Keeper Watch: Two Russians & A Finn

Colorado Avalanche v Florida Panthers

‘Keeper Watch’ will come out every couple of days, noting the changes in value for top prospects who are most likely available in your league. Similarly to our ‘Endorsed Pickups’ I will try not to focus too much on one position, which will leave some noteworthy players off the list.

Their must be something in the water, because there haven’t been a lot of kids making impact this week.  With the NHL getting younger and younger it is important for us to monitor the progress of prospects as well their role as they make the team.  In previous weeks, we had to make several cuts in order to cut it down to five or six.  This week we only can think of three.  Without further adieu, here are the kids we like.

C: Artem Anisimov, New York Rangers – In the preseason this kid looked like the next Russian superstar.  Why exactly this has changed is beyond me.  Did anyone realistically think he was going to have a rookie season similar to Ilya Kovalchuk or Alexander Ovechkin? The 21-year-old is currently on pace for 37 points but I see him capable of 50 points easily.

The New York Rangers essentially have zero secondary scoring.  As coach Tortorella shuffles lines two players remain constants together: Marian Gaborik and Vaclav Prospal.  Shuffling in and out of that line is Christopher Higgins, Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery.  With Arty playing with the two, the Rangers defeated a strong Buffalo Sabres team but now Avery finds himself back on the line .

Prognosis: Arty has too much skill not to play on a first line, eventually. Check out his highlight reel moves here.

D: Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers – Previously held off this list due to his lack of production, the young Russian seems to be turning the corner with three points in his last four games.  The Panthers as a team have been scoring a lot more, a trend which should continue once David Booth and Cory Stillman return from injury.  A strong candidate to represent his country in the Olympics his production to date is simply the tip of the iceberg.  Be patient with this youngster as he may hurt your plus/minus.  In his prime he projects as a Sergei Gonchar type and nothing less.

Prognosis: Stash him away if your team has the space, this kid is something special.

RW: Dan Sexton, Anaheim Ducks – Okay, so our headline lies.  Sexton is actually descends from Apple Valley, Minnesota but he sure has a ton of finish.  Making his best Teemu Selanne impression the 22-year-old registered two goals in his first three games.  In fact he even slots into Selanne’s slot to the right of Bobby Ryan and Saku Koivu .

Last night, the rookie put a whopping nine shots on goal, setting a single-game rookie record.  The Ducks organization is known for their excellent talent scouting, producing more NHL regulars from undrafted free agents than any other team in the league.  In case you forgot, a kid named Dustin Penner penned with Anaheim out of The University of Maine and the rest is history.

Prognosis:  Playing good minutes on a good line should help. Stream this kid until Selanne returns.

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder

One Response to Keeper Watch: Two Russians & A Finn

  1. Steve says:

    Put Kulikov on a high scoring team like Washington or LA and look out. The kid would be getting Calder mention. I’m keeping him in hopes that Florida starts scoring a bit more this season or next. Like you, I have a good feeling about him. (20 goal, 60 point potential…maybe better)

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