Eastern Conference, Real or Imaged: Defensemen – Part One

by Eric Daoust on December 1, 2015
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Conference, Real or Imaged: Defensemen – Part One

Why you should sell high on Markov and advice on the rest of the Eastern Conference's defensemen.

With the arrival of the quarter-mark of the season comes the return of the “Real or Imagined” series. This week we will cover defensemen in the Eastern Conference from Boston to New Jersey. Defensemen will be given a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or waive based on a number of factors. First, what they have done so far will be taken into account along with how things might play out in the coming months, both statistically and in terms of opportunity. But more importantly, the analysis will put everything in the context of each player’s value in one-year fantasy leagues with a primary focus on points-only settings.

Note: Sometimes the line between “hold” and “waive” can be blurry. Sometimes defensemen that fall short in terms of offensive production offer multi-category appeal. In those cases the blueliner will get a “hold” recommendation.

Boston

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Torey Krug

22

1

12

65

7

3:25

22:01

1.5

7.0

HOLD

Zdeno Chara

20

3

8

31

5

1:19

24:32

9.7

8.8

SELL

Colin Miller

19

2

8

34

4

1:12

15:45

5.9

10.2

SELL

Kevan Miller

17

1

4

5

1

0:03

20:11

4.8

7.7

HOLD

Dennis Seidenberg

8

0

3

7

0

0:00

19:03

0.0

10.7

BUY

Adam McQuaid

22

0

3

13

0

0:02

18:25

0.0

7.0

HOLD

 

 

Zdeno Chara – Chara is off to a nice start but his decline in production in recent years prior to this one is alarming. His shooting percentage is a bit high and he has been lucky getting so many power-play points given his mediocre PPTOI. Use his name value to your advantage on the trade market.

Colin Miller – Miller has given the Bruins some great value from the blueline. Unfortunately his overall ice time is low for a defenseman which will make it difficult to maintain his current production. Look for him to take a small hit on the power play as the Bruins should see their power-play efficiency drop and at even strength where his current five-on-five shooting percentage is high.

Dennis Seidenberg – For years Seidenberg has been a respectable fantasy contributor, mainly in multi-category leagues where his across-the-board production was an asset. Not only has he been hit hard by the injury bug, his contributions have diminished significantly. Through eight games this year he has actually fared well and could be a good depth option in deeper leagues.

Buffalo

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Rasmus Ristolainen

24

4

10

61

5

2:23

24:06

6.6

7.9

HOLD

Cody Franson

24

2

8

45

6

2:48

19:02

4.4

5.6

HOLD

Josh Gorges

24

1

3

19

0

0:06

20:43

5.3

7.2

WAIVE

Jake McCabe

22

2

1

17

0

0:17

18:33

11.8

4.1

BUY

Carlo Colaiacovo

15

0

2

13

0

0:12

15:17

0.0

7.3

WAIVE

Zach Bogosian

7

0

1

9

0

0:21

21:26

0.0

3.4

BUY

Mark Pysyk

18

0

1

14

0

0:11

16:20

0.0

4.9

WAIVE

 

 

Jake McCabe – McCabe is definitely a gamble as a recommendation to buy. He has some offensive upside and the Sabres are limited in terms of offensively-gifted defensemen beyond Ristolainen and Franson. This means McCabe could be a decent depth option in deep leagues down the stretch if your roster gets hit with injuries. Do not buy now, but rather keep an eye on him.

Zach Bogosian – The oft-injured Bogosian can be a strong multi-category contributor when he is able to chip in with a few points. While his power play minutes are almost non-existent, his overall ice time ranks second among Buffalo defensemen. Look for his production across the board to see a small uptick in the coming weeks as he continues to establish his place on the new-look Sabres.

