the regular season is far more important than this exhibition tournament.

Couture is coming off a very good Stanley Cup Finals run, where him and his Sharks did fall short of the overall goal, but this tournament should help him to get on track for a much better 2017 regular season, trying to improve upon his 36-point total (52 games) in the 2016 season.

A Look at the 2017 Winter Classic Logo

It may have been announced a little while ago, but it didn't really get a feature on the blog when it happened, but the 2017 Winter Classic will go in St. Louis this season, where the Blues will face the regular opponent for this extravaganza, the Chicago Blackhawks.

At the beginning of August, shortly after the Heritage Classic announcement, the league showed off the look of the new logo for the Winter Classic, which is set to go on January 2, 2017 this season.  Unfortunately, there wasn't any immediate looks at the logos that the two teams would be using for this game, like we had for the Canadian game.

Thanks to 27 hockey pool teams last season, the Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal featured 29 players in the hockey pool, some of which didn't play, due to various reasons, like injury and being in the minors, but that was still a lot of picks to be noticed in this game.

This time around, it could be very much the same, as the Blues and Blackhawks are both likely to be very popular at this season's hockey pool draft in October and we will have at least one opportunity to change up players.  In a mock draft done today, done to my early projections, with 27 teams again for the coming year, I have 24 players taken from these two teams, including four players taken in the 1st round.

I am just polishing off the finishing touches to my mini-games post, where there is a chance that a game like the Winter Classic may have some meaning in the mini-games for the coming season.  Stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2016

World Cup Notes (Aug 22)

As you may have noticed, we're counting down to the World Cup of Hockey draft date on the right side of the screen. We are less than three weeks away from the draft itself, which isn't far away at all.

Excitement is starting to ramp up a little bit, as Sportsnet's marketing campaign is really hitting its stride, so you won't be able to get away from it, if you're watching Jays games or something similar.

With all of that being said, Sportsnet has now released the calendars for all the pre-tournament action, including the practices and exhibition games.  Everything appears to be getting started on September 5th, when all of the players start reporting for their mini-camps, likely to assess the team's strategies and plans for the tourney itself.

There won't be a great deal of coverage on the blog, it will be saved more for the roster moves, if there are injuries and other miscellaneous moves.  Everything that will be covered on the tournament itself, will be easily accessible by using the tag for the World Cup, which you can see here.  We've already seen some player movement, so stay up to date.

Roster sheets will be provided at the draft, so everyone will be prepared the same way, come draft day.  It should be a fun one, I'm thinking.  It will certainly give me a good dry run for the main show, which will go on October 8th.

Fringe Signing (Aug 22)

Looks like we're going to have a good goalie battle going on in Toronto this Fall, as the Maple Leafs have added Jhonas Enroth to their roster, signing him to a 1-year, $750,000 deal on Monday.

The 28-year old will battle against Garrett Sparks for the back-up job behind Frederik Andersen this October and having some veteran experience, should help his cause in earning the job.  Last season with the Kings, Enroth appeared in 16 games, registering 7 wins and 2 shutouts for 18 points in hockey pool terms.

Until there's a clear winner for the job, I currently have Enroth and Sparks splitting the back-up hockey pool projections, each taking 10 points.  This would keep them both down in the rankings come draft day, but these projections will change as we get to know more about the team, as it unfolds.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Broadway Wins the Vesey Sweeps

Jimmy Vesey, the former Nashville 3rd round draft pick realized his marketability at some point in the 2016 season or possibly even earlier, opting to take advantage of a loophole in the NCAA/NHL relationship, whereas finishing your collegiate program will allow you to opt for unrestricted free agency, much to the chagrin of the team that initially drafted you.

Officially, Vesey and a couple handfuls of other collegiate players all became UFA's on August 15th, which would allow these players to negotiate freely with other teams.  The 23-year old was patient and talked to just about every team and on Friday, he chose the Rangers.

It is expected that Vesey will receive the rookie maximum with his new 2-year entry-level deal, which will pay him $925,000 for the season and act as his annual cap hit for the year.  There will be a number of bonuses as well, which will be calculated out at the end of the year, which could have an impact on next season's cap number for the team.

The Rangers management team seems to believe that the forward should be able to step right into the lineup through training camp and obviously, they have some high expectations for him as well.  The most recent Hobey Baker Award winner is thought to be a solid two-way prospect with some offensive upside and could very well be one of those kids to watch in training camp.  The Rangers have about three spots available in the forward ranks, but their depth up front doesn't show an immediate spot in the top six for the kid, unless he truly dazzles.

