Caps & FHS have high hopes for Johansson... some notes from rookie tournaments (Butler, Connolly, Campbell & Beach)... rookies look good when goalie doesn't move
Not much news from yesterday but saw this quote from Caps GM George McPhee regarding Marcus Johansson and was loving it, "We're not going to rush anyone or put anyone in over their heads but with Marcus we think he's got a real good chance of being with us if he looks like he can help us"... encouraging words from the boss. With the Eric Belanger signing never going through (we assumed it would happen eventually but it sounds dead), then it really does look like Johansson & Mathieu Perreault will battle it out for the #2/3 center spot with the Caps this year, which is good work if you can get it. We wouldn't expect a huge season from the rookie but he could surprise and making the team as a 20-year old would be a great sign... he's currently ranked #44 in our Fantasy Prospect Rankings. Note: Yes we realize the jersey is for former Caps dman Calle Johansson, but that's as good as it gets around here on our limited budget.
There's a few rookie tournaments going on right now, we won't get into them too much cause there's no point in getting all worked up about some meaningless scrimmages where most the guys will never play in the NHL, we want to see how the top guys do against NHL players, but that will have to wait until the real exhibition schedule starts... but here's a few notables:
Bobby Butler had two goals for the Sens rookies... big scorer in the NCAA last year (29+24=53 in 39 games at UNH) but we think he'll have to start the year in the AHL and prove that last season is the rule & not the exception (he had 32 goals combined over his first three season at UNH).
Brett Connolly had two goals for the Lightning rookies... theoretically he could contend for a roster spot in Tampa this year but we don't see Yzerman rushing him especially since he pretty much missed all of last year with hip injuries, give him another year in the WHL.
Jack Campbell gave up six goals on 38 shots in his debut in a Stars jersey but we wouldn't go labeling him as an overrated bust... no need to panic, I think a lot of poolies are expecting big things from the tender right away but you need to be extremely patient with goalies, so best to just not even worry about him for the next three years or so and then check back in on his progress then.
Kyle Beach did what he does best, chirped off to the refs and got a 10 minute misconduct. We like this kid a lot and think he has a great chance to make the Blackhawks this year... we'd be patient waiting for the offense to come around but he should fill the agitator role & rack up some PIMs right away.
What's distracting us today?
- If you can't wait another month for hockey... you might want to check out this KHL season preview.
- SYP has 10 players who could NOT play in the OHL this year.
- Here's your first look at some of the best prospects in the NHL. They have crossed their first hurdle... scoring on a goalie that doesn't move. (h/t to Stoeten @ The Score)