Every Sunday, we'll share 21 Fantasy Rambles – formerly 20 Fantasy Thoughts – from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week's ‘Daily Ramblings’.
Writers: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. Nikolaj Ehlers’ declining numbers are a concern for many, and with good reason. His points, points-per-game, PPTOI and TOI have slipped in each of the last two seasons. And he couldn’t buy a point in the second half of 2018-19. Don’t sweat this one. He returned a little early from a shoulder injury and was ineffective. Give him a Mulligan for last season and consider him a ‘buy low’ option for the year ahead.
Last year was supposed to be his BT campaign (Breakout Threshold). The injury delayed it, so it’s entirely possible that he has it in the year ahead. I have him as a very strong sleeper possibility at 15% confidence in the Fantasy Guide. One tiny concern I do have is the injuries. He didn’t have any in 2016-17 nor 2017-18, but last year besides the shoulder injury he suffered a leg fracture in the playoffs. Hopefully those were just coincidences (but with the next one I’ll feel differently). (aug24)
2. 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. Timo Meier might seem like that, but he’s not. Before his breakout 2018-19 season, when 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. 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 #6 right winger in Yahoo! leagues at the moment. (aug23)
3. The boom is coming. It’s been foretold. Over the last two seasons, Ondrej Kase has produced the 36th best points-per-game clip at five-on-five. His full-strength efficiency is supreme. Yet, for some reason, he still only skates around 13 minutes a night at evens.
The 23-year-old Kase has played in three NHL seasons while seeing his goal-scoring and point production improve on a per-game basis year-over-year. The issue with the Ducks’ winger has been maintaining his health. The Czech-product managed to get into just 30 games last year. However, he tallied 11 goals and 20 points in that span. His 10 even-strength goals were (0.33 per-game) would have netted him 27 just at even-strength in a full season.
His second-quarter output from last season illustrates the potential we’re talking about here. (