Timo Meier: Timo, had a solid year in first full season with the Sharks. Tucking 21 goals in 81 games with 15 assists the young left winger really stepped up in crucial times last year for San Jose. Playing alongside two other young guns, Meier has a chance to be the scorer on line three for San Jose next year. Skating along Chris Tierney and Kevin Labanc who had a combined 56 assists, these three have a big opportunity to play some big minutes next year. Meier was the only one out of those three to score 20 plus last year and he is also said to be slotted on 2nd powerplay unit. If it comes down to a shot in the dark or a sure fire 40 point guy come draft time, go with Meier.
Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky ripped it up in the playoffs this past year that was him time to shine and he made the most of it. Only playing in 56 games last year and tallying 12 goals and 13 assists is a good sign for the young shifty left winger. Burakovsky as we saw in the playoffs possess the skill to score, if he can string together a full season and stay healthy, he has potential to be a 50 point guy. Right now it is said he will be slotted on third line with Lars Eller and Bret Connolly, this line in the playoffs were a great two-way line. If Eller and Burakovsky can click the way did in the playoffs it is a great idea to look for Burakovsky late in the draft.
Patrik Berglund: Berglund has always been a guy who flew under the radar coming from St. Louis surrounded by talent like Braydon Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Tarasenko, Alexander Steen, Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo, etc. Berglund never got the love he deserved. Now heading to Buffalo with a change of scenery may be good for the 30-year-old forward. As of now, Berglund is slotted on the third line with other veteran forward James Pominville and other St. Louis teammate Vladimir Sobotka. Berglund has a chance to move up to the second line if Mittlestadt does not pan out but either way being under the wing of a beloved Sabre like Pominville will make Berglund’s transition easier. Berglund tallied 17 goals and 9 assists in 57 games, the year before he tucked 23 goals in 82 games Berglund has the potential to be the scorer on that line if Pominville can get out of his rut form last year this is going to be a solid third line. Definitely keep Bergs on your radar come draft time.
Alec Martinez: Martinez is a top four defenseman in L.A. but does not get the attention he should. And with Dion Phaneuf came over at the deadline it put Martinez in the lime light even more. Martinez can easily be a top four defenseman anywhere, he can play both sides of the puck well but is more known for his defensive game. Last year he had 9 goals 16 assists in 77 games, logging 25 minutes per game. He may have had a “down” year but Martinez has Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty and now Dion Phaneuf to compete with. The positive though is that Martinez is definitely the fire power on that second defensive line for L.A and is slotted on the second power play unit. A solid 30 minimum and potential to be a 40 point defenseman. If Martinez is floating around in the later rounds, give him a shot!
Brady Skeji: With his new six-year contract the pressure is on for Rangers young defenseman Brady Skeji. Skeji will be tasked with power play time, top two defensive minutes and helping mold all these young defenseman in the Rangers organization. Last season was Skeji second full season, while he dipped 13 points his ice time did increase 3.5 minutes for the year. Skeji scored 4 goals and 21 assists in 82 games last year, while he is now adjusted to that 20 plus minutes per game regime, we can expect Skeji to be a big part in that Rangers d-core next year. Skeji will be running the power play two while logging top-two d minutes, a lot to handle for the 24-year-old defenseman which is why a lot teams will sleep on Skeji. It is worth a gamble for him due to the amount of time he will be seeing next year. I know Skeji will be on my sleeper radar, he should be for you too!