Welcome back for a rousing round seven of our summer series, this time featuring Edmonton. In addition to the Western Conference make sure you catch up on Cam’s team breakdowns in the Eastern Edge Series.
The idea for these columns to compare end of 2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Geek rankings for individual players with an expected ranking based on their average draft positions from the start of the year. This process does not necessarily identify who was the most important player to each team but gives us not only an idea of who was a steal/bust on draft day, but where each player was valued going into this season. I will also be adding some thoughts on whether or not that is the new normal for the player in question and if we should be adjusting our draft positions. For a deeper dive on each team plus full projections make sure to get your copy of Dobber’s Fantasy Guide, out 8/1/2018.
And now for the technical details. We will be using the Fantasy Hockey Geek tool to get a ranking that combines all of a player’s stats for the searched categories. Like for the previous series, the ranks are based on a 12-team, head-to-head league, using the categories of goals, assists, power play points, shots, hits and blocks for forwards/defensemen and wins, saves, save percentage and goals against average for goalies. Player eligibility for this series is based on Yahoo!, and draft ranks are based on average draft positions compiled from Yahoo!, ESPN and CBS by FantasyPros.
There were high expectations going into 2017-18. Edmonton was coming of a rather successful year in 2016-17. They made the playoffs, finishing second in the Pacific with 103 points. Connor McDavid was great, Cam Talbot proved his doubters wrong, and Leon Draisaitl broke out for 77 points. It seemed like the start of something magical. Unfortunately it was a disaster. McDavid and Draisaitl were still good, but just about everything else went wrong and they ended up well out of the playoffs with a disappointing 78 points on the season.
High flyers like McDavid and Draisaitl certainly weren’t going to be undervalued going into the year, and with the fantasy desert otherwise that was Edmonton through significant portions of 2017-18 it was not easy to find players who over-performed their draft positions. One who managed it though was Darnell Nurse.