Photo via: ohlalumnicentral
The European leagues are filled with potential cheap NHL talent. One such example is found in the Czech Republic, Vladimir Roth, an undrafted defender playing for Trinec Ocelari HC.
Roth’s scoring has been trending in the right direction. And at nearly a point per game in the Czech league, he’s a viable NHL puck moving defender for next season. If Michael Del Zotto really wants 5.5M and a long term deal, the Flyers should trade him to a team willing to give that money or let another team offersheet him and take the compensation. In fact, using Rob Vollman’s NHLe formula, Roth projects quite well.
At just under a point per game, Roth projects as a .415 point per game NHL player, or 34 points per 82 games. Right now, 34 points would be good for second among Flyers D in scoring behind Mark Streit, albeit a drop off from MDZ’s nearly .5 point per game pace. On top of it all, 34 points would likely be good for a top 50 spot in the entire NHL, which means he’s likely a mid pair puck mover on scoring alone.
If Roth is even remotely competent in the D zone, he’s basically a cheaper Del Zotto, and if he plays consistent PP2 minutes, he could easily deliver the 34 points expected of him.
On a side note; he’s actually a former London Knights teammate of both Del Zotto and Zac Rinaldo.
Using last year’s RFA compensation chart, a $5.5M offersheet would result in the Flyers getting a 2016 first, second and third round pick. While it’s highly doubtful anyone would pony that up, it’s very possible a team tosses a 3 year 3.3M that stays at the high end of the second round pick table. If that’s the case; the Flyers should jump at the chance to add another second round pick in 2016 as the 16 draft is shaping up to be nearly as deep as the 15 draft. Could the Oilers, who are desperate for help on defense make a move for Del Zotto? If so, this easily opens up a spot for Vladimir Roth.
While the Big Four defense prospects are coming, Gostisbehere lost this season of development with a knee injury, Sanheim can still be sent to Junior, Morin will enter his first season of AHL eligibility and Robert Hagg’s ELC will begin ticking despite having roughly 75 games of AHL experience.
If the Flyers have an active offseason and move 2 of Del Zotto, Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Nick Grossmann and Luke Schenn, the Flyers could dress a defense next season of:
and a 7th, who ideally becomes Nick Schultz if Robert Hagg or Brandon Manning prove they can handle regular minutes.
Roth would allow the Flyers to not rush one of the kids and at 25 and a puck moving right handed shot, he could easily take the Giroux spot on the 2nd power play unit. With Roth’s right shot the powerplay units could stack up this way:
B Schenn/Raffl/Read-Couturier-Lecavalier/Raffl/Laughton/New Wing
At age 25, he’s not bound by the ELC system but would be waiver exempt for 60 games; the Flyers could probably have him, if he wants to make the jump to the NHL, for 1 year, $900K. This would give the Flyers an RFA year if they wanted to keep him, but not log jam them with long term commitments.