Geek of the Week: Ghost’s Impactful Regular Season

by Scott Maran on April 22, 2018

Through five playoff games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Shayne Gostisbehere has not looked like himself. Struggling to score and keep the pucks out of the back of the net, him and a few other big names on the Flyers have struggled to answer the onslaught that is the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, when it comes to the regular season, Gostisbehere has quickly become one of the most valuable fantasy defensemen available.

Drafted in the third round in the 2012 draft, the Flyers had big hopes for the rookie defender. With high point totals in college hockey and 15 points in only 19 AHL games, Ghost was arguably the top offensive defenseman in the Flyers’ prospect system. And it only took him a few games in the NHL to cement himself as a regular NHLer when he tallied eight points and three power-play goals through his first 11 games. Gostisbehere would go on to finish the season with 46 points in only 64 games. As a rookie, he finished in second place in Calder voting and finished as the Flyers highest-scoring defenseman that year.

While Gostisbehere would have slightly harder time adjusting in his sophomore season, he bounced back in a big way this season, actually improving on his rookie year’s pace. According to our Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, this season he provided the 10th most fantasy value out of all skaters (using an average 12-team Yahoo league measure goals, assists, shots on goal, power-play points, and hits).
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

HITS

Phil Kessel

8

69

81

34

58

258

42

10

Evgeni Malkin

9

68

77

42

55

237

38

44

Shayne Gostisbehere

10

67

77

13

52

220

33

53

Nathan MacKinnon

11

67

73

39

56

282

32

38

Tyler Seguin

12

67

82

40

38

335

25

74


With one of the highest FHG values among all players, Gostisbehere provided around as much value as guys like Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin, and Nathan MacKinnon. With game-breaking offensive talent, most of Ghost’s value lies in his point totals. His 65 points were only the 48th most in the NHL but out of all defenders it was the fourth highest. Over the last three seasons, Gostisbehere’s point-per-game average sits 10th in the NHL out of all defenders (tied with P.K. Subban and John Carlson). His seven power-play goals were tied for the most in the NHL by a defender and he finished the season with the 10th most power-play points (and the most by a defender).

Gostisbehere also finished with an impressive amount of shots. His 220 shots on goal were the seventh most by any defender and just one shy of tying him for the 50th most shots in the league. His hits and penalty minutes aren’t great but he saw a substantial improvement in his plus/minus this season, going from a -21 last year to a +10 this season.

Ghost won’t be much of an asset for peripherals like hits and penalty minutes, but he’s quickly making the case that he’s one of the top offensive defensemen in the league. While his down year last season of only 39 points may make some potential fantasy owners scared, Gostisbehere was plagued with a very low shooting percentage. Combined with lower ice time and less even-strength assists, Gostisbehere was only able to rack up 39 points. Even that as a down year is pretty fantastic though for what was only a second-year defenseman. At 24 years old now, Ghost should have many more productive seasons left in him as one of the league’s premier point-producing defenders.

 

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