Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Anaheim Ducks
For the last 14 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
This year, due to Dobber’s battle with cancer, he recruited Cam Robinson (of Frozen Pool Forensics fame) to pinch hit. The 15th 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 – Jonathan Bernier, Shea Theodore, Nate Thompson, Clayton Stoner, Ryan Garbutt, Emerson Etem, Jhonas Enroth, Simon Depres
Incoming – Ryan Miller, Reto Barra, Steve Oleksy, Mike Liambas, Scott Sabourin, Derek Grant, Giovanni Fiore
Impact of changes – Instead of facing the very real risk of losing an impact defender like Sami Vatanen or Josh Manson during the expansion process, the Ducks decided to send top prospect, Shea Theodore to Vegas instead. The result is an Anaheim blue line core that is mostly in its prime and ready to compete. Cam Fowler’s eight-year extension and Brandon Montour’s rise means there will be plenty of competition for prime offensive ice time. Ryan Miller should be an upgrade to Bernier in the back-up role, while the departure of Nate Thompson should easily be filled on the fourth line.
Ready for full-time – Brandon Montour skated in 27 regular season games recording two goals and six points and looked even more confident during 17 post-season contests as he chipped in seven assists. The 23-year-old offensive defender has produced 99 points in 118 AHL contests and should be a lock to begin the season on the big club. He has a very solid fantasy future. Read more about Montour here.
Ondrej Kase suited up in 53 NHL contests in 2016-17 and added great speed and tenacity throughout the Ducks’ lineup. The soon-to-be 22-year-old should have a bottom-six spot out of camp with an eye towards moving up. Read more about Kase here.
Fantasy Outlook – We keep waiting for regular season Jakob Silfverberg to start playing like playoff Silfverberg, and maybe year six will be that time after recording career-highs in goals and points in 2016-17. With Getzlaf and Kesler both coming off terrific years but with each well into their 30’s, the time is now for the second wave of talent to force the issue This is especially true as the Ducks can no longer afford to rely on Corey Perry to score nearly as much as in the past so they’ll need more scoring by committee. Rickard Rakell should push for another 30-goal campaign and Nick Ritchie looks ready for more responsibility, but overall, the forward core isn’t overly appealing. The defense remains the most tempting fantasy position while John Gibson can be a very solid fantasy asset but now has long-time starter, Ryan Miller there in case he falters.
Fantasy Grade C+ (last year was: C+)
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