Alex Edler, Back From the Dead

by Scott Maran on April 1, 2018

 

For the past few years now, the Vancouver Canucks have almost been completely devoid of any fantasy value. The Sedins, once a dynamite duo in the fantasy hockey world, are shells of the former selves while the rest of the roster has almost no one left with much value. Brock Boeser’s one of the few Canucks who can contribute but after that there’s not a lot of options. However, this year Alexander Edler’s having a very underrated season, being one of the few players on the Canucks who can provide good fantasy value. He isn’t having an amazing year, but he’s been one of the least known names who has been a solid supporting fantasy player.

 

Back in his prime Edler had a much better reputation among fantasy circles, as he was actually one of the top offensive defenders in the league. From 2010 to 2012, Edler posted two 40+ point seasons and recorded 124 points in only 209 games (tied for the 12th highest points-per-game rates among all defensemen). Since then Edler’s struggled with staying healthy and posting the offensive totals he used to, only breaking 30 points once back in 2015 (where he scored 31 points in 74 games). Combine Edler’s decline with the Canucks fall from grace and people forgot about Edler, much less thinking he had any fantasy value to give.

 

Flash forward to this season and you get a different story. Though the Canucks are still in the basement, Edler has had a decent season. According to our Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, in an average 12-team Yahoo league measuring goals, assists, shots on goal, power play points, and hits, Edler has been the 71st most valuable skater.

 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

Alex Pietrangelo

69

26

71

14

36

194

12

39

David Perron

70

25

68

16

48

121

17

116

Alexander Edler

71

25

63

5

25

153

13

142

Gabriel Landeskog

72

25

71

24

32

158

14

238

Mike Hoffman

73

24

77

22

31

244

20

29

 

Out of all NHL defenders who’ve played in at least 40 games, Edler’s 0.45 points per game is tied for the 43rd highest in the league, right with Hampus LIndholm and Colton Parayko. And even though he only has five goals, his power play totals have more than tripled from last year, up to a respectable 13 (tied for the 28th most out of all defenders).

 

But what makes Edler valuable in most fantasy formats is his overall proficiency in a variety of categories. Across the board Edler can provide some sort of value in almost any fantasy category. After a slight down year last season, Edler’s back to putting a good amount of shots on net, taking the 35th most shots by a defender despite missing a significant amount of games. If Edler hadn’t missed any time, he’d currently be in the top 20 out of all defenseman in shots.

 

He’s also been racking up hits at a career rate, already setting a new career high for hits. With 148 hits in only 66 games, Edler has the 27th most hits by a defenseman and the 50th most in the NHL. And while it wasn’t included in the Fantasy Hockey Geek simulation, Edler has already set a new career high in penalty minutes too with 62.

 

It’s been a while since Edler has been relevant in fantasy hockey but for those paying attention he’s provided sneaky good value. His plus/minus is a bit of a drag, but he’ll help a fantasy team in any other category, providing a good amount of points, hits, shots, and much more.