Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Colorado Avalanche
For the last 15 years (12 with The Hockey News, last year’s via pinch-hitter Cam Robinson) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.
The 16th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Impact of changes – The Avalanche upgraded their No.2 goalie, even though Bernier had a fantastic season, Grubauer is a future starter and that’s why the Avs got him. Semyon Varlamov is breaking down and no longer can handle even 55-game workloads. So this year Grubauer will shoulder 40 games and transition to become the 2019-20 starter. Francouz was one of the top goaltenders in the KHL and is considered a good upgrade on the No.3 goalie spot.
The team is coming off a good and surprising season that was spearheaded by an elite first line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. Helping that line become successful was a pure checking line of Comeau, Carl Soderberg and Matt Nieto. So Comeau obviously had to be replaced and that’s where Calvert comes in. Calvert is probably a slight upgrade on Comeau in on-ice talent, but he’s far more injury prone so this particular swap may turn out to be a wash.
Ready for full-time – Vladislav Kamenev was acquired in the Matt Duchene trade last season and was supposed to make the jump to the NHL right away. But minutes into his first game he broke his arm and that was the end of that notion. He’s ready now and stands a good chance of not only making the roster, but also topping 30 points as a rookie. He has second-line upside down the road. (See Kamenev's scouting profile here)
A.J. Greer was Colorado’s second-round pick in 2015 (39th overall) is a power forward and a bit of an energy guy. He’s still years away from putting up points that would interest fantasy leagues that don’t count hits or PIM, but if your league counts those categories then he should see enough NHL action this season to help out in that regard. (See Greer's scouting profile here)
Conor Timmins is a long shot to make the team. Almost miniscule. But he has been so exceptional over the last 12 months that it should surprise anyone if he over-achieves once again. At the very least he will have cups of coffee with the big club and he is one of hockey’s best prospect defensemen. (See Timmins' scouting profile here)
Pavel Francouz, as already noted, was a top goalie in the KHL last year. He stood a good chance of making the Avs straight away…until they traded for Grubauer (perhaps he should have waited before decided on which NHL team to sign with). Given Varlamov’s injury potential, Francouz will get plenty of recalls throughout 2018-19, but starts will be sporadic. (See Francouz's scouting profile here)
Colorado Avalanche prospect depth chart and fantasy upsides can be found here (not yet ready for mobile viewing, desktop only right now)
Fantasy Outlook – The emergence of MacKinnon as an elite scoring forward has made the Avs a much more interesting team for fantasy owners. If any of our fantasy players get moved to Colorado, it no longer causes us to cringe. The secondary scoring isn’t there yet, but it’s coming along. And after so many disasters with promising prospect defensemen (Duncan Siemens, Chris Bigras, Stefan Elliott) who we thought would be surefire studs – this teams feels as though they actually do have surefire studs now in Sam Girard, Cale Makar and Timmins. Or did I speak to soon?
Fantasy Grade: B- (last year was C)
Other Fantasy Grades:
- Ramblings: Arvidsson Tricks, Puljujarvi on the Block, Nyquist, Hertl, & The Kanes (Jan. 16)
- Ramblings: Aberg Traded; Troy Terry Called Up; Pettersson; Larkin; Konecny - January 17
- Injury Ward: Pettersson, Chabot, Schultz, Hall and Klefbom
- Fantasy Impact: Nino Niederreiter Traded for Victor Rask
- Cage Match: Leon Draisaitl vs Sean Monahan
- Fantasy Impact: Pontus Aberg to Minnesota
- Capped: Appreciating the Little Contracts
- Ramblings: Gibson Slams Door on Losing Streak, Is Lehner Fantasy’s Top Goalie? (Jan 18)