This week we look at a particularly hot line and a couple of cold ones (I’m not talking about beers) in the past ten days, as well as what we should expect from them in the future. Also added some notable line changes that might warrant a spot start!
Andrew Ladd – Mathew Barzal – Jordan Eberle
Team ES Point Production: 48 | Line ES Point Production: 18 (38% of team)
Hey, guess who’s leading the rookie scoring race right now! Clayton Keller? Nope. Brock Boeser? Try again. Mathew Barzal! Ding, Ding, Ding! The former first-round pick (2015) currently has 23 points in 23 games and while most fancy stats don’t scream regression, we have to keep in mind he is a rookie, and it’s unlikely he finishes with 82 points in 82 games this season. Remember how hot Keller was? Well, he dropped off a point-per-game pace after totalling only three points in his last 10 games, rookie production is a lot more unpredictable because our sample size is so small.
At the beginning of the season many of us expected Jordan Eberle to play with John Tavares, so it’s even more amazing that the former Edmonton Oiler is finding his groove away from Johnny T. The Brooklyn market seems to be a breath of fresh air for Eberle, as he revealed the tough critics in Edmonton diminished his confidence while he was there, which might have affected his play on ice. While Eberle’s success is a good sign for the team, his 17.3% shooting percentage should see regression as the season progresses (13.5% career shooting percentage), but 60 points looks attainable with how well New York’s top six has been performing.
Last season, many thought Andrew Ladd would be fantasy relevant again playing alongside John Tavares. He impressed with a whopping 31 points. At this point in his career, Ladd is better suited as a secondary scoring option that leaves most of the scoring to his line mates. While we shouldn’t be expecting too much from Ladd anymore in terms of points, let’s hope he continues allowing Eberle and Barzal to play to their potential.