Which current Olympian has more fantasy value James van Riemsdyk or Gabriel Landeskog?
With the Olympics now in full swing, let's focus this week on two of the top young wingers playing in Sochi – James van Riemsdyk and Gabriel Landeskog. We'll see what might be in store for them during the remainder of the regular season, as well as who projects to be the better producer down the road.
Career Path and Contract Status/Cap Hit
Both players were selected second overall in their respective entry drafts (2011 for Landeskog, 2007 for JVR), with Landeskog arriving in the NHL for good the same year he was drafted while JVR stayed in college before landing in the NHL two years later. Landeskog made an instant impact as a rookie, tallying 52 points before limping – literally- through a poor sophomore season in 2012-13. JVR had three unremarkable campaigns with Philadelphia before being traded (in June 2012 for Luke Schenn) to Toronto, where both his points and goal scoring pace have increased significantly. As of the Olympic break, they sat right next to each other in scoring (48 points in 57 games for Landeskog, 47 in 58 for JVR) and were owned in a nearly identical percentage of Yahoo leagues (JVR = 89%, Landeskog = 87%).
JVR is on year two of a six year deal that brings with it a $4.25 annual cap hit and a modified NTC which activates in 2016-17. Landeskog inked a seven year deal that kicks in next season with an annual cap hit of $5.571M and an immediate modified NTC. This means there will be a nearly 25% difference in their salaries for 2014-15 through 2017-18, which is pretty sizeable in cap-based fantasy leagues. JVR's deal is the fourth highest among Leaf forwards (Phil Kessel = $8M, Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson = $5.25M each), while Landeskog is Colorado's second highest paid forward (