Ramblings: Looking At Slavin, Matheson, Perunovich, and Bouchard; Rodrigues – July 21

Michael Clifford

2022-07-21

In Wednesday's Ramblings, we talked about defencemen that had recently changed teams via trades. It really was a neat little four-pack of important players, for different reasons, that were all on the move. The through line for all the guys we mentioned, though, was that none were likely to get top power-play minutes in 2021-22, at least to start the year. Considering the top-9 scorers among defencemen, and 14 of the top 20. all had at least 20 PPPs this past season with none at 10 or fewer, having a power-play role is obviously very important to defence production. Guys like Shea Theodore and Devon Toews didn't post huge totals, but both sat at 12 and both are excellent offensive puck-movers.

For that reason, I want to look at some defencemen that could get prime power-play minutes this coming season. Obviously, most of the coveted roles are already spoken for, and even some of the less coveted positions. But sometimes all it takes is a bit of underperformance that could be related to play or injury – Damon Severson over Dougie Hamilton and Josh Morrissey over Neal Pionk come to mind – for a guy to leap in fantasy value. Both Morrissey and Severson set career-highs in PPPs after taking over the top PP role and, subsequently, had the best production seasons of their careers. (Morrissey was more because he played nearly a full season, but the point remains that he took over the role and had opportunities others did not.)

We will take the time today to go through some spots where a defenceman could slide up and take the top PP role as the season wears on. Injuries are difficult to predict so the focus will be more on tenuous holds of top roles where there is a competent puck-mover waiting in the wings. Data will be taken from Natural Stat Trick or our own Frozen Tools. Other sources will be credited as t