Fantasy Hockey Impact- Top New Entry Level Contracts Signings Part II
by, 05-25-2012 at 11:19 (1504 Views)
This is the second part to the top recent ELC signings which excludes players who have played in NHL regular season or post-season games.
4) Charlie Coyle- MIN- Blessed with the size and soft hands to play both a power and a finesse game, Coyle is a perfect combination of the two styles. It is not unusual to find prospects with a style similar to Coyle's but, few have developed both sides and know how to use them as well as the former-Boston University Terrier and current St. John SeaDog.
In the last year the first round selection in 2010 by the San Jose Sharks, Coyle has moved from the NCAA to the QMJHL and his NHL rights from the Sharks to the Minnesota Wild in the Brent Burns deal. It is not because he is a struggling prospect that led him being moved around so much in his short career. If anything it only proves that Coyle is an interesting commodity that many have different views of in the hockey world. His stellar stint in Canadian juniors with St. John should have him now cemented as a top NHL prospect if there were still any doubts.
Devin Setoguchi was the other major asset moved with Coyle for Burns. Setoguchi's struggles in his first season in the State of Hockey with the Wild could work out perfectly for Coyle. Setoguchi will be motivated to prove himself again which should help push Coyle. Even if Setoguchi does find his old form, Coyle should find himself on a line with either Mikael Granlund or Mikko Koivu. He finds himself on a team looking for offense especially on the wings. Coyle could provide that in spades.
5) Roman Cervenka- CGY- The former set-up man for Jaromir Jagr with Avangard Omsk of the KHL signed a deal that is technically an ELC, despite being worth $3.775 mostly in signing bonuses. Cervenka is perhaps the biggest wildcard on this list since he has never played professionally in North America and his production did take a dip this past season when Jagr left the KHL for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Fortunately for Cervenka, Calgary could be the perfect fit with their weakness at the center position and sniping wingers, Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri. Cammalleri in particular could use a new spark to get going again which Cervenka's playing making skills could greatly help. Alex Tanguay and Curtis Glencross also give assurance that Cervenka will have opportunities to help restart the Calgary offense.
If Olli Jokinen does return, which is far from assured, Cervenka will have more competition. If Jokinen does not return, even if Cervenka struggles at the beginning of the season, he should be able to beat out at least one of Mikael Backlund and Matt Stajan for a center spot on the top two scoring lines.
There is a distinct possibility that Cervenka could be a bust but especially in salary-based leagues that don't factor in signing bonuses, Cervenka's under one-million-dollar ELC is quite attractive. Otherwise his contract could be a bit more of a risk than some would like to take. On the other side of the coin, the amount of money the Flames threw at Cervenka is encouraging and he is all but assured of being a top line center next season, unlike most newly signed ELC players. The 26-year-old Czech, has one year to prove himself and could be worth the gamble both short term and long term.
6) Ryan Strome- NYI- At first glance, the Niagara IceDogs center looks to have regressed, going from 106 points in 2010-2011 to 68 points in the 2011-2012 season. It is hard to fault him since he is only 18 and played in 19 fewer games in the 2011-2012. The standards are high for a prospect drafted in the top five picks of the NHL draft, so his 23 points in 20 games in the playoffs were a welcomed sign.
However, there is no questioning Strome's natural ability. He has great hands, good awareness and is always in the play. He is part of an NHL franchise with the New York Islanders that has struggled to add youth to their rebuilding team. One of their top prospects, Nino Niederreiter had a dismal one point in 55 NHL games as rookie this past regular season. High expectations rest on Strome but there is no guarantee he will start next season with the Islanders even after playing well in during last year's pre-season for the Islanders.
Long term he should factor in as a major contribute to complement fellow center, John Tavares. The question of how quickly he will produce close to his potential is pretty much any one's best guess even if he makes the NHL opening day roster.