World Cup Player Notes (Aug 19)

The shoulder injury/surgery that Alexander Steen has been recovering from will keep him from playing in the World Cup of Hockey for Sweden next month and it was made official with the announcement that Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell will take his spot on the team.

Steen underwent his surgery after the Blues were bounced from the playoffs, back in June, and his recovery time was going to be in the 3-to-4 months range, which may also force him to miss some time around training camp as well.  Steen is trying to be ready for the start of the regular season and to do so, he would need a little bit more time on the shelf.

The 23-year old Rakell had finished his second full season with the Ducks and he has been a solid contributor in those two full seasons, in the 2016 season he finished with 43 points in 72 games.  He is currently a restricted free agent, but all RFA's will be eligible to play, thanks to the agreement for insurance on those players.

With the tournament set to get started less than a month from now, it will soon be time to start thinking about camps and then the draft pool, which will be set to go on September 11th.

One Down, One to Go... Monahan Re-Signs

The Calgary Flames' agenda for the Summer included having to re-sign a couple of their future pillars of the franchise, including centre Sean Monahan, who they were able to lock up on Friday morning, finalizing a 7-year deal, reportedly worth $6.375 million against the salary cap each year.

The Flames' 1st round pick in 2013 (6th overall) has stepped in immediately for this club and has provided hope through some gloomy seasons that the franchise is starting to come back around and there wasn't going to be a bridge deal out of his entry-level contract, since his importance was so great.

In the 2016 season, the 21-year old finished with 27 goals and 63 points in 81 games, ranking 44th overall in pool scoring, 27th among all forwards and forming an important duo with still unsigned RFA Johnny Gaudreau, this club really has something to build around.

The early projections are still fairly modest for Monahan, who has been improving season over season and the improvement for the coming year will bump him up into the 65-point range, which should still be good for a 2nd round pick in this year's draft, possibly higher, depending on how good you think the Flames will be in 2017.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Sean Monahan 6.375 Mark Giordano 6.750 Brian Elliott 2.500
Troy Brouwer 4.500 Dougie Hamilton 5.750 Chad Johnson 1.700
Michael Frolik 4.300 Dennis Wideman 5.250
Mikael Backlund 3.575 TJ Brodie 4.650
Sam Bennett 0.925
Matt Stajan 3.125 Ladislav Smid 3.500
Lance Bouma 2.200 Deryk Engelland 2.917
Brandon Bollig 1.250 Jyrki Jokipakka 0.900
Alex Chiasson 0.800
Linden Vey 0.700
Daniel Pribyl 0.925 Oliver Kylington 0.762
Hunter Shinkaruk 0.902
Emile Poirier 0.894
Mark Jankowski 0.925 Kenney Morrison 0.925 Jon Gillies 0.925
Matthew Tkachuk 0.925 Rasmus Andersson 0.787 Mason McDonald 0.823
Morgan Klimchuk 0.894 Keegan Kanzig 0.773 Nick Schneider 0.617
Micheal Ferland 0.825 Brett Kulak 0.657 David Rittich 0.925
Brett Pollock 0.712 Ryan Culkin 0.657
Andrew Mangiapane 0.705 Tyler Wotherspoon 0.625
Hunter Smith 0.693
Garnet Hathaway 0.690
Austin Carroll 0.670
Jamie Devane PTO

Pool worthy, non-pool roster players, assumed roster fill-ins injured/retired cap hits, in the system

Salary CapNow, we wait for the Gaudreau signing, which still hangs in a little bit of limbo, as speculation suggests that he will be looking for the $7 million range, something the Flames would be hard-pressed to afford this season.

The 23-man roster above, everyone in colour, is leaving $6.8 million in cap space for the coming year and you would have to remove one of those forward numbers when Gaudreau signs, which will give the team somewhere north of $7 million, so it will be tight.  The Flames won't go into the season without him, but their negotiation skills will be put to the test to see how much flexibility they will get in this regular season.

Top Prospect Signings (Aug 19)

As of Monday, it was NCAA free agent season, where kids that finished their collegiate careers who didn't sign with their original draft team could opt for unrestricted free agency and it wasn't until Wednesday, before the first player signed.  Former Flames draft pick, defenseman John Gilmour, opted to sign with the New York Rangers, getting a 2-year entry-level deal.

Gilmour played four seasons at Providence, where he had a steady offensive career for his school, finishing with 23 points in 34 games in his senior season.  The scouting report on Gilmour is that despite his size, 5'11" & 180 lbs., he is a strong defender with good instincts and offense upside.  It will be interesting to see where he fits in to the Rangers' system.

