The Top 10 players affected by offseason moves
There's always a lot of hype around NHL free agent signings and off-season trades. But this season took the cake as one of the craziest yet.
But not all these signings and trades will have a positive impact on the players' fantasy value. For example, Loui Eriksson would have gotten around the same amount of points whether he signed in Vancouver or stayed in Boston: Around 50 points. So his fantasy value didn't change.
But for some guys it changed dramatically. Here are the top 10 players whose fantasy value changed thanks to offseason moves.
10. Kerby Rychel
Rychel for whatever reason seemed to have fallen out of favour in Columbus. Why else trade him to Toronto for pretty much nothing? Rychel played just 32 games last year and averaged 9:31 ice time per game. Going to Toronto is great for Rychel. Instead of trying to beat out veterans who are making boatloads of money, he has to compete against young players who haven't proven anything and can be easily sent down to the minors. Rychel could be a solid multi-cat contributor as he likes to hit, shoot and will pick up PIM as well. He still needs to make the squad but if so, he's a sneaky sleeper pick.
I really like Zibanejad in New York and think he's ready to have a breakthrough year. He's had flashes in the past (including 16 points in his last 22 games last year) and has shown improvement every season so far. The trade could also make him more determined to prove his doubters wrong. I think he'll become a surprise faceoff star this year as well.
Going from Chicago to Carolina is the best thing for Teravainen's NHL and fantasy career. He was never a consistent top-six player in Chicago, although he had looks with both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. But his most frequent line combination had him playing with Phillip Danault and Andrew Desjardins. But now he's expected to be on the top line in Carolina and will get an opportunity to see lots of power play time to boot. So he now finds himself in a great opportunity.
Andersen's fantasy value took a nose dive with his trade to Toronto this summer. He's gone from one of the best teams in the league that is strong defensively to one of the youngest teams in the league that is going to have a steep learning curve. Anderson's numbers are going to take a hit in pretty much every fantasy-relevant category.
6. Jiri Hudler
I've mentioned this before, but Hudler's 70-point season came one year too early. Instead of being rewarded with a handsome payday, Hudler signed just a one-year deal with Dallas worth $2 million. But Dallas was one of the best landing spots for him. He gets an opportunity to play on the top line and could be on the number one power play unit for the highest scoring offense in the league.
Just the fact he is now going to play in the NHL this season is going to put him on a list like this as he hasn't been a fantasy option for about eight years. But who knows what to expect from the 30-year-old Russian. He hasn't played in the NHL in four years — and that was just a handful of games — but was dynamite in the KHL. I've seen projections for him ranging anywhere from 42 to 65 points. Fantasy GMs are obviously hoping for the latter.
Sure Elliott won't have to worry about a young backup breathing down his neck any more. But he's gone to a team that is worse defensively. Elliott is obviously a better option than the goalies that Flames had last season. But you can't count on him to stay healthy. His wins, shutouts, GAA and save percentage should all become worse this season.
3. Keith Yandle
I really like Yandle having a big season in Florida, and it would not surprise me to see him reach 60 points this year. His power play points really got affected in New York. In Arizona he would get about 30-plus power play points per season. In New York, that dipped to 22 per season as the Rangers simply do not get as many power play opportunities. Now that he's in Florida, expect his power play points to go back up. An extra 10 power play points would have put him at 57 points last year. So he could easily flirt with 60 points.
2. Taylor Hall
Hall's trade to New Jersey will have a negative impact on his fantasy value. No longer will he be playing with Jordan Eberle, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He's now playing on with Mike Cammalleri, Adam Henrique, Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri. That's a big downgrade. I've always been a Hall supporter. But it's going to be tough for him to get points with the Devils, who has only had one 60-point-plus player in the past four years (Jaromir Jagr in 2013-14).
1. P.K. Subban
You may notice that Shea Weber is absent from this list. That's because his value hasn't really changed much going to Montreal. He's still going to get 20 goals, 50 points, 150-plus hits, 150-plus blocked shots and 150-plus shots. But Subban is another matter. He's been in the dog house in Montreal for the last couple of years. Now he's going to get more of an opportunity to be more offensive-minded. And without the shackles of having to play under Michel Therrien, Subban should see a big improvement over his 51 points last season.
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