Feature: 15 Fearless Forecasts for the 2019-20 Season

by Rick Roos on October 2, 2019

 

The beginning of the regular season brings with it hopes and dreams of fantasy championships. It’s also when prognosticators like me make predictions for the upcoming season. After 2017-18 where I had some success and near misses, I proceeded to take a step backwards last season. Can I right my ship with my forecasts for 2019-20? Time will tell.

 

As usual, before I get to the actual predictions, I’ll add my disclaimer that these are termed “Fearless Forecasts” for a reason since they’re meant to be plausible but also bolder than more traditional predictions. The good news is no matter how many of these end up correct, you’ll still benefit by reading them, as each includes information and logic to help you in making key decisions in your leagues. Okay, enough build up – onto what you came here to see……..the 15 forecasts!

 

1) Matt Dumba will lead the Wild in scoring

 

Already low expectations for next season in Minnesota didn’t get a boost when the marquee addition they made this summer was signing Mats Zuccarello to a five year, $30M contract, which means the team’s arguably four best forwards all will be age 32+ this season. If that wasn’t enough, the Wild were one of only four teams last season (the Canadiens, Islanders, and Knights being the other three) which didn’t have any forward average either 19:00 of overall TOI or 3:00 of PP TOI per game in 2018-19. Not surprisingly, other than Max Domi for the Canadiens no forward on any of these four teams topped 62 points. And new GM Bill Guerin isn’t going to help these problems for the Wild, at least not right away.

 

As for Dumba, before he got hurt last season he had 22 points in 32 games. But going back a bit further he tallied 19 points in his final 25 games to end 2017-18, meaning he has 41 points in his last 57 games, for a 59 point pace. In doing so, he supplanted the ageing Ryan Suter as the Wild’s top PP option and saw his minutes rise to over 23:00 per game. What’s also key is despite added ice time Dumba’s offensive zone starting percentage was up markedly to 54.8%, giving him the best of both worlds combination (i.e., lots of minutes and mainly offensive zone starts) that fuels fantasy success for rearguards. 

 

If he can stay healthy and remain deployed as favorably, I think Dumba has a chance at 65 points, which is likely more than Minnesota’s top forward will post when the dust settles on 2019-20.

 

 

2) Gustav Nyquist will not break the point-per-every-other-game mark

 

To clarify, what I mean is if Nyquist plays all 82 games, he will score 41 or fewer points. But how could this happen when the Blue Jackets will need to plug so many holes at forward amid the departures of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel? Easy – Duchene and Dzingel were only rentals; and even more importantly, Nyquist is positioned to rival Milan Lucic, Loui Eriksson, and James Neal in terms of recent UFA forwards who had terrible first years with their new teams.

 

Let me stress that the issue isn’t Nyquist lacking the talent to score. He simply chooses to play well/hard only when and if it suits him, and otherwise doesn’t show up. Need proof? After three seasons which saw him score 40-46 points, Nyquist goes out – at age 29 mind you – and posts his first career 60 point season just as he’s becoming a UFA. Also, looking at Nyquist’s IPP (i.e., share of points scored on goals while he was on the ice), it was 73.4% during his breakout 2013-14 season then proceeded to drop in each of the next four seasons, to a low of 57.1% in 2017-18, before rebounding all the way back up to 68.2% last season. Yet another case of very suspicious timing.

 

Nyquist’s PP TOI also essentially went down four seasons in a row and continued a downward trajectory this past season. Despite this, he somehow still managed to post the second-highest PPPts total of his career. But that’s not all, his offensive zone starting percentage dropped each of the three previous seasons and again for 2018-19, yet still, he somehow posted a career-high in scoring! Nyquist also got lucky this past season, as one area where he was solid even during his down years was when it came to primary versus secondary assists, as before 2018-19 he had 82 of the primary variety versus only 47 secondary. But this past season he had 19 primary and 19 secondary, meaning he lucked into a lot more points than he’d normally receive.

 

No question Nyquist will be deployed by Columbus in such a manner that should allow him to thrive. Yet so were Eriksson, Lucic, and Neal; and as we know, they nevertheless fizzled. Most every year there’s a UFA forward stinker; and from the above, you can see why I think for 2019-20 it’ll be Nyquist.

