Stars prospect Valeri Nichushkin

Stars prospect Valeri Nichushkin

The majority of hockey fans, whether they root for a great or terrible team, believe they have great prospects in their farm system. They know the name of the guy or two they took highest in the past couple drafts, so for them, help is always on the way. …The only problem is, every team is in the same situation or better.

So with the season on the horizon it seemed like the right time to call upon Corey Pronman, prospect analyst for ESPN and Hockey Prospectus, to find out just what to expect from some of the best young players on the fringe of the NHL.

I asked him everything I wanted to know those up-and-comers, including:

* The process of evaluation

* Which teams will have the strongest and weakest “under 23″ cores

* What he expects of:

- Valeri Nichushkin
- Ryan Murray
- Morgan Reilly
- Mark Scheifele
- Mikhail Grigorenko

* What he thinks of the systems of teams like:

- Toronto
- Calgary
- Tampa Bay
- The Islanders

* And who looks good for the Calder

* I also answered a few tweets and emails (Oilers/Eakins, Tim Thomas)

You can listen to it here:


Download it here, and subscribe on iTunes here. Facebook!


Reminder that the show’s format is different this season, and we welcome your (constructive) feedback. Sometimes the shows will be informative, sometimes funny, hopefully occasionally a mix of both. We’d welcome guest suggestions as well.

Comments (15)

  1. Ehhh.. Gave this new format a shot. I used to listen because it was a relaxed format of guys who had above average hockey insight discussing current hockey news/notes/random stuff.

    Now this is the same old dry topics in which Justin gives free air time to all his Twitter buddies..

  2. I Bill Guerin-tee youll keep tuning in and besides its preseason and only the second pod under this format… just enjoy hockey being back in yo life!!!

  3. Surprise, surprise. Leafs prospect cupboard is bare, doesn’t think they can win now either. Enjoy your bleak future Leafs Nation!

  4. just wondering about how many times jake and john will be on throughout the year

  5. I’ve given it a couple shots now but I really miss the old format. I REALLY miss the other guys and and the goofyness and picking the underdogs and I miss the feeling that it was knowledgeable fans talking like actual people talk rather than formally interviewing some guy from ESPN. If this is representative of what we’re gonna get during the season this will go from something I looked forward to every day to something I turn off automatic downloads on and only pick up when the guest or topic looks particularly interesting.

    Plus you got a nice new studio and now you’re just gonna talk to guys on the phone?

    • ^^^^^ What he said.

      I’ve given it an honest shot, and what it comes down to, for me, is entertainment value. Yeah, the information and insight and all that stuff is great. But the reason I looked forward to listening to the podcast before was it felt like sitting at a bar listening to a couple of your buddies talk about hockey. There was some fact, a lot of opinion, and a whole bunch of entertainment.

      I really do appreciate the topics covered, and there’s no doubt they’re very informative – but it’s the kind of information I’d be just as content reading transcribed into an article.

      But hey, just my opinion and I appreciate all the hard work you put in here on the blog. It’s still my favorite NHL reading.

  6. You think you could do the podcast this way, but also have Jake and John in the room with you? I like that there’s more actual content in the new format, the old way was really just recapping headlines, but it’s more fun when you’ve got a couple of people you can bounce off of.

    I think the actual content is better this way, no offense to Jake and John, but I didn’t think they are super knowledgeable about teams outside of Toronto, but I think the old format was more entertaining.

  7. Sorry Justin,
    gotta agree with these posts, the old format felt like hockey talk in the pub, which makes the stats and dry topics way easier to digest!

  8. The old format was unique and entertaining and I looked forward to it every day. It was a great blend of humor and facts. I felt like I was in a room with a few friends.

    There are plenty of places to listen to this type of new format. I’m sure I will still listen because I enjoy Justin’s point of view, but in general it’s pretty stale. Why not keep the old format and add a guest in the middle of the show?

  9. Appreciate the feedback. My response: I totally agree. We’ll keep working on making the proper tweaks as we move towards the regular season.

  10. One thing that drives me crazy – Filler Words.

    I know it is a tough habit to kick, but just listen to the first five minutes and count the number of times Justin says “Uh”. Once you notice it, it is difficult to listen to the rest of the podcast.

    I like the new format, but also agree with past comments, it might be better with another person in the room to make it feel like less of an interview.

    Keep up the good work, and I will continue to listen!

  11. PIttsburgh is one team that doesn’t draft Russians. I believe the last one they took was Evgeni Malkin in 2004.

    Read a very lengthy article about this about a year ago.

    • Pens drafted Russian Alexander Pechurskiy in 2008.

      He actually played one game in 2010 against the Canucks when he was still in the WHL.

  12. I started listening to your podcast a little before the playoffs last season. I loved the fun, laid back format. It was like being out for a beer with the guys. This new format is too formal, and too common. Can you please bring back the old format with the laughter, banter, and bashing of stupid comments from your listeners? We would really appreciate it!

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