20 Fantasy Hockey Thoughts

Mario Prata

2018-04-29

Every Sunday until the start of the 2018-19 regular season, we'll share 20 Fantasy Thoughts from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week's "Daily Ramblings".

Writers: Michael Clifford, Ian Gooding, Cam Robinson, and Dobber

 

1. The Sabres are the big winners of the draft lottery, giving them the opportunity to draft Rasmus Dahlin first overall. Buffalo arguably needs this player more than anyone, as they have been held together with a paper-thin defense in recent seasons.

Dahlin’s presence would ease the burden on Rasmus Ristolainen, who the Sabres have leaned on heavily at over 25 minutes per game over the last three seasons. This overuse has put undue pressure on the 23-year-old defenseman, who is a career minus-102 over four and a half seasons, including a minus-25 last season. The Dahlin effect could result in a slight reduction in Ristolainen’s point totals and peripheral stats resulting from ice time, but make him a more effective defenseman overall.

I know it’s not a perfect comparison, but I tend to think of Victor Hedman’s development when I think of where Dahlin will be next season. Hedman did not crack 30 points until his fifth season, when he broke through for 55 points in 2013-14. Dahlin might be even better than Hedman but don’t expect an inexperienced defenseman on a rebuilding team to take the fantasy hockey world by storm next season. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target him for your keeper league team, of course. Hedman did play in the NHL the year he was drafted, so I would expect the same from Dahlin. Just temper your expectations for 2018-19. (apr29)

 

2. We've now learned that the fresh smell of spring brings with it flamethrower-Jake Guentzel. And boy, does the young Pen enjoy setting the world on fire. He sits second atop the playoff leaderboard with 16 points in seven games, just one behind Boston’s David Pastrnak. Guentzel's 37 points in 32 playoff contests thus far in his NHL career represents a 1.16 point-per-game output. That mark slides him into the top 10 all-time for players with at least 25 playoff games.

What can we expect from Guentzel next season and where he should land in fantasy drafts hinges on a few things:

– Does he maintain his spot next to Sidney Crosby for more than the 66 percent of even-strength ice time he saw in 2017-18?
– Does he manage to work his way onto the top power-play unit in lieu of newly re-signed Patric Hornqvist? (This is a biggie).
– How inflated will his value you be on draft day due to this continued playoff excellence?

Last season, despite the massive point production, it appeared that the inexperience of just 65 NHL games under his belt played a role in assessm