Great day to sit back and watch hockey as there are 13 games on the sked, including seven day games (earliest at 1ET), so make sure to get that lineup set early. Hope you Americans are enjoying your cushy 4-day weekend... I'll be at my job, in case anyone is concerned
Blake Comeau has been placed on waivers by the Islanders. No points & a minus-11 in 16 games while you're making $2.5M is a recipe for a demotion. Not sure what Rob (and others) thinks of this, could be good as he has some streakability so he could be worth a shot in deeper leagues if he lands in a favourable situation.
Misremembered to mention Kyle Okposo's season debut on Wednesday (at least it seemed like it) as he had 2+1=3 in nearly 18 minutes of ice-time. This was actually his second game back after his three game press box exile. Let's hope this is the start of a run cause I know a lot of us are banking on the potential here.
Been meaning to take a look at Zach Bogosian, as I thought with Enstrom being out that he'd get a chance to show his stuff. He's seen increased minutes in all situations (playing 25+ minutes in seven of his last 10) but the production hasn't been there as he has just 0+2=2 & 14 shots over the 10 games since Enstrom's injury.
Niklas Backstrom was back at practice yesterday after missing Wednesday's game due to personal reasons... he could get the start today.
Let's take a quick spin around the AHL to point out some notables...
- Been really liking what we're seeing from Hawks prospect Brandon Pirri as he finished last season with 4+13=17 in 13 games and has started this year with 8+10=18 in 17 games. So 12+23=35 in his last 30 AHL games for a kid who is just 20.
- Wings prospect Gustav Nyquist is 3rd in rookie scoring with 5+11=16 in 17 games.
- Leading all rookies in scoring is Norfolk's Cory Conacher with 10+12=22 in 18 games. He had a try-out with Tampa this year after a standout career at Canisius but had to settle for an AHL contract. He's produced his way onto my radar and surely Tampa is taking note as well. But there are really only three things you need to know about his upside... five - foot - eight.
The most interesting stories out of Europe right now are the performances of Vladimir Tarasenko & Mikael Granlund. Tarasenko is top 10 in KHL scoring with 11+12=23 in 23 games and Granlund is tied for the lead in SM-Liiga scoring with 7+19=26 in 22 games. I'm expecting both of these guys to be in the NHL next season and think they can produce immediately.
Glad to see Kassian get a chance, he's a bit of a wildcard with some off-ice antics but this kid has some nice skills to go along with PIM-ability. He's leading Rochester with 7+7=14 in 18 games this season.
Hagelin is worth keeping an eye on as well as he's a Swede who put up solid numbers at UofMich and has made a smooth transition to pro hockey with 7+6=13 in 17 AHL games. We'll see what kind of role Torts gives him, likely just on the 4th line.