Eastern Edge: Roster Tweaks for the Stretch Run

Cam Metz



It’s hard to believe that 2018 is all finished and that we are all in need of picking up the mid-season Dobber guide.  It is the tool you need if you’re going to fine tune your roster for the stretch run.  By now you should be looking to be swapping out players for a couple man games here or there, as you jockey for position in the standings.  To help you see which players to target and which players to trade, the new compare a player on Frozen tools is a must for places to start.  You’ll notice that hyperlink took you straight to two specific players – Taylor Hall and Mitch Marner. So let’s get started there.


I’m heavy at LW this year – a position that I felt was scare going into the draft season. Incidentally I missed on all of my RW targets at the draft table: Atkinson, Palmieri, and Reinhart.  So now I’m left with Mark Stone (not a bad problem to have), Timo Meier, and Brendan Gallagher.  I’d love to add a top player at RW and I am more than willing to move Taylor Hall to balance out the lineup.  Marner is on pace right now for 111 points – truly spectacular.  A lot of his run support is coming at 5v5 with 38 even strength points in 39 games.  I’d love to get a piece of this Toronto top power play and so should you.   Check out the table below that was generated from the compare a player tool for those of you not willing to click the above link.  It looks like Hall would be a sell low compared to buying high on Marner, give the depressed shooting percentage of Hall. I will have to table this idea for now.



It has been a couple week since I looked into point paces versus expectation so that we can look at the outliers a little bit closer.  I’ve picked out two under-performing and two over-performing players.



Carlson continues his torrid pace from last season – he’s currently on pace for 80 points. There are two red flags; one his on ice shooting percentage for his team while he is out on the ice is way too high at 13.61% – this should settle into the 9% range by seasons end.  He is quite lucky as well with a PDO of 1060.  The good news is he’s taken an even greater percentage of his teams PP TOI this year and somehow it appears he could pick up a couple more assists as he has a slightly depressed IPP.   I’m tainted by the Carlson two years ago that saw him only produce 42 points in 73 games, but it appears that the Carlson of last year is likely here to stay for this season.  It might be worth seeing if you could trick someone into thinking they are selling high. 



I traded Morgan Rielly when his shooting percentage was up near 22%; I sold him off for Taylor Hall.   I felt pretty good about turning Rielly’s draft capital into Hall, but as we sit here at the midpoint of the season I’m beginning to wonder if it is yet again another trade that I wish I could have back.  His shooting percentage is at 13%, which should come down, but given the quality of shooters on the ice with him I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rielly hang out in the 6% range by the seasons end.  This means his point pace will slow down as a result of his goal production dipping.  It also appears his on ice shooting percentage much like Carlson should fall back to earth as it is also too high at 13%.  Given the position scarcity at the blueline, I’d be tempted to take a mulligan on that trade because of the lofty assist totals that one can expect.


Jakub Voracek has started to heat up with four points in his last five games – even still he has not been producing the assists that everyone is accustomed to when Voracek and the Flyers are clicking on all cylinders.  The depth the flyers have at the forward position have deceased Voracek’s overall share of the PP TOI %; he usually is in the 65% range but this year he is only picking up 59%.  He’s on pace for a 22-goal season which is right about where we expect to find him.  The problem again with all Flyer players his that he’s not picking up assists because of the lack of goals be scored.  Voracek isn’t that far off from his career pace thanks to his recent surge.  Now seems like a good time to trade him to reduce your exposure to this lackluster Flyers squad.



Jake Gardiner was off my radar all offseason – elevated by a ton of secondary assists last season it seemed unlikely that his success would continue. He’s on pace for 48 points which should firmly cement him on most fantasy squads.  Unfortunately, he still hasn’t picked up his shot volume. He has been buoyed by a high on ice shooting percentage just like Morgan Rielly but he has some room to grow in his IPP.  Gardiner seems like a safe buy if you could pick him off for additional D help in a trade as a secondary piece.


That’s all for now – enjoy the New Year’s Day – See you next week.


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