Leafs acquire Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec provides the Leafs with versatile center depth and is a strong penalty killer, although he’ll slot in as a middle-six center at best. With less than a 0.5 point-per-game scoring pace (24 points in 60 games) and just six goals all season, Plekanec is not a useful fantasy option anymore. But there are still fantasy implications surrounding the deal.
Perhaps the most notable fantasy ripple of the deal is that it suggests that the Leafs don’t want to rush Auston Matthews back into the lineup as he recovers from a shoulder separation. Plekanec’s short-term value could receive a boost, as he will help the Leafs as they jockey for position in the Atlantic Division playoff race. The Leafs now boast Matthews, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, and Plekanec down the middle, so the Plekanec acquisition could cut into Bozak’s icetime.
Plekanec saw very little power-play icetime in Montreal, but he was third in even-strength minutes per game (13:56). The trade might mean that players like Charles Hudon and Paul Byron, who have lined up with Plekanec for parts of the season, are moved to a line with a more offensive-minded center, but we’re talking about a minor upgrade at best. That’s about it.
Players this helps, in order:
Plekanec (short term)
Players this hurts, in order:
Plekanec (long term)
Fantasy owners are already weighing in on the Forum. Give your take here!
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