Capped: Defensemen to Buy At Your Trade Deadline

by Alexander MacLean on February 23, 2017
  • Capped
  • Capped: Defensemen to Buy At Your Trade Deadline

This week's Capped discusses the forward trade targets for your upcoming trade deadlines.

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Just over a week to go until the deadline, and we still haven’t seen a large-scale deal. Hopefully you fantasy GMs aren’t waiting until the last minute to get things done. On the defensive side of things, if you have waited, then here are a few options to look into at a bargain price.

 

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Jaccob Slavin (D)  –  Carolina Hurricanes

Contract  – $925,000

Carolina is one of those teams that may only have a few fantasy relevant skaters, and it is even more limited on defence. Past Justin Faulk, Carolina is young and thin on the blue line. Slavin is stepping up into a nice offensive role, and is actually leading their defence corps in assists. With a year and a half left on his rookie deal, Slavin still has lots of time to be a bargain for a fantasy squad.

 

The most impressive stat of Slavin’s is not his points though, but the fact he is a plus player on a poor Carolina team (he and Brett Pesce are the only two to be able to lay claim to that). Also, with over 110 blocks already on the season, Slavin is one of the best bargains for that category. Put the points, the plus-minus, the peripherals and the salary together, and there is a definite bargain to be found here. In addition, Carolina plays 16 games over the last four weeks of the season (H2H playoffs).

 

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Jake Dotchin (D)  –  Tampa Bay Lightning

Contract  – $616,667

With the recent trade of Nikita Nesterov, there are a few more bottom pairing minutes to go around on the Lightning. Dotchin has gotten called up recently and based on early results, he could be a multi-category beast in the making. High numbers in all of penalty minutes, hits and blocks, what you’re getting is possible a Radko Gudas lite. Another beneficiary of a strong schedule to end the season, Dotchin could be a great addition for those looking at their depth players to help out in the secondary categories.

 

Dotchin is currently in the last year of his rookie contract. With how little experience he has, it will be at least a few years before we see him get a big bump in his pay rate. As such, he should be a great investment for the next few seasons. It is possible that Tampa Bay makes a move for a defenceman at the deadline to shore themselves up, however based on their position in the standings and the expansion draft coming up, a move for a long-term piece seems unlikely. Therefore, Dotchin’s ice time seems relatively safe for the time being.

 

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Luke Schenn (D)  –  Arizona Coyotes

Contract  – $1,250,000

Having moved from the centre of the hockey universe out to purgatory the desert, Schenn seems to have gone from slightly overrated (where he was left out to dry in Toronto) all the way to underrated and under-appreciated. With Arizona, he is being put in a position to succeed, especially playing with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. However, Schenn’s value, like Dotchin’s above, is not in points, but peripheral stats.

Schenn is on pace for almost 300 hits and over 100 blocks, in addition to almost 100 penalty minutes. Unfortunately, there is not much else to be found in Schenn’s game statistically. He is a very one-dimensional player in terms of fantasy value, so in point leagues stay away. In the right situation though, he can be very useful. Add together Schenn and Dotchin and you could be close to winning a couple of categories with them alone.

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Connor Carrick (D)  –  Toronto Maple Leafs

Contract  – $750,000

One of many rookies on the Toronto Maple Leaf’s roster, Carrick is carving out a nice niche while averaging almost 18 minutes a game over the last two weeks. Carrick is a bit of an afterthought in many fantasy circles due to the competition for offence on a blueline that already boasts Morgan Rielly, Nikita Zaitsev and Jake Gardiner. However, in the right setup, there could be some value found here. With the Leafs being in the thick of fighting for a playoff spot, as well as having five games during the last week of the season, Carrick is set up to be a very valuable asset going through fantasy playoffs.

 

Additionally, with the Leaf’s motto having been changed last week from “Heart and Drive Lives Here” to “Play Fast. Play Right.” we could see an even more up-tempo game from the Leafs. This would highly favour the production of the Carrick/Gardiner pairing. Carrick won’t be a fit for every league, and maybe less so in much larger leagues with many categories, but at his price tag, you can’t be too picky filling out a roster.

 

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Please feel free to comment if you have any other suggestions for decently priced defencemen (both salary and trade market wise) that could be worth targeting for a late season push. Barring a newsworthy piece of material coming up in the next few days, next week’s article will feature a couple of goalie targets for fantasy owners that could use a little help in the crease.

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