Off The Post Blog
I blog about the NHL, including players. I also write articles relating to collecting hockey cards.
mikko rantanen

Mikko Rantanen was selected 10th overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft by the Colorado Avalanche. 2015 was a deep draft with McDavid and Eichel leading the charge. The Colorado Avalanche did very well by selecting Mikko. Mikko stands 6’4″tall and weighs in at a strong 215 pounds.

Mikko had a stellar stat line last season, producing 29 goals and 55 assists for 84 points, a 48 point increase over the previous season. His production came on a line centered by Mackinnon with Landeskog on the opposite wing. The trio formed the second best line in hockey, second only to Smith, Marchessault and Karlsson in Las Vegas. Mackinnon should have won the Hart Trophy but suffered the Eastern bias vote that has become all too typical lately. Eastern media really needs to watch some West Coast games so they can gauge who is the best player in the league.

Rantanen benefited by playing with Mackinnon but he wasn’t any slouch on that line. If there is one thing that Mikko could do better, that would be to throw his weight around a little more. He dished out just 32 hits last season. He would gain puck possession more and therefore produce even more. He could stand to play better in the defensive zone too, even Mackinnon could do more of that as their line wasn’t all that good in their own zone. Once they gained puck control they were invincible in the offensive zone.

“Mikko’s another guy with a great skill set, a big-bodied guy who can skate and make plays,” said coach Jared Bednar. “Him, Nathan and Landeskog have really formed a good bond on and off the ice. Second year in the league, he knows what to expect. He came out to a bit of a slow start but he really found his stride lately because of his work ethic and commitment to play the right way.”

Expect more of the same for the MGM line again for the 2018-19 NHL season.

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Mikko Rantanen Hockey Cards

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jonathan huberdeau

Jonathan Huberdeau was drafted 3rd overall by the Panthers in the 2011 NHL entry draft. Huberdeau was taken after Nugent-Hopkins and Landeskog. Jonathan has 181 career points in 385 games played. Hopkins has played 457 games and has racked up 313 points, while Landeskog has racked up 341 points in 506 games. If you had to do the draft over again the same three would be taken where they were chose.

Jonathan Huberdeau lit the lamp 27 times last season and had 42 assists for 69 points. He had 19 powerplay points and finished the season a minus 2.

Jonathan has incredible chemistry with Aleksander Barkov. The two form a formidable line with Dadonov on the wing. Coach Bob Boughner broke up the pair at the All Star break last season. Huberdeau became the playmaker on the second line with Trocheck and Malgin. The line failed to produce consistently as Huberdeau and Malgin were trying to setup Trocheck all the time. Malgin was replaced by Frank Vatrano once he arrived from a trade with the Bruins. Huberdeau’s production spiked once Vatrano was put on the line. Expect that line to start the year together this season. Jonathan plays on the first unit powerplay with Barkov, Dadonov and Trocheck.

Jonathan saw an up tick in shooting percentage with 13.2% overall, his highest total since becoming a professional. Expect another productive season as Huberdeau is set to break out yet again. He is coming into his prime as he just turned 25 years of age in June. No reason why he can’t post 75-80 points this season as long as he stays healthy which is something he was able to do for the first time last season. Florida needs him to stay healthy in order to be successful.

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Jonathan Huberdeau Hockey Cards

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leon draisaitl

Leon Draisaitl was drafted 3rd overall in the 2014 NHL entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Leon played for the Prince Albert Raiders and the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.The Cologne, Germany native posted 25 goals and 45 assists last season for 70 points.

25 percent of Leon’s even strength ice time was spent with Captain Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon. Powerplay time was mostly spent with McDavid, Letestu and Lucic. Near the end of the season Leon’s linemates were Jujhar Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi. With Ty Rattie and Nugent-Hopkins expected to start the season on a line with Connor McDavid, look for Khaira and Puljujarvi to play on a line with Leon again. Although, knowing Todd McClellan I would expect the blender out in full force at least to start the season.

Leon posted 70 points last season but he only had 11 powerplay points. Just 4 powerplay goals. The Edmonton Oilers powerplay was horrid last season clipping along at a dismal 14.2 percent success rate, good enough for last in the entire league. Look for that to change this season as the Oilers have brought in new staff. There is no reason why Leon can’t score 30 goals in this league and put up 60 assists. I believe he is a point per game player and I believe the Oilers management thinks the same thing after agreeing to a new contract last season that will see Leon make $8.5M a season for the next eight years.

Quite a few Oiler players had off years last season including Leon especially on the powerplay. If Edmonton can turn their fortunes around this season Leon should post between 85 and 90 points. Look for Edmonton to make the playoffs after missing out last season.

