Some defencemen to keep an eye on for next year, power play points, and more
For most of these Ramblings, I will be talking about defencemen. At this time, the following should be kept in mind:
When ranking/projecting defencemen, I cannot stress enough just how much a league’s settings matter. This is especially true when talking about leagues with real-time stats like blocked shots/hits, and leagues that include time on ice. It seems so basic, but this is so common that it has to be said each and every season.
Situations matters a lot. A big reason there was so much value to be had in guys like John Carlson and John Klingberg last year is that, when healthy, they were the top offensive option for a top offensive team. Realistically, someone like Jake Muzzin is probably a better defenceman than either of them, but being the number-2 option for a middling offensive team is so situationally different that actual talent is pretty much irrelevant. This is where “good in real hockey” and “good in fake hockey” diverge.
With that in mind, a few guys I’m keen on, at least at this point of the summer.
I know, this is a given. Carlson missed 26 games last year, though, and I’m hoping that will keep his ADP somewhat depressed.
It’s important to keep in mind that last year was the first time Carlson had missed a game since he became a regular in the 2010-2011 season. That’s five straight seasons without a single game missed. Health is something that is difficult to predict (Dobber does a good job keeping up with this through the season with the Band-Aid Boys), but I’d be willing to bet it’s a one-off rather than the beginning of a trend.
Carlson will be better in a points-only league than a roto league. He doesn’t rack up the shots or penalty minutes, and that will likely keep him out of the top-5 in roto scoring. With that said, even in roto leagues, I’d be fine with having Carlson as my top defenceman. In a full year, 20 power play points and 55 points total seems like a good baseline, and there is upside beyond that.
The top two defencemen from the Rangers in terms of power play minutes from last year are no longer with the team in Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle. Back in 2013-2014, before those two arrived in New York, McDonagh led all Rangers d-men in power play ice time