Carolina

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Justin Faulk

23

8

10

76

9

3:27

25:00

10.5

5.6

HOLD

Ron Hainsey

23

2

3

42

0

0:25

22:19

4.8

3.9

HOLD

Brett Pesce

16

2

2

22

0

0:35

19:14

9.1

3.8

HOLD

Ryan Murphy

17

0

4

29

1

2:29

17:59

0.0

8.2

BUY

Noah Hanifin

20

1

3

27

1

1:16

17:01

3.7

6.2

BUY

John-Michael Liles

23

0

3

32

1

1:59

20:10

0.0

4.0

WAIVE

 

 

Ryan Murphy – Murphy has generated mediocre numbers despite being put in a good position with top power play minutes. Last year the Hurricanes stuck with Victor Rask and were ultimately rewarded. Could Murphy do the same this year and finally become a legitimate offensive defenseman? Like McCabe, it is a gamble but one that can pay off. Keep an eye on him.

Noah Hanifin – The 2015 fifth-overall pick is one to watch despite his poor numbers to date. He is a candidate to have a big second half when he will have more experience under his belt. At the very least, look for him to leapfrog Liles on the power-play depth chart and could even overtake Murphy. Hanifin could start producing at a 40-point pace at some point this year.

Columbus

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

David Savard

25

0

11

49

2

2:59

24:57

0.0

5.8

HOLD

Ryan Murray

25

2

8

20

4

2:37

20:37

10.0

11.9

SELL

Jack Johnson

25

2

5

47

3

3:04

25:08

4.3

4.9

BUY

Cody Goloubef

16

1

4

18

0

0:10

15:12

5.6

10.9

HOLD

Kevin Connauton

19

0

4

34

2

1:37

16:20

0.0

0.4

BUY

Fedor Tyutin

19

0

1

10

0

0:06

17:34

0.0

4.4

WAIVE

 

 

Ryan Murray – The former second-overall pick has bounced back nicely after a write-off of a 2014-15 campaign. Unfortunately, it appears his current run of good play is not sustainable. Not only is he leading all Blue Jackets’ blueliners in power-play points despite being third in minutes, his shooting percentage is also high for a defenseman and his five-on-five on-ice shooting percentage is very high. Not to mention, getting just 20 shots on goal in 25 games is not a recipe for major offensive success. Look for his numbers to fall more in line with his rookie year in 2013-14 (one point every three games). His status as a former top prospect showing signs of progression should help on the trade market.

Jack Johnson – While Murray has benefited from luck, Johnson has been very unlucky to date. His on-ice five-on-five shooting percentage is very low which has cut into his even-strength production. Look for this to return to normal and help Johnson get his point total back in the 35-40-point range. His top power play minutes and high volume of shots help make this more of a certainty.

Detroit

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Mike Green

18

1

7

25

2

2:21

21:00

4.0

8.3

HOLD

Niklas Kronwall

24

1

7

22

6

3:08

23:13

4.5

6.4

HOLD

Jakub Kindl

18

2

3

31

0

1:16

16:59

6.5

5.9

WAIVE

Danny DeKeyser

20

1

3

14

0

0:31

20:48

7.1

7.1

SELL

Brendan Smith

16

1

2

16

1

0:25

17:29

6.3

10.5

WAIVE

Jonathan Ericsson

24

1

1

22

0

0:04

19:15

4.5

7.3

WAIVE

Alexey Marchenko

17

0

1

4

0

0:06

16:08

0.0

3.6

WAIVE

 

 

Danny DeKeyser – Last year DeKeyser was a pleasant surprise as he finished with 31 points. Part of that success can be attributed to the power play where managed six points. The acquisition of Green this summer hurt DeKeyser a lot as his opportunities with the man-advantage are all but gone. Plus, after finishing with 89 shots last year he is down to just 14 through 20 games. In all likelihood the sell-high window has closed but if you can get any value out of him get it immediately. If DeKeyser returns to fantasy relevance it will be at a future date.

