Frozen Tools Forensics: Cold Starts From Forwards

Grant Campbell


As we looked at hot starts last week, I figured it was only fair to look at the opposite end of the spectrum and highlight some of the coldest starts to this season to date, for forwards only. I’ve isolated some of the coldest players based on what was expected of them coming into 2019-2020. If you own any of these players in your fantasy pools, I’m guessing that you’re a little worried. The Pace tool I used is available in the Frozen Tools Report Generator.

Alex Debrincat had 41 goals last season, and much was expected of him in 2019-2020. After 24 games, he has five goals and 14 assists and is on pace for 17 goals and 48 assists, which is not bad at all, but is a step back from last season. The good news is that he is only shooting 7.5 percent compared to his career average of around 16 or 17, and he is on pace for 228 shots which is more than the 220 he took last year. His even-strength production is 0.58 pts/game compared to 0.63 pts/game in 2018-2019. Chicago’s power play should improve from 13.7 percent (27th in the NHL) so Debrincat could see a bump in his power-play numbers going forward. He will be hard pressed to reach 41 goals again, but he is a streaky scorer and should get to 30.

Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, and Sean Monahan are all causing some concern amongst fantasy owners. All three of these players are way too talented to collectively be underachieving as much as they have been. They all seemed to be on the cusp of becoming consistent 90-100-point players, but this season has planted a seed of doubt that maybe last year was the pinnacle of their production. Tkachuk has the best output of the three and is on pace for 32 goals and 35 assists, which might be a result of his shots and shooting percentage being pretty much the same as in prior years. His only noticeable drop-off has been on the power play where he only has one goal this season after previous seasons of 10 and 11 power play goals. Gaudreau and Monahan should both come around to a point per game as their PDO improves (both around 95) and their 5-on-5 shooting percentage of around six percent gets back to normal