Martin Jones’ fantasy value with the San Jose Sharks …
Martin Jones didn’t stay long with the Boston Bruins. He was acquired in exchange for Milan Lucic Friday, June 26, as part of the package from the Los Angeles Kings, and dealt from Boston to the San Jose Sharks Tuesday, June 30, in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and prospect Sean Kuraly.
The Sharks now enter the season as a two-headed goalie monster with just 66 career starts. Additionally, both Jones and Alex Stalock posted significantly better statistics in 2013-14 than they did last year.
Between the two, they don’t even have a full season worth of starts on their combined resume. So, it would be foolish to bet the farm on either is ready to step up and claim the No. 1 job, run with it, and be anything more than a No. 2 fantasy goalie.
Still, everything about Jones is intriguing. He has the size advantage and should earn the majority of starts over Stalock. Jones has pedigree and a solid track record through every level, and it would be shocking if he doesn’t succeed. Though, it doesn’t mean he needs to be reached for in drafts or there won’t be peaks and valleys in the near future.
Without looking too deep into the player pool, Jones checks out as an upside No. 2 tendy.
San Jose finished with a minus-16 goal differential at five-on-five last season despite owning a 51.2 CorsiFor%. They were just below the middle of the pack in ScoringChancesFor% and Save Percentage at five-on-five, too. Without any improvements to their roster, including no injection of youth, it is difficult projecting them to take a significant step forward.
One area of concern is the Sharks penalty kill. They finished 25th last season with a 78.5 percent kill rate with a shorthanded save percentage of 85.2, which was also ranked 25th. Head coach Pete DeBoer will need improved goaltending and an improved system, because the rest of his clientele is the same.
Jones and Stalock out playing Antti Niemi isn’t out of the question, but to what extent, and how much that impacts the Sharks in the win column is really unknown. Again, with just 66 combined career starts, expecting anything more than a slight step forward is ill-advised, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see more of the same from San Jose.
All said, I would be comfortable with Jones as my No. 2 goalie in a 12-team league, but I’m not sure I would be thrilled about it.
He will likely face a lot of rubber, though, and there is a good chance he’ll return a solid save percentage. Until there is more clarity about the timeshare in the crease, Stalock’s value is sort of up in the air. Likely a No. 4 goalie worth a selection in the endgame, but this isn’t a situation where I would make an effort to own both Stalock and Jones.
In Boston, there is an opening behind Tuukka Rask. Early leans have to tilt towards Malcolm Subban. Whoever suits up as the No. 2 isn’t worth a roster spot in the majority of leagues, though. Over the season, the backup will likely have five cushy starts worth utilizing him in, and that hardly warrants a roster spot. Rask’s value isn’t impacted and remains a mid-range to low-end No. 1 goalie heading into the 2015-16 season.
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