Taking a look at nine key fantasy players moving to the Western Conference at the trade deadline
This year the trade deadline was something of a bust but there were still some big names moved as well as other moves with potential fantasy impact. There are nine players featured in this column, four are new to the Western conference and five who moved within the conference, for whom the change in environment will impact their fantasy value.
Jamie McGinn – Buffalo to Anaheim
McGinn was not exactly wanting for good linemates in Buffalo as his most common linemates were Ryan O’Reilly, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, basically he played on one of Buffalo’s top two lines for most of the year. He was even seeing two and a half minutes of power play, but the points were not coming at a high rate, as seen by his 27 points in 63 minutes. His Anaheim linemates are on another level though as Corey Perry is what Reinhart and Eichel want to be. McGinn, despite playing in only 12 minutes per game, two minutes fewer than in Buffalo, has three points in the three games he has played in Anaheim. McGinn has never been even a half point-per-game player in his career, but playing with Perry over the final 15 games could yield nine points for McGinn.
Tomas Fleischmann – Montreal to Chicago
Fleischmann had 15 over the first two months of the season but has only six points since then. His role in Chicago is unlikely to change much from his role in Montreal but he will play with better players just as a result of Chicago’s depth. He is currently playing with Andrew Desjardins and Teuvo Teravainen, but with the returns of Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa his linemates could get even better. The nature of the role that Kruger plays, heavy defensive usage, will limit his fantasy relevance. Four to five points over the final 15 games is likely his ceiling.
Kris Versteeg – Carolina to Los Angeles
Versteeg was already a top six forward in Carolina so he will not be getting a huge upgrade in linemates with his move to the Kings. From the little he has played as a King it looks as if Versteeg will play with Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson. Versteeg was amongst the top three Hurricanes in shots but barely cracks the top nine for the Kings. That is partly a function of the nature of the Kings’ style of play and ability to generate shots, as a team they have taken 100 more shots than the Hurricanes. The Kings are not a top offensive team but they average one more goal every three games than the Hurricanes. They also have one of the best power plays in the NHL all of which are factors that should help Versteeg in LA. He is still just a complementary player but much more than 10 points in the final 15 games will be a stretch.
Eric Gelinas – New Jersey to Colorado
Gelinas has offensive potential, mostly due to his big shot, but wore out his welcome in New Jersey and has already been a healthy scratch in Colorado in favour of Andrew Bodnarchuk and Chris Bigras. Roy seems willing to live with mistakes by his defensemen if it is in the service of creating offense but Gelinas looks to already be stretching the limits of his patience. He likely has no further fantasy value for the remainder of the season, not that he had much value in New Jersey, as he only played 10 minutes in his only game for the Avalanche.
Old Faces, New Places
Andrew Ladd – Winnipeg to Chicago
In a normal year the move from Winnipeg to Chicago would be a lateral move for Ladd’s production rate but given his struggles this year it qualifies as a significant boost. He is playing far fewer minutes in Chicago but looks to be secure in his new spot on a line with Jonathan Toews, and likely Marian Hossa when he returns from injury. He already has three points in four games in Chicago, which translates to the 60 point pace that was his norm in Winnipeg. The minutes that Ladd has lost going from Winnipeg to Chicago are not as bad as they appear at first glance, as half of them are due to his no longer being used in a penalty killing capacity. The other half are lost power play minutes, which will hurt, but that loss will be made up for by Ladd playing on one of the best offenses in hockey.
Mikkel Boedker – Arizona to Colorado
Despite getting more than three minutes per game of power play since he arrived in Colorado Boedker is still getting more than a minute less per game of power play time than he got in Arizona. That screams a pump-and-dump policy on the part of the Coyotes as he was amongst the league leaders in power play time this season. He ranked fourth in the league behind only former teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson, PK Subban and Erik Karlsson. He has received more power play time than any forward in the league including Alex Ovechkin. Despite the abundance of power play minutes Boedker received he did not rank in the top 50 in power play points. Boedker was given every chance to succeed offensively in Arizona, and got some prime offensive usage, so the move to Colorado probably will not have a major impact on Boedker’s production. Even with the significant upgrade in linemates in Colorado two points every three games is the maximum for Boedker.
Alex Tanguay – Colorado to Arizona
Tanguay had a big game in his Arizona debut but given his struggles in Colorado he will likely hard-pressed to get a half point-per-game down the stretch. He got just less than two minutes of power play time in his first Coyotes game so it does not appear as if he will receive the same usage that Boedker received. That should come as no surprise as given the Coyotes stage in their rebuild it would make more sense for them to give prime offensive minutes to youngsters such as Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Furthermore, Tanguay is a pass-first player and needs a sniper in order for him to succeed and other than Max Domi and maybe Shane Doan there is a dearth of those in Arizona. In all this is not a great situation for Tanguay as he finishes the year.
Pat Maroon – Anaheim to Edmonton
Maroon had his highest rates of production while skating with Getzlaf and Perry as a member of the Ducks. In past years when he was not playing with Getzlaf and Perry he found himself relegated to a fourth line role. This year he played almost half his minutes with Perry and Rakell, a quarter with Getzlaf and Santorelli and the rest with Nate Thompson. As the Ducks struggled offensively for much of the season he never found success on any of the lines. In Edmonton he has slid into Teddy Purcell’s, and more recently Zack Kassian’s, spot alongside the once scorching duo of Leon Draisaitl and Taylor Hall. As a result he is getting significantly more even strength minutes but that has not translated into more power play minutes as well. Should Draisaitl and Hall heat up again 12 points down the stretch is entirely plausible and would bode well for Maroon’s fantasy value next season.
Kris Russell – Calgary to Dallas
Russell’s minutes have not changed in his move from Calgary to Dallas, as he is even getting more minutes than the second pairing of Oduya and Demers. In his three games in Dallas his minutes appear to be very similar to those he was getting in Calgary. The major difference is that he is getting significantly more offensive zone starts and time, which is partially just a factor of the Stars driving play more than the Flames did. This has the potential to be a big opportunity for Russell given the Stars offense-centric style but despite high hopes for him coming out of junior he has never threatened 40 points in his career. The biggest positive in his three games for the Stars comes from his seven shots in three games but he has never managed much more than a shot per game in the past so such a small sample is likely just a blip. It is most likely that Russell’s production rate will remain the status quo.