Saturday, June 16, 2018

Habs Lock Up Newcomer Domi

"Welcome to Montreal, Max Domi.  Here is your 2-year contract and now you can work towards that top six spot in the lineup."

On Saturday morning, less than 24 hours from being acquired, the 23-year old Domi signed a 2-year, $6.3 million deal, locking him into his new club and providing his new side some added flexibility on the salary cap end and all kinds of grit and ability on the ice.

If you missed the trade post from earlier this morning, Domi finished last season with 9 goals and 45 points in all 82 games for the Coyotes, good enough to be 127th among all forwards in scoring and well within the realm of being a key hockey pool contributor.  It wasn't his career-best, but it was certainly a good season and now he gets to apply his trade in a major market, under the microscope.

The Canadiens were not a very good team for us hockey poolies in the 2018 and the move to bring on Domi for Alex Galchenyuk, really took away some offensive flair from this side and still leaves them short down the middle of the ice.  The current projection of the team, especially the forwards, isn't a very big side, not that they necessarily have to be these days, but it just seems to lack size, both physically and in reputation.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Jonathan Drouin 5.500 Shea Weber 7.857 Carey Price 10.500
Max Pacioretty 4.500 Jeff Petry 5.500 Antti Niemi 0.950
Andrew Shaw 3.900 Karl Alzner 4.625
Brendan Gallagher 3.750 David Schlemko 2.100
Max Domi 3.150 Jordie Benn 1.100
Paul Byron 1.167 Noah Juulsen 0.863
Nicolas Deslauriers 0.950 Victor Mete 0.748
Artturi Lehkonen 0.925 Mike Reilly 0.725
Nikita Scherbak 0.863
Jeremiah Addison 0.720
Byron Froese 0.650
Charles Hudon 0.650
Daniel Audette 0.643

With the addition of Domi to the projected lineup, I'm showing this current iteration of the team coming in at $62.3 million.  There's still plenty of room to make some more moves and it is expected that they will.  With a top three pick in this year's entry draft, they will also get to add a dynamic offensive forward, which could go a long ways to rounding out this side.

Fringe Signing (Jun 16)

The Chicago Blackhawks took care of some restricted free agents-to-be on Friday, signing both Vinnie Hinostroza and John Hayden to 2-year deals, Hinostroza's reportedly worth $3 million and Hayden's in the $1.5 million range.  The Blackhawks are going to have to rely on some of these cost-efficient contracts to help them stay competitive, while hoping that these guys can be huge bargains, by the time they hit the ice next season.

Hinostroza played in 50 games for the Blackhawks last season, registering 25 points and was 254th among all forwards in scoring, according to my rankings.  With some more ice-time, he can certainly creep his way up into the conversation as a late round forward.

Hayden played in 47 games, scoring 4 goals and 13 points, not quite the scoring record as above, but he'll be looked upon to fill in a lot of those minutes as well, providing depth to the team and hopefully a bit more scoring. 

Chicago remains reasonably flexible in its cap situation, but it's still going to be about saving those pennies and maybe making a better run at some better players at the trade deadline.

Galchenyuk for Domi

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To Arizona POS Age GP Goals Points Years Cap Hit
Alex Galchenyuk F 24 82 19 51 2 $4.9 mil
To Montreal POS Age GP Goals Points Years Cap Hit
Max Domi F 23 82 9 45 0 RFA

Let the silly season, begin!

The Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes got it started off with a bit of a bang, as Alex Galchenyuk swapped spots with Max Domi, as two players that had their names dropped quite a bit in roster moves in recent months, both get shuffled off to fresh starts in different conferences.

Galchenyuk's time in Montreal was never all that bad, but it failed to live up to the hype of the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft, never quite finding his scoring touch at the elite level for the Canadiens.  Moves between the wing and centre were the talk of the town far too often and the team was always unable to find a complimentary player to play with him.  19 goals in 2018 wasn't bad, but it was an underachieving season, which left the Habs out of the playoff picture.

Domi, a 1st round pick back in 2013, never really faced the same scrutiny as his trade counterpart, but he was often in the forefront, as his style of game is certainly gritty, with much more upside to it than what his father showed a way back when.  In Montreal, he will certainly provide a little bit more edge to the lineup, once he's signed to a brand new deal.  The real trick for the Canadiens, will be to get Domi signed to a reasonable deal, which allows them to remain flexible and hope that the 23-year old can spark his play and become a real bargain.

The move to acquire Galchenyuk is a really big gain for the Arizona Coyotes, if he can somehow find that speed and skill game with his new club.  The Coyotes are already boasting some great young talent in Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun, but they have been quietly putting some hardly-aged veterans on this side too, which will certainly start making some noise here soon.  Sooner or later, this team is bound to explode.

