Edge 2013

The Edge 2013

By special request I've moved up the review of the Edge ahead of the Highlanders who would normally be next.

L: Ovechkin-Wsh FP, Ericksson-Dal, Moulson-NYI, Prust-Mtl RFA

Rating: 4.5

Ovechkin is due for a bounce back season, one where he scores at a 50 goal+ pace, and drives the Capital's offense. Ericksson is a legit (albeit low-grade) #1 FUNHL LW in his own right. He'll have some nice new toys to play with on the Big D powerplay in Roy and Jagr, and if anything his offensive pace might increase over last year. Moulson is a late-blooming sniper but there is no denying that for two years running he sniped 30+ as John Tavares wing man - expect similar results this year. Prust is a dynamic 4th line energy guy who seems to love droppign the gloves and banging with guys who outweigh him by 30lbs. Something would have to be seriously wrong for him to be dressing though.

C: Thornton-SJ FP, Bergeron-Bos, Duchene-Col RFA, Nugent-Hopkins-Edm RFA, Huberdeau-Fla P2, J.Larsson-Min P1

Rating: 4.5

Thornton is still an elite centerman, but he's no longer the same threat to finish in the top 3 in scoring he once was. Bergeron is likely to be bumped down the depth chart of the Edge, maybe even to the bench, by either Duchene or The Nuge, but he represents average or slightly better production for a 2nd line pivot in the FUNHL. Duchene and The Nuge are both quality young centers on the upswing. Duchene has a slight edge in physical play and sniping ability, but the Nuge has massive upside, and sick playmaking ability. Both have had recent injury issues but it would surprise nobody if they both passed Bergeron for active roles. Huberdeau is another high-quality pivot, albeit he floundered somewhat at the WJC when it was expected he would dominate. Florida has a spot waiting for him on their roster, but they may be tempted to continue the slow-boat development track they have started using for other prospects (Markstrom being one). Larsson was a bit of a sleeper, but has turned some heads with his play in the Swedish leagues. He has nice size and good playmaking ability, but is likely at least a year or more away from making the Wild as an active roster player, and even longer from being a top 6 forward.

R: Parenteau-Col, Simmonds-Pha RFA, Alfredsson-Ott RFA, Ryder-Dal RFA, Coyle-Min P1, Galiev-TBay P1, Palmieri-Ana P1

Rating: 2

Parenteau was the other wing-man for Tavares to suddenly show unexpected offense and he cashed in for a nice contract with the Av's. I don't see the uptick in his stats translating to his new team as Parenteau will be fighting for ice-time with wingers of a higher caliber than he had in NYI, and as such I think he is woefully miscast as a top line FUNHL option. Simmonds is a prototype bang-crash winger with some finish, but his ceiling is 40pts or so plus his minutes - making him a reliable, if underwhelming goon. Alfie is now 40+ and playing out the string for Ottawa. Health is his biggest holdback as he gets injured with clock like frequency these days, and doesn't draw much time with playmaker Spezza except on the PP. Something of a bargain as a 3rd line option, he more realistically is the Edge best starboard winger. Ryder is a rollercoaster of a winger, one year up and scoring 30, the next year down and scoring 15. He thrives on the PP with a playmaking center and a winger with size to keep the opposition from running him over. Given the injury risk of Alfie it seems likely that Ryder could draw some active lineup time at some point. Coyle is a future beast of a power forward having the size and sniping ability that define the position. Another year of seasoning to get his bearings and he'll be Hell on wheels coming off the half-wall. Galiev is the opposite of Coyle, as while he has decent size, he plays a more perimeter/finesse game. He has the skill winger tools (speed, shot, stickhandling) and was a dominant offensive producer in the Q, but Yzerman likes his prospects to take the Detroit route (the long, long way) to the NHL, so don't expect him soon. Palmieri lies somewhere in between Coyle and Galiev, he's a gritty, hard nosed guy with some scoring abilities, but isn't as much a physical terror as Coyle, or as obviously skilled as Galiev. I see his eventual upside as an NHL 3rd liner with 2nd unit PP time, but that may be selling him short. Barring a major leap from Coyle or Galiev, or Alfie finding the fountain of youth, RW is a serious weakness.

D: Byfuglien-Wpg, J.Johnson-Clb, Streit-NYI, Hedman-TBay RFA, McQuaid-Bos RFA, Souray-Ana RFA, Robidas-Dal RFA, Kulikov-Fla RFA, Ellis-Nsh P3, Beaulieu-Mtl P1, Dumba-Min P1

Rating: 3.5

Big Buff gives the team a dominant offensive and TG option to head the D, he's close to FP status given his stats the last two years. Johnson is still an enigma, he's big, strong, can run a powerplay, and can skate like a dream, but he's still and adventure in his own end, and Columbus isn't exactly scoring like Pittsburgh in the 80's. Streit should have decent production for the Islander as he continues to be their best all-round D-man, with the only risk being one his not infrequent trips to the hospital. Hedman is steadily developing into an unstoppable force as he packs muscle onto his massive frame and earns more powerplay time. As it is, he's already the Bolts best defensive defenseman, and his offense has progressed every year he's been in the league - at some point he's going to make the leap. McQuaid is a longshot +/- threat, but otherwise is a replacement level D-man. Souray could rebound for nice numbers in Anaheim, or he could get hurt yet again and return to being one of the highest paid non-performers in the league. Robidas is a solid #6 for a FUNHL team - waiver draft fodder. Kulikov is clearly slated to jump into the top 5 as his offensive ability has steadily progressed, and he frequently shows signs of being a Karlsson-like puck rusher/passer. A breakthrough offensively from him would not be surprising. Ellis is a fantastic offensive talent that Nashville has been grooming slowly. He might just be a powerplay specialist when all is said and done, but his upside is much higher if it can be reached (Rafalski). Beaulieu is Montreal's hope for a puckrushing rearguard to compliment Subban, Likely a year or more away from making the team, he has #2 defenseman upside. Dumba is a Phaneuf clone, big shooter, hard hitter, a bit reckless in his own zone. A tad undersized for the hits he likes to throw, he's something of a project for the Wild.

G: Fleury-Pit, Hiller-Ana RFA, Markstrom-Fla P4

Rating: 3.5

Fleury is a legit top 5 goaltender, albeit one with a tendency to meltdown in the playoffs, and with a team ahead of him that likes to play run-n-gun. Hiller could be a steal if he recovers from injury to take-over the Anaheim net permanently. Markstrom is Florida's goalie of the future, and this year may see him split time more less evenly in the starting role.

Total:  18

1 comment:

Bladerunner said...

Creepy pic... good mark ;-)