Another Pittsburgh Penguin skater leaves after winning two Stanley Cups in the last two seasons, after Trevor Daley went to Detroit. The Nashville Predators acquire their potential replacement for Mike Fisher by signing Nick Bonino:
Bonino signs 4 year deal with Preds. $4.1 aav. Had other offers for more, but great fit in Nash, plus tax benefits.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2017
Bonino turned 29 years old in April, and 37 points in 80 games for Pittsburgh last year.
Of course, Fisher could always come back for the Predators, but this is an insurance policy behind Ryan Johansen. There are also rumours they may still be involved in Matt Duchene’s services. Either way, Bonino will be expected to fill in a middle-six role for the Predators
There is potential here for a decent offensive season from Bonino. As mentioned above, however, it’ll largely depend on what else the Predators will do. He could end up playing 17-18 minutes a game with secondary power-play minutes, or he could end up playing 15-16 minutes a game with little power-play time.
The fit here could be very solid. With Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, and Kevin Fiala, there are a lot scoring wingers on this team, and the roster needs distributors to get these players the puck. Over the last three years, Bonino has a slightly higher assist rate than players like Henrik Zetterberg and Paul Stastny, and the same primary assist rate as Henrik Sedin. He’s not among the elite, but he can do what Nashville needs a centre to do: get the puck to their top-end wingers.
Even being very optimistic, Bonino getting to 50 points is a stretch. If he can have a season with 15 goals and 25 assists, it will be a good campaign. The fact that he doesn’t shoot much – he’s in the bottom-half of forwards in shots per minute – and doesn’t take penalties limits his roto value greatly. This makes him nothing more than depth in deeper leagues.
This is a signing that probably has more real-world value than fantasy value. A 40-point season with weak peripherals won’t move the needle much unless you’re in a league that drafts 200 forwards. He could break out and have a magical career year that a lot of depth players seem to have at one point, but banking on that to happen is a bad idea.
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