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The Islanders added a bit of forward depth by signing centre Derick Brassard to a one-year contract for $1.2-million.

You can read Cam’s take on the signing here.

I have a different view on the signing from Cam, so this is a good opportunity for readers to weigh both sides of the argument and make a determination for themselves.

After averaging 55 points every 82 games in his three full years with the Rangers, his production has fallen off considerably to 40 points every 82 games over the last three years. It wasn’t really a huge decline in TOI, either, as he averaged 16:45 per game over those recent three seasons compared to 17 minutes a game in New York.

It really does seem like this is the end of the road. From Hockey Viz, here’s Brassard’s impact in both the offensive and defensive zones over the last two seasons:



He’s been below average offensively and worse defensively.

I don’t think there’s much fantasy value here. He may sneak into the top-6 at times but with Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier already there, it doesn’t appear playing left wing is an option to get into the top-6 without the demotion of Beauvillier, which seems like a bad idea. I similarly don’t see them using the freshly-extended Brock Nelson in the bottom-6, either. It seems like Brassard’s destined, at best, for the third line, and that means limited fantasy value on this team, even if he rebounds.


The first order of business for new Minnesota GM Bill Guerin was signing RFA Joel Eriksson Ek to a two-year contract with a total value of a shade under $3-million.

Again, not sure there’s a lot of fantasy value here. The Wild are a very old team so maybe he can move around the lineup when injuries hit, but EE hasn’t really come around much offensively in his time in the NHL. Could be injuries, could be line mates. Whatever the cause, he’s been pretty good defensively but, at best, has been average offensively. Feels funny to write that a day after Dmitrij Jaskin left for the KHL because that’s exactly the type of profile Jaskin had early in his career. Not saying that’s the future of EE, it was just a nice coincidence.  

Anyway, he now has a couple years to establish himself. I’m not throwing in the towel on his future, but I don’t see much here for 2019-20, especially if they leave him as the third-line centre.


A tweet of mine from yesterday that kind of ties into my next point:



If you’re in a one-year league and thinking of drafting Hughes over Larkin or Kakko over Atkinson, please take some time to re-think. Not saying it will end up being the incorrect decision, just take some time to really review what the opportunity cost is.


As anyone who has played fantasy sports for basically any length of time knows, value wins championships. Getting those guys in the second half of drafts who perform like players drafted in the first half of the draft is the ticket to a title. Same with top-end guys coming off down or injured years.

I’ve spent the last couple days just perusing Yahoo! rankings and draft analysis. I use Yahoo! because I don’t use CBS’s platform, ESPN includes ATOI, and there’s not much anywhere else worth going over. Anyway, there are always players who’s ranking I think is far too low, so it’s worth going over a few now. This is subject to change as I refine my projections at some point next month and Yahoo! ADP/analysis changes. Keep in mind Yahoo! standard scoring: goals, assists, +/-, shots, PPP, and hits. These will be a bit different than Yahoo!’s official rankings.


Dylan Larkin – C-37

This is one of the more confusing slottings for a lot of reasons. First, it’s not as if Larkin is a one-year wonder. His 2018-19 season was a career year for him, but he just turned 23 last month and had 63 points, 2.8 shots per game, and nearly a hit per game in 2017-18. Fantasy owners being reticent because of the quality of the team is the proper process, but I think Larkin has shown he can be very productive in the fantasy game without much help. There should be concern about the loss of Gustav Nyquist – he’s much better at moving the puck and playing in transition than he gets credit for – but 21 minutes a night helps soothe that issue.


Vincent Trocheck – C-47

We here at Dobber Hockey have written a lot about Vincent Trocheck this off-season: here is Alex MacLean telling you why he’s a good value in cap leagues; this one is from Brennan Des’s ‘Eastern Edge’ column cautioning about the potential for a slow start; and finally, I wrote about him during our ‘Bubble Keeper Week’ in comparison to Jonathan Toews. Needless to say, while we may differentiate on some of the finer points for Trocheck’s 2019-20 outlook, many of us agree: Trocheck is going to be a good value this year, especially in multi-category leagues. If you can get him as a third centre, it’s a huge win on draft day.


Filip Forsberg – LW-17

As of right now, Forsberg is my 8th left winger, just behind guys like Evander Kane and Gabriel Landeskog, around the same value as names like Artemi Panarin and Matthew Tkachuk. (A reminder: Panarin is actively detrimental in the hits category. He has 98 total hits in four years.) Forsberg’s problem is just staying on the ice. His 82-game pace over the last two seasons is as follows (numbers rounded): 34 goals, 38 assists, plus-21, 19 PPPs, 248 shots, 116 hits. Aside from the PPPs, those are numbers similar to what Landeskog posted last year when he finished as a top-20 player in fantasy. Possibly getting Forsberg in the sixth or seventh round is very good value. I’m fine with taking him in the fourth or fifth.


Anders Lee – LW-38

Honestly, I’m not doing this again. We went through this last summer when John Tavares left, and Lee’s rankings in many spots were hilariously low. Sure, some of his very good 2018-19 fantasy season was his plus/minus at plus-20 and that’s probably going to decline, but even if he’s an even player, his production across all categories means he’s a borderline top-100 player even with a big hit to the plus/minus. He’s my 29th left winger and that’s with plus/minus regression built in.


Timo Meier – RW-18

There are a handful of players every year that require people to take kind of a leap of faith. Often, it’s younger players without an extensive track record who will require a decent investment at the draft table. Meier might seem like that, but he’s not. Before his breakout 2018-19 season where he scored 30 goals, his 2017-18 season had him driving shot attempts in the top five percent of the league and driving expected goals near the top 10 percent (from Evolving Hockey’s RAPM charts). His shot rate is elite as well. Honestly, anytime after the top-10 right wingers is good value for Meier, and the later the better. He’s my number-6 right winger in Yahoo! leagues at the moment.  


Anthony Mantha – RW-40

I’m not going to go in depth here because it feels like a lot of people are clamouring for Mantha and how he’s being (and will be) undervalued this draft season. I can see his ADP climbing a lot in the next six weeks. I agree with most of the reasons why he’ll be a good value, but he’s my 25th right winger right now in my projections. Getting him at RW40 would be great value but I can see that moving closer to RW30 by the time October rolls around.


Shayne Gostisbehere – D-43

I wrote about Gostisbehere a couple weeks ago and what was said then is still true now: it was one bad season and we’ve seen the highs from him before. I mean, he was the number-5 defenceman on Yahoo! in 2017-18. I currently have him as my number-13 defenceman, so getting him anywhere near D43 is comically great value. Honestly, anywhere outside the top-20 defencemen is good value.


Darnell Nurse – D-61

This feels like a mistake. Remember last year when Yahoo! had Martin Marincin as like the 17th defenceman off the board or something? That’s what this feels like with Nurse. The guy was minus-5 last year, didn’t crack double-digit PPPs, and was still a top-20 defenceman on Yahoo!. Even if you think Oscar Klefbom will run the top PP unit (I don’t), and even if you think his plus/minus will get worse (that’s possible), Brent Seabrook was the 49th defenceman in fantasy last year with 28 points, 10 PPPs, and a minus-6 rating. I cannot fathom Nurse falling off so hard he’s not even a top-50 defenceman; I personally think he’ll be a top-10 defenceman this year, which is where I have him ranked. Speaking of comically great value…