In the final column of our Fantasy Focus series, we take a look at the
prospects. These players likely won’t spend the entire season in the NHL
but should see some time with the big club and depending on what role they’re
put in, they could have some significant fantasy upside. Which of the
Habs’ prospects are worth monitoring the most in your fantasy pools?
Nathan Beaulieu: He’s hurt at the moment which isn’t helping him make
his case right now for an injury replacement recall during the season but he
showed last year in his brief NHL stint that his offensive skills are pretty
good already at the next level. If there is a need for more offensive
help, he should be the first skilled blueliner recalled and he will likely see
powerplay time when he’s up. In deeper leagues, Beaulieu will be worth a
pickup when he’s in Montreal.
Michael Bournival: He should start the season in Hamilton’s top six
once again but it’s doubtful he would play that type of role if he’s called up.
Bournival is best suited as a bottom six energy player that can contribute on
the penalty kill. Although that’s a nice type of player to have on a real
team, that’s not the type of player you’d want on a fantasy squad.
Sebastian Collberg: If the skilled Swede makes the team out of
training camp, it likely would be in a short-term role while Brian Gionta
returns to full health. Although he can’t be assigned to Hamilton – he has
to go back to Sweden – he may still have an impact by the end of the year.
Collberg would be eligible to go back to Montreal (or Hamilton) when his SHL
season ends, a strong year back home may earn him a look late with the big club
in the year. If he’s in Montreal, he’s worth a flyer as his skills will
likely place him in a scoring role.
Gabriel Dumont: He has to clear waivers this year so there’s a chance
he gets plucked off the wire. Presuming he clears and makes it to
Hamilton, Dumont will be one of the first callups when the injury bug strikes.
His versatility and energy will keep giving him chances although it’s highly
likely he plays in a fourth line role. Although he plays a physical style,
there will be better fourth line options on the waiver wire in your pools.
Louis Leblanc: Last year was a disaster so he has fallen down the
depth chart considerably. However, his two-way play makes him an option
for the Habs in a few different roles. If Leblanc can resurrect his
offensive game with Hamilton, he might get a look as a top six guy with
Montreal. Unfortunately, that’s about the only role that would make him
Magnus Nygren: Offensively, he’s not far away from being NHL-ready
which makes him worth keeping an eye on. Like Beaulieu, he probably would
see powerplay time with the Canadiens and given the Habs’ penchant for success
with the man advantage, that alone should make Nygren an intriguing proposition
in deeper leagues.
Greg Pateryn: Although he’s one of the more improved players in camp,
I’m not sure he’ll get too many chances with the Canadiens because of the
players in front of him. He won’t be the first player up if they need grit
nor will he get the nod if an offensive player goes down. He has been a
pleasant surprise since getting off to a strong start in Hamilton last season
but there aren’t any circumstances where he’d be worth a pickup in a pool.
Christian Thomas: Natural goal scorers are a rare breed but Thomas,
acquired for Danny Kristo in the offseason, is one of them. As a result,
Thomas finds himself the preseason favourite to take Gionta’s spot if the
captain isn’t ready to go on opening night. Given that he’ll be on a
scoring line, he’s worth a last round gamble in a deep league if Gionta isn’t
ready or worth a pickup off the waiver wire when he’s called up.
Jarred Tinordi: Right now I think he’s on the outside looking in with
respect to earning a spot in the opening night lineup (the players with one-way
deals will get the first crack) but that’s not a guarantee. If he does
make the team as a regular, he’s worth a roster spot for leagues with hits, PIMS,
and blocked shots as he should be slightly above the league average in each of
Last year wound up being a good one for Montreal’s youngsters with Alex
Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher being impact players. I don’t expect that
to be the case this season as there really aren’t any roster spots up for grabs
short of injury replacement roles. That means that you should look
elsewhere if you’re thinking about drafting a youngster in the late rounds of
your pool but nonetheless, don’t be surprised if a few of these players prove to
be useful when they get their chance with the Habs as the 2013-14 campaign