Top 10 player values affected by the World Cup of Hockey tournament
It seems as if the World Cup of Hockey is having more of an impact on a player's fantasy value than many of us anticipated. It doesn't take very much for a player's value to increase. But it does take significantly more for a player's value to decrease. Even though the United States was horrible, are you really going to move Patrick Kane, Max Pacioretty or John Carlson far down your draft board because of this tournament? Probably not.
That isn't to say that there weren't some negative values. But just not as many as positive ones.
Especially since it's such a short tournament. One or two great games is enough for us to stand up and take notice. Whose value was affected most?
10. Marian Gaborik
Gaborik looked decent in his four games for Team Europe. I'm not too sure what this foreshadows for most hockey pools, but my buddy said Gaborik was picked off the waiver wire in a few of his leagues. So his value has definitely increased, even if just slightly. Sometimes it comes down to when you score. Gaborik only has two goals and no assists, but one goal was the game-winner early against the U.S. His value will probably rise throughout the week with team Europe in the finals.
This tournament is re-affirming what many of suspect will happen to Markov in Montreal this season: Struggle. Markov was carried by P.K. Subban the last few years. Subban helped turn the Russian defenseman into a 45-to-50 point player. In the last three years, 108 of Markov's 137 points — a whopping 79 per cent — came with Subban on the ice. Markov was supposed to be the main power play quarterback during the World Cup of Hockey. He wound up with a total of zero points, a minus-two and six shots.
8. Auston Matthews
Matthews was the best soon-to-be NHL rookie at the tournament. He saw plenty of ice time, scored a couple of goals and took 10 shots in three games. In keeper pools he'll still be selected first overall for prospect drafts. But his stock rose quite a bit higher in one-year pools thanks to his performance.
This was a good re-introduction to fantasy owners for MacKinnon. It's a little amazing what having a good coach will do for a player. MacKinnon's three points in three games was nice. But his 15 shots led North America and is third among all players (only Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have more, and they've played an extra game). It will be interesting to see what MacKinnon can do this upcoming season but the tournament should have made more people take notice of the 21-year-old.
6. Carey Price
All Price needed to do was not get injured. Mission accomplished. It bodes well that Price has played three games in seven days as that is pretty close to an NHL schedule. He's shown no ill effects from his injury. He's being drafted about 16th overall in Yahoo pools. I can see that increasing a few spots now that people have seen him in action.
Gostisbehere stood out the most on a team loaded with great young talent,. He led the North American squad with four assists and was counted on when the team was losing. During the third period against Russia, he took a three-minute-12-second shift before North America got a too many men on the ice penalty. He was a beast and more people should be talking about how great he played.
You can file this one under having a negative impact. Murray did not look good against Russia and broke his hand during the tournament. He is out three to six weeks and will miss the start of the regular season. Missing even a week of action is enough to let Marc-Andre Fleury start the season off hot and instill himself as the team's number one goalie.
A lot of people have been doubting whether Marchand can repeat his excellent season from a year ago. I'll admit I am one of those doubters. But Marchand has been wicked good this tournament. It helps that he is playing with the best player in the world in Sidney Crosby. But even more importantly is that he continues to show plenty of chemistry with Bruins linemate Patrice Bergeron. That bodes well for the upcoming season.
The Saturday night game against Canada knocked around his stats a little bit. But he's been excellent all tournament. Bobrovsky was the only reason the game against Canada wasn't a blowout early. He had an excellent series of games overall. That includes a 43-save performance against North America that knocked the young guns out of the tournament and a 21-save shutout against Finland. There may be some fantasy GMs who are willing to overlook Bobrovsky's last six years of mediocrity and move him up their draft rankings.
There has been a lot of talk about the Islanders going with a timeshare situation or even Halak being a backup. But Halak's value increased significantly because of these four games. He shut out the Americans before everyone realized the Americans were bad. He's brought Team Europe, who no one gave much of a chance to, to the best-of-three finals against Team Canada. Halak has been one of the MVPs of this tournament so far and should see his value skyrocket.
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