 

 

3) Thomas Greiss will win more games than Robin Lehner

 

Last season Lehner overcame personal demons to put up stats that made him a Vezina finalist. But lost amid all the attention rightfully paid to Lehner was the fact that Greiss had 2018-19 numbers across the board that were almost as impressive as Lehner’s, what with Lehner having 25 wins, a .930 SV%, a 2.13 GAA and six shutouts and Greiss having 23 wins, a .927 SV%, a 2.28 GAA, and five shutouts.

 

Yes, the Islanders still went out and signed Semyon Varlamov to a four-year UFA deal. But remember that even as Lehner was playing Vezina quality hockey in 2018-19, Greiss still was able to get plenty of starts and perform well; so for all we know, the team will look to Greiss as much this season as last, or more if Varlamov, who let’s not forget had a 2.55+ GAA each of the past five seasons, falters. Further, Greiss – like Lehner – will be a UFA after this season, so he has as much motivation as Lehner to do well.

 

Also, Corey Crawford is a known commodity in Chicago, and had eight wins in the fourth quarter of last season, while sporting a 2.43 GAA and a .919 SV%, as his concussion woes looked to be behind him and the Blackhawks were playing great. And although Lehner will be motivated to succeed, there is a chance his off-ice issues will recur. Plus, Lehner’s performance in 2018-19 was while being overseen by Barry Trotz and Mitch Korn, so he might have a tough time coming close to putting up the kind of stats he did last season now that he’s not under their watchful eyes. Meanwhile, Greiss, who as I noted was nearly Lehner’s equal last season, will get yet another campaign playing in the Trotz/Korn system. All things considered, I’m pegging Greiss for roughly 30 wins, which I think will exceed what Lehner gets.

 

 

4) Another rookie will outscore each of Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko

 

For the third time in five seasons, all eyes will be on the top two forwards selected in the 2019 entry draft, with this having also happened in 2016 with Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine and 2015 with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. And although Matthews and Laine did finish tops in rookie scoring in 2016-17, some might not remember that Artemi Panarin was the rookie leader in 2015-16, although McDavid likely would have finished in first had he not gotten hurt.

 

It’s not clear Hughes will see top-line duty at ES in New Jersey, which added arguably more NHL ready rookie (but non-Calder eligible) Nikita Gusev; plus there’s talk of easing Kakko into the mix in the Big Apple. And there are wild cards like injuries. Should you still grab these guys first and second in dynasty drafts? Probably. But don’t expect them to automatically rank at the top of the rookie scoring leaders come April.

 

 

5) No more than six goalies will appear in 40+ games while having a GAA under 2.50

 

Since 2013-14, the number of goalies who appeared in 40+ games while at the same time sporting a GAA under 2.50 has been, in chronological order, 16, 21, 20, 14, 9, and 10. So although the trend has seen the number shrink, why do I believe it will nosedive to a maximum of six in 2019-20, which would be less than half of the average number over the past six seasons? For one, scoring shows no signs of slowing. Moreover, last season two netminder from the same team (Islanders) qualified and two (Petr Mrazek and Jaroslav Halak) made the list with exactly 40 starts, with Halak likely to play in fewer games this season and Mrazek perhaps being unable to recapture his magical run from the end of last season. And lastly, Pekka Rinne not only might be surpassed on the depth chart by Juuse Saros this season but if Rinne does play 40+ games his advancing age might make it difficult for him to maintain an elite GAA.

 

What does this mean for your fantasy teams? Stalwarts like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ben Bishop, Carey Price, and Tuukka Rask, each of whom consistently gives a fantasy team a lot of starts plus solid peripherals, will be keys to own. If you can’t get one of them, focus instead on someone who gives you wins and saves (like Braden Holtby, Frederik Andersen or Martin Jones) and then try to help your SV% and GAA by also grabbing, as your last goalie, a solid back-up who’ll mostly play against worse teams (like Halak, Curtis McElhinney, Jack Campbell, Keith Kinkaid, or Anton Khudobin).

 

 

6) The Red Wings will have four forwards score 65+ points

 

Last season only Dylan Larkin topped 54 points for the Wings, and just five teams met the four players with 65+ points criteria (Calgary, Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, Florida), with those teams scoring an average of 271 goals, or 37 more than Detroit tallied during the 2018-19 campaign. So why do I see a big jump for Detroit forwards? For one, Larkin’s metrics show no signs of regression. Also, Detroit ended 2018-19 hot, with 38 goals in its final 12 games, which would project to 260 for the season if they were able to keep up that pace.

