GETTING THE CALL: RECENTLY RECALLED PLAYERS
MAX REINHART - F - CALGARY
Reinhart is enjoying a productive season in AHL Abbotsford, so the Flames are giving their third-round pick from 2010 a good look as the NHL season winds down. This is a valuable time of year for management and coaching staff to see how certain prospects are developing, and where they can slot them in on the depth chart. In 51 games this year with the Abbotsford Heat, Reinhart has a great line of 17g, 29a for 46pts in 51 games. He is a very skilled player with a great sense for the game. He is an excellent two-way center who can play on the power play and penalty kill. I think he will be known for his play-making ability at the NHL level but he does have a great release and has above average offensive instincts. I know Max and the Reinhart family personally, having been lucky enough to coach his younger brother Sam (the potential top pick in this year's NHL entry draft) so I am confident that Max will become a full time player with the Flames in the next year or two, and fill in nicely as a top six forward.
SHORT TERM FANTASY OUTLOOK: With only one point in five games with the big club, we don't have a large enough sample size to really predict how his numbers will look during the next while. Also, it remains to be seen how long his stay is or if he is sent back to Abbotsford. However, Reinhart is a very talented, skilled, gifted thinker of the game so if he is given the right opportunity he should be able to impress Flames fans down the stretch.
LONG TERM FANTASY OUTLOOK: I think this is where Max will have the most value, especially for those of you in keeper leagues. The flames aren't blessed with too many weapons up front so if Reinhart can impress during his latest audition and continue his growth and development over the off-season, he could find himself in a top six role with Calgary in the short future. He has the skill and offensive hockey smarts to be a productive pro.
John Albert - F - WINNIPEG
For the WInnipeg Jets the news of losing Mark Scheifele was a tough pill to swallow, but one man's pain is another man's gain. John Albert received the call to fill the void left by Scheifele. A bit late to the party as far as age and pro hockey are considered, the 25 year old Albert, who was drafted in 2007 by the former Atlanta Thrashers, has only three seasons of professional hockey under his belt. He enjoyed a successful career at The Ohio State University, captaining the team as a senior. In 139 total games in the AHL, Albert has 29g 37a for 66pts. He spent a little time with the Jets earlier this year managing to score his first NHL goal in eight games of action. Albert possesses great speed and outstanding play making ability. He is an above average passer with good vision, and also is someone who plays a reliable brand of hockey - something Paul Maurice will appreciate.
SHORT TERM FANTASY OUTLOOK: Interesting to know if the Jets plan on keeping Albert for the rest of the regular season (and playoffs if they can get there). The Jets have options within their lineup to fill the spot left by the injury to Scheifele like Michael Frolik being switched from wing to center. If that is the direction the Jets take, then the little-to-no fantasy value that Albert had is gone.
LONG TERM FANTASY OUTLOOK: Winnipeg actually has some sneaky good forwards in their lineup and in the system, so for guys like Albert even making the team is not an easy task, and if successful, earning a spot in the top six, or top nine for that matter, is even harder. I cannot for sure recommend a player who has such little experience at the NHL level for fantasy consideration.
VINCENT TROCHECK - F - FLORIDA
A couple things went right for the defending OHL scoring champ Trocheck to receive this call. The Florida Panthers were in need of a center as Aleksander Barkov went down with an injury, and they traded Marcel Goc to the Pittsburgh Penguins on trade deadline day. In his first season in pro, the 20-year old Trocheck is enjoying a steady campaign with San Antonio scoring 40 points in 53 games. This is a player who scored at a torrid pace in junior, and as I mentioned before, was able to win the OHL scoring title with an impressive 109 points in 63 games. Trocheck also enjoyed success at the 2012/13 World Junior Tournament, helping his team USA win gold, and scoring six points in seven games (two in the Gold Medal game). This kid is an offensive talent, but he is also always one of the hardest working players on the ice. Using his hockey IQ to get into good scoring areas, he has a tremendous sense for the game.
SHORT TERM FANTASY VALUE: It will be tough to predict how he will fit at the NHL level especially at his age (b.1993) but his work ethic, smarts, and offensive instincts will be given every chance to shine for the remainder of this season. Key injuries and roster movement will allow Trocheck to get a good opportunity to show that he can score at the NHL level as well. If you're a Panthers fan or an owner of NHL Gamecentre, it may be worth a watch to see how this kid looks in his NHL debut.
LONG TERM FANTASY VALUE: As with most young players who have as much upside as Trocheck, he should be owned in virtually all deep keeper leagues. Standard leagues not so much. If he is able to score at the NHL level even just to half of what he was able to do at previous levels, the Panthers may have a good one here. Despite this talent he wasn't taken until the third round in 2011 so there are definitely some non-believers. His size (5'10) could be his only downside.
ANDERS LEE - F - NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Don't look now, but the 23 year old former Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward has seven points in seven career NHL games. The New York Islanders have lost 2/3 of their top line (Vanek, Tavares), so players like Lee have been given more opportunity and ice time to show what they are capable of, and he has not disappointed. A sixth-round pick in 2009, Lee signed his first pro contract with the Islanders last season following his junior year at Notre Dame. He scored two points in two regular season games with the Islanders, and was on the roster for their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, although he didn't dress for any games. Playing this whole season in the AHL with Bridgeport, Lee has been solid with 41 points in 54 games. However, there must be something in the water on Long Island, as Lee has managed five points in five games since returning to the show. Lee is averaging about 15 minutes of ice time per game, with some significant time on the man advantage as well. He is a big body who protects the puck very well and is tough to defend in the offensive zone. Blessed with a very heavy shot and a great awareness for the game, Lee could factor in on the Islanders offense moving forward.
SHORT TERM FANTASY VALUE: There is value here both in the short and long term with Lee. For a team depleted as much as the Islanders are right now, he has proven he can score at the pro level which will give his coaches confidence to put him on the ice more and more - and in good situations as well. Playing healthy minutes is a good sign, as well as good looks on the power play makes him an excellent short-term add in most standard leagues. I wouldn't hesitate to grab him now, but if you are still reserved then it's safe to track his progress throughout the remainder of this week to see if he is legit or if it's a flash in the pan.
LONG TERM FANTASY VALUE: Just like in the short term, there is value for Lee in the long term. He has keeper league value and standard league value. I would be shocked if he doesn't earn a roster spot out of camp next season and is a full time player in the NHL. He has the talent, size, and tools to be a good player in the league; and on a team like the Islanders he will be given more opportunity quicker than he would on a team with a deeper roster. This will be someone to keep a definite close eye on for the foreseeable future.