Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Boston Bruins
For the last 16 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 17th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Incoming – Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm
Impact of changes – What changes? Johansson was huge in the postseason, but from a regular season standpoint (three points in 10 games) his loss could be considered negligible. Acciari was a force in terms of adding energy to the team – he had 221 Hits last season. Ritchie had 126, but in actual Hits per minute played the two were pretty close. Ritchie doesn’t take faceoffs though, which is where Lindholm comes in (50.1% at the dot last season). In fact, you could almost consider Ritchie and Lindholm combined as a replacement for Acciari. But by and large, this team is intact. It is deep and is most definitely a playoff contender led by the unstoppable line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
Ready for full-time – The Bruins had a couple of late-season prospect additions who fit in really well in Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman. After just 18 games in the regular season as more of a depth guy, defenseman Clifton came up huge in the playoffs when he posted five points in 18 games despite just 13:17 of ice time. In his ninth career playoff game he saw 18:02 and in his 10th game it was at 19:28. It would take an injury on the depth chart above him for the 24-year-old to see any PP time, but he is a solid Hits and BLKS guy if he can get the ice time. (Read up on Clifton here)
Kuhlman was a solid two-way college star who the Bruins signed as a free agent. He doesn’t offer upside in any particular category, except perhaps for short-handed points because therein lies his NHL future. (Read up on Kuhlman here)
Peter Cehlarik has put in his time in the minors and now must clear waivers in order to be sent down. With minimal ice time he scored four goals in 20 games with the big club last year. But barring a huge bounce in his favor, he’s not looking very promising as a future fantasy asset. (Read up on Cehlarik here)
Anders Bjork has had a roster spot penciled in for him the last two years, but injuries always sideline him and at this point he needs to actually stay healthy and get in some AHL time first. Since turning pro, Bjork has played a measly 72 total games over the course of two years, missing more than half a season each campaign. Still only 23, Bjork needs a good 40 healthy AHL games to regain his rhythm and confidence, and if that happens he is very much a potential top-sixer. (Read up on Bjork here)
Boston Bruins prospect depth chart and fantasy upsides can be found here (not yet ready for mobile viewing, desktop only right now)
Fantasy Outlook – Four players reaching 70 points last season, with one (Marchand) hitting 100 makes for good fantasy value. Add the fact that their secondary scoring with Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen are on the upswing with Charlie Coyle ready to rebound (if his postseason is any indication), this team will again be strong on offense. On the blue line, they have two players each capable of exceeding 55 points in Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy, though both would need to stay healthy to make that happen. Meanwhile goaltender Tuukka Rask is a five-time 30+ Quality Starts goaltender. Owning a Boston Bruin is certainly not a curse on your fantasy squad and is most definitely a boon. The pipeline is a little lean, with no sure-fire studs on the way. And that may be this team’s only drawback if you’re in a rebuild.
Fantasy Grade: B+ (last year was B+)
Pick up the 14th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Hockey Guide
2019 Offseason Fantasy Hockey Grades