This week's Capped looks at a few players who may be cap bargains next year if they can stay healthy.
Then there were two. This Stanley Cup Finals matchup is going to provide plenty of speed, great goaltending, and more storylines than writers will know what to do with.
For fans of the other 29 teams, or people that can never get enough of fantasy hockey throughout the summer, there’s this article. This week, we’re moving East to take a look at some of the top players you can expect to bounce back from seasons derailed by injury.
Cap information from CapFriendly.
Mark Stone – Ottawa Senators
Current Cap Hit: $3,500,000 (RFA, July 2018)
Model Projected Cap Hit: $9,100,000
First off, we’ll start by saying that due to Stone’s point-per-game pace this year, and a few other underlying numbers working in his favour, the projection model seems to quite like him. Take that number with a grain of salt however, as he likely won’t get $9 million with the Senators, or any other team for that matter. Ottawa tends to be stingier with giving out larger contracts, and that will be no different with Stone. It is more likely that we see him below $6 million than we see him above $9 million. My guess would be in the $7.5 million range. One of the more interesting contract situations this offseason either way.
Moving on to the production, Stone was extremely efficient in his 58 games this season, especially at the end, posting 28 points in 20 games to close out the season. Since his season ended early (March 9th) his hot run to close out his year has largely gone unnoticed. The prior three seasons, Stone was consistently scoring at a clip of four points every five games. That changed this season with an increase in his shot rate, as well as a large jump in his individual points percentage (IPP). This suggests that Stone is becoming more of a focal point of the offence, and bodes well for a repeat performance around the point-per-game mark.
Stone was injured after Michael Ferland got tangled up with him, and landed awkwardly on his leg. Most people have forgotten this now, but despite missing the rest of the season, Stone did finish the game, and was on track to return right at the end of the season. He was likely head out as a precaution, due to Ottawa not having much to play for those last few weeks of the season. Don’t get scared away by the injury here.
Kyle Palmieri – New Jersey Devils
Current Cap Hit: $4,650,000 (UFA, July 2021)
Through two injuries early in the season, and stuck behind Taylor’s Hall’s Hart Trophy-shaped shadow, Palmieri managed a very successful season. It’s not just this past year, his last three years have actually been remarkably consistent.