Taking a look at the Western Conference forwards. Buy, sell or hold? (Part 1 – Ducks, Coyotes, Flames, Blackhawks)

Having previously covered goalies and defensemen this week the focus shifts to the forwards in the first of four parts. For forwards a lot depends on being in the top six unless, like Ryan Spooner, limited even strength minutes come with extended power play minutes. There are only 50 players averaging two points per 60 minutes played at even strength and the best forwards get 15 minutes per game at even strength. For the best of those players that amounts to 60 even strength points down to around 40 points. Bottom six players are lucky to get 15 minutes per game total and as such are lucky, or exceptionally talented, to even get 40 points.

 

As always the recommendations in this series are for this year only.

 

Anaheim

Player

GP

TOI

PPTOI

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Andrew Cogliano

29

14:37

0:05

3

6

0

6.38

4.17

1.62

1.45

Hold

Carl Hagelin

29

14:55

0:14

2

5

0

4.00

5.41

1.72

1.59

Hold

Ryan Kesler

29

19:46

2:14

3

8

4

5.08

5.09

2.03

2.41

Buy

Corey Perry

29

18:03

2:46

10

9

8

12.99

9.82

2.66

2.90

Hold

Jakob Silfverberg

29

17:22

0:54

3

3

0

4.05

4.9

2.55

1.90

Buy

Shawn Horcoff

28

13:40

0:16

4

4

0

11.11

6.82

1.29

1.29

Sell

Chris Stewart

28

10:51

1:12

5

4

1

11.90

7.27

1.50

1.25

Sell

Mike Santorelli

27

10:16

0:37

4

2

1

13.79

5.38

1.07

0.93

Hold

Rickard Rakell

26

15:25

2:09

6

7

4

11.32

9.91

2.04

2.15

Buy

Ryan Getzlaf

25

18:58

2:41

1

17

6

1.85

8.78

2.16

2.00

Soft Buy/ Hold

Patrick Maroon

25

11:46

1:36

1

3

1

3.57

5.16

1.12

1.20

Sell

Nick Ritchie

11

12:46

1:07

0

1

0

0

1.41

1.73

1.36

Buy

Jiri Sekac

11

13:05

1:28

1

2

2

6.67

5.8

1.36

1.45

Waive

Max Friberg

5

8:26

0

 

0

0

0

0

0

0.20

0.60

Waive

Nate Thompson

4

8:31

0:10

0

2

0

0

15.38

0.75

0.75

Hold

Tim Jackman

2

5:46

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.50

0.50

Waive

 

The Ducks have been the poster team for an elevated shooting percentage for many years now. That has changed this year as many of their forwards have struggler to score and few have a shooting percentage higher than eight percent. The problem is that many of the forwards who are struggling to score are those that the Ducks desperately need to do so. Ryan Getzlaf has managed to post decent point totals despite scoring on less than two percent of his shots. Getzlaf is not due for a huge rebound as he is getting his points in other ways but he may be easier to get now due to his struggle to score goals. The same cannot be said for Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg or Carl Hagelin. That basically makes up the Ducks second line and as such the Ducks have lost their secondary scoring.  As many horror stories as there are on the Ducks roster Rickard Rakell stands out as a success story. He has taken Maroon’s spot alongside Getzlaf and Perry and his shot and point totals reflect the extra playing time. Maroon on the other hand cannot get off the fourth and is now only useful for his hits and penalty minutes. If Nick Ritchie can stick on the second line he will post numbers whenever Kesler and Silfverberg figure it out. Both Kesler and Silfverberg have already started showing signs of awakening as their respective shot rates are returning to normal.

 

