The Coyotes added a veteran winger with offensive capabilities who played six years with the organization, including the 2011-12 campaign where he notched a career-high 35 goals. However, the 35-year-old winger is coming off his worst seasons since 2008-09 with just 27 points and an underwhelming 47.9 CorsiFor percentage.
His 6.5 shooting percentage last season is due for improvement, so there is potential for a bounce-back campaign. Still, an uptick in efficiency might not bring him all the way back into fantasy relevance. It's going to take significant progression, and age-35 seasons aren't typically the ripe spot to mine for a rebound campaign.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The look of the Coyotes lineup is going to be one of the bigger mysteries leading into the season. Dylan Strome appears set for a top-six role following the Coyotes buying out Antoine Vermette, whereas fellow freshman Christian Dvorak will likely have a tougher shot at legitimate offensive minutes now that Vrbata is in the fold.
Martin Hanzal, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Strome are top-six locks, but it leaves a complete guessing game for the other two slots. Vrbata and Dvorak could be the two candidates while Doan mans a third-line role with power-play time.
Arizona is certainly a team on the rise with a strong group of youngsters, and Vrbata doesn't necessarily block any of those younger players, he'll just potentially cut into a few of their chances. However, just because Vrbata starts the season in a scoring role doesn't mean he finishes the season in the top-six group, either. The power play is likely where Dvorak and Rieder will lose out, and that is a drain on their fantasy upside (for next season only).
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Vrbata (see his stats, line combos and game logs here)
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Dvorak (read our scouting notes on Dvorak here)
2. Rieder (see his stats, line combos and game logs here)
- Ramblings: Yes Giordano Norris blah blah, Tarasenko’s slump, under-the-radar players and more (Dec 17)
- Ramblings: Hart Called Up; Hakstol Fired; Dumba Injury; Disappointments - December 18
- Top 10 Surprises of 2018-19
- 20 Fantasy Hockey Thoughts
- Eastern Edge: Reviewing Recent Turnaround Predictions
- Geek of the Week: Matt Dumba
- Lining Up: Top-Performing Lines in the East - December 18
- Fantasy Hockey Podcast - Hayes Of Our Lives