20 Fantasy Hockey Thoughts

Mario Prata

2017-06-04

Clockwise from left: Brian Elliott, Jordan Eberle, Clayton Keller, Jason Zucker / USA Today Sports Images.Every Sunday this off-season, we'll share 20 Fantasy Thoughts from our writers at Dobber Hockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week's "Daily Ramblings".

Contributors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford and Neil Parker

 

1. It was definitely a down year for the Jordan Eberle (pictured top right) even though 20 goals and 51 points isn’t particularly horrific. Given that he started the season playing with Connor McDavid, hopes for fantasy owners were high (I know I was very high on him; I had him inside the top-60 picks in a roto league). Things didn’t work out at all, and he was eventually moved down the lineup, appearing on the third line at times.

Nothing is a certainty in sports, but given his track record, and no real indicators of downward trends, the talented winger is probably set to bounce back in 2017-18. It does not appear, however, that he will be doing so in an Oilers uniform. A plethora of teams could use a very good scoring winger. If he can land in a spot where he’s back on the top line, and given top power-play minutes, a return to 25 goals and 60 points is in the cards. He should come at a discount at the draft table next year, so be sure to keep him on your watch lists, especially if he can land in a prime situation.

 

2. The No. 3 pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft is available, or at least, the Stars are listening to offers. Dallas is in an interesting situation holding the high pick because of it's compete-now setup.

Ales Hemsky, Jiri Hudler and Patrick Sharp come off the books, and there are huge needs on the blue line. Head coach Ken Hitchcock has a long-standing history with Kevin Shattenkirk, and the Stars enter free agency with approximately $16.6 million in available cap space. Radek Faksa, Brett Ritchie and a trio of young defensemen (Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak and Esa Lindell) are the only current restricted free agents, so there should be ample cap space to make a pitch to Shattenkirk. More salary relief could also become available if Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi are moved.

The bottom-line is that Dallas is built to win over the next two seasons, and the No. 3 pick was an unexpected asset to turn into a roster player. Losing a deal over a 10-year span won't matter if the Stars win a championship in either of the next two seasons. General manager Jim Nill has proven to be willing to make big deals, too.

 

3. I’m sure I’m not the only one that was hoping for a big year from Brian Elliott (pictured top left). After going from St. Louis to Calgary, he was finally in a situation where he was the full-time starter on a team that was on the rise. Despite a .925 save percentage in all situations from 2011-2016, which included the third-highest five-on-five save percentage in the league, he managed just a .910 with the Flames in all situations, and .922 at five-on-five. It was a significant departure from what we had come to expect.

Calgary was a very good defensive team last year. They finished in the top-10 for fewest adjusted shot attempts, scoring