Rambling: Tyson Barrie, T.J. Brodie, Undervalued Goalies and Eichel vs. Matthews (Aug. 6)
A closer look at Tyson Barrie, T.J. Brodie, five undervalued goalies, and a Jack Eichel vs. Autson Matthews comparison …
Yesterday, I looked at a number of forwards who stood out in the Dollar Values I've been formulating the past two seasons. Check out the details, if needed.
Today, here's a look at two defensemen.
With a 0.63 points-per-game mark over the past three seasons and three straight years with over 10 goals, Barrie is a high-end offensive defenseman entering his prime. He's been discussed a lot because of his status as a restricted free agent, but it never hurts to pound home his status as a viable No. 1 defenseman option offensively.
Only nine defenders have returned at least 10 goals and 45 points in each of the past two seasons, and Barrie is the only player under the age of 25 in both campaigns. One point of concern is after pacing defenseman with at least 1000 minutes of five-on-five time in 2014-15 with a 1.43 points per 60 minutes, Barrie dropped to a 34th-ranked 0.88 last year.
Barrie covered the production gap with five additional power-play points to finish with 49 for the season (21 PP points), which was just four shy of his 2014-15 total of 53. Also encouraging for a complete breakout this coming year was Barrie's huge jump in shots and increased ice time.
A slight uptick in production at even strength without a drop in power-play production will yield a high-end return offensively from Barrie.
With a point jump in three consecutive campaigns, Brodie enters his age-26 season as one of the best even-strength producers in the league from the blue line. Over the past two seasons, he ranks 32nd with a 0.91 points per 60 minutes at five-on-five among defensemen with at least 2000 minutes.
Using the two-year sample is important because Brodie was the third-ranked producer (1.3 P/60) at five-on-five among defenseman with 1000 minutes last year. Maintaining that level of production is unlikely and shouldn't be expected, but he could easily land somewhere in the middle.
He's one of just 18 defensemen with back-to-back seasons of 40 points, and while the shot volume is low (1.4 shots per game), Brodie's asking price also projects to be low this fall. Add improved goaltending to the fold, and Brodie should also see a rebound in the plus/minus column alongside another 40-point showing.
Digging into the cases above, I noticed Duncan Keith has only scored 50 points in one of the past three seasons, and entering his age-33 campaign on a Chicago team headed in the wrong direction, it's a slight concern. Add the hefty miles he's logged over the past few seasons — both in games played and ice time — and it might be a case of jumping off a year early in 2016-16, as opposed to being a year late.
Sure, Keith's 0.64 points per game last season was the third-highest mark of his career, but Brian Campbell's addition should eat into a few of Keith's minutes, and potentially in all situations. It's better for the real world Hawks, but it might not be ideal for Keith's fantasy upside.
While there is no reason for huge concern, it's worth noting only two defenseman over the age of 33 have returned a 50-point showing over the past three years. Still, it's unlikely Keith slips too far in drafts, so don't expect to receive any discount based on his age, and he then checks out as an ill-advised grab in the early middle rounds. Should he fall into the double-digit rounds, push all in.
Here's a look at goalies currently outside the top-10 range with the potential to bounce back or breakout and return to No. 1 status.
First, a composite rankings:
To start, Lundqvist is the only goalie in the league with at least 30 wins and a .920 save percentage in each of the past three seasons, and only six others have done it twice. He's also an elite talent with a proven track record.
There is no reason to expect New York to be even worse than they were last year, and potentially, they bounce back a touch. The roster is deep up front, which could hide some of the weaknesses defensively.
This is low-hanging fruit, though. And Lundqvist likely isn't going to be drafted outside of the top-10 goalies often. Still, he's an easy candidate that fits the bill and could return top-five value.
With a .925 save percentage, a 2.13 goals-against average and a 59-35-8 record since joining Minnesota, Dubnyk is a top-10 goalie. And he should be drafted and considered as such.
Remember, too, Dubnyk cruised after the coach change this past season with a 14-3-1 record, a .928 Sv% and a 2.05 GAA. He'll still likely be cast as a fringe No. 1 fantasy goalie, though.
With the Wild likely underappreciated in general despite excellent depth and one of the best coaches in the league, there is serious profit potential for Dubnyk. He's an excellent target in the early middle rounds of drafts.
A little deeper down the likelihood list, Andersen will rely on volume to flirt with a top-10 fantasy finish, but it's not out of the question. Toronto is inching closer to being a middle-of-the-pack team, and the Maple Leafs did boast a positive Corsi For Percentage (51.4) last year.
With so many timeshares likely, Andersen could approach the necessary wins to approach a top-10 rank, even on a losing club. Plus, last season, James Reimer posted an above-average .918 save percentage for Toronto through 32 games.
Andersen is better viewed as a No. 2 netminder for your virtual team, without doubt, but he's closer to being a No. 1 than a No. 3. If you're willing to be diligent and selective with his starts, you're going to be happy.
Here are two more candidates:
Cam Talbot: Edmonton isn't ready for a big push yet, by any stretch, but Talbot finished 2015-16 strong: 17-18-4 record, .924 save percentage and a 2.34 goals-against average. He's another volume candidate who could approach the top-10 ranks because of his workload and sound ratios.
Petr Mrazek: The Detroit defense and Jimmy Howard's contract (and inevitable starts) are concerns, but talent isn't. Mrazek owned the eighth-ranked .931 save percentage at five-on-five last season among netminders with at least 2000 minutes, and he went on a midseason run with a 13-6-2 record, a .941 Sv% and a 1.60 goals-against average.
Looking at Jack Eichel vs. Auston Matthews for the 2019-20 season, there likely won't be a lot of difference between the two players. It's tough to even suggest who will have the better supporting cast, although, I'm leaning Toronto with their younger core aging together.
Still, the difference will likely be very small, unless Eichel turns into more of a one-dimensional scorer while Matthews plays a solid 200-foot game. That's the only way one player will have a significant advantage in the point column.
Even then, Eichel might still trail Matthews.
Tracking their development through the US National Program, the only real difference was their age-17 seasons with the U.S. National Under 18 Teams. Eichel scored 87 points through 53 games (1.64 points per game), whereas Matthews posted 116 points through 60 games (1.933). Matthews was also much better in the IIHF World U18 Championships with 15 points through seven games compared to Eichel's 10 points through seven games.
It's really close, and you're going to be happy with both players, but Matthews likely has the higher ceiling with the better supporting cast in three years.
There were two other questions from the Ramblings Thursday that I'm going to put off until Monday. Thanks for joining in.
Enjoy the weekend, Dobberheads.
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