That was quite a day for Mike Hoffman, first being dealt to the Sharks, then getting flipped to the Panthers. After he had been labelled as damaged goods, who would have thought that he would have gotten traded twice in one day?

Here is Mike Clifford’s fantasy take on the Hoffman deals and how they affect all of Ottawa, San Jose, and Florida. He mentioned the possibility of Florida not wanting to break up its top six after a successful second-half run. That could happen, but I think the more likely scenario is that Hoffman is on the outside looking in on the Panthers’ first-unit power play. But he can still score in spite of having lacking first-unit power-play time. In his first full season he scored 27 goals, even though only one of those goals was on the power play. Either way, there are more scoring options in Florida than Ottawa right now, so there’s reason for optimism if you’re a Hoffman keeper owner.

If Hoffman does in fact land on the third line, then this trade could help the value of Jared McCann. A former late first-round pick of the Canucks, McCann came on late in the season with 12 points (3g-9a) in 22 games. Maybe a late-round sleeper in deeper leagues right now, though.  

The upcoming season will be important for Hoffman as far as putting this recent controversy behind him. If you’ve got a bit of risk taker in you, it might even represent a bit of a buy-low opportunity for your fantasy team. Just ask Doug Wilson, who managed to earn a profit in terms of draft picks along with clearing all-important cap space. If Wilson manages to land one of John Tavares, John Carlson, or Ilya Kovalchuk to improve his team as a result of moving the Mikkel Boedker contract, he could turn into the big winner of the summer.

One other point: If we didn't know about the reported accusation toward Hoffman's girlfriend, wouldn't the big story of the day be about how the Senators got robbed in this deal? Obviously Wilson out-GMed Pierre Dorion here, but we're not going to be so quick to judge Dorion now that we know more of the facts. 


You probably heard the Artemi Panarin trade rumors by now. Now the Flyers are reportedly discussing trading Wayne Simmonds. Yes, this is silly season. This is going to be a very busy next few days. I don’t think this offseason will disappoint if you enjoy watching players changing teams.


Because it’s NHL Awards night on Wednesday night, here are my predictions for each of the individual awards:

Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid

What, he’s not on the ballot? You’re not allowed to be on the ballot if you’re the league’s leading scorer by a good six points? All right, fine, it’s the player judged most valuable to his team.

Let’s try this again. I’ll use the criteria of biggest lead between the nominee and the second-leading scorer on his team.

Hart Trophy: Taylor Hall

At 93 points, Hall was 41 points clear of the Devils’ second-leading scorer (Nico Hischier). Where would the Devils be without him? Sorry, Oilers fans. 

Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman

Fifth in points among defensemen (63 points), also second among defensemen in plus/minus (+32) and fifth among defensemen in time on ice (25:51).

Vezina Trophy: Pekka Rinne

Better ratios than his competition (Connor Hellebuyck and Andrei Vasilevskiy) while posting similar win and shutout totals.

Calder Trophy: Mathew Barzal

The trophy was in Barzal’s hands even before Brock Boeser suffered a season-ending back injury. The first rookie since Sidney Crosby to post at least 20 goals and 60 assists.

Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron

If Bergeron wins, this would be his fifth Selke Trophy, passing Bob Gainey for the most Selke Trophy wins. So it’s his to lose.

Lady Byng Trophy: William Karlsson

Ryan O’Reilly recorded just a single minor penalty all season. Karlsson had just 12 PIM, but he also had a stronger season, which also factors into the award.

Jack Adams Award: Gerard Gallant

General Manager of the Year Award: George McPhee

Easy picks here, considering what the Vegas Golden Knights have accomplished in their first season.

Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid

The players won’t overthink this one.

Masterton Trophy: Brian Boyle

Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Blake Wheeler

King Clancy Trophy: Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin

One other prediction: There will be at least one bad joke. But the awards will also provide more serious moments, with tributes to the recent tragedies in Las Vegas; Parkland, FL; and Humboldt, SK.


This draft forecast, aka mock draft, is based on where I think the picks will end up, not rankings in terms of likelihood of success in the NHL. Remember that teams don’t always pick the best player available, but will sometimes pick based on perceived team need. I also won’t go out on a limb and predict any trades, although I’m sure at least one will happen involving a first-round pick.  

  1. BUF: Rasmus Dahlin, D – There’s about a 99 percent chance this will happen. Buffalo needs this player.
  2. CAR: Andrei Svechnikov, RW – The odds of this happening probably aren’t 99 percent, but still very good.
  3. MON: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C  – The wild card of the draft. Certainly not the number 3 ranked prospect (#7 on Cam’s rankings), but a perfect example of a team drafting for positional need. Or Marc Bergevin not being able to value players properly again. But that’s difficult to say right now, considering that we’re talking about 18-year-old kids here. That’s why I don’t get too excited or discouraged with a team picking a particular player.
  1. OTT: Filip Zadina, RW – He might fall, but not that far. Now that the Senators have traded Mike Hoffman, there’s an opening for a young goal-scoring winger to start the rebuild. (Note: The Sens have up until the time they make this pick to trade it to Colorado as part of the Matt Duchene deal. Otherwise they give up the 2019 pick. Given the direction Ottawa is going, this could get interesting. Have I mentioned that the Duchene deal was very bad for Ottawa?)
  2. ARI: Brady Tkachuk, LW – The younger Tkachuk brother lands on one of the teams that his dad played for.
  3. DET: Quinn Hughes, D – The run on defensemen begins here.
  4. VAN: Noah Dobson, D – If Dobson is still available here, the Canucks pick him. My sub prediction is that he doesn’t fall past number 7. But he’s gone by number 6 if the Habs don’t pick Kotkaniemi.
  5. CHI: Adam Boqvist, D – The Hawks can take their time with Boqvist with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook in the fold.
  6. NYR: Oliver Wahlstrom, RW – The Rangers begin their rebuild with a sniper.
  7. EDM: Evan Bouchard, D – The Oilers always need help on D, so this is a great fit.
  8. NYI: Ty Smith, D – Another option for the Oilers and would love to play for Edmonton. But more likely to be one of the Islanders’ two picks.
  9. NYI:  Joel Farabee, LW – The second Islanders’ pick.
  10. DAL: Joseph Veleno, C
  11. PHI: Dominik Bokk, LW/RW
  12. FLA: Barrett Hayton, C
  13. COL: Vitali Kravtsov, RW
  14. NJ: Bode Wilde, D
  15. CBJ: Rasmus Kupari, C
  16. PHI: Grigori Denisenko, LW
  17. LA: Martin Kaut, RW
  18. SJ: K’Andre Miller, D
  19. OTT: Rasmus Sandin, D
  20. ANA: Ty Dellandrea, C
  21. MIN: Isac Lundeström, C
  22. TOR: Akil Thomas, C
  23. NYR: Ryan Merkley, D
  24. CHI: Jake Wise, C
  25. NYR: Serron Noel, RW
  26. STL: Jonny Tychonick, D
  27. DET: Jay O’Brien, C
  28. WSH: Nils Lundkvist, D

I’m not expecting to get many of my later picks correct, since there are wider swings of variance as to where these players might end up. But as they say, even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.

Looking for much more in-depth prospect rankings and analysis than what I just provided? Pick up your 2018 Fantasy Prospects Report today.


For more fantasy hockey information, you can follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding.