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  1. Here is how I'd rank the prospects right now from 1-33. To me the biggest surprises are Novikov, Biro, Cederqvist, Murray and of course Levi. Biggest disappointments R2, Rosen, Poltapov and Kisakov. I thought all 4 would take a big step forward, but I haven't seen it yet. I have Levi lower then others not because I don't love what he has done this season, but because I consider how long it takes until some gets to the NHL as well as their upside and everyone I rated ahead of him are NHL regulars now or will be soon. Goaltenders and their develop is especially hard to predict. Still Levi has been arguably with Power the best two players in the NCAA. 1 Power - 24 pts in 22 NCAA Games and completely dominating the competition. 2 Quinn - Dominate in the AHL (35 pts in 24 games). Looked solid in NHL debut. 3 Cozens - Cozens is improving in the NHL, not sure where his pts ceiling is yet. 50, 60 or 70? 4 Krebs - Solid AHL numbers and has shown flashes in the NHL. Still needs work before ready. 5 JJP - 26 pts in 27 AHL games. Made NHL debut, but still work to be done on his two way game. 6 Samuelsson - Put up good O numbers in the AHL (16 pts in 20 games). Came up and played solidly. No surprise. Will O game develop in the NHL only question. Should be an NHL regular now. (I'm really tempted to move Matt ahead of JJP and Krebs). 7 UPL- Shaky start to the season in the A, but then got on a roll and continue solid play in 9 NHL games. Now injured. 8 Levi - Absolutely dominating the NCAA in net. 9 Shutouts. 1.31 gaa and .955 save %. Cal Petersen never looked this good. AHL next year? 9 Johnson - Solid all around D play in 3rd NCAA season. AHL likely next year, but could also compete for an NHL job next year. Think a better McCabe. 10 R2 - 18 NHL games didn't go as hoped, not sure if he's not good enough or bad linemates. Jury is still out. Should get another shot after the deadline. 11 Portillo - Michigan NCAA anchor in net. Solid play with a 2.31 and .921. Probably needs another year in college before turning pro. 12 Rosen - 4 pts in 27 SHL games and since returned to Jrs, 6 pts in 5 SWE Jr games 13 Poltapov - 0 pts in 17 KHL games and since returned to Jrs, 9 pts in 7 MHL games 14 Kisakov - 0 pts in 4 KHL games and since returned to Jrs, 31 pts in 32 MHL games w 15 goals. 15 Bryson - Now an NHL regular, but it looks like he may lose out to the LHD coming like Samuelsson, Johnson and Power 16 Murray - 6 pts in 18 NHL games. Phyiscal presence who can contribute up the lineup. Should be a depth NHL piece going forward. 17 Laaksonen - Excellent O creator from the blueline, D game still needs work, but improving. I can him making an NHL debut sooner then later. 18 Novikov - 18 year old D don't often hold their own in the KHL. Novikov has, but has since been sent down after the World Jrs. 19 Nadeau - Leading scorer w 45 pts in 30 games for the Shawingan in the Q. 20 Bloom - Scoring slowed after a big start, but solid at 15g 29pts in 31 OHL games 21 Fitzgerald - Finally made his NHL debut and played solidly. Should get another shot given our need for RHD and stay at home defensemen. 22 Weissbach - 23 year doing ok in rookie pro season with 13 points in 24 games in a middle six role 23 Biro - Huge improvement for this 23 year old. 21 points in 26 games as a middle six playmaker. Would like to see him get a callup soon. 24 Kozak - 34 pts in 35 games in the tough WHL. Big step forward in D+1 season 25 Cederqvist - 16 pts in 27 SHL games. I can now see him getting a shot at the AHL next season 26 Costantini Former Jr Sabres, playing well for UND with 10 pts in 16 games as an NCAA rookie2 27 Konecny - Czech World Jr team member doing Ok in senior Czech league with 7 pts in 28 games 28 Lyckasen - Swedish RHD getting regular PT in mid level SWE1 league. 12 pts in 32 games. 29 Rousek - Injury has kept this physical scorer from helping the Amerks this season 30 Von Barnekow - Dominate in Swe Jr (27 pts in 19 games) but zero pts in the SHL or Swe1 leagues 31 Huglen - Getting pretty regular PT for Minn Gophers with 4 pts in 20 games 32 Sardarian - 12 pts in 22 USHL games 33 Marjala - only 14 pts in 30 Q games, down from 27 in 30 last year
  2. it is terrible. If we were paying him the market value of $5 mill and he produces a 40 pts season no big deal, but if you are paying someone $8 you need to get 20 goals and 60 assists to justify the contract. Why do we all rag on Skinner? It's because he isn't producing close to even half value on his contract (although he is on a 30 goal pace this season without RK). Also the stats don't reflect your performance argument. Hall had 6 pts (of his 19 total) in his first 3 games and then only 13 (1 goal) pts in the next 34 with 3 coming in his last 7. Sorry friend, but after the first 3 games he was down right awful. That's a 31 pt pace for the season after the first 3 games, but a 35 pt pace in the last 7 games before the trade.
