The Stanley Cup could be decided tonight, the draft is less than a week away, and fantasy league off-season trading is at it's peak. I have received many questions in the past week or so about trades, prospects, and who to take in the draft. In this edition of Rich's Ramblings, I will share some of those questions, as well as my answers.


Before I do that, however, I will turn it around and ask you for your feedback on a few trades that I made in a 14-team keeper league that I'm in. First the background: My team finished eighth last season with a team made up of a few stars (Toews, Malkin, Weber), several role players (Callahan, Wheeler, Purcell, Brouwer, Lupul, Ladd) and a few good prospects (Toffoli, Kreider, Justin Schultz, Nugent-Hopkins, Tyler Johnson, Holland, Zucker).


I made a decision to go after some top prospects and use my biggest bargaining chip, Malkin. Malkin's propensity to get injured, along with the fact that I'm just not a fan, led to my decision. In offering Malking around the league, I really only received two offers that interested me. After weeks of negotiating, I settled on Malkin for Ryan Strome, Beau Bennett and a high draft pick. Is the deal a huge gamble? Absolutely, but I think Strome could easily be a 75-point guy, maybe more if he plays with JT. Bennett will determine whether I win or lose this deal. He showed in limited time that he can play with Crosby or Malkin, and of course will put up points if it becomes permanent. However, Eric Tangradi and several others have failed in the same situation. I'll get a good player with the pick, so I will at least inprove my depth in a year or two.


The other prospect that I was close to acquiring for Malkin was Mark Scheifele,but the other owner and I couldn't agree on the other pieces. He really likes Slava Voynov, as do I, but when he offered Scheifele and Nathan Beaulieu for Voynov, I had to do it. Scheifele has 80-point upside, and Beaulieu should at least come close to replacing Voynov's production in a couple of years. My team is in full youth movement mode, and I also have the top overall pick in the prospect draft. MacKinnon or Drouin?






Speaking of the draft, I've been asked several times about who to take with the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. spots. Barkov, Lindholm and Nichushkin are the names that come up most frequently, and all are extremely talented forwards. Of the group, Barkov is the closest, both to the NHL and to being a sure thing. Lindholm is underrated by most, in my opinion, and will be a solid NHL center. Some feel his upside is comparable to Eric Staal, some David Legwand. I think it's somewhere in between, which is a pretty good NHL player. Nichushkin brings the uncertainty of a possible KHL career with him to the podium.


A safer, but less sexy pick, is Ottawa 76 C Sean Monahan. Monahan plays an NHL game, and will inevitably be a fantasy producer when he reaches the NHL. Others to consider in or near the Top 10 are Hunter Shinaruk, Max Domi, and Alex Wennberg. A couple of sleepers to keep in mind are Anthony Mantha and Bo Horvat. Mantha is 6'4 and can move and score, but is the ultimate boom or bust pick. As with any power forward, you will have to be patient if you select Mantha, who reminds me of former Blackhawk Eric Daze.


Thanks for reading, enjoy the Finals, the NHL Draft, and your league draft.

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Comments (5)add comment

Akkei said:

... I think the Malkin deal is really, really bad for you. I think it's the worst period of the year to trade for prospects or draft picks as everyone are over-valuing these assets during the summer. But even then, you should have gotten at least one proven 70pts+ player in addition to top prospects/picks for Malkin.

I like the Voynov trade though. Perfect timing to trade him.
June 26, 2013
Votes: +0

WinginIt said:

... The Malkin deal, isn't that bad. I too believe Strome is a star in the making. Now the Voynov deal is huge. Great return for that one, Beaulieu will match Voynov's numbers, and to get Scheifele, wow nice trade.
Btw, I have Strome,Scheifele and Beaulieu in my keeper league, so I may be a little partial smilies/cheesy.gif
June 26, 2013
Votes: +0

Spec7ral said:

... Might have been able to juice a bit more for Malkin? I like the VOynov deal plenty though.

I have the 3/5/6/9/12 plus a few extras this year so I'll be selecting a few of the mid-level guys. Right now I think it's Barkov, Lindholm, Monohan and I might go Wennberg before Nichushkin depending on landing spots. I'm not shying away from Barkov even if it's Nashville as his new home, since Trotz can't stay there forever.

I did give up 2nd overall this year for 6th and a pair of 2015 firsts. If I didn't get to decide who I got (it's a lottery and I ended up with 2/3 and wanted a guarantee for Drouin) I decided I wanted to up my chances for McDavid. So much talent in this draft anyways, I think the best player won't necessarily be in the first handful of guys anyways.

GL this year!
June 25, 2013
Votes: +0

Snakedoctor said:

... Personally, I wouldn't take him that high, but everyone else I've talked to have said that they would. I would take Barkov and Lindholm before Jones.
June 25, 2013
Votes: +0

austeane said:

Jones By you starting at the 4th spot, it seems you think that Jones is worth the third pick?
June 25, 2013
Votes: +0
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