After the hockey world has focused on the Leafs for the last little while with the William Nylander signing, let’s let them have another 30 seconds before looking elsewhere.
Jake Gardiner is almost assuredly going to be starting next season elsewhere, as left-shot defenceman Calle Rosen just signed a two-year extension on a one-way contract. Add that on to the existing lefties Morgan Rielly, Travis Dermott, and Justin Holl, and there’s just no room for Gardiner (let alone fitting him under the cap – discussed last week). Expect Gardiner’s cap hit to jump into the realm of Kevin Shattenkirk next summer, so this may be the best time to sell. Rosen could be a solid contributor in deep leagues next season (similar to Dermott this year).
With most teams having hit the 30-game mark at this point, it seems like a good time to review some performances from the first few months of the season.
Dougie Hamilton (D) – Carolina Hurricanes
Cap Hit: $5,750,000 (Three years remaining)
Hamilton is someone that got covered around this time last year for a very similar reason. Here’s what was said on December 7th, 2017:
Dougie Hamilton is a notoriously slow starter. Let’s take a look at his stats month by month:
That’s a pretty incredible jump towards the latter half of the season, especially looking at the points-per-game (P/GP) paces on a month by month basis. Right around the first of December is where he starts to turn things around. Hopefully this article isn’t coming out too late for you to get in on his stock before it shoots up once again. Even at this point in the year, he is on pace for 261 shots, which would mean cruising past his career high of 222 set just last season. The 24-year-old rearguard is also averaging a hit per game, and is on pace for 65+ blocks. He should be a buy in all formats, and will likely continue to provide exceptional value for the last four years of his current contract.
Last year alone, Dougie scored 27 second half points last season versus his 17 first half points. This season, through 28 games he has only 10. The adjustment period to a new team may cause his second half breakout to be a little later than December 1st this year, so the buy-low window is still open. At $5.75 million, a 50-point pace defenceman can be very valuable for a stretch run.
Erik Karlsson (D) – San Jose Sharks
Cap Hit: $6,500,000 (One year remaining)
Karlsson is taking his sweet time to adjust to life in California. His owners have been expecting much more production, and the points are just starting to roll in. The 51-points he is on pace for would be his lowest total since the 2010-2011 season, but looking at it by quarter, the buy window is closing. With eight points in his last 11 games, and five in his last five (all as of Tuesday), we’re seeing the Karlsson from past years. His luck metrics are fairly normal, except for his shooting percentage, which is about a third of his career average. Bump it up to his usual, and he would have four more goals on the season (six instead of two). At least for the end of this year, he will be a bargain. Next year is a whole other story.
Shayne Gostisbehere (D) – Philadelphia Flyers
Cap Hit: $4,500,000 (Five years remaining)
Currently on pace for 38-points, it would be his lowest total in a season ever. He will hit 40-points, he will almost surely hit 200 shots, and his plus-minus should improve with Brian Elliott due back soon from injury. Last season the young Flyers’ rearguard scored 65-points, and this was on the back of 33-powerplay points. He was also starting more shifts in the offensive zone than he is this year (a decrease of six percent). We may not see 65 points every year, but he is so skilled, and a part of a normally dominant powerplay, that he should be a set and forget for 50 points every year. To get to 50 points this season, Ghost would have to score at a nice 69 point pace for the rest of the season – almost exactly what he paced for over all of last season, so it’s very doable.
The best thing about Ghost, is his contract. John Carlson was a massive bargain on defence last year at $4 million, Roman Josi is excellent for this year and next at the same $4 million AAV. The Flyers meanwhile have their young powerplay quarterback locked up at $4.5 million for five more years. At the top end of the defence spectrum when it comes to fantasy, this contract and John Klingberg’s reign supreme as the best bang for your buck over the next number of years.
Nolan Patrick (C) – Philadelphia Flyers
Cap Hit: $925,000 (Two years remaining)
As with Gostisbehere, the second-year Flyers centre should pick things up too. He is a better bet for those in keeper leagues, as his long-term potential remains high. Patrick fits a little more into the category of the power-forwards developmentally than most other first-overall picks who were more in the skilled category. The power-forward types typically take a few more years to really come into their own. Patrick was slow to pick things up last year, but really turned things on in the second half. Check out those splits:
With the added responsibility of no longer being a rookie, he has taken on a much larger share of the defensive zone faceoffs, as well as facing off against a higher quality of competition. It is to be expected that he takes one step back to start his sophomore campaign. The next phase would be taking two steps forward to build on his breakout second half in his rookie campaign.
Want the low-down on the rest of the league, who is set to go up or down? Get your hat in the ring early for Dobber’s mid-season guide here!
One other dynasty league note (especially for the larger dynasty cap-league owners), now is the time to grab some of the players expected to be at the top of World Juniors lineups, and watch their stocks soar. Check out the Dobber Prospects take on some of the team makeups here.
Previous Capped articles:
All cap related info is courtesy of Capfriendly.
That caps off this week’s article, thanks for reading. As always, you can find me on twitter @alexdmaclean where I hope to not have to mention Nylander again for a while.