Saturday, December 30, 2017

Morning Player Notes in the Draft (Dec 30)

The Chicago Blackhawks are still ironing out all of their current issues in their lineup, trying to find the right formula to regain their dominance in the league.  On Friday night, there was a pair of healthy scratches of interest for the hockey pool, as forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Gustav Forsling both came out of the lineup and up to the press box for their game against the Oilers.  Sharp has 9 points in 35 games this season, while Forsling has 12 points in 33 games this year, but recent results are likely greater than the whole totals, but neither are all that sparkling.

Benson took Sharp in the 11th round, making him a very reasonable gamble this year, while Jeremy took Forsling in the Waiver Draft this season, and has collected 4 points in nine games, since being activated, which isn't too bad for a mid-season defenseman pickup.  Big scratches though, given that both pool teams finished the night, tied at 330 points, ranking 3rd and 4th, only 1 point back of Wilton, who is in 2nd.

It was unfortunate for Peter Budaj, getting a rare start on Friday night and getting hurt in it. Budaj got the nod against the Flyers, but after allowing four goals already in the game, the Slovak keeper was rolled over by Philadelphia forward Scott Laughton and that was where he suffered a lower-body injury, believed to be to his leg.  The initial reports do not sound too promising, as the coaching staff, after the game, suggested that there is a call-up in their future, which means Budaj will likely be shelved for a while.

The rough first season for Steve continues, as he has only had seven appearances from the Tampa Bay backup and only 6 points to his credit.  I'm not sure everyone would have seen Andrei Vasilevskiy take on the amount of ice-time that he has, which has forced Budaj to be a bit of a dud pick.

More bookkeeping transactions in Washington this week, as they looked to get an extra day or two of cap space by sending both pool forward Jakub Vrana and non-pool defenseman Madison Bowey down to the AHL on a paper transaction.  The Capitals have been relatively comfortable against the cap ceiling for the better part of the season, but squeezing every penny out of these non-waiver transactions helps their cause, especially once we get to the trade deadline.  The more space they have to play with, the better.

For Dale C., who has Vrana, this isn't anything to really worry about.  The 21-year old Czech forward has 10 goals and 16 points in 38 games this season and has played well enough to stick around all year.  He currently ranks 253rd in pool scoring, pretty good for the 341st pick in the draft.

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