The Highlanders

The Highlanders

L: Kunitz-Pit, Ladd-Wpg, MacArthur-Ott,  Huberdeau-Fla RFA, Hertl-SJ P2, DalColle-NYI P1

Rating; 3

Knuitz has been riding the good fortune of playing with Crosby for a while now, and a run of injuries has derailed the normally productive winger from his ppg form. He's at the age where dings pile up and the partnership with Crosby is less assured. If he (and The Croz) are healthy and playing together he can still be a legit #1 LW. Ladd is a nice complimentary guy who chips in points and PIM at a strong rate for the second line. MacArthur was stolen from the Leafs before they realized the two-way winger with scoring touch they were looking for wasn't named Clarckson and was already on the roster. Huberdeau should have been better than this by year 3, and if I were his owner I would be getting concerned. Hertl rocketed out of the gate of his career, but has had trouble keeping his game pointed in the right direction. Dal Colle is a splending project being a blend of size, skill and scoring ability, and having a team that both covets that skillset, and has a place for him when he is ready.

C: Crosby-Pit FP, Kopitar-LA FP, Weiss-Det RFA, Desharnais-Mtl RFA, Barkov-Fla P3

Rating: 3

Crosby is arguably the best there is. Kopitar is a marvelous two-way Selke guy, but his offensive abilities are cramped by the suffocating game he plays. He's legit as a #2, but underpowered as an FP. Weiss is barely replacement level now. Desharnais is carving out a career as the waterbug energy guy who drives the Canadien`s 3rd line. If Florida could have the Barkov at 2 pick back would they take Jones or Monahan instead? Methinks they would. Still, he`s got wicked skills and size, eventually he'll get it.

R: Iginla-Col, Neal-Nsh, Hudler-Cgy RFA, Williams-LA RFA, Mantha-Det P2, Niederreiter-Min P2

Rating: 3

Iggy is playing out the back-nine is a one touch sniper with fading wheels. He's not a good fit in Colorado as his 'veteran presence' would be more well recieved on a team with legit playoff chances. Neal has proved he still has his scoring touch, and is a threat to displace Iggy on the top line. Hudler has the best numbers of the three, but is not a good bet to maintain his pace over the year. Williams is a fading gunner who can dine out on his Conn Smythe while he weeps for the lost ice-time. Mantha is a future beast, but given it is Detroit, he should arrive fully formed as a 23 year old. Niederreiter has all the tools to be a dominant power forward, but is having trouble staying on a scoring line.

D: Suter-Min, Weber-Nsh, Myers-Buf, Kulikov-Fla RFA, Lindholm.H-Ana RFA, Hjallmarsson-Chi RFA, Martinez-LA RFA, Brodin-Ana RFA, Klefbom-Edm P2

Rating: 2

Suter is a monster on the blue, but has struggled to stay healthy this year. Weber is consistent for 45pts a year and this year should be no different. The remainder of the blue is a mix of regressing monsters (Myers), and plucky up and comers with upside (Brodin, Lindholm, Kulikov). Any of the bottom six could be flogged at a WD without much 2nd thought. Klefbom is a project that still looks to be two years away from productivity.

G: Miller-Vcr, Lack-Vcr RFA

Rating: 2

Miller has been hit and miss so far this year with Vancouver, more miss than hit so far. Open question as to whether he is a starting calibre FUNHL goaltender anymore. Lack is a solid backup if Miller gets hurt. And if you think that the Canucks are going to be stingey defenders moving forward.

Total: 13

Crosby's mumps has hurt, as have the injuries to Suter and Kunitz, mediocre goaltending, and a D-corps too weak to survive any absences.

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