Hello everybody and welcome in for a new series I’ve been mulling over. Over on my Twitter feed I’ve been spamming everyone with arbitrary lists, just quick hitting lists to get my thoughts on several fantasy hockey related topics (and several non-fantasy hockey related topics) out and on the record. In these posts I’ll dig a little deeper into those lists and give you a bit of the “why” behind them. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
Taylor Hall is a slam dunk. He gets the best center of his career to play with, and Jack Eichel gets the best winger of his career to play with. Point-per-game should be expected and Hall’s motivation (which has been questioned at times) should be at an all time high given his one-year contract.
Barrie lands in the sweetest possible spot for a UFA defenseman, getting an opportunity to ride shotgun on the McDavid/Draisaitl power play train. He should eclipse 50 points with ease and push for 60 (or at least the equivalent pace in a shortened season).
Markstrom played behind what most metrics had as a bottom-5 defense in Vancouver and looked phenomenal. Calgary represents an upgrade in that department and I expect nothing less than a continuation of Markstrom’s Vezina-caliber play in a Flames uniform.
Shattenkirk is my pick to take over PP1 QB duties in Anaheim; Cam Fowler doesn’t move the needle and I imagine power play time was part of the package on offer to Shattenkirk (along with that sweet $$). Anaheim has some really nice young pieces coming into their own up front (Trevor Zegras is good enough to stick, Troy Terry will be a 60-point player, and Maxime Comtois could provide that net front presence) and I expect Anaheim will improve on their 30th ranked PP with Shattenkirk at the helm.
Smith was a tongue-in-cheek inclusion here – I thought we may have seen the last of him in the NHL before Edmonton picked him back up for God knows what reason. We’ll see if he makes anything of the opportunity but he’ll be out there enough in a tandem with Mikko Koskinen.
Svechnikov’s reign atop this throne has been well documented in my articles and Twitter feed. I see David Pastrnak whenever I look at him, and I think this is the year he takes the step up to the 90+ point level and establishes himself as a bona fide superstar in the league.
Hall was due for some positive regression based on his established shot generation profiles before we knew he’d be riding shotgun with Eichel, so it’s wheels up for the former Hart Trophy winner.
Rielly should get a full season running PP1 for Toronto after posting a 47-point pace in a season where he played injured for much of it and was supplanted by Barrie on PP1. In the playoffs new coach Sheldon Keefe turned back to Rielly and he looked to be getting back into the groove as a true offensive force on a team already loaded with them. A 60 point pace should be well within reach.
Mantha flies under the radar as the Robin to Dylan Larkin’s Batman on a terrible Detroit team, but his point production cannot be denied when healthy. I think he’s got another gear to hit yet and a 70-point pace is certainly not out of the question.
What to make of the Pietrangelo/Shea Theodore situation in Vegas? This reeks of the Tyson Barrie/Morgan Rielly mess we saw in Toronto last year where neither player gave us what we had hoped. I imagine both see substantial power play time but neither gains a clear edge and as a result both players’ point production will suffer.
Beggars can’t be choosers and so Greiss finds himself in line to see a whole hell of a lot of rubber in Detroit this year. It doesn’t get much tougher than this assignment and I’m not convinced Greiss is a good enough goalie to outperform his situation.
Holtby’s decline has been well-documented and going to Vancouver into a projected timeshare with Thatcher Demko behind a porous defense that lost several more pieces this offseason is a recipe for fantasy disaster.
Crawford goes out of the frying pan in Chicago and into the fire in New Jersey, where he’ll still see a metric ton of shots and will fight it out with upcoming Mackenzie Blackwood for playing time. It’s hard to see a scenario in which Crawford’s best fantasy days aren’t behind him.
Schultz probably wasn’t on a ton of radars to begin with but he will probably see PP2 duties this year, which in Washington behind John Carlson will likely amount to about twenty seconds a game. Outside of a Carlson injury, Schultz is all but done for fantasy.
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