Arizona

Player

GP

TOI

PP

TOI

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Mikkel Boedker

29

18:37

4:32

11

11

6

14.86

10.25

2.55

2.62

Hold

Max Domi

29

16:41

2:59

10

15

6

17.54

14.12

1.97

2.24

Sell

Anthony Duclair

29

14:53

3:00

10

8

4

27.78

11.67

1.24

1.76

Sell

Boyd Gordon

29

11:55

0:02

0

2

0

0

6.42

0.72

0.62

Waive

Brad Richardson

29

14:56

0:10

2

7

0

5.26

7.95

1.31

1.31

Hold

Tobias Rieder

29

18:20

2:48

6

9

2

7.69

9.56

2.69

2.45

Buy

Kyle Chipchura

28

11:09

0:17

4

5

1

20.00

9.76

0.71

0.82

Sell

Jordan Martinook

28

14:50

0:17

3

5

0

8.33

7.33

1.29

1.57

Hold

Martin Hanzal

25

18:15

3:26

5

15

4

10.87

10.46

1.84

2.60

Sell

Antoine Vermette

23

16:39

2:44

3

6

4

10.71

10.77

1.22

1.04

Hold

Shane Doan

20

16:26

2:50

6

4

5

13.95

11.11

2.15

2.00

Sell

Steve Downie

19

9:55

0:14

2

3

0

11.76

10.00

0.86

0.84

Sell

John Scott

8

6:21

0

0

1

0

0

4.76

0.50

0.25

Waive

Craig Cunningham

7

10:19

0

0

0

0

0

3.03

1.57

1.43

Hold

Dustin Jeffrey

7

11:25

1:13

1

1

0

20.00

19.23

0.71

0.71

Waive

Tyler Gaudet

5

12:24

0:01

0

1

0

0

6.45

0.40

0.40

Waive

Viktor Tikhonov

14

11

0:30

0

1

0

0

3.90

0.93

1.21

Soft Buy

Joe Vitale

1

6:40

0:19

0

0

0

0

50.00

1.00

2.00

Waive

 

The Coyotes got off to a good start and have played well enough that they are still holding on to a playoff in the very weak Pacific. Much of their success has been based on unusually high shooting percentages as they rank amongst the top in the league. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are a couple of the main culprits of the higher shooting percentages; Duclair in particular has thus far scored on more than a quarter of his shots. Going forward based on their respective shot and scoring chance rates Max Domi is the one to own. He already generates in the neighbourhood of two shots per game and is noticeable as a driving force in most games. If one of the two rookies is going to keep scoring at a high rate bet on Domi over Duclair. The Coyote forward to own this year is MIkkel Boedker as he has taken over Keith Yandle’s minutes on the power play. The result has been a very high shot and a shooting percentage that does not look to be insanely out of line. On the other side of the coin are Vermette, Doan and Hanzal. Each of whom are riding personal, and on-ice, shooting percentages that are too high. Doan in particular has lost a step and can often be found on the third line. Hanzal should be fine but he misses 20 games almost every year and has never shown the ability to score at a point per game pace. For potentially under the radar forwards look to Rieder and Tikhonov. Rieder has been getting first line minutes all year as well as second unit power play time, and generating lots of opportunities. Tikhonov has filled in for an injured Hanzal between on a line between Domi and Duclair and looks to have the making of a good depth forward when ever Hanzal is out of the lineup.

 

Calgary

Player

GP

TOI

PP

TOI

G

A

PPP

SH

%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Mikael Backlund

29

14:28

2:44

3

6

4

8.33

7.37

1.66

1.69

Hold

Michael Frolik

29

15:44

0:20

7

9

0

9.59

8.33

2.52

2.38

Hold

Johnny Gaudreau

29

19:46

3:17

12

19

5

16.67

12.38

2.48

2.55

Hold

David Jones

29

13:44

0:41

7

4

1

13.73

9.73

1.76

1.76

Sell

Sean Monahan

29

19:59

3:10

10

13

3

15.15

12.54

2.28

2.83

Hold

Matt Stajan

28

13:59

0:03

1

4

0

5.88

8.16

0.61

1.18

Sell

Sam Bennett

28

15:14

1:58

5

8

3

11.63

8.22

1.54

2.21

Hold

Jiri Hudler

26

16:53

2:57

5

12

4

11.36

10.48

1.69

1.69

Sell

Joe Colborne

23

15:39

1:41

4

7

0

11.43

8.15

1.46

1.42

Hold

Micheal Ferland

21

10:41

0:22

1

2

0

3.33

6.00

1.43

1.43

Buy

Josh Jooris

20

11:46

0:05

2

1

0

8.00

5.94

1.25

1.40

Buy

Brandon Bollig

18

8:26

0

1

1

0

5.00

3.23

1.11

0.89

Hold

Mason Raymond

17

12:11

1:18

2

1

0

5.71

6.67

2.06

1.82

Sell

Derek Grant

9

9:26

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.11

1.33

Waive

Markus Granlund

8

12:10

0:04

3

0

0

23.08

7.32

1.63

2.13

Hold/

Waive

Lance Bouma

3

11:20

0:03

0

0

0

0

0

1.00

1.33

Buy/Hold

 