Florida

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Aaron Ekblad

23

4

6

65

4

2:44

20:35

6.2

8.6

BUY

Brian Campbell

23

2

7

38

4

2:38

21:12

5.3

8.1

HOLD

Erik Gudbranson

23

1

3

20

0

0:18

20:30

5.0

6.8

HOLD

Dmitry Kulikov

17

0

3

28

1

0:49

18:44

0.0

5.8

HOLD

Alex Petrovic

21

0

3

16

0

0:14

17:04

0.0

6.7

HOLD

Willie Mitchell

23

0

2

16

0

0:07

19:45

0.0

9.5

WAIVE

 

 

Aaron Ekblad – Ekblad started the year cold mostly due to not seeing the same top-pairing minutes he was as a rookie. He has corrected course and has logged 20 minutes or more in each of his last eight games and has seven points over his last nine games. Also worth noting is Ekblad’s increase in volume of shots, hitting the net almost three times per game after getting two per contest as a rookie. This in turn could help him eclipse last season’s 12 goals.

Montreal

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

P.K. Subban

25

1

19

66

9

4:30

24:50

1.5

11.1

HOLD

Andrei Markov

25

2

16

33

9

3:38

22:54

6.1

10.8

SELL

Jeff Petry

25

3

6

55

5

2:02

21:57

5.4

6.3

HOLD

Nathan Beaulieu

25

2

6

25

3

1:05

16:24

8.0

8.5

BUY

Alexei Emelin

18

0

2

8

0

0:01

19:54

0.0

6.1

HOLD

Tom Gilbert

25

0

1

23

0

0:05

16:33

0.0

7.1

WAIVE

 

 

Andrei Markov – Markov continues to produce beyond his supposed expiry date and currently sits in a tie for seventh among all defensemen with 18 points. However, he turns 37 soon and has been prone to fading down the stretch in the past. Plus, his ice time is down from last year which is obviously influenced by Petry’s first full year with the team. Looking at Markov’s numbers specifically, his on-ice five-on-five shooting percentage is quite high so you can expect him to see fewer even-strength points in the coming months.

Nathan Beaulieu – While Beaulieu has seen action in four NHL seasons, he has never been able to put it together statistically until this year. The former first-round pick is currently on pace to finish around 25 points and has not been the benefactor of luck. Additionally, he offers a nice combination of shots, PIM, hits and blocks which makes him a good depth multi-category option. With that said he does not get much recognition and may not be valued fairly by more casual poolies.

New Jersey

Player

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

PPTOI

TOI

SH%

5on5SH%

Status

Damon Severson

22

0

7

30

2

2:40

18:07

0.0

8.1

HOLD

John Moore

22

2

4

32

0

0:31

19:17

6.3

7.7

HOLD

Adam Larsson

23

1

4

17

0

0:15

22:29

5.9

6.3

SELL

David Schlemko

19

2

2

23

2

1:10

16:19

8.7

8.1

HOLD

Andy Greene

23

2

2

26

2

0:42

23:37

7.7

5.7

HOLD

Eric Gelinas

14

1

2

18

3

1:44

12:51

5.6

4.1

SELL

Jon Merrill

19

0

0

9

0

0:09

16:27

0.0

3.2

WAIVE

 

 

Adam Larsson – After last year’s monster second half Larsson looked poised to break out over a full year. Unfortunately, he has been a major disappointment to date and the foreseeable future looks bleak. While he is getting top-pairing minutes, he is not getting any power-play time and is not shooting nearly enough to help him put up extra points. His on-ice five-on-five shooting percentage is a bit low so he could improve a bit but it will not be nearly enough to put him on the fantasy radar. Sell him to someone that thinks otherwise.

Eric Gelinas – On paper, Gelinas does not appear to be having a terrible year. He is being used a lot on the power play and his three points in 14 games could be corrected with a short hot streak. However, he is logging under 13 minutes per night which is atrocious for a defenseman and he has already been a healthy scratch nine times. As with Larsson, sell Gelinas to someone who thinks he is buying low.

*

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