ESPN’s Victoria Matiash issued several fantasy hockey roster surprises as we head into the first week of the NHL season…
Michael Rasmussen, C/LW, Detroit Red Wings (13.2 percent): By no means a slam dunk to remain with the Red Wings all season long, the 2017 No. 9-overall draft selection impressed enough to secure an NHL roster spot out of camp. We’re wagering that he’ll stick. Already tabbed to serve on Detroit’s power play, Rasmussen is expected to shift into a permanent top-six role soon enough. The large-framed 19-year-old, an imposing scoring presence in front of the net, scored 31 goals and 28 assists in 47 WHL games this past season. Also of note, rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski is tapped to enjoy minutes with the man-advantage while veteran Mike Green battles an illness. The 20-year-old has short-term value, at a minimum, in deeper leagues to start the season.
And Chris Peters posted a list of rookies who need to clamp onto roster spots to stick with their present employers:
Bad luck seems to keep hitting Svechnikov. He is going to start the season on non-roster injured reserve, which is how he started last season. Svechnikov never managed to stick with the NHL team last year and saw a dip in his AHL production as well. It was a bit of a troubling development for a once-exciting prospect. He had a decent preseason, the injury appears to be minor, and he is expected to head to Grand Rapids once again. The Red Wings have every reason to continue believing in him, but this is going to be an especially big season for him to prove he deserves a place on the NHL roster — and soon. This is a team that is attempting to rebuild, and if there isn’t a spot for him during these transitional years, then it’s time to start making other plans.