On Friday morning, another NCAA grad put pen to paper with another team that he wasn't drafted by, as a former Washington Capitals pick, forward Thomas DiPauli, opted for free agency and chose the Pittsburgh Penguins.  DiPauli, 23, also signed a 2-year entry-level deal with the Penguins, terms and bonuses not disclosed right away.

DiPauli isn't really scouted as great talent for the hockey pool, but he gets a mention, since it is that time of year.  The winger is described more as a plucky two-way player and he could certainly find a role in the bottom six down the road, but I would imagine he would find some time in the minors before the jump to the NHL.

And what's a top prospect post without a top draft pick that signs with his draft team? The Ottawa Senators signed the 11th overall pick in this past June's draft, forward Logan Brown, giving him the maximum 3-year entry-level deal, likely with the base cap hit of $925,000 and then the bonuses would be worked out at the end of each playing season.

Brown is a big-bodied centre, who has all kinds of upside and this was a pretty good pick-up for the Senators, who don't boast a great deal of size through their lineup.  The Senators certainly have some spots in their current projected lineup that could be considered up for grabs, which could make Brown a candidate for at least a tryout at the start of the regular season.  He will certainly be one to keep an eye on through training camp.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cullen Set to Return to Pens

We can now officially add centre Matt Cullen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins' roster list and projections, as the player and team have come to terms on a basic 1-year, $1 million deal for the 2017 season.

Cullen is a 2-time Stanley Cup winner, with Carolina and most recently with Pittsburgh in June, is a veteran of nearly 1,300 games and should be able to still provide depth down the middle, in a bottom six role, but still quite serviceable.  Last year, Cullen played in all 82 games, scoring 16 goals and 32 points, and was right in the midst of the pool worthy forwards, ranking 184th.

Of course, with age, the point projections will take a bit of a tumble and Cullen, 39, should continue to trend downwards, as his role diminishes and his ice-time falls away, but there is still some expectation out there for him and I still think 30 points is a very attainable number for him, especially given that the Penguins are home to many injury prone players and his role could improve through injury.  I wouldn't go too crazy in trying to pick him up too early, rather he would be your last forward in the draft, if anything, but I don't think he could possibly hurt your pool team in that role.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
Sidney Crosby F 90 N
Evgeni Malkin F 80 N
Kris Letang D 75 N
Phil Kessel F 65 N
Marc-Andre Fleury G 55 N
Patric Hornqvist F 55 N
Matt Murray G 45 Y
Chris Kunitz F 40 N
Carl Hagelin F 40 N
Nick Bonino F 40 N
Matt Cullen F 30 N
Trevor Daley D 30 N
Olli Maatta D 30 N
Eric Fehr F 25 N
Justin Schultz D 25 N
Brian Dumoulin D 20 N
Derrick Pouliot D 20 N
Conor Sheary F 15 N
Bryan Rust F 15 N
Ian Cole D 15 N
Tom Kuhnhackl F 10 N
Scott Wilson F 5 Y
Oskar Sundqvist F 5 Y
Kevin Porter F 5 N
Dustin Jeffrey F 5 N
David Warsofsky D 5 N
Stuart Percy D 5 Y

Salary CapThe Penguins and their cap situation is going to rely heavily on the Long Term Injured Reserve relief, as they gone over the cap ceiling by about $3.25 million and they can use the $3.75 million that Pascal Dupuis has left on his current deal for the season to help them out.  Obviously, taking a $1 million deal was one of the only ways that Cullen was going to re-sign with the team this season.

Coyotes Bring Back Vrbata

The Arizona Coyotes didn't want to keep the recycled Antoine Vermette around, but they are definitely okay with bringing Radim Vrbata back into the fold, as the two sides came to an agreement, which is believed to be a 1-year, $1 million deal, which will be a 35+ contract, eligible for bonuses.  Those bonuses have also been reported to be in the neighbourhood of $2.25 million, if the goals are met for them.

The deal was reported to be close on Monday and Tuesday, the announcement was made official from the team, ending the speculation.

The 35-year old didn't have the best of seasons with the Vancouver Canucks in 2016, certainly when you compare them to his career numbers.  In 63 games, the winger finished with 13 goals and 27 points, often not lining up on the 1st line, the role he was brought in to fill, which was very strange.

