Geek of the Week – Braden Holtby

Terry Campkin

2015-01-18

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby’s stellar season as a reminder: never draft a goalie in the 1st round.

Goalies are a strange animal in fantasy hockey because they are incredibly important to your team's success but they are also extremely volatile and hard to predict. Today, I am going to try to help show the value of goaltenders and decide how we should proceed trying to acquire them with my latest Geek of the Week: Braden Holtby.

 

In the Geek of the Week series, I have historically avoided goalies like the plague because they're just so hard to predict and place a value on, but Holtby really stood out to me this week. I was running my league on Fantasy Hockey Geek from December 1st onwards to try to get an idea of who's hot and who's up and coming. I was interested to see that TJ Oshie is finally heating up, Dustin Byfuglien is a beast again and Mathieu Perrault might actually be for real. What really stood out to me though was Holtby:

 

Rank Player W SO SV% GAA G A +/- SOG PPP SHP HITS
1 Dustin Byfuglien         7 12 8 61 6 1 69
2 Alex Ovechkin         10 6 12 97 6 0 71
3 Braden Holtby 14 3 0.917 2.40              

 

Since Dec 1st, Holtby has been the most valuable goalie in my league and the third most valuable player overall. Looking at his numbers, I realized a couple things. First of all, Holtby is getting a lot of games (first amongst all tenders in this time period) which is key in any league that includes cumulative stats for goalies (wins, shutouts, saves). Secondly, I was surprised to see that his value was so high given that his GAA and SV% are good but not great. What this tells me is that the math shows that the more important factor to a goalie's value is my league is his Win and Shutout totals. Holtby's 14(!) wins and three shutouts since December first is head and shoulders above all other goalies in the league. Compare Holt