There were quite a few promotions this week that could affect fantasy rosters in the season's final days, so without too much ado, let's get into this hot action. Mostly, I'm just too excited about Ty Rattie coming to the NHL to talk about anything else.
Ladies and gentlemen: the coming thing.
Ty Rattie, RW, STL This one's particularly exciting for me as a Rattie owner in one of my dynasty leagues. A murderer of goalies in the WHL he scored a ridiculous 105 goals and 231 points over 131 games in his last two seasons with the Portland Winterhawks, and averaged nearly a goal a game in the playoffs Rattie's had a very good first professional season with AHL Chicago, delivering 29 goals and 17 helpers in 69 contests. A promising baseball prospect in high school, fantasy owners have to be happy that the Albertan winger chose hockey. His NHL debut Friday night is must-see TV, especially if he gets good minutes. He's slated to play on the second line Friday a very interesting placement for a Blues team that needs a boost.
Petr Mrazek, G, DET Mrazek's back from the AHL again to back up Jimmy Howard, as Jonas Gustavsson is the latest of the Wings' top two goalies to suffer an injury. Mrazek's been bounced back and forth all year long, but with a .925 save mark in the AHL and a .916 in the NHL, his long-term outlook remains quite bright. It'd be a shame if he didn't have at least a backup role at the start of next season.
Zach Boychuk, C, CAR The 14th-overall pick in 2008, Boychuk has struggled to break in with Carolina over the last few years. This year's been another successful one for him in the AHL a spectacular 72 points, evenly split between goals and assists, in 66 games. Still just 24, Boychuk has all the tools to be more than just a career AHLer. He's a bit small, sure, but he's physical, he's got great skill, and he's managed four points in 10 NHL contests this year despite averaging only 9:40 of ice time.
Cedric Paquette, C, TB The 20-year-old Paquette has had an excellent pro debut this season with AHL Syracuse, chipping in 20 goals and 44 points to go with a stunning 153 PIM. Though as a 2012 fourth-round pick, he doesn't have the kind of cachet that, say, Zack Kassian came into the league with, but Pacquette could deliver a very comparable and highly enticing points-and-PIM combination from the Lightning's third line at some point next year.
John Gibson, G, ANA Gibson's first two NHL games have gone about as well as you could ever ask for he's won both, with a shutout in the first and a 36-save effort in the second, showing incredible promise as a 20-year-old that should make the Ducks feel better about eventually running Jonas Hiller out of town. A 2011 second-rounder, Gibby's got a .919 save mark and 2.34 GAA with AHL Norfolk this year, and he's posted incredible (and stunningly consistent) numbers in the past for the U.S. National Development team and the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.
Christian Folin, D, MIN An undrafted signee out of UMass-Lowell, Folin managed a respectable (if not terribly exciting) 20 points in 41 college games this year. Then he signed with the Wild, and the payoff has been immediate in his first NHL game Thursday, Folin picked up an assist and went plus-3. The 6-3, 2010-pound Swede was trusted with more than 19 minutes of ice time, and that should have his fantasy owners excited, too.
Jesper Fast, RW, NYR Though Fast has gone scoreless in his first 10 NHL games here as a rookie, the fact remains that the 22-year-old Swede is well, fast. Though he only has a fairly moderate 34 points (split evenly between goals and assists) in 48 games for AHL Hartford, he's gone plus-14. All in all, it's a near-mirror of what he did in Sweden last season (35 points, plus-13 in 47 games). And hey, he ripped off two goals and an assist in his final AHL game before being promoted this week.
Prospect of the Week
Adam Clendening, D, CHI A second-round selection by the 'Hawks in 2011, Clendening's finishing up his second pro season, and his year-over-year growth should have fantasy owners drooling. After a nine-goal, 46-point debut in 73 games last season, Clendening's racked up a cool dozen goals and 44 assists to boot in 70 contests this year yeah, that's 10 more points in three fewer games. He can shoot, he can pass, he can do it all. And while Clendening may be slightly undersized for a D-man at 5-11, 190, the 21-year-old from Wheatfield, NY, is making a name for himself in prospect circles and should be considered a potential candidate for next year's Calder Trophy when he inevitably breaks in with the Blackhawks.