Fantasy Take: Niskanen Traded For Gudas

Ian Gooding

2019-06-14


The Washington Capitals have traded defenseman Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers for Radko Gudas

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers will be retaining 30 percent of the Gudas contract. So this trade clears salary cap space for the Capitals, who Friedman suggested could use the cap space to re-sign someone like Carl Hagelin.

The Capitals add a physical defenseman to their team, as Gudas was tenth in the NHL in hits last season (255). Over the past four seasons, he is third in the NHL with 1009 hits. His presence could allow Tom Wilson to take on less of the dirty work and focus more on scoring. Brooks Orpik is also a UFA, so Gudas could replace him as the physical guy on the blueline.

Niskanen, meanwhile, has seen his scoring decline for two consecutive seasons. His power-play time over the past two seasons has also been minimal (just over 0:30/game). Expect him to take on a stay-at-home role on the Flyers, where he would likely be paired up with one of Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, or Travis Sanheim. None of these three defensemen were able to reach the 40-point mark last season. Gudas averaged just under 18 minutes of icetime per game, so they will probably provide Niskanen with more icetime than that (averaged between 22 and 25 minutes in his five seasons in Washington). 

Players this helps, in order:

Dmitry Orlov (could increase power-play time and allow him to focus on a more offensive role)

Nick Jensen (could move into a top-4 role)

Ghost, Provorov, or Sanheim

Wilson (from a scoring perspective, but not from a penalty minutes/hits perspective)

Players this hurts, in order:

Niskanen (likely less to take on a scoring role in Philly)

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UPCOMING GAMES

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STARTING GOALIES

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency COL Players
26.7% NATHAN MACKINNON VLADISLAV NAMESTNIKOV MIKKO RANTANEN
21.8% PIERRE-EDOUARD BELLEMARE MATT CALVERT MATT NIETO
19.6% NAZEM KADRI GABRIEL LANDESKOG VALERI NICHUSHKIN

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