The Biggest Cap League Surprises (2015-16)

by Chris Pudsey on February 18, 2016
  • Capped
  • The Biggest Cap League Surprises (2015-16)

Looking at the five biggest surprises in salary cap fantasy hockey leagues this season.

With the 2016 All-Star Game now in the rear view mirror and the second half of the season well underway, fantasy teams are now getting a good handle on who has been their best bargains to date and who have been their teams biggest busts, salary cap wise.

In this weeks Capped, we will take a look at the five biggest surprises that many of us didn’t see coming, as far as overall production for the cap hit. If you are in a one-year league, you can call all these guys major bargains for the money they are costing you against the cap. For keeper leagues, it’s a good chance you’ve already owned these guys and are simply enjoying the reward they are finally giving you for the price.

For ranking purposes, I am going to use my main salary cap league, the UHL.The UHL is a 24-team, H2H, salary cap dynasty league that uses the following stat categories; G, A, plus/minus, PIM, SOG, GWG, PPP, SHP, Hits, Blocks and FOW for skaters. For goalies, we use W, Svs, Sv%, GAA, and shutouts. Each team rosters a total of 23 skaters and we use the same salary cap number that the NHL uses.

Here are the top five biggest and best surprises for Cap Leagues so far in 2016.

 

Petr Mrazek – G – Detroit Red Wings, $737,500 cap hit

GS

Wins

Loss – OTL

Saves

GAA

SV%

SHO

36

22

10 – 5

1007

2.02

0.930

4

At the start of the year, most would have told you that the crease in Detroit was Jimmy Howard’s to lose, seeing as he was the one with the big contract;  I was one of those guys. At best, I figured Mrazek would split the games with Howard and work his way into becoming a share-time goalie if he was lucky. Man, has he proved me, and a lot of other people, wrong.

At this point in the season, Mrazek has the best goals against average in the NHL and is a hair behind Brian Elliott for the best save percentage in the NHL. He’s tied for ninth for wins and is tied for fourth for shutouts. Not too bad for a guy who wasn’t expected to be much more than a 1B goalie. 

As Mrazek continues to roll, Jimmy Howard and his $5.3M contract continue to sit on the bench, enjoying the view. Actually, since we’ve flipped the calender into 2016, Jimmy Howard has started a grand total of four games, losing all four and hasn’t looked good in any of them. 

Needless to say, if the crease was Howards to lose, he’s done a good job of it. 

 

Boone Jenner – C/LW – Columbus Blue Jackets, $767,500

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

Hits

Blocks

PIMs

58

19

13

9

158

159

48

48

Considering the dismal season the Blue Jackets have had to this point, it’s probably fair to say that the play of Boone Jenner has been one of the few bright spots in Columbus.

Injuries have plagued Jenner so far early into his career but this year he’s seemed to have turned a corner. Whether it’s new head coach John Tortorella’s style or just Jenner being able to stay healthy, whatever it is, it’s working for him.

As it stands right now, Jenner is one of only a handful of Blue Jackets to play in all 58 games to this point. He is currently tied with Cam Atkinson on the team for second overall in goals scored, trailing Brandon Saad by two goals. He’s second on the team in SOG as well.

Most expected Jenner to be a solid multi-category contributor but few expected this type of production from him at this point in the season. He’s already set career highs in goals, points, PPP, blocks and shots on goal, Jenner is one assist away from a new career high there as well. Jenner has been a pleasant surprise for the money.

 

Vincent Trocheck – C/RW – Florida Panthers, $661,667

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

Hits

Blocks

PIMs

57

17

18

11

120

88

29

26

The Florida Panthers are a young team full of promising, budding stars like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad and Nick Bjugstad but one name is quickly finding his way into that conversation has to be Vincent Trocheck.

He leads the Panthers in PPP with 11 and is currently tied for second on the team in goals scored with Jaromir Jagr, trailing only Reilly Smith by one. He’s third on the team in SOG and is one of their best FOW guys, trailing only Barkov and Derek MacKenzie by a total of five FOW on the season.

Last week, the 22-year-old Trocheck had six points (three goals, three assists) in three games and was named the third star of the week in the NHL. He’s already surpassed his career marks for goals, assists and points.

After bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL the past couple seasons, I think it’s fair to say that Trocheck has found a home in Florida and the AHL is a distant memory.

 

Jean-Gabriel Pageau – C – Ottawa Senators – $900,000

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

Hits

Blocks

PIMs

58

13

10

1

94

120

40

6

Pageau is the Senators “little engine that could”. Although he stands at roughly five-foot-nine, he plays a fearless style of hockey. 

Pageau has bounced back and forth between the NHL and the AHL the past three seasons but his hard work has finally paid off and in his first full NHL season, the diminutive one is currently fourth on the Senators in hits, trailing only Mark Borowiecki, Chris Neil and recently acquired Dion Phaneuf. He’s set career highs in goals, assists, points, SHP and FOW. 

While he isn’t really relied on for his offense, he is currently tied for fourth in goal scoring for the Senators this season, which is an impressive feat when you consider he’s ahead of guys like Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad for that category. He’s also the second best FOW guy on the Senators, trailing only Kyle Turris in total wins. This certainly helps his value in the UHL as well.

Pageau has proven the doubters wrong and the best part for the his owners, he’s still signed for one more year at his bargain price.

 

J.T. Miller – C – New York Rangers, $874,000

GP

G

A

PPP

SOG

Hits

Blocks

PIMs

56

17

13

2

91

136

32

25

This first half of this season for J.T. Miller started out much like it did last season; bouncing up and down the line up trying to find his role with the Rangers. Once Rick Nash went down with his injury, it was Miller who got the chance to step up in a top-six role and he has flourished ever since.

 

So far this season, he’s played two less games than last year but has already scored seven more goals, setting a new career high not only in goals but also in points. He’s pretty much on par with his shots on goal from last year so that means his shooting percentage is up; not always a bad thing. He’s also more aggressive this season, as his hits total are also a new career high.

 

Miller has always had a high upside and now is gaining the confidence needed to do it regularly. At 22-years-old, he’s finally putting it all together. After signing a one-year deal heading into this season, it couldn’t have come at a better time. 

 

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Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.  You can also follow me on Twitter @chrispudsey where I am always tweeting and retweeting more information that most can handle.