Nevertheless, he is moving back to some familiar territory and he will looked upon to help guide the team's youth movement.  The overall offense of this group does improve with the addition of Vrbata, but they are still in need of a top end centre to really get the best out of their wingers.  This will keep the overall projections down a little bit, but there have been some improvements to the goaltending, since the new offense could bring another win or two, in theory.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
Oliver Ekman-Larsson D 60 N
Mike Smith G 55 N
Max Domi F 45 N
Martin Hanzal F 45 N
Radim Vrbata F 45 N
Shane Doan F 40 N
Anthony Duclair F 40 N
Tobias Rieder F 40 N
Louis Domingue G 35 N
Jamie McGinn F 35 N
Dylan Strome F 35 Y
Michael Stone D 35 N
Brad Richardson F 30 N
Alex Goligoski D 30 N
Jordan Martinook F 20 N
Connor Murphy D 20 N
Ryan White F 15 N
Kevin Connauton D 15 N
Luke Schenn D 15 N
Klas Dahlbeck D 10 N
Zbynek Michalek D 10 N
Tyler Gaudet F 5 Y
Jamie McBain D 5 N
Jarred Tinordi D 5 N

Salary CapEven if Vrbata hits his targets for his bonuses, the Coyotes have more than enough cap space this season to facilitate them and not take any extra hits on next season's totals.  With the experienced winger on the books, the projected 25-man roster is now coming in with $5.3 million to spare under the ceiling.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2017 Pool Projections: Rookies

Last season, the rookie pool was a little bit of a bust, since someone decided to rush off the starting line with four rookies at the draft, but to Ryan's credit, he had picked four decent rookies and they actually kept him in the race for the big money for quite a while, but that didn't quite last and winning his money back was a nice consolation prize.

This season, the rookie pool is a possibility, but not yet a certainty and there will be more details about that here in the next week or so.  With it being a possibility, the rookies are still going to be highlighted, as we could see a pretty good class break through to the bigs and put up some numbers.

These numbers are still fairly preliminary, but it's a good starting point, I think.  We'll get to see a few of these players at the World Cup, so we'll have a good idea of what they are going to bring to the table in the coming season, while the rest, we'll have to wait and see they even make it out of training camp.

With Jimmy Vesey's UFA decision upcoming, he'll also be added to this list, but it hasn't quite been decided what he will be projected to do yet.  There might be an updated list published, closer to the hockey pool draft, October 8th, so stay tuned.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Team
Auston Matthews F 60 TOR
Patrik Laine F 55 WPG
Matt Murray G 45 PIT
Jesse Puljujarvi F 45 EDM
William Nylander F 40 TOR
Oliver Bjorkstrand F 40 CBJ
Pavel Zacha F 35 NJD
Mikko Rantanen F 35 COL
Sebastian Aho F 35 CAR
Timo Meier F 35 SAN
Nick Schmaltz F 35 CHI
Dylan Strome F 35 ARI
Hunter Shinkaruk F 30 CAL
Michael Dal Colle F 30 NYI
Joshua Ho-Sang F 30 NYI
Ivan Provorov D 30 PHI
Brady Skjei D 25 NYR
Kasperi Kapanen F 25 TOR
Slater Koekkoek D 25 TAM
Sonny Milano F 25 CBJ
Kyle Connor F 25 WPG
Julius Honka D 25 DAL
Mark Jankowski F 25 CAL
Garret Sparks G 20 TOR
Calvin Pickard G 20 COL
Mitchell Marner F 20 TOR
Connor Brickley F 20 FLA
Ryan Pulock D 20 NYI
Kevin Fiala F 20 NAS
Jordan Weal F 20 PHI
Ivan Barbashev F 20 STL
Zach Werenski D 20 CBJ
Nikita Tryamkin D 15 VAN
Hudson Fasching F 15 BUF
Noel Acciari F 15 BOS
Joshua Morrissey D 15 WPG
Rocco Grimaldi F 10 COL
Brock McGinn F 10 CAR
Nikolay Goldobin F 10 SAN
Fredrik Claesson D 10 OTT
Adam Pelech D 10 NYI
Sergey Tolchinsky F 10 CAR
Madison Bowey D 10 WAS
Troy Grosenick G 10 SAN
Ryan Gropp F 5 NYR
Pavel Buchnevich F 5 NYR
Linus Ullmark G 5 BUF
Shea Theodore D 5 ANA
Scott Wilson F 5 PIT
Nick Paul F 5 OTT
Darren Dietz D 5 WAS
Jordan Oesterle D 5 EDM
Max McCormick F 5 OTT
Oskar Sundqvist F 5 PIT
Josh Anderson F 5 CBJ
Casey Nelson D 5 BUF
Anthony Mantha F 5 DET
Tanner Kero F 5 CHI
Tyler Gaudet F 5 ARI
Stephen Johns D 5 DAL
Garnet Hathaway F 5 CAL
Blake Pietila F 5 NJD
Scott Mayfield D 5 NYI
Scott Harrington D 5 CBJ
Tyler Wotherspoon D 5 CAL
JC Lipon F 5 WPG
Joel Vermin F 5 TAM
Yanni Gourde F 5 TAM
Luke Witkowski D 5 TAM
Stuart Percy D 5 PIT
Emile Poirier F 5 CAL
Rinat Valiev D 5 TOR
Aaron Dell G 5 SAN
Haydn Fleury D 5 CAR
Marek Hrivik F 5 NYR
Viktor Loov D 5 TOR

