HEADS UP... we updated our 2010/11 Fantasy Scouting Report Monday so if you have a late draft then this is some of the freshest fantasy hockey draft advice, projections & cheatsheets that you can find.
The Islanders grabbed Michael Grabner off waivers from Florida and Tampa did likewise with the Red Wings Mattias Ritola. Good for Grabner fans as at least he should get a chance to play on the Island as they need anyone with talent that isn't injured and Grabner has shown an ability to score... but there must be something really wrong with this dude if FLA just decided to drop him. As for Ritola, obviously Stevie Y thinks he's smarter than the rest of us as Ritola is a guy who's averaged 35 points over three full AHL seasons, so I'm not sure he can handle the NHL, perhaps as a 4th line guy.
The Thrashers signed 8th overall pick Alexander Burmistrov to a ELC so he's going to start the year in the NHL and should see at least nine games. We're not big fans of this guy, way too much hype given what he produced last year on a stacked Barrie squad... if he's so great, we would have expected a lot more.
Erik Christensen will start the year as the Rangers #1C... makes sense as he was pretty effective in that role down the stretch last year (5+11=16 in his last 21 games) but Torts will surely be juggling his lines around and guys like Derek Stepan will likely get a look in this spot. We'd like to see Artem Anisimov get a shot at this job but Torts seems to be reluctant.
Too bad Patrice Bergeron can't face Czech Extraliga competition all the time as he lit up Liberec for 2+3=5 in exhibition action yesterday... we doubt he'll have five points when the Bruins face the Coyotes on Saturday. We'd say it's a good sign for Bergeron but it was really just a scrimmage, so no credit given.
Minor trade yesterday, Shane O'Brien's contract was sent to Nashville and the Canucks took some waiver wire material in Ryan Parent & Jonas Andersson back. None of them are fantasy relevant, Andersson is a Euro-vet who came over with some hype after a so-so year in the KHL but he couldn't crack the Predators roster and is likely headed to the AHL or beyond (back to Europe).
If any of you own Caps prospect Anton Gustafsson... you might want to re-think your decision. He was a first round pick in 2008 (21st overall) but was cut from Caps camp very early this year and sent to the AHL but he's now been cut by Hershey and sent to the ECHL. We suspect he'll head back to Europe to flounder over there.
Here's a late round flier for you... Matt Taormina has cracked the Devils roster, we've been liking this kid a lot since he signed as a FA out of Providence and went on to put up 10+40=50 in the AHL last year, good for 7th amongst both dmen & rookies (he's ranked #134 in our fantasy prospect rankings). He's still a longshot to see much ice-time but John MacLean was his coach last year and obviously likes the kid so we can see him jumping onto the Devils #2 PP unit at least.
Lots of roster manoeuvering going on and there will be a lot more today as team's need to submit final 23 man rosters by 3pm EST. Here's what we found interesting:
- In a bit of a surprise, Erik Gudbranson was sent back to Jr. after it looked like he was a good bet to see some NHL action to start the year... apparently he refused to accept the Panthers lowball contract offer.
- The Caps cut Mathieu Perreault and sent him back to the AHL, meaning Marcus Johansson won that camp battle. We've never really understood Dobber's infatuation with Perreault and think Johansson is the superior prospect (we have Johansson ranked #44, Perreault ranked #200 in our fantasy prospect rankings), so this makes sense to us.
- The Rangers waived Tim Kennedy and Todd White but it's just a cap move and they both could stay in the NHL unless the Rangers add someone today... neither's much of a fantasy option.
- As suspected, the Flyers waived and sent down goalie Johan Backlund, so rookie Sergei Bobrovsky will start the year in the NHL and is worth a look if you need goalie help.
- Tampa sent Johan Harju to the AHL, the Euro-vet couldn't live up to the hype and make what is a pretty weak bottom 6 forward group in Tampa.
- Pittsburgh sent Simon Despres back to Jr., he impressed in camp but wasn't quite ready.