Eastern Edge: Fantasy hockey takeaways – Part 5

Brennan Des

2020-06-16

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll wrap up our review of important fantasy hockey takeaways for each team in the Eastern Conference. I tried to include information from the 2019-2020 campaign that may be forgotten during this extended offseason. Hopefully, these reminders will be useful when NHL action eventually resumes. This is the fifth and final installment, where we'll cover the Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington. Check out the following links to see previous installments:

 

Part 1Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres & Carolina Hurricanes

 

Part 2Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings & Florida Panthers

 

Part 3 – Montreal Canadiens & New Jersey Devils

 

Part 4 New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators & Philadelphia Flyers

 

Pittsburgh Penguins – Guentzel's Greatness

With just four years of NHL experience under his belt, Jake Guentzel obviously hasn't had enough time to build a resume that compares to superstar teammates Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Nevertheless, it's time we start thinking of him as a top-tier winger in fantasy hockey leagues.

The combination of Phil Kessel's departure and injuries throughout Pittsburgh's lineup resulted in a greater opportunity for Guentzel this year. He was skating over 20 minutes a night and played a prominent role on Pittsburgh's top power-play unit. Guentzel thrived with these new responsibilities, tallying 43 points through 39 appearances – a 90-point pace! His power-play production also improved considerably as he registered 10 power-play points in his 39 appearances. He only managed 11 power-play points last year and 12 the year before, despite playing 82 games each time. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury cut Guentzel's season short and it's been more than five months since we last saw him play. I think it's easy to forget about Guentzel's excellence because of this