 

There’s also the fact their three sub-55 point forwards ended 2018-19 scorching, with Anthony Mantha earning 33 points in his final 38 games, Andreas Athanasiou 15 in his last 18 games, and Tyler Bertuzzi 17 in his final 20 games. What’s more – last season Detroit had only the 19th best PP in the league, and the three (plus Larkin) combined for 20 PPGs out of their 108 total markers, leaving room for significant improvement. Lastly, other than Larkin each is at or near his “breakout threshold” (a term introduced in this year’s Fantasy Guide (available here)). And even if the math isn’t exact for them all hitting their “BT” during the 2019-20 campaign, the key is each will be at or near a stage in his career where players often see their totals rise dramatically, so the timing looks to be right for them to see big scoring gains.

 

 

7) Andrei Svechnikov will at least double his rookie total of 37 points

 

Avid readers of my Roos Lets Loose columns will remember that more than once I’ve made note of the fact that in posting 20+ goals while averaging 2+ SOG per game as an 18 year old, Svechnikov joined a very exclusive club of players who also did so since 2000-01 and are now 23+ years old: Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nathan MacKinnon, Steven Stamkos, and Jeff Skinner. Of them, only Stamkos also failed to post 50 points as a rookie; but he then proceeded to skyrocket to 95 points in his sophomore season. I’m not saying that Svechnikov will put up that many points for 2019-20; however, with Carolina still seemingly lacking a bona fide sniper, Svechnikov could find his way to dozens of goals before all is said and done with 2019-20.

 

Another key that should lead to increased scoring is although Svechnikov shared the ice with Sebastian Aho and/or Teuvo Teravainen for about 25% of his total TOI, it was during that time which he scored 11 of his 37 points or 30%. And although Carolina might prefer not to put together a super line of all three, they might see no way around it. Plus, even if that doesn’t occur, Svechnikov likely will get a lot more PP time with both of them this season and be on a regular line with at least one for the bulk of the year. It really does make me hearken back to what happened with Stamkos, whose ice time spiked from 14:56 as a rookie to 20:33 as a sophomore, and whose PP minutes rose by two per game, leading to his PP scoring doubling and him seeing regular shifts with the best Tampa had to offer (at that time Martin St. Louis) versus the rotating cast of characters with whom he took the ice as a rookie.

 

It’s been ten seasons since Stamkos’s huge gains as a sophomore; but strap yourselves in, since I think we’re about to relive it with Svechnikov. Speaking of Stamkos…

 

 

8) Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point will each see at least a 15% reduction in per-game scoring rate versus last season

 

Is Tampa Bay going to tank in 2019-20 due to lingering memories of its playoff implosion? No chance; the team should still be elite both when it comes to the standings and the scoresheet. But I’m not sure enough attention has been paid to just how outlying their production was last season.

 

They scored 319 goals, which is not only the most by any NHL squad since 1995-96 but also marked only the fourth time during that span of any team topping 300. Beyond that, if we average the total goals of the top-scoring team in the NHL over the previous five seasons, it was 271. Tampa also had three 90+ points scorers, which last occurred 13 seasons ago with the Atlanta Thrashers and Ottawa Senators. Incidentally, both those teams had only one 90+ point scorer the next season. What’s more, Tampa’s early playoff exit might result in a change in team philosophy, with less of an up-tempo style that, as we saw, can leave a team lost if it doesn’t work come playoff time.

 

There’s also the fact that each of these three had 35+ PPPts, which, to put in perspective, is a PPPt total that’s been reached only 24 other times by any forward since 2010-11. In part that was due to Tampa converting on 28.2% of its PP chances, which, no surprise, was the highest percentage since 2010-11, although for what it’s worth there were six other instances of 25.0% or higher since that season.

 

Kucherov nabbed a point on 80% of the PP goals scored while on the ice, with him and Stamkos sharing points on 30 PPG and him and Point on 24 PPGs. For perspective, the NHL leaders in PP point shares over the past five seasons had 25, 19, 19, 23 and 24. So that level of PP success and point sharing might be impossible to replicate.

 

Beyond Tampa Bay likely revamping its guns blazing offensive style and the PP scoring of the team and these three coming back to earth somewhat, there’s also the reality that all three were healthy for the entire season. We already know that Point will miss roughly a month as he recovers from a hip issue, which is the reason the forecast is per game scoring rather than simply points tallied. Who’s to say if Point will be able to make up for lost time and hit the ground running to be able to score at close to a similar rate? And his absence should have a negative ripple effect, particularly on the PP. 

