For this week’s edition of Geek of the Week, we are going to focus on a San Jose Sharks forward. It took a while to decide which forward, as there are plenty of candidates.
Up until recently the Sharks have been a team that many fantasy GMs have somewhat avoided as far as forwards go.
With diminishing returns on Joe Thornton the past few years and outside of the obvious (Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski), there haven’t been any major standouts. Lots of potential on that roster but no one was able to take the next step prior to this season.
Seemingly out of nowhere the Sharks led the league with seven forwards that had more than 50 points this season (eight if you count Gustav Nyquist, but he only played 19 games with the Sharks, so we’ll leave him out).
To put that in perspective, last season and the season prior they had three forwards with more than 50 points and only two in 2015-16.
The next closest team to the Sharks this season was somewhat surprisingly the non-playoff bound Montreal Canadians with five forwards cracking 50 points or more. After Les Habitants, no team had more than four forwards hit the 50-point mark.
Ron Burgundy would probably say that seven forwards with 50+ points is kind of a big deal and that the Sharks’ dressing room smells of rich mahogany.
A few other interesting stats while conducting this exercise:
1. Four teams had four forwards with at least 70 points this season. After the top four, no other forward reached fifty points in Boston, Calgary, Florida, or Pittsburgh. You’ll find the usual suspects on these top-heavy teams and some similarities between them. The coaches love their first line and rightfully load the top power-play unit for the bulk of the team’s PP minutes. If you can’t get one of their top four forwards it may be worth moving on (and drafting a Shark forward?) in next year’s draft. Jake Guentzel was of particular interest as he shared a lot of his PP1 time with Patric Hornqvist. Don’t count on that continuing next season.
2. Anaheim and Arizona were at the bottom of the barrel with zero forwards reaching the 50-point mark. No real surprises here outside of Clayton Keller, Ryan Getzlaf, and Rickard Rakell. All are prime bounce-back candidiates for next year.
3. Tampa Bay was the only team to have three forwards go over 90 points. After that no forward had more than 48 points for the Lightning. Expect another battle next season for the pri