It has been rumored for nearly a month now that the Capitals were looking to deal Andre Burakovsky. Well they may find their trading partner as the Stars have been heavily scouting the Capitals and eyeing Burakovsky.
Andre Burakovsky is a RFA in the 2019 off-season therefore which ever team he goes to at the deadline will have first dibs at him. Burakovsky is on a current 3-million dollar deal. I am not sure if Burakovsky is expecting more and the Capitals are not going to give it to him but Burakovsky has not found his way in the line up this season and clearly is getting frustrated quickly. Burakovsky has spent five seasons the Capitals, in those five years he has played in 252 regular season games with 129 points (.51 point per game). He has won a Stanley Cup with the Capitals (2017-18) and played in 50 playoff games collecting 17 points.
There has been a lot of trade rumor on the 23-year-old forward but right now the only lee-way we have is the Dallas Stars and Capitals possibly being suitors. Sean Shapiro tweeted out the other the two have been scouting each other heavily and a deal could be done soon.
Stars and Capitals have been scouting each other heavily lately. Including Stars head pro scout in Washington this evening. The Caps Burakovsky is on the Stars list as they look at trade options and continue to assess where team is at.
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!
We spoke on some of the up and coming defensemen to keep an eye on for the 2017-2018 season, switching over to the forwards now. Everyone knows Crosby, Kane, Matthews, Laine, etc are the players to watch, this list will be the players to keep an eye on that don’t get much attention around the league.
Andre Burakovsky– Burakovsky has been with the Capitals for three seasons now, he’s been through ups and downs this organization has had. With the free agency news and signings that happened, the Capitals lost two key forwards recently. Therefore it is time for 22-year-old Russian left winger to step up and turn some heads in Washington. Burakovsky missed 18 games last season, but still managed to post 35 points during 64 games, along with 23 assists. With Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams gone, Burakovsky steps into the top six spot and will be playing alongside Kuznetsov, Backstrom, and Ovechkin, with that type of star power around him the left winger will soar to new heights next season, barring he plays a full 82 games next season, I think we can all expect Burakovsky to produce 40 plus points during the 2017-2018 season.
2. Rickard Rakell– After a career season and an unbelievable playoff performance, Rakell is finally amounting to the production Anaheim expects from him. Rakell buried 33 goals, along with 5 on the powerplay and 51 points on the season.
During his 15 game appearance in the playoffs, Rakell managed to post almost a point per game, with 13 points and 7 goals. Last season was Rakell best season all across the in terms of production and reliability. Rakell turned some heads and brought the spotlight onto him last season, with 10 game winning goals. It’s going to be tough for the 24-year-old to step out of the spotlight now after a 51 point season, but Rakell has the right tools around him in Anaheim and I think we can expect the center to put up even better numbers next season.
3. Jack Eichel– Now the reason being Eichel is on here is because, although the former 2nd overall pick got injured last season and missed 20 games, the Boston product posted more points in 61 games last season then he did in 81 his rookie year. When Eichel returned he almost a point per game type of player and in the month of February he had 16 points. Eichel flys under the limelight of Connor McDavid being the two were drafted the same year and McDavid recently just ran away with four awards this year. But now that Buffalo added some more defensive weapons, brought in Jason Pominville, and added some more key pieces up front the once basement team is looking to make a run at the playoffs this season. We all know how competitive Eichel is as well the 20-year-old center will thrive in the winning environment if Buffalo can string together some momentum next season. If Eichel is healthy all 82 games next season I think we can expect a 70 plus point year.
4. Elias Lindholm– Another player that fly’s way under the radar being that he plays in Carolina and the team has not been all that successful. Although last year the Hurricanes took major strides forward and with their offseason transactions they are taking, even more, strides forward. Lindholm posted a career-high 45 points last season and 34 assists along with 11 power play points. Hoping Justin Williams can help propel this offense a bit and possibly will be paired with the 22-year-old center along Sebastian Aho. Lindholm’s season was not a fluke last year, the right-handed forward now has some more tools with him to get the job done and we can expect Lindholm to produce similar if not better numbers next year.
5. Anthony Mantha– The former 2013 20th overall pick finally saw 60 games last season with Detroit, although Detroit was not as successful last season and missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years the 22-year-old flashy left winger brings some brightness to the young culture in Detroit. Mantha posted 36 points, with 17 goals and 19 assists last season, his first official season as an NHL’er. With the direction Detroit is going it seems as if the Red Wings are not going to be back in the playoffs again next year, but with Mantha and a few other up and coming prospects, in no time Detroit will
be back. Mantha’s size and big frame allows him to be a force on the offensive side of the puck and cause some havoc from defenseman down low, paired with the right guys, Mantha will exceed 36 points next season, especially with a full 82 games under his belt too.