Eastern Edge: Expectations for Right Wingers in the Metro

by Cam Metz on April 24, 2018
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Expectations for Right Wingers in the Metro

With the Penguins and Lightning finding their way to the next round the first round hasn’t quite completed yet.  How about the performance of Jake Guentzel and Sean Couturier on Sunday?  I covered Guentzel and the blockage on the top power play that limits him to his 5v5 scoring previously, and eventually we’ll swing around to pivots in the East.  I’m not sure what to do with Couturier next year but my gut is saying let someone else take him because I’m not usually drafting C’s where he’s likely to be drafted.   

 

For those who may have missed it – I highly recommend checking out Michael Clifford’s Ramblings on scoring from defenseman – I anticipate this being an area that a draft advantage can be created next year (link: D goal scoring).  As part of my 14 team league I lost in the second round thanks to Alex Pieterangelo scoring 2 of his 15 goals on the season.  The lack of goal scoring could introduce a new dynamic to ranking D moving forward, those ahead of the curve should surely profit.

 

Following up on last week’s article there was an interesting comment from a reader on positional value after I took a couple shots at Kucherov’s draft value next year.  The comment was in regards to RW being the scarcest positional value.  That’s what has made these RW articles so much fun to write because the value of your entire roster can be hampered greatly if you are not able to pick one of the top 5 RWs or even have 2 top 10 RWs.

 

The Metro division RW is juicy and ripe for value based drafting:

 

 

Let’s start with the big one that I’d imagine is close to being a must-draft for next year. This player oozes value for drafts in September. I’m going to give you averages and then break them out into a full 82 games.  Can you guess who it is?

PP Stats

Season

GP

TOI

G

SOG

SOG/GP    

ixGF

    iSh%

2015-2016

81

179

4

33

0.41

5.66

12.1%

2016-2017

82

205

10

41

0.50

8.2

24.4%

2017-2018

65

178

3

33

0.51

4.94

9.1%

5V5

Season

GP

TOI

G

SOG

SOG/GP

ixGF

iSh%

2015-2016

81

1025

17

164

2.02

18.08

10.4%

2016-2017

82

1053

16

171

2.08

14.52

9.4%

2017-2018

65

900

17

178

2.74

20.16

9.6%

 

 

That’s right, none other than Cam Atkinson.  CBJ and Atkinson struggled on the power play this year – this has been well documented in the ramblings and other columns this year.  If you recall Atkinson returned from injury and started making some noise at the end of this year.   I’m excited for next year – I think this is a great player who will hold a lot of volume.  As I’ve mentioned before I’m a sucker for SOG and Atkinson fits the bill.  One of the best stats in Atkinson’s favor is his 5v5 SOG per game increase almost an entire shot per game.  He was on pace for almost 300 SOG, I’ll take that volume any day of the week.   Additionally look at his shooting percentage on the power play – if he can improve in that area next year which seems more than reasonable after everything that Pierre Luc-Dubois and Artemi Panarin offer – I think high 30s is a strong possibility for Atkinson. BUY

 

CAROLINA

One of my Top-3 worst moves for me this year was dropping Teuvo Teravainen.  Sure he might be a center or left wing, but he has tri-eligibility in Yahoo!, so I’m going to include him here.  I drafted him in the 16th round of a 14 team league expecting him to improve on last year’s 42 points.  He raised his goal total above the 20 goal threshold for the first time thanks to a 12.4% shooting percentage which is higher than his career thus far in the NHL.  Given his skill level I don’t expect to see this number drop off that much. It will be interesting what a new coach in Carolina can bring to this forward group that looks to take another step forward next year.  He’s steadily improved each year on his shot totals and I would expect another increase next year to possibly hit 200 shots.  I’d expect his goal total to increase and for his point total to increase as a result. Biggest concern is that his expected goal total was much lower than his actual goal total – something to consider.  Strong Buy especially given his ADP will probably not cost that much.  Just make sure you hang on to him.

 

NEW JERSEY

Pencil this player in as another guy who I think if he stays healthy is able to ride Taylor Hall’s coat tails to a career year.  Kyle Palmeri did it all while he was healthy – in 62 games he had his 3rd highest shot total. He has maintained a consistent 13% shooting percentage for the last three years.  His 5v5 goal total was sustainable, but he did rely on his power play deployment to boost his totals. I’d like to imagine it’s a lock for Palmieri to hit 30 goals next year.  As the Devils take another step forward next year I’d expect Palmeri to produce excellent ADP value as well. BUY

 

NY ISLANDERS

Jordan Eberle rebounded from his tough 16-17 campaign, he scored 25 goals on 183 shots for a shooting percentage of 13%.  This sh% matches his career average.  As with all things on the island we’ll have to wait and see what happens with John Tavares.  The emergence of Barzal probably protects Eberle from falling off a cliff next year.  I’d like to call him Mr. Consistency, but apparently that would upset Peter Chiarelli. I’m all for drafting Eberle, just don’t expect more than he has given over the course of his career. HOLD

 

NY RANGERS

Pavel Buchnevich, with his LW/RW eligibility on Yahoo!, had a successful second season in the NHL scoring 14 goals on 136 shots.  Buchnevich feels like a late round pick that has goal scoring value – unfortunately we might have to wait one more year for that to really take place.  It’ll be interesting to see who takes over the bench for the Rangers and what that might mean for Buchnevich’s deployment.  HOLD

 

PHILADELPHIA

 Wayne Simmonds disappointed owners this year; I wonder if we will find out that he has been playing hurt most of the year.  He was able to maintain his shooting percentage this year but he was producing a lot fewer shots (~50 fewer shots this year). This led to 24 goals but where he really hurt owners was the lack of PIMs.  I’m not sure what to say about Simmonds until we hear more in the offseason whether this was an injury plagued year or signs of him slowing down (he’s only 29 years old).  HOLD

 

PITTSBURGH

Patric Hornqvist inked a fresh new deal near the end of the season that will maintain his value as long as the Penguins keep trotting him out on the power play.  His shot volume helps inflate his overall value when he is healthy.  This year he almost scored 30 goals but this was inflated by a 2% increase in his shooting percentage compared to his career.  The Penguins power play helped increase Hornqvist total and I would expect to see him settle around the 25 goal mark with 200+ shots.  HOLD

 

WASHINGTON

Not a lot of fun goal talk from the RW in Washington.  I suppose we could use this space to say we witness exhibit A on why underlying stats can predict player value with the 20% TJ Oshie shot in 16-17.  Oshie crashed back to earth this year only shooting 14% instead of 23% the prior year.  Remember that players go on runs and that regression while inevitable isn’t always right around the corner.   Don’t draft a RW from Washington unless Tom Wilson’s PIMs and 14 goals have an exorbitant amount of value.

 

Next week I’m going to look at drafting consistency in the penalty minute category across all positions in the east.  I think you’ll enjoy the new philosophy I plan on deploying to my rankings next year.