Hello everyone and welcome in for another article. This is the seventeenth installment of a weekly article I’ve been writing all season long in which I try to determine the truth about puzzling players. I pull suggestions for which players to write about for these articles from the Apples & Ginos community on Discord and the Apples & Ginos Patreon members. Be sure you check out those spots to catch up with me and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about Tyler Toffoli, Jakob Chychrun, or any other trade deadline targets. Let’s get it!
Tyler Toffoli, LW – CGY
Toffoli was dealt by the Montreal Canadiens to the Calgary Flames today in exchange for a package including a first round pick. Like many members of the Canadiens, Toffoli had been experiencing more than his fair share of struggles, on pace for just 20 goals after he scored 28 goals in just 52 games in the shortened 2021 season. As you can see, Toffoli’s advanced stats have fallen off this season as well, in particular his individual scoring chances for/60 mark (iSCF/60). His point totals have remained afloat due to a slightly higher than average on-ice shooting percentage (oiSH%) and individual points percentage (IPP). Toffoli’s new role in Calgary remains in question, but I can’t see the Flames breaking up their highly successful top line. That would leave Toffoli on the second line, most likely with Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane. Of more interest to fantasy managers will be whether Toffoli is able to wrest the fifth power play spot away from incumbent Sean Monahan. Without that spot I don’t see Toffoli as more than a 50-point player and occasional streamer the rest of the way – he won’t see the 17-18 minutes of ice time he was getting in Montreal from the Flames’ second line. If he does get PP1 duty I think it’s fair to think he could produce at a 60-point pace as that Calgary top unit is no joke.
Verdict: Whether he gets PP1 time will determine if he’s just a streamer or something more
Thomas Chabot, D – OTT
Chabot has dealt with some terrible puck luck this season, sporting a horrific 34% IPP and 2.4% shooting percentage (S%) compared to 45% and 5.3% career averages. On the season his shots/60, iSCF/60 and on-ice rates like CF/60 and SCF/60 all look in line or slightly better than his career numbers; I think Chabot should be in line for a bounce back of sorts. Now Chabot is currently day-to-day after being on the receiving end of a massive Tom Wilson hit on Sunday; the latest update as I write this is that he’s doubtful for Tuesday’s game. Still, it seems that Chabot shouldn’t be out long term if they haven’t already ruled him out. Perhaps there’s a buy-low window looming here, although you’ll have to account for the fact that Josh Norris and Drake Batherson are still out long-term and the Senators offensive prowess is being severely tested as a result.
Verdict: Chabot has positive regression looming, but there may not be enough talent left on the roster to really cash in on that potential
Mike Smith, G – EDM
Smith has been up and down (or down and up more accurately), following up a putrid back-to-back in which he allowed four goals each to Vegas and Chicago with a promising 37-save effort in a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders. My read on the Edmonton goaltender situation is this: the Oilers desperately need anyone to stop a few pucks and they’ll keep running out whoever does that best. I also think there’s a better than 50% chance that the Oilers are in the goaltender market this trade deadline, which would obviously all but seal Smith’s death sentence as a fantasy asset. I view Smith as the probable erstwhile bulk starter in Edmonton, but he’s certainly no more than a streaming option and I wouldn’t hesitate to drop him if a better option presented itself.
Verdict: Smith is a streaming goalie, nothing more
Evan Bouchard & Tyson Barrie, D – EDM
This Oiler duo is a hot topic, with Barrie trending down and Bouchard trending up by maintaining PP1 usage over Barrie for multiple games now. Bouchard managers were on high alert after he received just 13:31 of ice time despite that PP1 deployment in his first game under new coach Jay Woodcroft. Unfortunately it’s looking like Barrie will receive more 5v5 ice time while Bouchard gets the top PP deployment here; this is bad news all around for Barrie and Bouchard managers alike. I’m not interested in Barrie if he’s not on the top PP unit and I’d be willing to drop him, but he’d be an instant add if he ever reclaimed that spot. On the flip side Bouchard is barely rosterable as a 4th/5th defenseman if he’s going to be a 15 minute a night PP specialist. Both Barrie and Bouchard have upside if their deployment improves, but as it stands currently it’s a net negative all the way around.
Verdict: Bad scene, everyone’s fault. Drop Barrie and hold Bouchard for the moment but stay on watch
Before you go, I want to make sure you’re aware of the Apples and Ginos Fantasy Hockey Podcast and I would be much obliged if you were to give it a listen. There are two weekly shows focused on the strategy elements of fantasy hockey and I’m very excited about providing more value to the fantasy hockey community in this way. I’ve already had terrific guests like Ian Gooding from Dobber Hockey and Elan Dubrofsky from Keeping Karlsson on the show and I’ve added a midweek podcast with my friends Josh Hutchinson and John Binkle who are a ton of fun on the mic.
That’s all for this one folks, I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it! Make sure you follow Apples & Ginos on Twitter and join the free Apples & Ginos Discord server for more content and to ask any fantasy hockey questions you may have. If you want to learn more about any of the advanced stats I mentioned in this article, be sure to check out my article on applying advanced stats to fantasy hockey, or check out Natural Stat Trick’s advanced stats glossary.
Thanks for reading, you are appreciated!
Player Stats Cards: Created by @TJStats
Soundtrack to my writing: Stand Beneath the Sky by Sophia James
Advanced stats credit: Natural Stat Trick