Damien Brunner hugs linemate Zetterberg while wearing his "team leading scorer" helmet
A cold, hard reality for hockey fans is that every single NHL team has prospects. I’m sorry to drop that on you like that. They may not all be A-grade, but somewhere in their farm system is a kid they drafted and have big hopes for, and for the large majority of the teams, it’s someone they drafted high. It allows fans to look at their struggling team and say “But we have Granlund on the way!“, “Once Kadri is ready...” and “Scheifele will save us.” We call it “prospect porn,” or “rosterbation,” or as Jake Goldsbie just came up with, “auto-eroster asphixiation” (sorry, that was too funny to not include). Anyway, the point is, ALL teams have prospects, but not all are created equal.
This year is a particularly bright and shiny one for those hard-mined pieces of gold to become polished, ready-to-wear jewelry, so I figured we’d take a look at some of the Calder contenders heading into the 2013 NHL season.
New York Islanders: Ryan Strome
I think it’s unlikely that he makes the Islanders, but he’s tearing up the OHL right now, with 62 points in 32 games. If he does make the squad and is given the right opportunity…who knows what he could do.
New York Rangers: Chris Kreider
He jumped into playoffs with the Rangers last season and tallied seven points (five goals), and has high expectations on him as a big-bodied dude who was a point-a-game college player. His AHL stats this season, however, have been concerning – 33 games, only 12 points.
Ottawa Senators: Jakob Silfverberg
22 years old, over a point-per-game in the Swedish Elite League last year, and is threatening a point-per-game in the AHL this year.
Boston Bruins: Dougie Hamilton
A 6’5″ defenseman with 113 points in his last 82 OHL games is kinnnnda noteworthy. And since the Leafs traded the pick to the Bruins, he’s bound to tear it up. Read the rest of this entry »