Focusing on Keeper pools, one of the most important factors to consider is stocking your roster with players that are on the rise and not on their way down. If your team is competing for the league title, you should limit the number of players that you will need to be rid of sooner than later. In writing last week about bubble players, it made me think about how the better teams in my pool don't have as many bubble players as those in the middle or bottom of the pack and it isn't just a coincidence. A good rule of thumb, if your team isn't in contention is to rid the roster of any player trending down. Easier said than done of course, but it should be the aim if you wish your team to improve.
Dobber does a much more in-depth look at projections for these players and teams in the 2020-21 Annual Guide available now. I always find it an enjoyable and interesting exercise to look at these teams and players and come up with my thoughts and opinions, but would never bet against Dobber.
The easiest way for me to do this is to focus on each team in the West and look at players on the roster that we should all be looking to keep (risers) or looking to move (fallers) in the next one to two years. I'm not going to speculate on prospects or rookies, but on players with NHL experience (over 25 GP) who are trending up or down.
Risers – Sam Steel, Maxime Comtois, Sonny Milano, Troy Terry, Josh Mahura are all players that should start to pay dividends this year or next as they start to play more minutes and get better opportunities with the man advantage. They range in age from 21 to 24 and have varying degrees of what their ceilings could be, but all have solid futures if everything goes right for them.
Fallers – The glaring example of the Ducks is Ryan Getzlaf and this article isn't just focused on age, but focused more on diminishing returns. The best-case scenario for Getzlaf is to be moved to a contending team and be surrounded with better talent as he can't carry the offensive production for a team any longer at 35 years of age. He's been a point per game player for most of his career but the last two seasons have been 0.72 pts/game and 0.61 pts/game. Adam Henrique, Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg are all in holding patterns, but