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Leon Draisaitl Hockey Cards

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martin jones

Martin Jones was not drafted, he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Kings in the summer of 2010. The Kings then assigned him to play in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs. Martin did so well in the AHL and making the All Star game it opened up an opportunity. The Kings then traded Ben Scrivens to Edmonton in January of 2014 which opened up a spot for Jones and he hasn’t looked back since.

In June of 2015 with Jones set to become a free agent, the Kings traded him to Boston along with Colin Miller and a first round pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft in exchange for power forward Milan Lucic. Four days after being traded to Boston the Bruins traded Jones to the San Jose Sharks, for a first round pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft and forward prospect Sean Kuraly who was still in college at the time.

In his first season in San Jose (2015-16) he backstopped the Sharks all the way to the Stanley Cup Final where the Sharks lost in 6 games to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Martin posted 3 playoff shutouts to go along with his 6 regular season shutouts.

Last year Jones posted 30 wins in 60 games played and sported a .915 save percentage with a 2.55 goals against average. Martin finished with 4 shutouts. The Sharks finished with 100 points and third place in the Pacific division but suffered a second round playoff loss to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

For an undrafted goaltender Martin has made a good name for himself around the league. Look for him to post similar numbers this season.

You can purchase hockey cards of Martin Jones right here at my store Off The Post

Martin Jones Hockey Cards

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artemi panarin

Artemi Panarin was undrafted, he signed as a free agent with the Blackhawks. Artemi spent 5 seasons in the KHL before coming to North America. He started his North American NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015-16 season. Artemi amassed 77 points on his way to the Calder trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.

Artemi was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23rd, 2017, along with Tyler Motte and a sixth round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The Blackhawks received Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and a fifth round pick in the 2018 NHL draft.

Artemi Panarin’s first season in Columbus went very well as the left winger scored 27 goals and added 55 assists for 82 points and a plus 23 rating. Panarin played left wing on a line with Josh Anderson and Pierre Luc-Dubois. He played on the first unit powerplay with Wennberg, Atkinson and Foligno. The Columbus powerplay will need to be worked on this off-season as they finished 25th in the league in 2017-18 with a 17.2% success rate.

Artemi has one year remaining on a contract that pays him $6M annually. The Blue Jackets will do everything they can to sign Artemi to an extension. Panarin has told the Jackets that he will not sign an extension once training camp begins on September 13th, 2018. He wants to focus on hockey and not on the contract. If you ask me this is bad news for the Jackets. I wouldn’t be shocked if he has no intentions of signing in Columbus. Could have another Tavares situation on our hands. Hopefully the Blue Jackets play this differently than the Islanders did with Tavares.

One thing we do know, the breadman will be making more dough in the 2018-19 season whether it is with Columbus or another NHL team. He could sign for upwards of $9M per season.

If you would like to invest money in Artemi Panarin hockey cards, you can purchase them at my store Off The Post

Artemi Panarin Hockey Cards

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oscar klefbom

Oscar Klefbom was drafted 19th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Oscar is still just 25 years of age. The oft injured Klefbom looks to improve on a dismal 2017-18 NHL campaign which saw him finish with only 5 goals and 16 assists for 21 points and a minus 12. The previous year Oscar was a plus player and finished with 38 points on the strength of 12 goals. Oscar was paired with Adam Larsson in 2017-18, Klefbom spent most of the 2018 season nursing an injured shoulder. The Oilers medicated the shoulder with anti inflammatory drugs at the Christmas break but the shoulder never fully healed.

“It’s not always going to be a nice ride, there’s always going to be bumps on the road,” he said. “A lot of players had their best seasons last year, including me. We had a hell of a season as a team.”

Oscar spent 46% of his even strength ice time with Matt Benning last season. Oscar was often the only defenseman on the powerplay as the Oilers deployed a 4th forward in that position. The Edmonton Oilers will most likely use Klefbom and Larsson on the second pairing this season as they didn’t quite mesh early on last season as the top pair. If both players can gain some chemistry and consistency early on that may change, but I would expect Darnell Nurse on the top pair this season with another offensive defenseman.

I fully expect Klefbom and Larsson to rebound in the 2018-19 season and once again take over as the top pairing defenseman in Edmonton. To date out of 5 seasons, Oscar has only played one full season. He needs to stay healthy in order for Edmonton to move up the standings this season. He is an integral part of their offense.

Oscar has several NHL hockey cards. The most popular are his rookie cards made by Upper Deck. You can purchase Oscar Klefbom hockey cards at my store Off The Post

Oscar Klefbom Hockey Cards

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