Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Ottawa
For the last 13 years (12 with The Hockey News) I have reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them. My 14th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Gone – Mika Zibanejad, Patrick Wiercioch, Alex Chiasson, Chris Phillips, Scott Gomez, Matt Frattin, Dave Cameron (Head Coach)
Incoming – Derick Brassard, Chris Kelly, Mike Blunden, Patrick Sieloff, Guy Boucher (Head Coach), Pierre Dorion (GM)
Impact of changes – Acquiring a left-shooting center to play with right-shooting Bobby Ryan is an under-the-radar move here. If the theory works and chemistry happens, this could turn Ryan back into a 65-point player instead of the 55-point guy we’ve been seeing lately. And that would have a huge domino effect because it would essentially give the Senators a second legitimate scoring line. One assumes that Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman take another step forward towards 65-plus points and a healthy Kyle Turris could get back up there as well.
Ready for full-time – Ryan Dzingel is an underrated prospect who is on almost nobody’s radar in fantasy hockey. A seventh-round pick boasting average size and coming out of college with decent numbers – historically those players rarely turn into anything. But his transition to the AHL has been excellent as he posted 0.82 points per game in his sophomore season there. And in the NHL with limited ice time he still managed nine points in 30 games. There is logjam in Ottawa’s top six, but an injury or two up there could see Dzingel getting an opportunity, provided he keeps producing and improving at his current rate. (Read more on Dzingel here)
Matt Puempel was the 24th overall pick in 2011 and although he disappointed in 2014-15, he really bounced back last season. A born sniper and potential 30-goal, 55-point guy, Puempel tallied 30 points in 34 games for Binghamton. His stint in Ottawa wasn’t quite so great as he managed just two goals in 26 games (on 26 shots), despite seeing more ice time than Dzingel. (Read more on Puempel here)
Nick Paul is the centerpiece of the Jason Spezza trade with Dallas in 2014. So the Senators are not only high on him, but they need him to be a successful NHLer and the sooner the better. So that’s not just Golden Boy status, but hell – it’s Platinum Boy status. A 6-4, 230-pound forward with the talent to score 37 goals in 58 OHL games has a lot of teams drooling. But his pro debut was a modest one from a fantasy standpoint (17 points in 45 AHL games) and his NHL stint saw him manage just five points in 24 games despite 12:11 per ice time per game. He could use a full year in the AHL to gain the confidence needed to better dominate. But the Sens seem to be trying to rush him just because some aspects of his game are NHL-ready. If they