  3. Signing Hall I don't think in any way prevented a Reinhart extension. Samson was under contract for the last season with Hall or without him. Had they signed Sam to an extension it would have kicked in this season. It's more likely that when the team starting going further down hill TP/KP told KA to scrap the thing and Reinhart told management to trade him. No extension was on the table from the Sabres and no extension was requested from Reinhart. To bad. I agree with @dudacek that it would have been great to have Samson back this season to be the top line center and allow the kids to grow in secondary roles. I also agree that the deal we got for him for have been on the table ( or even a better one) come the deadline. Honestly the dealing of Reinhart this summer instead of a bridge deal for the season to me looks more and more as evidence of a mandate to save $ and a decision to not put the best possible product on the ice, but I digress. Also 17 assists in 37 games for a top line player is not a good assist total., especially when you consider a 71% O zone start percentage. With 19 points total in 37 games, Hall was on pace for a 41 pt season. Mitts, VO and especially Reinhart all out pointed him in both actual and in p/gp for significantly less $. Hall was a waste. Also the $8 mill contract when the market price was $5 mill is what facilitated the deal. Hall's camp asked for the NMC and KA stupidly gave it to him. He would have signed the deal with a limited NTC or possibly none at all to get the money. Also we had better offers at the deadline according to news reports for the NYI and Caps.
  4. @dudacek giving KA a “pass” on the Hall fiasco is funny my friend. To put it simply he overpaid to get Hall. Gave him a NMC which destroyed his trade value. He played a position that was already deep with Skinner and VO and therefore didn’t fix any roster holes. His addition sent Skinner to RK purgatory. He was terrible on the ice with 2 goals in 37 games. The trade garnered for us a late 2nd rd pick (Kisakov), who may not reach NA for 2-3 more years, plus we gave up a serviceable 4th line center in Lazar (something we still need)for an awful depth forward in Bjork who we are stuck with because he had a 3 year deal. That is the ultimate fail for any GM at both ends for the transaction. Getting 2 goals for an $8 investment is a fail. Getting only a 2nd rd pick for a former recent MVP is a fail and being stuck with 2.5 years of Bjork makes it worse.
  5. Good news on Mitts, to bad he’ll be skating alone when he gets back if this injury trend continues.
  6. I hate to say this but the lower the cap stays the harder it will be for many teams to hold on to players giving us a better opportunity to utilize our cap space to steal a needed player or 3.
  7. Back in the day Lydman was acquired for a 4th. I think you can get a quality player for a 2nd. Zadorov went for a 3rd this summer. Nate Schmidt also went for a 3rd. Brendan Dillon went for 2 2nds. I do that deal right now. Jake Bean went for a 2nd. Bottom line is that help is available without breaking the bank draft pick wise.
  8. I'd take Klingberg or Josh Manson. I also give Justin Braun a 1 year deal. That said, I think the more likely route is taking someone with a year or two left on their deal who a team may part with to stay cap compliant. For example someone like Orlov or even Scandella. I want the veteran leadership on the backend to mentor Dahlin, Samuelsson and Power but who can still play hockey. Admittedly these are deals are more likely this coming off-season, but there maybe one possible at the deadline.
  9. While I agree that TM over did it in the trade department, I do believe that we are at the point where we need some help to fix holes that our prospects group isn't providing. As to enhancing the team at the deadline, I also agree that it's difficult, but not impossible. One of the hallmarks of the Crosby era in Pittsburgh is that they had a multi season approach to the trade deadline. Two examples (but there are others), Chris Kunitz was a deadline acquisition in 2009 and then played the next 8 years for the Pens and Erod went there at the deadline in 2020 and has now been a fixture in their lineup for the last 2 seasons. The RHD will be hard to come by at the deadline, but there are teams who will need cap space to make deals at the deadline and who knows what might shake loose.
  10. I don't disagree on the 1st rd picks, but I disagree on the 2nds. It depends on what is being offered. If I can get a Toni Lydman type player who is 25 to 27, I trade a 2nd for him in a heartbeat. (DR gave a 4th for Lydman who was 27 when acquired). To me a 2nd in 2023 is a player who has a 25% chance of being an NHLer in 2-5 years from being drafted. I rather have a player then can help now. Also we are going to need 15-17 million in contracts just to get to the floor next season. Even if we sign VO for $5 mill, we'll still need 10-12. KA has to get to something for that money (not a Butcher :)). As I been saying for a year, get a goalie and one or two good stay at home D to get us to the floor. If KA weaponizes the cap space to go beyond the floor I'll be pleasantly surprised.
