For the last 19 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 20th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer/fall. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey both for the season ahead as well as the foreseeable future. Offensively, will the team perform? Are there plenty of depth options worthy of owning in keeper leagues? What about over the next two or three years? These questions are what I take into consideration when looking at the depth chart and the player potential on that depth chart.
Gone – Pavel Zacha, Janne Kuokkanen, Frederik Gauthier, Chase De Leo, A.J. Greer, Ty Smith, Colton White, Jon Gillies
Incoming – Ondrej Palat, Erik Haula, Brian Pinho, John Marino, Brendan Smith, Vitek Vanecek
Impact of Changes – New Jersey brought in a pair of solid forwards to help fill out the roster in Ondrej Palat and Erik Haula as dual replacements for the loss of Pavel Zacha. While neither are likely to see time on the top power play unit, Palat could find himself lining up alongside Hughes and Bratt at even strength, which should allow him to put up similar numbers to last season (50+ point pace).
The Devils also traded for Vitek Vanecek from Washington and signed him to a three-year extension. Vanecek has posted back to back seasons with a .908 SV%. He had performed better than Ilya Samsonov last season but was unable to take over the starting job completely. Now he is granted a new contract and with it, the expectation that he will stabilize the goaltending position. Something that was sorely lacking last season due to a number of injuries to multiple goaltenders.