 

Long story short, if you own any of these three you should be a happy camper. Just don’t expect the same level of scoring success in 2019-20 as you witnessed in 2018-19.

 

 

9) Tyler Seguin will finish in the top ten in NHL scoring

 

In 2013-14, Seguin finished fourth in NHL scoring, and the following season he landed in the 7th spot. Since then he’s been 14th, 15th, 24th, and 28th. Sensing a trend? It’s hard not to. But his 80 points last season disguise the fact that he was victimized by a good deal of unsustainable bad luck. That, plus the addition of Joe Pavelski and even Corey Perry, should help Dallas’ offense and thus Seguin (in)directly; and all things considered, I think Seguin has a top ten scoring campaign in him for 2019-20.

 

Last season Seguin had 334 SOG, which was huge, as only four other players not named Alex Ovechkin fired more pucks on net in a season since 2010-11. But his 9.9% personal shooting percentage was a good deal below his 11.3% career mark he had entering 2018-19. Add to that the fact his shooting distance, which had been 32-33.7 feet in the seasons from 2014-15 to 2016-17, was 30.7 feet, or almost identical to the 30.6 feet from 2017-18 when his shooting percentage was 11.9%. So bad luck likely cost him at least a handful of goals (and, thus, points). Also, from 2014-15 to 2016-17 Seguin had an average of 9.5 combined posts and crossbars hit, whereas last season he had an unsustainably high 15.

 

There’s also PPGs. Only once as a Star had Seguin tallied fewer than 11 PPGs, and last season he had only nine. It was also just the second time as a Star that he shot less than 11% on the PP, as 85 PP SOG yielded those nine PP markers, for a PP shooting percentage of 10.6%, which is lower than his combined 12.1% PP shooting percentage in his prior Dallas seasons. And the average number of PPGs of the six forwards who had more PP SOG than Seguin last season was 15, or 66% more than Seguin’s nine.

 

Coming back to Pavelski, he’s an expert at deflection goals, with four last season and six in 2017-18, both to lead the NHL. He should have a similar number in 2019-20; and some will be deflections of shots originating from Seguin, giving Seguin a point. Seguin also had 33 games last season with zero points, making him one of just three players (Mark Scheifele and Sean Monahan being the others) to tally 80+ points in fewer than 50 games. Chances are he has fewer goose eggs this season.

 

In addition, Seguin last season saw his highest percentage of Dallas PP Time at 69.9% and his overall TOI was the second-highest of his career at 20:45, to go with an offensive zone starting percentage of 56.6%, or the highest since his first year as a Star. So he’s taking the ice more; and when he does, it’s mainly in the offensive zone. Lastly, Seguin’s 8.46% team shooting percentage was the lowest of his tenure in Dallas, whereas his 73.4% IPP was barely above the 71.3% average throughout his Dallas years. In short, he was as unlucky as he’s ever been in terms of team shooting percentage; and his IPP, though higher than his norm, would not have balanced out that bad luck.

 

Add up all these factors and it sure looks like Seguin is set to see a spike in points in 2019-20. And I think it will be enough to land him among the NHL’s top ten scorers when all is said and done for the season.

 

 

10) Jake Guentzel will lead the league in goals

 

As great as Crosby has been, he’s never really had a winger with whom he found great chemistry; that is until now, with Guentzel. In the 79 games, they played together last season, they both nabbed a point on 46 goals scored at ES, which was the highest shared total Crosby had with a wing since 2013-14 and led Crosby to his highest point total since that same season. And Guentzel isn’t just along for the ride, as his IPP has ranged between 69.1% and 73.8% in his three campaigns, showing he has a nose for scoring, which isn’t easy considering Crosby’s IPP has been 69.5% to 75.4% in those seasons as well.

 

Guentzel also had 34 of his 40 goals in last season’s final 64 games, for a full season pace of 43. And with 204 regular-season games played, Guentzel’s should be right at his “Breakout Threshold.” Perhaps even more importantly, thanks to the trade of Phil Kessel, Guentzel might finally be earmarked for PP1, where he’s only had cameos thus far. That would be a huge boon to his production, as his six PPGs last season tied for second to last among the 43 instances of 40+ goal scorers since the 2010-11 campaign.

