Fantasy Impact: Penguins Trade for Derick Brassard

by steve laidlaw on February 23, 2018




Fantasy Impact: The Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Derick Brassard, Vincent Dunn, Tobias Lindberg and a 2018 third-round pick in a three-way trade including the Vegas Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators. Vegas gets Ryan Reaves and a 2018 fourth-round pick. While Ottawa gets Ian Cole, Filip Gustavsson, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2019 third-round pick.


The Penguins get: A veteran centerman to fill the hole on their third line that they never filled after Nick Bonino left in free agency. They also get a couple of middling forward prospects in Dunn and Lindberg.


The Senators get: A solid goaltending prospect, a good draft pick upgrade, salary relief (although they did retain some of Brassard’s deal) and a modest pro defenseman required to make the cap work for Pittsburgh.


The Golden Knights get: One of the rare enforcers who can skate a regular shift in the league, but still one who doesn’t fit where the league is trending. They also add to their draft pick coffers, all in exchange for renting their cap space and dollars. It doesn’t seem worth it.


Fantasy Players Impacted: As loaded as the Penguins are, this likely hurts Brassard more than it helps him. He goes from a feature top-six role in Ottawa alongside Mark Stone, who is in the midst of a breakout season, into a third-line role in Pittsburgh. Sure, that third line is looking awfully juicy with Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel on the wings, but those two have done much more damage on the power play than at even strength and Brassard won’t come close to sniffing top power play usage in Pittsburgh. Kessel has scored like a second liner at even strength, Guentzel like a third liner.

It’s impossible to overstate how good Stone has been this season. Look at where he ranks in 5-on-5 scoring efficiency:



Nathan MacKinnon


Mat Barzal


Nikita Kucherov


Brad Marchand


Connor McDavid


Mark Stone


Jonathan Marchessault


Jaden Schwartz


Auston Matthews


Johnny Gaudreau



Stone is a 5-on-5 tentpole. He’ll take a small hit losing Brassard (perhaps JG Pageau will jump up), but the bigger hit is to Brassard being removed from Stone. A Guentzel-Brassard-Kessel line could find some strong chemistry, but it won’t be enough to overcome dropping from 18+ minutes per game alongside Stone.

Brassard is also an interesting choice as a Bonino replacement. He has never been a big penalty killer, which is an area that the Penguins got a lot of value out of Bonino in. Bonino skated 16:39 per game for the Penguins last season with secondary PP usage and playing almost half of all Pittsburgh’s penalty kills. Brassard won’t likely be used there so how far do his minutes plummet? Into the 13-14 -minute range?

The Penguins’ PK has been fine, ranking 10th in efficiency, so perhaps they don’t need an upgrade in this role. Still, it would be nice had they acquired a player with said versatility. Relying on Riley Sheahan and Carter Rowney as PK centermen seems less than optimal.

Brassard is on pace for 52 points. There’s enough variance in a 20-game sample that he could sustain that pace the rest of the way. Next season, however? It’s tough to see him going higher than 45 and in Ottawa with Stone he had 60-point potential.

Sheahan takes a hit dropping to the fourth line and away from Kessel, though Sheahan hasn’t been all that relevant anyhow.

Cole is mostly irrelevant in fantasy, but he goes from being a plus/minus boon in Pittsburgh to a hole in Ottawa. Matt Hunwick should be expected to lap up his minutes and opportunity to pad peripheral stats.

In Ottawa, Pageau could get bumped up for Stone insulation, unless they opt for a super line with Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman joined by Stone. long term we may see one of the top prospects, either Colin White or Logan Brown sheltered with Stone.

All of this may be overshadowed by the spectre of Erik Karlsson. If the superstar defenseman is dealt, even in a bad (by his standards) year, then everyone’s value takes a hit.

Gustavsson is a quality goaltending prospect, but you never really know if they’ll hit, especially when they haven’t even come over to North America. A big part of his appeal was being on a perennial contender. Even with competition being higher in Pittsburgh, their strong goaltending pipeline had a appeal. When was the last time Ottawa developed a goaltender? Robin Lehner? Gustavsson is in the mix with Marcus Hogberg as their top goaltending prospect but is still a few years out. Read more about Gustavsson here.

Reaves moves from one elite team to another and should remain an elite PIM option if he is used nightly. However, on a deep team built on speed Reaves may not fit into the lineup nightly.


Fantasy Players this helps, in order:

JG Pageau

Colin White

Logan Brown

Jake Guentzel

Matt Hunwick


Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:

Derick Brassard

Ian Cole

Riley Sheahan

Filip Gustavsson

Mark Stone

Ryan Reaves