To me, the Canadiens getting grittier doesn't exactly make them all that much better.  Domi has shown flashes of some offensive quality, but he has been far from consistent.  The hopes could be that he finds some chemistry with guys like Jonathan Drouin and/or Brendan Gallagher, both undersized, but somewhat dangerous at the same time.  There's still something missing in the Canadiens lineup, but all it could be is just belief in themselves.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Recent Contract Extensions (Jun 15)

Although it can't be made official until July 1st, it is expected that we'll see the announcement of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson signing a brand new 8-year contract extension, said to be worth $8.5 million per season.  The 26-year old defender still has one year left on his current deal, which carries a cap hit of $5.5 million, and his new deal will kick in for the 2020 season and will go all the way to the 2027 season.

Ekman-Larsson is one of a few high profile defensemen that would be up for unrestricted free agency after the 2019 season, if they were unable to sign contract extensions beforehand, and this deal will set the bar for the likes of Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty moving forward.

The Arizona defender had a pretty good 2018 season, finishing with 14 goals and 42 points in all 82 gmaes, which was good enough to sit him 23rd among all defensemen in scoring.  Those scoring numbers may not be overly staggering, but when you consider the team he's on, they don't look quite so bad.

My Mock Entry Draft

It's another year and time for another shot in the dark with my mock entry draft.  Now, if you've been following along with the Pool Outlook posts, I have been making picks as I have been going along and this is the first draft of the mock draft, as I rolled through the picking process.  This would be more of what I would do, than what might actually happen and that's what these mock drafts are all about right?

I'm sorry, what?  We're supposed to guess what the teams are going to do?  Well, most of them aren't very good at it anyways (or so I tell myself), so I am going to stick to my method.

If you're curious as to how I got to these picks, check back to the Pool Outlook posts, I do offer a reasonable explanation, in most cases, so have at it!

If there are any deals between now and the draft, where a 1st round pick may change hands, I might revise the mock draft, just for fun.

Team Player Position Pick
  Rasmus Dahlin D 1
  Filip Zadina F 2
  Brady Tkachuk F 3
  Andrei Svechnikov F 4
  Adam Boqvist D 5
  Quinn Hughes D 6
  Noah Dobson D 7
  Oliver Wahlstrom F 8
  Evan Bouchard D 9
  Ty Smith D 10
  Joel Farabee F 11
  Bode Wilde D 12
  Joseph Veleno F 13
  Jared McIssac D 14
  Jesperi Kotkaniemi F 15
  Serron Noel F 16
  Martin Kaut F 17
  Barrett Hayton F 18
  Ryan McLeod F 19
  Akil Thomas F 20
  Vitali Kravtsov F 21
  K'Andre Miller D 22
  Isac Lundestrom F 23
  Rasmus Sandin D 24
  Mattias Samuelsson D 25
  Grigori Denisenko F 26
  Benoit-Olivier Groulx F 27
  Adam Ginning D 28
  Rasmus Kupari F 29
  Ryan Merkley D 30
  Jonny Tychonick D 31

Fringe Signing (Jun 15)

Edmonton Oilers forward Drake Caggiula signed a new 2-year, $3 million contract extension on Thursday, bringing him back to the fold and giving him a new opportunity to try and apply his trade at the top level.  Caggiula did come into the league a couple years ago, carrying some decent hype from the NCAA, but hasn't really turned that into a great NHL career just yet, but with one appearance in the hockey pool in the last couple of years, I know there are some guys out there keeping an eye on him.

Last year, the 24-year old played in 67 games, scoring 13 goals and 20 points, good enough for 288th among all forwards in scoring.  They aren't great numbers, but there may still be some upside there somewhere

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fringe Signing (Jun 14)

The Boston Bruins have been anything but quiet in the early part of this off-season and they have added one of the Olympians from PyeongChang on Thursday, signing Slovak forward Martin Bakos to a 1-year deal.  Bakos had 2 goals and 4 points at the Olympics, but played in the Czech League, scoring 14 goals and 40 points in 52 games for Bili Tygri Liberec.  The 29-year old will definitely get a good look in camp in September and the Bruins could use some reasonably cost effective depth, as they're one of the teams in the bottom half of the league for remaining cap space.

Top Prospect Signing (Jun 14)

The Boston Bruins are not short on depth on the blueline, as they signed 2017 1st round draft pick, Urho Vaakanainen, to his 3-year entry-level deal on Wednesday night.  Vaakanainen was taken with the 18th overall pick and is projected to be a very good shutdown defenseman, not quite the kind of guy that you'd see in your hockey pool, but with the way that the Bruins generally move the puck up the ice, he'll be picking up the assists here and there, I'm sure.  He doesn't have a great deal of size, but carries a decent hockey IQ.  He's not projected to join the Bruins for another year or two, but as a 1st round draft pick, he's certainly one to watch.

And for shits and giggles, let's include a 2nd round draft pick in today's post, as the Buffalo Sabres signed another 2017 pick in goalie Urho-Pekka Luukkonen to his 3-year entry-level deal on Thursday.  Luukkonen played every single moment for Finland at this past year's World Junior Championships and was playing in Finland's second tier, posting some very reasonable numbers.  The scouting reports say that he can take the bottom of the net away with his size and he moves very fluidly, so his rise to the top level could be much quicker than other goalies.  With the lack of signed goaltending depth in Buffalo, getting the kids under wraps moving forward is a pretty good move on their part.