 

Guentzel’s 17.6% shooting percentage was a bit above his career rate, but he’s run pretty high before. Moreover, in those last 64 games where he potted 34 of his goals he also fired 186 SOG, for a rate of just under three per game. And if we chart Guentzel’s SOG rate from his first three seasons it’s gone from 2.02 per game as a rookie, to 2.08 as a sophomore, to 2.76 last season, with his rate in the last three quarters of 2018-19 being 2.90. Moreover, that 2.76 SOG rate was based on a season-long 19:21 per game TOI, whereas in the last half of the season his average was over 20 minutes per game and that was without as much PP time as he figures to receive. Long story short, Guentzel should be able to see his SOG rate improve even further due to increased minutes and PP Time and, with that, a bunch more goals will come in the normal course.

 

From where I sit, these ingredients provide the recipe for Guentzel’s goal total to spike enough to be tops in the league for 2019-20.

 

 

11) Connor McDavid will win the NHL scoring race by at least 20 points

 

McDavid upped his scoring rate from 100 points as a sophomore, to 108 in 2017-18, to a full-season pace of 122 last season. At the same time, his personal shooting percentage has risen each season despite comparable SOG numbers year to year. And his share of available PP Time has also increased, such that last season he saw time on more than 77% of the team’s man-advantage minutes. And he did what he did last season despite his IPP being 81.7%, which was below his three-year average of 83.1%.

 

Of course, McDavid was rehabbing an injury all summer; and other than Leon Draisaitl, there’s still no other top players to help him get points. But I think that after two straight seasons missing the playoffs the team realizes to succeed it has to put even more focus on McDavid. Accordingly, I’d look for his overall minutes to increase even further, and, with that, his scoring.

 

But what of Kucherov and Patrick Kane? I noted above that I think Kucherov’s output is going to take a decent-sized step back. And in terms of Kane, he took the most shots he’s ever taken in his career yet still had a high personal shooting percentage, which likely should fall. And his 5×5 team shooting percentage was also a record high. Kane and Kucherov should hit 100, but McDavid should clear 125.

 

 

12) Mika Zibanejad will be among the top six centers in scoring

 

Last season Zibs finished with 74 points to tie for 21st in scoring among centers, marking a sizeable leap from his previous career-high of 51 points. What’s more – as the Rangers were busy gutting their team in the second half, Zibanejad was only getting stronger, with 40 points in his last 41 contests while firing 121 SOG, leading to a career-high in SOG of 236, or nearly three per game. His ice time average rose to 20:34 per game after never having been even 18:00 in any previous season, and his personal shooting percentage was within his usual range despite the added shots he was firing. And he did all this despite starting only 46.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone, due largely in part to his team’s struggles.

 

Zibs also had those 74 points for a team that tallied only 221 goals; and of those 74 points, 23 came on the PP, with New York managing only 44 man advantage markers. What that means is he scored a point on a third of all his team’s goals and 53% of its PPGs. Those are impressive percentages, which are greater than nearly all centers who scored more points than him last season. As such, with New York poised to see its goal total and, presumably, its PPG tallies, climb significantly, Zibs should gain points just in the normal course. Add to that him most likely being stapled to Artemi Panarin, whose career thus far has consisted of him making players around him even better, and Zibs is poised to see his point total spike, landing him in the top six among all centers when all is said and done for 2019-20.

 

 

13) Marc-Andre Fleury will not win more than 27 games

 

Fleury has been a dominant NHL netminder for more than a decade, having won 35+ games in every season in which he had 58+ starts. But let’s not forget he’s no spring chicken anymore, having now played over 46000 career minutes and set to turn 35 this coming season. Those are key thresholds, as the 46000 minute mark is when Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur both started to fall apart; and if we look at all NHL netminders since 2002-03, there were 11 who won 27+ games at age 34, but only six who did so at age 35, five of whom started 59+ games, which might be more starts than what Fleury projects to receive.

 

Also, in the first three-quarters of 2018-19 MAF appeared in 53 games but had a quality start percentage below 50%, whereas in 2017-18 two-thirds of his starts were quality starts. Another issue is the Vegas team in front of Fleury, since, as noted above, it was one of four which had no forward average either 19:00 per game or 3:00 on the PP; and only one player on any of those four teams broke the 62 point mark. So in other words, Fleury likely won’t have the goal support he needs to win when he has bad starts. In short, I think Fleury will struggle and so will Vegas as a squad; and when all is said and done on 2019-20, he’ll fall far below expectations for wins, not to mention other key fantasy stats.

 

 

14) Fewer than 25 players will score 10+ PPGs

 

No question there’s been an explosion in power-play scoring over the past two seasons. In fact, for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns there were 31 players with 10+ PPGs. That’s in contrast to the prior three seasons, where the range was from 22 to 24. Rather than hold steady or improve, however, I think the number will drop in 2019-20 closer to previous levels.

