Eastern Edge: The New York Rangers

by Cam Metz on September 4, 2018

 

We’re less than a month away from the start of puck season. It is hot in Pittsburgh this Labor Day weekend and I’m really looking forward to the fall and some hockey.  It’s funny I’m still bitter that the NHL can’t figure out how to schedule a day’s worth of games so that it can be watched all Saturday long.  The nostalgia of Hockey Night in Canada inflates the value of a cold winter night above a hot summer night for me any day of the year.

Speaking of value – Not a lot of value on Broadway this year – but maybe we’ll see some increase of usage that some Blueshirts surpass their ADPs.

The rules for the below analysis as always are:

Like for the Wild West series, the ranks are based on a 12-team, head-to-head league, using the categories of goals, assists, power play points, shots, hits and blocks for forwards/defensemen and wins, saves, save percentage and goals against average for goalies. Player eligibility for this series is based on Yahoo, and draft ranks are based on average draft positions compiled from Yahoo, ESPN and CBS by FantasyPros.  2018-2019 ADPs are up if you couldn’t tell!

Check out yesterday’s column by Chris Kane on the San Jose.

 

Recap

There was something surprisingly refreshing to see a team admit that they were going to enter rebuilding mode.  We don’t often catch a glimpse inside the management mind of these teams unless it is free agency or the draft, so for the management team in New York City to openly admit that it was time to start a new chapter rather than dabble in mediocrity for X number of years, it makes you want to root for them, regardless if they are in the same division as your favorite team.

On ice, the Rangers were able to secure dead last in the Metro Division last year, with only 77 points on the season.  They jettisoned Rick Nash to Boston and accepted an influx of talent from Tampa Bay as a result of sending Captain Ryan McDonagh packing.

Youngster Pavel Buchnevich was fantasy relevant at times last year, Kevin Shattenkirk was injured in his first season as a Blueshirt, and middle of the pack forwards Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider are due for significant increases in playing time this year.

Interestingly  enough as bad as NYR were they had an above average power play unit, that for my money should stay within the middle of the league next year considering the Shattenkirk will be healthy and other forwards will be available to help support Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello.

Overall things look bleak for Henrik Lundqvist’s Rangers this year, but perhaps they will surprise us all with some younger players being given more playing time.

 

                                          

Overvalued

Henrik Lundqvist – When you look at the King’s numbers from last year at a glance you’ll notice he was extremely efficient against competition in high danger situations on the power play; same for 5v5 HD shots as well.  The problem is that he was well below league average at 5v5 from medium danger locations.  I have nothing to substantiate the thought that follows here- but here is what I think: Lundqvist was done in by the quality of the players in front of him and was lucky shorthanded from in close.  So as someone who is being drafted in the ninth round it seems unlikely he can even provide value on that position.  How can I make that claim?

Players like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Pacioretty, Cam Atkinson, and Brayden Point are all going in and around this range.  Thank you but I’ll take any of these guys over Henrik.

 

                                               

Chris Kreider – Last year Kreider was a bust on his ADP of 115, he only was able to return value as the 220th best skater.  He still supplied a steady dose of shots on a per game basis due to injury his totals were admittedly low.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

57

16

20

36

0.63

135

11.9%

103

12

24

 

So I think you can see that Kreider didn’t have the best year for those who drafted him.  This year though he’s being drafted criminally low for the usage he is about to receive.  As a potential 15th-round selection, Kreider at this value almost makes you want to focus on other positions knowing you can take him in the 13th round for free.  I’m sure you’ll be able to work your way around making sure he is a stable LW2 on your roster.

 

Mats Zuccarello – Zuc isn’t for me, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that as he is not a player I have ever targeted. He always has felt like medium floor / low ceiling to me. The last three years he’s averaged 52 points even though he saw 51% of his teams power play team on a slightly above average power play unit.  It’s more than likely that he will see an uptick on his one power play goal, but it still isn’t enough to make me bite on draft day, I’d rather swing for the fences elsewhere.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

80

16

37

53

0.66

173

8.7%

62

17

67

 

Undervalued

Mika Zibanejad – Raise your hand if you would like a first line center being drafted in the 15th round with reasonable expectations that they reach 50 points?

That would be Mika Z.   When he was on the ice last year he was driver of points and not just a passenger, something I’m always looking for in the later rounds. He was very unlucky with a PDO of 95.  Given his power play work and the opportunity in front of him this season, if he is healthy I really like what he has to offer.  I suppose the only caveat to this would be I would try on trading him in Jan-Feb so that you don’t have any Rangers on your roster come fantasy playoff season after the Rags sell off even more assets.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

71

26

20

46

0.65

207

12.6%

89

21

64

 

Pavel Buchnevich –Another 15th-round pick currently on Yahoo!, Buch enters his third year with the hopes that a new coach will change his TOI / Usage for the better.  He has a 65% primary assist rate (a fantasy stat I love).  For someone who has oozed talent he has not been able to exceed 10% shooting percentage, so hopefully some maturity can create a 60-point player that becomes a steal in the later rounds.  Just to give some context to that observation – if he were to hit 60 points that would be amongst the top 75 skaters in the league in 17-18’.  Hit DRAFT all day long.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

73

14

29

43

0.59

135

10.4%

50

17

34

 

Kevin Shattenkirk– The hope is that last year’s injury plagued season lets you steal Shattenkirk about five rounds past where he was being drafted last season.  This year his ADP is almost 140th and last year it was 53rd.  Based on injury alone he has dropped almost 90 spots, I don’t really care where you draft him between those numbers but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t draft him.  Expect a floor of 40 points, and hope that the Rangers don’t tank on the power play.  Either way 140th overall for a floor of 40 points is an easy way to build a contender.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

46

5

18

23

0.50

94

5.3%

44

12

65

 

 

Sources: Hockey-reference.com, Naturalstattrick, Corsica.hockey, frozenpool