31-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Rostislav Olesz Contract Information:
Waived by the Devils in November 2013.
The Devils placed Olesz on unconditional waivers Wednesday, effectively terminating his contract, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports.
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Rostislav Olesz: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rostislav Olesz.
Signed as a free agent this past July, Olesz has had an unfortunate spate of injuries since winning a Cup with Chicago in 2010. He's a depth forward with an offensive skill set who didn't cost the Devils much and could potentially be a nice return. He won't have a large impact offensively, but any production New Jersey gets from Olesz will be looked at as a bonus.
Which contract is worse -- Olesz's $3.125 million cap hit as a seriously declining asset or Brian Campbell's $7.1 million? Campbell's loss on the Chicago blue line was dramatic and Olesz has been nothing but a huge disappointment. His window has passed and the team will once again bury him and his bloated contract in the minors.
The Blackhawks are hoping that new scenery will bolster Olesz's career. He was the seventh overall pick by the Panthers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and has not lived up to his billing. Acquired by the Blackhawks as part of a trade sending away Brian Campbell, Olesz hit bottom with only six goals and 11 assists in 2010-11. He is also coming off knee surgery, so it's possible he could start in Rockford of the AHL.
Olesz has underachieved in his career, so far. He's a former first-round selection who has stirred up more attention as an injury risk rather than someone to jump for in the fantasy hockey world. Unless he can start avoiding the injured reserve, a 30-point season appears to be his ceiling.
The Panthers gave their former first-rounder a six-year deal last summer and were rewarded with yet another injury-riddled campaign ó this time to the tune of a mere nine points. Even if Olesz stays healthy for a change, it's becoming apparent that the team views him more as a potent third-liner instead of a scorer. Consequently, he should disappear off the fantasy radar for the time being.
He has shown glimpses of promise from time to time, but that hidden scoring touch the Panthers championed when they selected the Czech in the first round of 2004ís draft hasnít seen the light of day yet ó if it even exists at all. Most of all, Olesz hasnít shown the offensive instincts to encourage the learning curve. Coaches have tried to get him to shoot more, but he still only posted 14 goals last season.
The second half of 2006-07 was better than the first for Olesz, who finished up with 30 points. He is expected to routinely be in the top six, which means his numbers could jump to levels warranting roto attention. Coaches will always find room for someone of Olesz's ability on their scoring lines because of his defensive awareness.
Olesz hopes to just stay healthy this season, but the Panthers are looking for him to shoot more. With the team bulking up on offensive depth, it appears Olesz will land on the team's fourth line, so don't expect big numbers from him.
There's no doubt Olesz was a less-than-sexy pick at seventh overall in the 2004 draft, but let that pique your interests as to how many elements he can bring to the table. He's known mainly as a play-making center, but has enough size and defensive awareness to shake unflattering labels that may come along with that characteristic. He's good on the draw and despite only being 19 years old, he has four years of experience in the top men's league in the Czech Republic. He should adapt to the North American game pretty quickly and be a viable option for the Panthers soon.