Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Pittsburgh Penguins
For the last 15 years (12 with The Hockey News, last year’s via pinch-hitter Cam Robinson) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 16th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
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Gone – Tom Kuhnhackl, Carter Rowney, Conor Sheary, Josh Jooris, Matt Hunwick, Frank Corrado
Incoming – Derek Grant, Jimmy Hayes, Stefan Elliott, Matt Cullen, Jack Johnson
Impact of changes – Moving the three forwards frees up room for a couple of prospect graduations, and moving Hunwick and Sheary freed up the cap room to bring in Johnson and re-sign the surprising Jamie Oleksiak. Cullen upgrades Rowney on the checking line in terms of both talent and health, and the arrivals of Grant and Hayes were depth moves that make great fill-ins in the event that a prospect or two thought ready ends up needing more AHL time. It’s been a quiet offseason for the recent two-time Cup champs, but the moves that were made certainly help.
Ready for full-time – Cullen will take Rowney’s spot, but at this point nobody has Kuhnhackl’s or Sheary’s spot in the roster. Grant and Hayes are there to fill in and prospects can certainly steal those jobs from them and are expected to do just that. Zach Aston-Reese, Daniel Sprong and Dominic Simon are champing at the bit.
Aston-Reese is a Hornqvist clone. He’s a Hit machine and he has Hornqvist upside for production. But the team already has a Hornqvist and ZAR has to prove that he can belong on a lower line. He can be sent to the AHL without clearing waivers so he has to redouble his efforts. (Sco