Geek of the Week: No Hintz, Just Roope

Logan Doyle

2021-02-07

More often than not, teams and players that reach the Stanley Cup Finals suffer a hangover regardless of victory or defeat. With longer-term injuries to Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin it would unexpected for Dallas to start slow. That just hasn't been the case.

Shadowed by the hot starts of Joe Pavelski, Alexander Radulov and John Klingberg is the hot start of Roope Hintz, who appears to be on the verge of taking another large step forward. Drafted 49th overall in 2015, he was predicted to become a middle-six forward with top six potential. Second-round prospects tend to slip from the forefront of conscience when they remain in Europe after being drafted. Hintz grew his game playing in Liiga averaging .67 points-per game over the next two seasons.

He popped onto radars in 2017-18 when he moved to North America and spent the year with the Texas Stars producing a respectable 35 points in 70 games.

He started 2018-19 in the AHL and came out of the gate flying with 22 points in 21 games He forced Dallas into calling him up with his play. Hintz was no longer flying under anyone's radar at this point. At age 22 Hintz moved to the NHL for good. In the 58 games that followed he put up a respectable 9-13 for 22 points in 14:03 ice time.  For multi-cat leagues the stat that flagged Hintz as a viable fantasy option were his hits (87). 

After one partial NHL season, talk stirred of Hintz taking the number two center position in camp for the 2019-20 season. He ended up flipping back and forth from left wing to center and second to third line throughout the year. His sophomore season was filled with marginal improvements. He improved in every offensive category, 19-14 for 33 points in 60 games. His shots per game also increased from 1.71 to 2.0. He also saw incremental increases in ice time (:42) and power play (:12). His hit totals dipped slightly to 73 but still very viable for multi-cat leagues.

The Dallas Stars of 2019-20 were a very interesting team. The Stars had been the second-best defensive team in the NHL in goals against, neck and neck with the Boston Bruins, 174 in 69 games. To say they struggled offensively might be an understatement. They were 29th in the NHL in goals for with 178 (2.57), tucked between the LA Kings and San Jose Sharks. For perspective, Tampa Bay led the league in scoring with 243 (3.47 per game), averaging, almost an entire goal for more than Dallas.