Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Anaheim Ducks
For the last 13 years (12 with The Hockey News) I have reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them. My 14th 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.
Gone – David Perron, Chris Stewart, Jamie McGinn, Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen, Shawn Horcoff, Korbinian Holzer, Brian McGrattan, Shane O’Brien, Brandon Pirri, Mike Santorelli, Coach Bruce Boudreau
Impact of changes – The Ducks clearly aren’t finished because as things stand, the likes of Boll, Nick Ritchie, Raymond and Chris Wagner would play prominent roles and that’s just not going to happen. Look for another two forwards to be signed.
The biggest change is the coach, as Anaheim moves to a less possession-driven Carlyle, who will open things up a little bit offensively. He’ll also push more toughness, which will tweak some of the PIM totals upward. The other big change is in net. Instead of a shared situation, John Gibson now has the No. 1 job to himself. Were it not for his injury history, I would have boldly projected a 70-game season for the youngster. Instead, 60 games is probably safe.
Ready for full-time – Ritchie was probably going to make the team in the fall. Now that Carlyle is coach, it’s almost a certainty. A power forward who likes the rough stuff is right up Carlyle’s alley. Get more details on Ritchie right here.
Defenseman Shea Theodore is NHL-ready, as he showed during a couple of brief stints last year. However, as shallow as the Ducks are up front, they are very deep on the blue line. Theodore may have to wait until midseason to get called up – unless Anaheim trades a defenseman (Cam Fowler is rumored to be on the block). Read up on Theodore here.
Dustin Tokarski looked like the backup goaltender before Jonathan Bernier was brought in. Now, Bernier should shoulder approximately 25 starts and potentially more depending on his play and Gibson's health. Tokarski is now next to a fantasy afterthought, and Kevin Boyle is further away from his NHL debut. The 24-year-old Boyle signed with the Ducks in March after his senior year in college ended. You can read up some more on Boyle here.
In the unlikely event that the Ducks only sign one more forward (or none?), then either Michael Sgarbossa or Kalle Kossila will get a long look. Swedish winger Nick Sorensen is more of a long shot, given that this will be his first season in North America, and he probably needs a year of AHL time first. Sgarbossa is on his last chance, and if he makes it, he will be a role player at best. But Kossila is the intriguing player. Another college free agent signing in late March, Kossila was one of several players to break out for St. Cloud State last season. He had 54 points in 41 games and looked good in development camp. But any of these players would be relying on the Ducks not making many more moves this offseason. Read more on Kossila here, Sorensen here, Sgarbossa here.
Fantasy Outlook – After two years of declining point totals, I’m not convinced that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are 80-point players anymore. Or even 75-point players. They’ll bounce back under the new coach, but only a little. If the Ducks don’t get a breakout season from Rickard Rakell or Jakob Silfverberg they could be in trouble. From a fantasy standpoint, their defensemen are appealing. Several defensemen are worth owning and several more are on the way in the coming years. The goaltending drops off after Gibson, but Bernier's a decent handcuff option because of his familiarity with Carlyle and Gibson's injury history. The current group of forwards doesn't impress. Not anymore.
Fantasy Grade: C+ (last year was A-)
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