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ducks Snap Up Vermette

Of course, the day that you release your pool projections to the world, you immediately have to start the revision process!  The Anaheim Ducks added some depth down the middle, something that actually goes a long ways to their shortcomings that I was mentioning in my post, signing Antoine Vermette to a 2-year deal, reportedly worth $3.5 million.

The 34-year old was just recently bought out by the Coyotes, as Arizona has moved towards playing more of their youth or one would only assume.  Vermette was still productive in the 2016 season, finishing with 17 goals and 38 points in 76 games, which kept him in the pool worthy ranks, sitting 148th among all forwards.

This is a guy that the Ducks could really use and it could really make a bit of a difference in the Pacific Division, which was getting more difficult for everyone playing in the division.  Adding this depth down the middle, just behind Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler and he should make the 3rd line a little more credible through the year.

With the addition of Vermette and his projected 40 points, I believe this makes the Ducks just a little bit better and that added 5 points to the team's number one goalie, John Gibson, lifting his number into the 1st round at 75 points.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
John Gibson G 75 N
Ryan Getzlaf F 70 N
Corey Perry F 70 N
Ryan Kesler F 55 N
Jakob Silfverberg F 45 N
Rickard Rakell F 40 N
Antoine Vermette F 40 N
Sami Vatanen D 40 N
Nick Ritchie F 30 N
Andrew Cogliano F 30 N
Hampus Lindholm D 30 N
Jonathan Bernier G 25 N
Cam Fowler D 25 N
Kevin Bieksa D 25 N
Simon Despres D 15 N
Mason Raymond F 10 N
Clayton Stoner D 10 N
Ryan Garbutt F 5 N
Chris Wagner F 5 N
Nate Thompson F 5 N
Jared Boll F 5 N
Shea Theodore D 5 Y
Korbinian Holzer D 5 N
Nate Guenin D 5 N
Jeff Schultz D 5 N

Salary CapWith some shifts in their overall roster, the are still well-below the salary cap ceiling with their figures, even with Nate Thompson projected to start the year on the Injured Reserve.  The 24-man roster is projected to come in $4.9 million below the ceiling, still leaving plenty of room for any work down the road.

2017 Pool Projections

There! All 30 teams are now published on the blog with their 2017 projections, but take them with a grain of salt... I am a crazy person, after all.

Everyone is looking to pool guides and all sorts of magazines for pool help, but some of those are not really as dynamic as the blog, because of publishing times and such, so I do like to offer up a brand of my own thinking, based on my pool that I run every year.

Saying that, here's what you have to consider when looking at my posts:
  1. In order to be pool worthy, a player's projected points needed to fall into a position where they would be taken among 27 teams (last year's participation), in the 14 rounds (8 forwards, 4 defensemen and 2 goalies).
  2. The 75-point range is good enough to make a player 1st round worthy
  3. In a quick mock draft, 30 points was the lowest forward taken, 20 points was the lowest defenseman taken and 15 points was the lowest goalie taken
Of course, your pool isn't likely going to be the same as mine, so do consider this to be just a guideline of thought, more than actually me telling you that you should pick such and such a player at this time, because that's silly.

More things to consider, this is the middle of August and we are still a long ways away from hockey pool drafts, unless you're taking part in the World Cup of Hockey draft, then it isn't quite as far away, but you know what I mean.  Things are going to change, injuries may occur at the World Cup, signings will happen, rookies will dazzle at training camp and so on and so forth.  As the Summer turns into Fall, I will have more updates on the blog and I will add some dynamic looks at these projections, so stay tuned as we move along.