Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Ottawa
For the last 12 years over at The Hockey News, I have reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them. Now that I am no longer with THN, my 13th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Incoming – None. Just minor leaguers.
Impact of changes – Well, for one thing they Sens clearly choose to ride the kids. A couple of spots open up and the spots will remain open until a prospect claims it. It's hard to question the decision, given how well the Sens have done with integrating young players into the lineup over the last two years.
Ready for full-time – Chris Wideman, now 25, is as ready as he'll ever be to make the jump. A ridiculous 61 points in 75 AHL games as a defenseman gives you an idea of the type of player he is. And what makes him more appealing to fantasy owners is the fact that he has picked up 217 minutes in penalties over the last two years. He should make the team as the No.7 defenseman, but as with T.J. Brennan in years past – he won't make it very deep into the season if he doesn't produce quickly. Brennan fell short. Will Wideman?
(Read more on Wideman here)
Matt Puempel is a former first-round pick (24th overall in 2011) who is a pure sniper. A potential Cy Young winner (our term for players who score more goals than assists earned), the 22-year-old played 13 games last season for the big club and didn't look out of place. With minimal, and very protected ice time, he managed two goals and was plus-6. Displacing the likes of Colin Greening and/or Zach Smith shouldn't be a problem if Puempel has an above-average camp.
(Read more on Puempel here)
Shane Prince was drafted 37 picks after Puempel and could probably use another half-season in the AHL. If Greening and Smith lose their jobs, it will be Prince who would get the call. He had 65 points in 72 games for Binghamton in 2014-15.
(Read more on Prince here)
Fantasy Outlook – The Senators are a fun team in fantasy hockey because so many things could go right that it makes them one of the most appealing teams to build a fantasy squad around. Erik Karlsson is the best defenseman to own, period. He's the equivalent of Sidney Crosby for defensemen. And Mark Stone could become a game breaker and perennial Top 20 scorer. There are five or six other players who could become regular offensive contributors, and goaltender Craig Anderson could become a Top 10 goalie.
Or…Stone is "merely" a decent 65-point player, the other youngsters top out at 45 or 50 points, and Anderson continues to be a Band-Aid Boy year after year while backup goalie Andrew Hammond shows why he was so terrible at the AHL level.
Fantasy Grade: B+ (last year was B)
Get the Fantasy Guide, the Prospects Report, the Midseason Guide, the Playoff Draft List all for just $10 here!