Fantasy Impact: John Tavares Signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs




The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed superstar center John Tavares to a seven-year deal, per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

The Maple Leafs get: The prize catch of this summer's free agency. Tavares was courted by six different teams, including the Islanders. But in the end, the lure to play for his local childhood team proved to be too much even for a return to the Islanders, in spite of their hirings of a proven general manager and head coach. Tavares has averaged nearly a point per game (0.93 Pts/GP) during his nine-season NHL career, so needless to say his addition will provide a major boost to the Leafs' scoring attack.


Fantasy Players Impacted:

John Tavares and Auston Matthews will enjoy a 1A/1B first-line center arrangement. Something that didn't affect Tavares last season when he coexisted with Mathew Barzal. Don't expect a significant change when it comes to Tavares' totals, as there will be a variety of quality scoring wingers from which to choose from. The only "minus" to Tavares' numbers last season was a minus-12, which should improve significantly on what is now a serious Stanley Cup contender in Toronto.

With Tavares being signed, there are rumors that the Leafs will need to shop William Nylander in order to make room – at least by next summer. But if he stays, Nylander's value will experience a tremendous positive impact. The Leafs listed below could also line up with Tavares, which would improve their fantasy values tremendously. The wingers, especially, will benefit. Imagine missing out on playing on a line with John Tavares, so you have to "settle" for playing with Auston Matthews? Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnsson (prospect profile here), Patrick Marleau and Kasperi Kapanen will all benefit as at one time or another they will be playing with an elite centerman. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet is already reporting that Marner will be one Tavares winger for sure.

Over in Long Island, Josh Bailey and Anders Lee will be hit the hardest in terms of