Fantasy Impact: The Avalanche Acquire Toews! (No, Not That One, the Other One)
The Colorado Avalanche have acquired defenseman Devon Toews from the Islanders in exchange for a pair of second-round draft picks (next year and the year after).
The Avalanche get: a talented young defenseman (Toews is 26) who is still on the rise. Toews has posted a full-season pace of 31 points as a rookie in 2018-19 and 34 points as a sophomore last year.
The Islanders get: two great draft picks and some much-needed cap relief. They have Andrew Ladd for three more years at $5.5M, Leo Komarov for two more years at $3M and Johnny Boychuk for two more years at $6M. So this tells us that the market for paying off other teams to take on your bad contracts by throwing in a high draft pick has dried up. But still, buying out two of the above players would have allowed them to keep Toews, no? Then again, two second rounders is a pretty sweet return (Toews himself was drafted in the fourth round back in 2014).
Fantasy Players Impacted: Where to begin. Toews was getting 53.6% of available Islanders PP time last season to lead the team. He had six PP Points and had a PP IPP of 54.5%. Ryan Pulock, who was half the reason the team had to clear cap space because he's about to cash in, saw 42.3% of available PP time. He had eight PPPts and a PPIPP of 50.0% – so pretty much the same effectiveness and he could slot into the top power-play unit pretty easily. Expect his usage to jump from 42.3% to something closer to 60%. That added PP time would mean another five points to his bottom line.
Noah Dobson, of course, will gobble up the remaining PP time. In limited action last season, Dobson had one PPPt and an PP IPP of 20% (i.e. he was in on one-fifth of the PP goals scored while he was out there). I still wouldn't put huge expectations on Dobson for the year ahead, but 30 points is certainly doable.
Prospect Bode Wilde is going to get a long look. If the Islanders don't sign a cheap free agent defenseman, Wilde will get a very long look. If the Isles do sign someone, Wilde will be back to working harder for that job. I expect the team to indeed sign a veteran and for Wilde to have an arrival date of 2021-22.
Over in Colorado, the juggernaut continues to be built. It's getting pretty scary. With top prospects Bowen Byram and Conor Timmins champing at the bit, the Avalanche already have the following defensemen:
Dennis Gilbert (L)
Timmins has an advantage here in that he is a right-handed shot (Byram is a lefty). But if he does play, he's not getting much in the way of PP time. That's all Makar, with Girard and Toews fighting for the scraps. I think both Girard and Toews lose some PP time versus what they had last year. As far as even-strength ice time is concerned, I think the unbelievable NHL-leading plus-minus (plus-40) that Graves enjoyed playing alongside Makar is in jeopardy. I think the team puts Toews in there as Makar's new partner. So Toews gets an ES boost, while Graves takes a hit. The PP loss and ES gain balances out for Toews owners.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
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