  11. Tons of extra draft picks and tons of cap space. If your right, KA should have at a minimum be able to utilize the cap space to enhance the team. Since about 75% of the players lack any form of NMC/NTC, there has to be someone KA could acquire to enhance the D at the deadline or next off-season.
  12. Boychuk was acquired when we fell under the cap floor once Eichel was traded to get us back to the floor. Again, KA has another opportunity to add talent to the roster and choose the one move that add cap $ but at a bargain real $ price (500k). To me this is more evidence of the mandate. I guess I just don't believe anything coming out of a GM's mouth. They are the politicians of the sports world. KA talks about only getting players that want to be here. Sounds great as a soundbite but is ultimately BS. UFAs go two places, places they have a chance to win or where they can get the biggest $ (or the only places willing to give them more NHL time). Until we field a good team, no big name UFA is coming here and that doesn't work anyway. The same applies to players with NMC/NTCs. (Although only 24% of NHL players have NTC/NMCs and of those 90% are limited in some fashion) We have trade capital and KA hasn't used it. My argument has always been that he should be using some of that capital to enhance the goaltending and enhance the defensive skill of the D group. @Weave - Butcher was traded here, he didn't have a choice. When he was a UDFA out of college, he refused to sign here just like Vesey. One other note. PLF should have never been hired and should have never been empowered to choose the first GM. He was about as qualified to be a team President as KA was to be a GM.
  13. I think where you and others miss the point about wasting limited cap $ is that I believe that KA is under pretty strict purse strings this season. TP/KP have IMHO told him he can't spend much if any over the cap floor. His moves this past off-season have reflected that. My point about Butcher is that he is a terrible player who should have never been acquired at any price and it's even worse when you are operating as a cap floor team and you waste 2.8 mill on Butcher. I believe that he could have spent that money else where and received more bang for his buck. Frankly, I don't know why this is so hard to understand. When you look at the cap hits for Boychuk and Butcher, you are looking at 9 million (or 15%) of the mandated cap floor. To me that's 9 million that could have gone to real hockey players that could have made this team better. The only way this move and others are understandable is if KA was tanking. The argument that Butcher was just to get us to the cap floor but that we aren't tanking doesn't makes no sense to me. You don't bring in bad players and expect positive results. Freeman, where you and I agree is that tanking is never the right strategy and could have been avoided this season even as a cap floor team. PS: as to @LGR4GM fixation on UFAs; there are other ways to acquire talent. How about trade for someone?
  14. No. Not the right kind of talent. We don't have any gifted forward playmakers on the current roster. Maybe Krebs will ultimate be such a player on the PP, but he isn't there yet. Mitts is our best option right now and he is injured.
  15. This fantasy view of KA's tenure so far is really amazing. Giving him a free pass for year 1 is simply wrong. He signed Hall, gave him $8 mill and a NTC thereby destroying his trade value when the plan failed and using up our cap space to help in other areas. He signed Eakin for 2 years. He acquired Staal. He failed to replace Hutton. He failed to extend Ullmark (and McCabe for that matter). He doesn't get a free pass for these mistakes. They are on him. Again, whether you call it a development year or a tank, the result is the same. KA built a team to lose. To me that's a tank. If it makes you feel better call it something else call it something else. The results are the same. How many seasons now have Dahlin, Mitts, Thompson, Asplund, and Jokiharju seen without a commitment to building a winning team. How many seasons are they witnessing where the top end players are sent packing and are they replaced with dumpster fires Eakin, Hayden, Caggilua, Bjork, Butcher, Rieder, and Sheahan? The sad part of all this is that we could have had a reasonable team for similar cap $. We have spent nearly $4.5 on our parade of terrible goaltending. We are spending 2.8 on Butcher and another 3.8 on Miller. We also added $ 6 mill in cap on Boychuk's deal. That's 17 mill in wasted cap that could have been spent on quality veteran players and still kept us as or near the cap floor. For example: Had we simply retained McCabe ($4) and Ullmark ($5) traded Miller for whatever but still signed say Anderson and Pysyk, we'd have a much much better team. Obviously McCabe and Ullmark wanted out, but I wonder if KA had offered to extended them mid-season last year whether one or both would have stayed. I guess this is why I want KA fired. No vision. It isn't the team W-L record, because that is a by product of his decisions. It's the fact of his saying he wanted to build a winning culture and then doing the exact opposite. To me building a winning culture doesn't start after one more bottom feeding year, it starts the day you say it. I look at KA's decision making and wonder what he is thinking. He knows the goaltending stinks for 2 years and instead of making it better he makes it worse. He also knows the in zone defense is awful, yet he spends precious cap $ on the worst in zone D in the NHL named Butcher. The only reasonable explanation for those decisions is purposefully building a team to lose. I'm against such strategies and any GM who employ them.
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