We cap off our buy & sell series this week, reaching the end of covering each NHL team, analyzing one player to buy, and one to sell (links to parts one, two, three, four, five, and six). Anaheim is the last team to be covered, and will get a double feature. I did this on purpose as I wanted to cover a few players from their squad.
As you know from the previous weeks’ articles, these recommendations are based on their performance versus cap hit. That means in non-cap leagues, some of these suggestions may not be as relevant, but that doesn’t mean the analysis isn’t relevant. Generally, these players will either be riding new contracts into the season or be expected to have a large shift in value, for one reason or another.
Weekly reminder to get the DobberHockey 2018-2019 Fantasy guide so you can research anyone else you need to for all your offseason trade discussions and draft needs. It’s not too late to get it before your drafts but do it early. Don’t expect to just skim through it in an hour. There is too much excellent content in it for that.
Buy: Ondrej Kase
Cap Hit: $2,600,000 with three years remaining
Kase signed a very team-friendly bridge deal, and is giving himself three years to outplay it, instead of the two that might have made more sense from his camp. As Anaheim’s best possession winger last season, he has the opportunity to win even more quality minutes away from Corey Perry this season, locking him in as a very viable fantasy option, even in standard 12-team leagues.
If he continues his upward ascent this coming season, then owners will be in for an even bigger treat in 2019-2020 when he enters his magical fourth season.
Bonus Buy: Rickard Rakell
Cap Hit: $3,789,444 with four years remaining
On the flip side of that magical fourth year, Rakell just hit it, and posted career highs in goals, assists, and shots. If those are categories in your league, then you want him on your fantasy team. He is an underrated player, but maybe not for much longer. The 30+ goal, 60+ point, and 200+ shot plateaus should be the norm moving forward for the 25-year old.
On a longer contract at a sub-$4 million AAV price tag, he is in rare company. Of the 21 players to hit the 30-goal, 30-assist, 200-shot totals last season, only three of them were being paid less than $4 million on a standard contract (the other two being Eric Staal and Jason Zucker, one is a UFA next summer, and the other already got a raise).
Sell: Adam Henrique
Cap Hit: $4,000,000 with one year remaining before a five year, $5.825 million AAV extension kicks in
*2017-2018 season split between the New Jersey Devils and the Anaheim Ducks.
Adam Henrique signed an extension with the Anaheim Ducks just two weeks after he became eligible to do so. With Ryan Kesler looking as though he is rapidly slowing down, Henrique is poised to be the Ducks’ second line centre. That is, until Sam Steel proves himself worthy of slotting in behind Ryan Getzlaf.
No matter the role though, Henrique seems to consistently post between 40-50 points, and put together some borderline useful peripherals of around 150 shots, 30 penalty minutes, 70 hits, 12 powerplay points, and 600 faceoff wins. He remained fairly consistent with his scoring after joining the Ducks and is more of a responsible forward than an offensive one, which really caps his ceiling.
Over the course of his career, he has never shot lower than 12% (12.3% being the lowest, all the way back in 2011-2012). If anything, the season that Henrique put up last season is his statistical ceiling, meaning that he is getting a raise, just in time for some regression (both statistically, and age related). The 28-year-old won’t be one to lose you a pool if you own him, but he likely won’t be on the roster of whatever team wins your championship either.
Bonus Sell: Cam Fowler
Cap Hit: $6,500,000 with eight years remaining
Fowler’s $6.5-million AAV contract kicks in this year, and with it comes the expectation to lead a defence core that is slowly shifting towards some of the younger players. Brandon Montour is growing into quite the offensive threat, while Jacob Larsson and Marcus Pettersson push for minutes around UFA signings Andrej Sustr and Luke Schenn. There are only so many sheltered and offensive minutes that can go around for these players, so Fowler looks to be the one who will get the short (defensive) end of that stick.
Often last season, Fowler was the sole defenceman on the powerplay, or one of two defencemen, lined up with Montour. Should Montour take over the top powerplay duties, Fowler’s stock would sink even more. Anaheim has the wingers to ice a very solid four-forward unit for the top powerplay, so this may happen sooner rather than later. Keep an eye on it in pre-season.
Additionally, over the last three seasons, Fowler has fewer than two shots per game, and fewer than one hit every two games. The lack of peripheral stats means that if Fowler is not scoring, he isn’t producing for your fantasy team. Defencemen on your roster shout have a floor, and be able to at least produce hits, blocks, shots, and maybe plus-minus, for the streaks where the points dry up.
Moving on to a few other topics now:
I’ll leave the full trade recap and impact in Michael Clifford’s capable hands, find his thoughts here. What I would like to go over, is reminding you what Karlsson’s extension is likely to look like. Karlsson and the Sharks are already discussing a long-term extension, and my hunch is that it gets done before the start of the season.
We also know that Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson were discussing their future contracts, and not taking less than what they viewed as market value. I covered that topic here, and though Karlsson has a new team, nothing seems to have changed in his stance. In the meantime, Doughty signed his extension, an eight-year deal at $11 million per season. Karlsson will use that as a base, along with the John Tavares contract from this summer (seven years x $11 million per season), to net himself an eight-year deal at $12 million per season.
With Joe Thornton’s $5 million contract coming off the books next summer, allotting that to Karlsson’s current $6.5 million AAV contract, the Sharks could make it all work. Additionally, with Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Tim Heed all right-handed shots, fellow righty Justin Braun may be the victim of a number’s game. His $3.8 million AAV is not a bad contract for what he brings, however, it is more than any team will want to spend for a third pair defenceman.
Josh Morrissey and Darnell Nurse both signed nearly identical bridge deals this week. Both are two years in length, with an AAV of $3.2M for Nurse, and $3.15M for Morrissey. While I think the numbers make sense for Morrissey, it is lower than expected for Nurse. With the news of Andrej Sekera out for a long period of time, Nurse likely saw this as an opportunity to thrive, and set himself up for a much more lucrative deal in 2020.
Morrissey on the other hand, may be too buried on the depth chart this season to be a real fantasy asset (except in hits/blocks leagues), and is betting on Tyler Myers moving on in free-agency next summer. With those minutes gone, and Morrissey already entrenched as the top left-hand-shot defenceman on the Jets, that seems about in line with when we can expect a breakout.
Look for Shea Theodore to sign a similar deal, whether it happens before or after October third, you would need a crystal ball for that. My contract prediction model has him in the same range, on a three-year deal, just a shade under $3 milion per season.
Reinhart signed a slightly more lucrative deal than his RFA defenceman counterparts did, and it is likely just because offence is the sexier part of the game, and what seems to pay better on the majority of contracts. The fourth-year Buffalo forward, is a popular pick among many to break out offensively this season. He put up 50 points last year, but 37 of those came in the second half of the season. If he keeps up that pace over a full year, it comes out to about 75 points. Who doesn’t love getting a 75-point player on a contract paying them less than $4 million (also being drafted on average 158th in Yahoo and Fantrax). He has the talent to join Rakell in that elusive inexpensive scoring club we discussed earlier.
Thanks for reading. I would be curious to hear if you have any buy/sell candidates for Anaheim, as well as if there are any requests for articles the next few weeks before the season really gets going.
As always, you can find me on twitter @alexdmaclean.
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