James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

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Draft Day Decorum

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


SLEEPERS

 

Note: I’m just going to throw out three or four sleepers per column until I run out. Sometimes they'll be ranked too low on a specific site, other times they’re just generally underrated.

 

Mikhail Grabovski (criminally low in Yahoo) - Did Randy Carlyle hijack the rankings here? Maybe, because the three-time 20+ goal-scorer and two-time 50-plus point guy could approach Mike Ribeiro's 2013 numbers in Washington next season. Honestly, Mikhail Grabovski might mean "no respect" in Belarusian.

 

Kris Versteeg (too low in both) - Some sleepers are like home run swings - sure, you could strike out, but you could also break a light - but others are base hits. Versteeg is a nice single that could be stretched into a double, provided he’s healthier than 2013. He doesn't quite shoot enough or score enough to be a high-end sniper, but he's really close to the mid-tier, with three 20+ goal seasons already at age 27. Also, he's deployed this "Tombstone" mustache and that "Hulk Hogan" hair in the past, which is a compelling tiebreaker, really. If his knee bothers you, at least keep him on your watch list (provided he goes undrafted).

 

Ryan Miller (200’s in ESPN) - Miller’s been riding that incredible silver medal/Vezina year for a while, but amusingly enough, that reputation’s gone flat just in time for another Winter Olympics. He’s no steal in Yahoo, but in ESPN, it’s tough to ignore the bargain potential, even if he’s playing for almost-certainly-lousy Buffalo.

 

Assuming he doesn’t get traded, of course.

 

INJURIES (full list) AND QUICK HITS

 

The Detroit Red Wings placed Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves on the LTIR while also putting Jonas Gustavsson and Jordin Tootoo on the regular IR. I’m sure their fans will get some chances to grumble at another round of “too old” comments … Kris Letang and Tomas Vokoun are on the IR, but it appears that there’s “no interest” in Ilya Bryzgalov. Should I attach the word “yet”? Don’t make any bold plans of grabbing him; it’s probably best to wait and make sure he actually plays in the NHL this year first … Take many of the rookies making teams stuff to heart. After all, NHL squads can send a guy to the AHL/junior after nine games and not burn an entry-level year. I’d be cautious about a tweener like Morgan Rielly, despite his talent and penchant for generating typos … It looks like James Reimer gets the opening night edge on Jonathan Bernier. Hopefully I’m pointing out the obvious when I say that this is just the beginning of that little saga.



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James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien



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