Pre-season action! Ho-Sang, Neal, Hoffman, Carter (September 26) – DobberHockey
If the Leafs choose not to sign a contract with Josh Ho-Sang, they can’t say he hasn’t at least had the opportunity. During morning practice and in Saturday’s preseason game, Ho-Sang was used on a line with John Tavares and Michael Bunting, and he also got power play time for the first unit. Talent has always been there with Ho-Sang, but the question has always been whether he could make it work with the coaching and management of an NHL team.
If you visit this website frequently or follow the Leafs, you’ll already know that they’ve brought in a ton of forwards for their training camp, so PTOs Ho-Sang and Nikita Gusev have a good chance of being part of the big one. club. That being said, Ho-Sang could be a candidate for an AHL contract if he’s ready to make his way to the NHL after spending last year in Sweden. He’s a proven track record as an AHL scorer, so maybe it’s more about whether he can fit in and join a team’s system. The fact that he would play in his hometown will certainly be an incentive.
I am not at a point where I would recommend buying Ho-Sang penny stock. However, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. He’s 25 now, so I think this is his last opportunity in the NHL. If he can’t find his way to the Leafs or the Marlies, then it’s probably back in Europe.
Tavares was playing his first game since his serious injury in last season’s playoff opener, scoring a power-play goal. Obviously he’s doing fine and should be drafted normally.
Bunting also took the opportunity to score his own goal. Toronto might not have been the most ideal place to play, but it could have the opportunity to succeed with a solid preseason.
Goalkeeper prospect Ian Scott suffered another groin injury in this game and is set to be running out of time. He has only played six games since the 2018-19 season. Joseph Woll was injured on Friday, so the depth of the Leafs goaltender will be put to the test. For more on Scott and Woll, check out the Leafs Dobber Prospects page.
In the other preseason game, James Neal scored a hat trick for the Blues. He’s with St. Louis on a pro trial, so it’s definitely the right way to make a good impression.
Speaking of the Blues, they struck a minor deal on Saturday, sending Zach Sanford to Ottawa for the 2016 first-round pick Logan Brown and a conditional draft pick in 2022. The Brown 6-6 scored one goal and nine points in the game. 30 career NHL games and will try to get by in his hometown of St. Louis after being unable to secure a full time NHL job with the Sens. Brown has also struggled with injuries throughout his career.
It’s possible the Blues could use the $ 2million that came off Sanford’s books to sign Neal or Michael Frolik, who is also on a PTO. Frolik also scored a goal late in Saturday’s exhibition game.
As for Sanford, I guess he’ll fight for a spot in the middle of the six with the Senators. At this point, he’s a more proven option for Ottawa than Brown. The Senators already have plenty of young players looking to make a name for themselves this season. After a 42-point pace in 2019-20, Sanford fell to just 16 points in 52 games in 2020-21 (a pace of 25 points).
According to Dominique Ducharme, Mike Hoffman’s lower body injury could keep him out of the roster for up to four weeks. A four-week absence could mean Hoffman will only miss the first five or six games of the season, so that might not be as bad as it sounds. The injury was discovered when Hoffman was taking his medical exam a few days ago. Hoffman is drafted in about two-thirds of Yahoo’s leagues, so if you’ve drafted him already, you might as well look for another option as soon as you can hide him on IR. If not, there are probably similar options that you should consider writing up instead.
Hoffman’s injury could offer Mathieu Perreault an opportunity on the left wing. Over the past few seasons, he’s been primarily used as a top-6 forward for the Jets, but has risen to the top-6 when needed. He’s benefited from this type of deployment in the past, so keep an eye out for the Habs’ line combinations.
According to Joel Quenneville, Sergei Bobrovsky has “caught the net” and Spencer Knight “will learn and watch”. That’s not to say Knight won’t eventually start, as Bobrovsky’s game will ultimately determine how much he starts. This announcement is not surprising, however, as we’ve always tried to tell you to follow the money when trying to figure out who will start. Both goalies are worth making in the fantasy, as the Panthers are well positioned for plenty of wins.
At the Red Wings camp, Jakub Vrana injured his shoulder just 10 minutes after the start of training on Saturday. He should be re-evaluated on Sunday, so I hope that’s nothing serious. If Vrana is forced to run out of time, Bobby Ryan’s chances of making it to the Red Wings will improve. After spending last season in Detroit, Ryan is back at camp on a PTO.
At 38, Curtis McElhinney announced his retirement. Primarily a backup goaltender throughout his career, the widely traveled McElhinney has played for eight different teams, never appearing more than 33 games in a season. Most recently, he was the replacement for the Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Champion Lightning. All the best for him in his retirement.
If you want to get a head start on your opponents this season, consider drafting Jeff Carter as a last-minute player. Keep in mind that Sidney Crosby is expected to miss at least the first games of the season, while Evgeni Malkin will be out for at least the first two months of the season.
After his career seemed doomed to deteriorate in Los Angeles, Carter was a trade deadline pickup for the Penguins, who at the time were looking for a short-term replacement for Malkin. Carter quickly scored nine goals in 14 games by clicking a line with Jared McCann. Carter also scored four goals in the Penguins’ six-game playoff series with the Islanders. Even though McCann is no longer a penguin, Carter is still in a good position, starting training camp centered on Jake Guentzel and signing free agent Danton Heinen. I wouldn’t be so bullish on Carter once Crosby and Malkin return, but for now there is a plum opportunity.
Radim Zohorna (Dobber Prospects profile) has the opportunity to fill the other vacant center position. On 6-6 Zohorna skated on a line with Jason Zucker and Kasperi Kapanen, who were Malkin’s most frequent teammates last season. Zohorna scored one point per game in the Czech League and the AHL last season while playing eight games for the Penguins. A lot can happen between now and the start of the season, but you need to be careful with him if you’re watching Penguin preseason games. For what it’s worth, the Pens don’t have a ton of prospects, which improves his chances of making the squad.
Finally, before I forget, buy your Fantasy Guide if you haven’t already. Or if so, go back to the Downloads page on this site and download the most recent copy with the latest updates (which appear in red).
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