The Flames struggled to start this year as they relied on the same tactics as last year despite the novelty having been figured out. The power play has also suffered this season but most of the top line seems to be rolling along much like they did last year. Monahan and Gaudreau certainly seem to be the real deal as even if their shooting percentages don not remain as high they take enough shots and generate enough scoring chances that barring horrible luck they should continue produce points at a high level. Hudler on the other hand looks to have been hit by the regression bug as even his shot rate has slipped closer to his norm, down from last year’s exaggerated heights. The second line of Backlund, Frolik and a seemingly rotating winger is doing what is expected, namely generating shots and controlling play, but without significant power play time they will never generate a ton of points.  Sam Bennett is an interesting option as he generates significantly more scoring chances than shots, helping to explain his shooting percentage, but again he lacks significant power play time. Watch for the return of Lance Bouma as if he plays with Backlund he will once again have value outside of hits, blocks and penalty minutes.

 

Chicago

Player

GP

TOI

PP

TOI

G

A

PPP

SH%

OSH%

S/G

SC/G

Status

Artem Anisimov

30

17:31

2:07

11

7

3

24.44

13.81

1.50

1.73

Hold

Patrick Kane

30

21:15

3:56

19

26

15

17.92

14.36

3.53

2.77

Hold

/Soft Sell

Marcus Kruger

30

13:44

0:04

0

1

0

0

2.34

1.07

1.03

Buy

Artemi Panarin

30

18:55

3:02

9

19

6

12.68

12.89

2.37

2.30

Sell

Andrew Shaw

30

14:12

2:08

4

6

4

8.51

8.02

1.57

1.77

Hold

Jonathan Toews

30

20:04

2:40

9

8

3

12.86

10.03

2.33

2.37

Buy

Marian Hossa

27

17:02

1:55

5

8

5

5.81

7.39

3.19

2.93

Hard Buy

Ryan Garbutt

26

11:52

0:03

1

3

0

2.00

3.95

1.92

1.73

Hold

Teuvo Tervainen

26

13:26

1:28

6

7

5

13.64

9.84

1.69

1.77

Hold

Andrew Desjardins

25

11.98

0.01

1

0

0

3.23

1.68

1.24

1.24

Hold

Tanner Kero

17

12:53

0:07

1

2

0

3.85

6.12

1.53

1.35

Waive

Marko Dano

13

10:01

0:05

1

1

0

6.67

5.41

1.15

1.54

Waive

Brandon Mashinter

12

7.36

0

0

0

0

0

2.33

0.25

0.17

Waive

Bryan Bickell

11

10:41

0:11

0

0

0

0

1.61

0.91

0.73

Buy

Vince Hinostroza

4

8:10

0:01

0

0

0

0

0

1.00

1.25

Waive

Ryan Hartman

3

9:32

0

0

1

0

0

5.56

1.00

1.33

Waive

Dennis Rasmussen

3

9:37

0:13

1

0

0

50.00

5.56

0.67

1.33

Sell

Kyle Baun

2

9:49

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.50

0

Waive

 

The first power play unit in Chicago is basically the Kane line, meaning that with the exception of Toews anyone who would have otherwise received significant power play minutes will suffer. Marian Hossa is a good example of this as he now gets second unit minutes and suffers because of it. Hossa will rebound as he still takes a ton of shots and gets almost as many scoring chances but there will be a drop off nonetheless. This does not look to be a Patrick Sharp situation from last year, as the demotion to the third line was temporary, and the shot and scoring chance rates are still elite. The Kane line is rolling at a ridiculous rate as Kane is not only on a 26 game point streak but on pace for 120 points. Panarin is probably the most reasonable option to sell off from that line as getting a proven point per game player for him would make a lot of sense. Outside of the Kane line the Hawks’ lines have been put into a blender for much of the year due to injury and lack of production. Tanner Kero looks like a good option for next year but with the return of Bickell and Desjardins it does not look like he will return this season. There are a number of options like that in the Hawks system, including Marko Dano, in the AHL due to injured players returning or an inability to click with incumbent linemates.