Everyone likes a good NHL trade, maybe no one more than fantasy general managers.
You see, we salivate at this time of the season, when players are switching teams faster than Mike Sillinger in his heyday. However, we have a tendency to go a little crazy this year, overvaluing guys who are traded.
It always happens. Many expect every trade to work out, for players to all of a sudden get top-six ice time and a chance to play with superstars. After all, that’s why the team gave up a third-round pick.
Below are 10 players that would see their fantasy stock rise if they are traded before the NHL deadline next week. This doesn’t mean they’ll produce better, just that they will have more value if you wish to trade them or trade for them in your fantasy league.
Note that you’ll see many of the rumoured-to-be-dealt superstars missing. Artemi Panarin is already worth a fortune, he won’t become too much more valuable in your league if he is dealt. If you think the players on this list are going to be traded, and you have an interest in them now, you may be better trying to acquire them now instead of after they are dealt.
10. Derick Brassard
Brassard is proof of how much extra value gets attached to a player after a trade. Once he was dealt to Pittsburgh last year, people were preferring Brassard over Matt Duchene and Elias Lindholm (keep in mind these were multi-cat leagues), despite the fact Brassard was on the third line and wouldn’t get a sniff of the top power play. Now he’s in Florida. If he gets dealt somewhere with a halfway decent offense, expect to hear some of the rhetoric of increased ice time.
If there’s anyone in the NHL in need of a fresh start, it would be Johansson. He’s battled injuries since being moved to New Jersey two summers ago, and his point production and points-per-game pace have been disappointing. There’s still a lot of people who want to believe that Johansson can have a breakout season, but he’s 28 years old. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s not going to happen. That won’t stop many from overvaluing him if he gets dealt.
Coyle has always been one of those players who seems poised to take the next step but never does. This year has been worse for the 26-year-old, who is on pace for less than 40 points despite playing more than 17 minutes a night. Coyle’s problem is that he just doesn’t produce with the man advantage. He’s averaging almost two minutes per game on the second unit but still has only three power-play points.
A lot of Roslovic’s value will depend on where he would wind up. In Winnipeg, he’s playing less than 10 minutes a night, but many believe he has the talent to be a top-six player. If he goes to Washington or Pittsburgh, his situation doesn’t change. But if he goes to Detroit or Ottawa, he gets top-six minutes and a significant amount of power-play time. He is one of the few where an increase in value would be worth it.
6. Eric Staal
Just like NHL teams pick up rentals for the stretch drive, so do fantasy GMs. Trading for players who are in a good situation for the rest of the season is a smart move. Staal could be that guy for this season. A year after notching 42 goals and 76 points, Staal has come hurtling down to earth with 17 goals and 37 points in 58 games. He’s also pointless in his last eight games. Not great. That’s why a fresh start on a new team would see a value increase. You’d be better off buying before that happens.
Hamilton’s career with the Hurricanes hasn’t been that great (maybe Carolina museums are too enticing?), and he’s on pace for his worst season since his rookie campaign in 2012-13. His ice time is the lowest in five years, and he’s stuck on the second power-play unit. Imagine if he gets dealt almost anywhere else. All of a sudden, people are automatically pegging Hamilton for the number one power-play spot and an increase in overall ice time. In other words, the same thing when Hamilton was traded to Carolina last June.
Just like Hamilton, Parayko’s value will go through the roof if he is traded in the next week. After all, the Blues defenseman is struggling this season and his power-play ice time of 1:18 per game is the lowest of his career and almost 40 seconds less per game than last year. If he’s dealt, expect lots of talk about how he’s going to get top power-play time. Although we all thought he was getting that spot this year as well.
3. Jeff Carter
L.A. is the place where the beautiful people live and offense goes to die. No one on the Kings is producing much (Anze Kopitar is the only player on pace to break 50 points) and Carter is no exception. Last season, he has 13 goals and 22 points in 27 games. This year, he’s at 10 goals and 25 points, but in 52 games. Part of that is that he’s shooting 7.8 per cent, half of last year’s 15.3 per cent and the lowest of his career.
2. Eeli Tolvanen
Imagine if you were a top prospect (number four in Dobber’s top 200 fantasy prospects for February), but you were stuck with a team with a very deep player pool. You don’t get to be an NHL regular, you’re playing in the AHL and even when you get called up to the big leagues, you’re not playing top minutes or getting top power-play time. A trade to a team that would allow him a better opportunity to play in the NHL on a regular basis would significantly boost his value.
Hayden Soboleski covered the problems with trading young high-upside players like Puljujarvi in Sunday’s prospects ramblings. However, there is a danger in holding on to a young player for too long as well (see Nail Yakupov). Regardless, tongues will be salivating if Puljujarvi is dealt. Just like sugar plums at Christmas times, top-six minutes will be dancing in the heads of fantasy GMs. He goes from 12 minutes a night and healthy scratches to 18 minutes a night and top power-play time. Or so we assume, which is why his value would skyrocket.