Saturday’s Dump & Chase: Prospect Watch

With the NHL still trying to sort things out, there’s still a lot of hockey going on - for better or for worse

Nashville Predators News

Rosters - Canada - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship | Hockey Canada
As expected, Philip Tomasino - the Predators 2019 1st round pick - makes the Canadian roster for the upcoming World Juniors.  Tomasino will play on Canada's second line alongside Connor Zary (Calgary, 2020 24th overall pick) and Quinton Byfield (Los Angeles, 2020 2nd overall pick).

Golden Knights owner shuts down reports of Max Pacioretty being shopped | Sportsnet
The rumors got pretty wild for a couple days regarding Pacioretty, with Nashville being a possible trade partner - but Bill Foley, owner of the Golden Knights, told a local television station that the team was "not shopping Patches... he definitely is not being shopped".  I was actually pretty onboard with the idea, honestly.

Also, the most important Predators news of the day:  He kept it!

Predators Prospects Update

The Nashville Predators’ 2020 NHL Entry Draft Stream | On the Forecheck
Here's a one-stop shot for most of the prospect work that our resident guru Eric has done, along with several other updates.  But a ton of prospects saw action yesterday, so below are some of his tweets of interest that involved players in the Nashville system both overseas and in the ECHL:

We start with one of my new favorite traditions - early morning KHL action, featuring our old pals Jokerit, with Eeli Tolvanen playing wing on the second line.  And hey!  There’s former Predators occasional backup goalie Anders Lindback!

Jachym Kondelik, the late-round draft pick that seemingly surprised a lot of people starts his season with an assist for UConn.  I still can’t get over how well he skates considering his size.

Speaking of UConn, Tomas Vomacka has been decent in net for UConn, hovering right around 0.00 GSAA and a 91% save percentage.

Meanwhile in the Sunshine State, Nashville’s ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades look to have a very strong start to the season, in part due to seven Predators prospects playing yesterday, with new goaltending signee Devin Cooley in the backup role.  But how good would they be?

There’s a point for Lukas Craggs!

OK, make that two points, with Craggs adding a goal.  But he wasn’t finished.

Two more Predator prospects join in the mix, with former Boston University player Patrick Harper scoring his first professional goal, setup with Cole Smith’s first professional point.  The game was starting to get out of hand.

Told you Craggs wasn’t finished - he picks up where he left off last season, adding another goal to his three-point outing so far.  But wait.  WAIT.  Eric, what have you done?

Oh no.

Meanwhile our good friend, and Hurricanes beat writer Sara Civian has also noticed that Florida’s roster is a bit stacked.

Tanner Jeannot joins in the fun, adding a point of his own to the 6-1 win over the Icemen.  Eric wasn’t kidding.

Meanwhile, somehow, Eric was tracking 2020 draft pick Luke Reid at the University of New Hampshire.  Reid was left alone and unfortunately made the wrong choice and allowing the easy score.

All this happened just yesterday, and don’t forget that we’ll also see Egor Afanasyev, Iaroslav Askarov, Semyon Chistyakov (Russia) and Juuso Pärssinen (Finland) as well in the World Juniors, as well as Alexander Campbell impressing in his NCAA debut.  Make sure you’re following all the work Eric does to keep track of all of this.

Hockey is for Everyone

Dempsey and the Pride have unfinished business to settle | The Ice Garden
Now, it takes a lot for me to support a Boston sports team in anything, but the Pride's new sweaters are just too sharp to ignore.  So now I own one, and I have a new favorite NWHL team.  The Boston Pride, led by the incredible Jillian Dempsey, look to finish what they started last season, as they were favorites to win the Isobel Cup before the Final was cancelled.  Make sure you check out this great interview of Dempsey by the Ice Garden's Mike Murphy.

ECAC releases 2020-21 league season schedule | The Ice Garden
It's been rough going for the ECAC, even before the season started.  First the six Ivy League schools dropped out, with RPI and Union following soon after.  The four remaining teams have been playing non-league games, but now have a set schedule: they will play the other teams four times each, followed by a single-elimination tournament in March.

Calgary PWHPA hub to be called Team Scotiabank | The Ice Garden
The PWHPA has reorganized into five training hubs, with set rosters of 25 players for the upcoming Tour.  Calgary follows Toronto by giving their hub a name - Team Scotiabank! - and some sharp-looking sweaters to go along with it.

Around the NHL

NHL considering changes to 2021 division realignment plan | Sportsnet
Twitter bickering about who was right about the division realignment aside, it looks like the divisions that were set just a day ago are already in flux.  The main change could be a swap of two usual (former?) Central division rivals: Minnesota could join the Pacific, with the Western Conference champion Dallas Stars rejoining the realigned Central.

Alfredsson can't be Sweden assistant at WJC due to quarantine rules |
Daniel Alfredsson was supposed to be the assistant coach for Sweden in the World Juniors, but due to quarantine rules, the former Ottawa Senator and six-time NHL all-star will be watching it like the rest of us: from home.

How three 'fringe' hockey departments operate, and what teams use them for | Sportnet
This is a really insightful piece about the parts of an NHL hockey organization that most of us refer to only in passing.  Or in the case of the analytics department (highlighted as one of the three), talked down about by the old people in charge.  Take a look into what the math nerds do, as well as the Player Development and Sports Science departments.

There’s talks the NHL could purchase the COVID-19 vaccine as a private buyer down the road.  If they do it, and whatever the ethics of the situation might be, I’m glad I’m not the one that will have to deal with the PR fallout that is sure to follow.

Tweet(s) of the Day

First, I want to highlight a former SBNation colleague (from my fill-in role at Fear the Fin last season), Sheng Peng, who is doing a tremendous job covering the Sharks at his new home.  This story is great for a variety of reasons, but like Sheng, it also means a lot to me personally as a person of Asian heritage.  Check it out, and subscribe if you can:

Second, you’ve all heard me scream this over and over (and over) again, but there are a lot smarter people than me who are capable of doing it much more effectively.  This thread is all about why point shots are bad.  So very, very bad.

Song of the Day

A friend of mine had never seen this all-star performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.  Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and even George Harrison’s son joined in the performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, but nothing could prepare the world for the final three minutes.  Prince is - well, he’s Prince.  He’s one of the greatest ever, and this video will show you why.