HEADS UP... we updated our 2010/11 Fantasy Scouting Report on Sept 21st (and we'll update it again today... promise, I think), so its some of the freshest fantasy hockey draft advice, projections & cheatsheets that you can find.
Big night for Nikita Filatov as he started last night's game playing on the top line with Vermette & Nash and added two goals in only 13 minutes of action. He was shifted back to the 2nd line with Brassard & Voracek later in the game but good signs all around. Check out what the boys at The Cannon have to say as they were impressed. Coach Arniel had said earlier in the day that he thought Filatov had an impressive camp and had earned his spot in the top 6. This means R.J. Umberger starts the year on the 3rd line. [more]
Zack Smith turned in the hat-trick last night for the Senators (along with Chris Kelly) in a big win over the Rangers... Smith filled the statsheet last night with 3+1=4, plus-2 and 6 shots. He's won himself a job on the Sens opening night roster and while he doesn't project to be very productive in the NHL he does play a gritty game and should be good for around 100 PIMs this year... so if that's useful to you then have at 'er.
Two assists last night for Alex Steen and he leads the Blues in pre-season scoring with 4+3=7 in four games. He's carried over the confidence and strong finish from last season where he had 22+21=43 in his final 49 games. We're still not sold on this guy as we see him as more of a 40 point player and the Blues having better options for scoring line roles & PP time but coach Davis Payne seems to be a fan, so you should take note.
Mike Smith was solid on back-to-back nights for the Bolts as he stopped 20 of 21 shots to beat the Panthers... Coach Guy says that he hasn't seen enough of his goalies to make a decision on who's the #1 yet so it sounds like they'll split time at the beginning of the season to give the coach more time to evaluate... it's too close to call really, could go either way but Ellis is probably the safer choice as Smith has a hard time staying healthy.
Mike Santorelli scored last night for the Panthers in 16 minutes of action and with Grabner being cut, it seems like he's won a job on this team... keep your eye on him as he's been over a point-per-game the past two years in the AHL and could surprise if given the opportunity.
Teenagers Nick Leddy & Jeremy Morin are still with the Hawks and it appears that both will get looks to start the year in Chicago. We're not big fans of Leddy but we love Morin and think he has a ton of potential as a goal scorer (ranked #47 in our fantasy prospect rankings) after some fine years with the US-NTDP and 59 goals in 78 games in the OHL last year. He could still be heading back to Jr. or the AHL but this is a great sign. Check out what the boys over at Second City Hockey have to say (hint: not thrilled with Leddy)
Notable cuts from yesterday:
- The CBJs sent 4th overall pick Ryan Johansen back to Jr. while John Moore and Tomas Kubalik were demoted to the AHL... not really a surprise there but people were hoping for more from, ahhh, Moore but he didn't play that well during camp.
- The Sabres sent Zack Kassian back to Jr. and Luke Adam was sent to the AHL... as we mentioned the other day, keep an eye on Adam down in the A as we think he's a good one.
- The Senators trimmed their roster by shipping Jared Cowen back to Jr. and sending down the likes of Patrick Wiercioch, Bobby Butler and Robin Lehner... no real surprises there.
- Michael Grabner was sent to the AHL by the Panthers in a little bit of a surprise move as most thought he would get a chance but he didn't get anything going in the pre-season and they probably want him to head down and get some confidence.