Thompson is there now, making a difference. I'd give him a nod over Babashev (who has been all over the map in two years), Blais and Kostin. I'd put Robert Thomas as the No. 1 prospect because he has a strong all-around game that should make him NHL-ready. And although Kyrou made need significant AHL time, I would still put him ahead of Thompson based on sheer upside. So Thomas/Kyrou/Thompson/Barbashev/Blais/Kostin. Klim has a chance to move up, of course, but there is work to do.
Sure, Shattenkirk was a great power-play specialist. His ability to move with the puck in the offensive zone got the other guys moving. He could beat penalty killers one-on-one and put the opponent at a huge disadvantage. His knack for getting pucks through was huge, too.
You'll be much closer to the action than the press box . . .
That is a big reason why Paul may get his chance to finish his career here.
Allen stole a playoff series for Yeo last season, so he is grateful. As for Hitchcock, Jake did his part to keep Ken hear longer than many expected.
Jaden played at extremely high level when he was in there this year. Also, his absence coincided with this team searching (often unsuccessfully) for answers up front. The good news is it appears the Blues are finding some solutions up front at the same time Jaden is nearing his comeback. So there is a chance this team could have their four lines fall together finally.
Maroon would add size. But has scored just seven goals in his last 34 games, none on the power play. Edmonton is looking to add help up front, not subtract, so I don't see the fit there.
Sobotka is willing 51.5 percent of his draws, which isn't bad -- but, as you note, it's not the efficiency he had before. It's fair to consider the impact of the faceoff crackdown on any of the players not faring as well as on the dot. Obviously everybody their little tricks.
Yeah, I never got the NHL paranoia about injuries. In most cases, opponents can figure out what is hurting a player. Given the crackdown on stickwork and the reduction in actual body contact in the sport, I'm not sure how much targeting goes with guys playing hurt.
Given this team's defensive style, a strong finish on the goals-against side is quite possible.
For the same reason the four-forward, one-defenseman alignment is so popular with other teams. Teams don't want to stationary point men. They want a PP quarterback capable of moving around the offensive zone with the puck to change attack points.
If he can pick up his skating, he could at least get a look here once the Rampage are done this season. He has a NHL body and a NHL shot.
This team is feeling pretty good about its wingers. If Stastny doesn't return, I see the money going to another center.
Seattle looks like it's next up for the NHL, so, yes, the Houston option is probably tied to Arizona. Not sure the Coyotes will ever get that straightened out.
True, but Blais has already produced at the AHL level and played in the NHL. He is already a better prospect than many guys picked much higher in drafts. As I said, Kostin could move up. But there is work to do there.
Maroon has 10 power-play goals in 345 NHL games, so, no, he is not the fix for the power play. He has taken a step back this season for an Edmonton team that is wasting the skill of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins.
There is plenty of room for all the prospects and there is no need to "aggressively" shed salary. But you don't want to go too young, either, and miss your chance. Guys like Bouwmeester and Steen play the hard minutes killing penalties and checking top opponents. Their presence will make it easier for younger guys to grow into bigger roles. I see a nice transition coming.
Man, he loved being the bad guy in the league office. The more the old guard gave him the cold shoulder, the more he went after them. He was ahead of his time in the NHL and he helped change the business for the better, getting it away from the Dollar Bill Wirtz types.
His speed and agility must improve. Usually it does when guys put in the work. But there are guys (Dylan Strome for one) where you start to wonder if he will ever get that other gear.
His shot remains his biggest asset. He doesn't need a lot of room to snap off a hard shot. He can also maneuver in right spaces to get that shot off. He also has a good feel for the game, but he needed to speed up his thought process and make quicker plays. He made big strides in that area on this latest tour.