 

Why? For one, the number of players with high PP SOG totals was outlying high in 2017-18, as there were 33 who had 60+ PP SOG that season, versus 26 (in 2018-19), 22 (in 2016-17), 27 (in 2015-16) and 25 (in 2014-15). Also, while it may seem counterintuitive, it is normal for high PPG totals to correlate to lower PP SOG totals. The data supports this, except yet again with 2017-18 being an outlier. In the 2018-19 campaign, 13 of the 31 players (i.e., 42%) with 10+ PPGs had at least 60 PP SOG, versus 20 of 31 (i.e., 64%) in 2017-18. And looking back to prior seasons, the percentages were much closer to 2018-19 than 2017-18, with 10 out of 22 (i.e., 45%) having 60+ PP SOG in 2014-15, 13 out of 24 (i.e., 54%) in 2015-16, and 10 out of 23 (i.e., 43%) in 2016-17.

 

Lastly, the 2017-18 data cannot be validated by other factors. For example, in 2017-18 107 players had 200+ minutes of man-advantage time, 49 of whom were at or above the 250-minute threshold; that is comparable to the 105 and 45 skaters who, respectively, hit the 250+ and 200+ minute thresholds in 2018-19.

 

Collectively these factors point toward the number of skaters with high PPG totals backtracking. As such, proven but unsung PPG stalwarts (like Kyle Palmieri, and Mike Hoffman) should be valued even more highly than usual going into this season, whereas those who had 10+ PPGs only in the last two seasons (like Anders Lee) might be in danger of seeing lower totals for 2019-20.

 

 

15) Erik Karlsson will outscore Brent Burns by at least 15 points

 

Burns led all defensemen in scoring last season, becoming the first rearguard to best 82 points since way back in 1995-96. He also has three of the top four single-season outputs from a d-man over the past three seasons and has the most cumulative points by a defenseman over those four seasons by a whopping 41 points. Simply put, fantasy-wise he’s been as great as they come.

 

But Burns is also now 34 years old, and he’s starting to show signs of slowing down. Most notably his SOG total, which, although still stratospheric, was down nearly 20% in 2018-19 from just three seasons earlier. Also, his age is working against him, as a grand total of one defenseman age 34 or older has bested 74 points since 1995-96, and that was Nicklas Lidstrom on a 2005-06 Detroit team which scored 305 goals. And although last season San Jose had 289 tallies, they lost Pavelski and might not be as offensively potent of a team this coming season.

 

And although this is never something that can be predicted, Burns has avoided injuries of any kind for several seasons. But at his advancing age and despite hitting much less than he used to, he could well end up with an injury to cost him games, thus curbing his production.

 

As for Karlsson, despite hobbling his way through 2018-19 he still scored at a 69 point pace. He’s also only 29 years old, and thus still within his prime. Yes, it’s been three seasons since his only point per game campaign; but for two of those seasons, he was stuck on Ottawa teams that potted only 212 and 221 goals. There’s also the reality that Karlsson will be out to prove he’s worth the big contract he signed to stay in San Jose. That’s a key, as he could’ve gone anywhere but opted to stay in San Jose; so one has to think he’ll do his best to produce well there. Moreover, if we look at last season more closely, there was a stretch when he tallied 24 points in 14 games, showing he’s still an electric scorer who can pile up points, arguably even more so than Burns.

 

For these reasons, I’m thinking a very motivated and healthy Karlsson will outscore an ageing, injury-vulnerable, lower shooting Burns by at least 15 points.

 

************

There they are –15 Fearless Forecasts for the 2019-20 season. As usual, the true test will be whether a fair share of these end up coming true, or, if not if at least some of the fantasy lessons/insight given in making them will help you and your teams nevertheless. Once again I’m giving you the chance to voice your opinions by voting on which of these predictions will indeed end up coming true, or if you think all will be misses. Here is the link to vote, and it’s also where also you can add your predictions as posts if you’re so inclined. Last year was not only an off-year in terms of my predictions but also your voting totals (go to the very end of the column) so let’s hope we both can rebound this time.

 

Next week it’ll be back to Roos Lets Loose content as per usual. This time it will be a special edition of Goldipucks and the Three Skaters focusing on three skaters who each signed new deals this summer. Good luck to your fantasy teams, and see you back here in a week!