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. It’s pretty hard to get upset at a 29-goal, 60-point season from a 21-year old non-generational player but having so few second assists on a team that scored as much as the Jets did is kind of disappointing. Not that it would have greatly altered his fantasy performance – an extra five assists isn’t the difference between winning and losing a league – but it’s just a reminder of what could have been for Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers. That doesn’t even factor his limited power play usage (at least on the top unit).
This should give fantasy owners hope for next year. Ehlers didn’t have any percentages out of line, be it his own or the team’s when he was on the ice, and he’ll continue to make a dynamic duo with Patrik Laine. A bit more fortune with assists at five-on-five, and maybe a few more power-play points, and 2018-19 has 70-point season written all over it for the dynamic Dane. (may03)
2. Brayden Point’s nine postseason points (thus far) sit second behind Nikita Kucherov for the Tampa Bay lead. The former third-round selection is facing the oppositions’ top line each night and manages to create offense out of nothing. He and Ondrej Palat have formed a deadly matchup duo. It’s safe to say we haven’t seen the best out of the 22-year-old just yet. His 66 points this season appear to be just the tip of the iceberg. (may05)
3. As for Palat, he has three 50-point seasons and one 60-point season in the last five campaigns. In that span, however, he’s averaged just 69.8 games per 82 played due to injuries, and 2017-18 was another injury-plagued campaign.
The fantasy value for Palat would depend a lot on the type of league. He’s not a multi-category performer, having never managed 25 goals, 2.2 shots per game, 40 penalty minutes, or more than 15 power-play points in any campaign. He does have very good hits totals but that’s about it. His value, then, is largely in points-only leagues, and is largely derived from assists.
Therein lies the problem for 2018-19. If he can play 75 games, on a productive second line with Point, his production may be just fine. But his secondary assist percentage from 2013-17 was 28.2 percent, a far cry from the 43.5 percent he posted in 2017-18. Even with that sky-high percentage last year, his 82-game pace was 52 points. Even in a full-ish season, expecting him to be in the 55-60 points range he’s flashed in the past is pushing it. Don’t be surprised if he comes in under 50 next year.