Fantasy Impact: The Buffalo Sabres have traded power winger Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for underrated prospect forward Daniel O’Regan, a 2019 first-round draft pick (conditional – if the Sharks re-sign Kane it's a first, otherwise it's a second) plus a 2020 fourth rounder (also conditional).
The Sabres get: an underrated O’Regan. And check this out – the line combination at Boston University, one of the top scoring lines in 2014-15, was Jack Eichel at center, O’Regan and Evan Rodrigues on the wings. Reunited! O’Regan had 58 points in 63 games in the AHL last season but slowed this year to 25 in 31 while playing 19 games for the NHL Sharks (four points). O’Regan sits 46th on my Fantasy Prospect Forwards list and we have a scouting report on him here. He has upside and now he has a bit of Golden Boy status as the player they got for Kane, although make no mistake – this was about that first round pick. But it’s enough of that Golden Boy shine to play out the string in the NHL this year and start the season with the big club next year. After that, it’s up to him if he can earn his keep.
The Sharks get: an injury-prone player who generally produces at a 50- or 55-point clip and potentially racks up three hits per game (though this year just two per game). He also consistently wires 250 shots on goal per season.
Fantasy Players Impacted: the new team will likely see Kane play a more aggressive form of hockey, so look for his PIM and hit total to spike. As for his offense, I wouldn’t expect anything significant. Don’t forget, he has just six points in his last 24 games and had 34 points in 37 games prior to that. So while his scoring will pick back up, it won’t hit the early-season pace. Most of his points were while playing with Jack Eichel and San Jose has nobody Eichel-like to play with him.
This move really hurts Kevin Labanc, who has seen declining ice time despite pretty solid production. His power-play time will disappear. And this doesn’t exactly help Timo Meier and Joonas Donskoi either, who are in a similar boat as Labanc.
With Buffalo, this opens up even more ice time for the red hot Evan Rodrigues, who I would now consider a legitimate fantasy option in one-year leagues. I’m not ready to like him long term just yet, as I need to see a few more weeks from his hot stick. And as noted above, I’ll also be watching O’Regan’s impact. I have a hunch he could surprise.
I wish I could say that the Sabres had other wingers with any promise that could benefit here. But…no.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
- Ramblings: Revisiting Goalie Situations in Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Columbus (Jan 24)
- Ramblings: Cholowski recalled; Koivu returns; looking back on preseason thoughts - January 23
- Injury Ward: Updates on Rask, Hamilton, Panarin, Tarasenko, and more
- Ramblings: Skills Competition, Questions on Hughes vs. Dahlin, Hintz, Gibson (Jan 25)
- Looking Ahead: Danault, Habs Worth Targeting
- Capped: All-Star cap league team
- Frozen Tools Forensics: Malkin and the Giant IPPeach
- The Journey: Prospect Trajectory Crossroads