Geek of the Week: Micheal Ferland Breaking Out in a Big Way

by Scott Maran on November 4, 2018


The Carolina Hurricanes looked like a brand team new at the start of the year, coming out of the gate through the first two weeks scoring like crazy. Nobody’s start may be as surprising as Micheal Ferland’s though. After coming over to Carolina as a minor piece in the Dougie Hamilton trade, Ferland has been a beast in the fantasy world. Through just 13 games into the season, Ferland’s been one of the most valuable players in fantasy hockey. Using the Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, we can see that in average Yahoo fantasy leagues Micheal Ferland has been one of the top 10 best skaters (in a 12-team league measuring goals, assists, +/-, shots on goal, power play points, and hits).
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

+/-

SOG

PPP

Hits

Brent Burns

5

79

13

3

12

3

37

6

13

Micheal Ferland

6

75

13

7

4

9

48

3

37

Kris Letang

7

74

10

4

8

7

31

4

22


Ferland’s plus/minus rating of +9 helps his value out a lot (tied for eighth best in the league), but he still holds incredibly high value even in leagues that don’t count it.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

GP

G

A

SOG

PPP

Hits

John Carlson

9

63

11

5

9

25

8

11

Kris Letang

10

57

10

4

8

31

4

22

Micheal Ferland

11

54

13

7

4

48

3

37

Thomas Chabot

12

54

12

3

12

26

4

14

David Pastrnak

13

53

12

11

5

56

6

6


Ferland’s counting stats aren’t super impressive; even though 11 points in 13 games puts him at a 69-point pace, that’s only the 68th most points in the NHL. In a league where 68 players are averaging at least a point-per-game so far, Ferland’s 0.85 points-per-game isn’t what’s making him the 11th most valuable skater. Instead, it’s his strong peripherals (combined with his strong point totals) that has made him so valuable.

Since the start of the year, Ferland has been taking a significant amount of more shots, registering 48 shots in only 13 games. His 37 hits are also tied for the 14th most in the league. His three power-play points are nothing special, but they are good enough where they don’t detract any value. Overall, Ferland has arguably been the best all-around player in the league so far (either him or Gabriel Landeskog).

But this is a player who barely broke 40 points last year, finishing with just the 160th most fantasy value. Is Ferland truly breaking out or is he just getting lucky?

Before we start talking about the 2018-19 season, his previous year with the Flames needs to be inspected more closely. His prior production is a bit misleading, as his offensive numbers were much better than initially appear. Last year Ferland actually produced very well at even-strength, scoring the 114th most even-strength points last season. It’s far from top-line production but it’s around the same amount of even-strength points as Ryan O’Reilly, Mats Zuccarello, and Nazem Kadri for context. If he got a little more power-play time and played in a full 82 games, Ferland could have easily hit 50 points.

Now with the Hurricanes, Ferland is getting the third-most power play time out of all Carolina forwards and has already scored half as many points with the man advantage as he did last season. If he keeps up this pace on the power play and scores exactly as many even-strength points as he did last year, Ferland would finish with 54 points – a very respectable number.

It’s looking like Ferland’s goal scoring is no fluke either, as this is the third year in a row that he’s had a shooting percentage between 14% and 15%. That’s high for the average skater, but it’s looking like Ferland naturally finishes with a relatively high shooting percentage. This is even greater news when considering that his overall rate of shots on goal has gone up in each of the last three seasons. We’ll have to see if Ferland can keep up a high shooting percentage while getting more shots on frame, but the early signs look promising.

His 54-point estimate is also calculated without factoring in his increased role with the new team. With the Hurricanes, Ferland is seeing the most ice time in his career and is receiving consistent time on the first line with other top players. With the Hurricanes, Ferland is averaging over a minute and a half more ice time and has spent 80% of his even-strength ice time with Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho. It’s true that he did spend a significant amount of time with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary, but he also spent more time playing with bottom-six talent like Chris Stewart and Mark Jankowski than he has been in Carolina. While I wouldn’t bank on him keeping up the 69-point pace he’s at right now, there’s no reason he can’t break 60 points by the end of the season.

Combined with his excellent peripherals (which have been a consistent part of his game since the start of his career), Ferland might be emerging as one of the fantasy hockey world’s newest productive tough guys (think Wayne Simmonds or Dustin Brown). We’ll have to wait and see how Ferland finishes the year before jumping the gun, but the early signs look promising.

 

Comments are closed.