Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – NY Islanders
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.
Impact of changes – The Islanders lost a bit of scoring talent here. They also lost some character. And yes, they did well to replace it as best as they could at a cheaper cost, but the net result is still a decline in those two areas. And don’t get me wrong – the Islanders are one of the teams that I truly enjoy and I have always been a fan of what GM Garth Snow has done (even before anyone else like him or knew what he was doing). But Snow’s hands were tied.
What this all means is that the younger players and the prospects need to step up. If a couple of them don’t, then the team will still get by. But if, en masse, these guys don’t improve and flourish with bigger roles then the Isles are in trouble. Players like Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome need to reach their potential. Ryan Pulock needs to slide in on the blue line not only as an NHL regular, but as a legit top four guy and power-play asset right away.
It’s a transition year. This is a season in which you’ll see what kind of fantasy players you have in the aforementioned Lee, Nelson and Strome. If any of those three fail to reach even 50 points then it will be time to re-evaluate your expectations and upsides for them. If this team has to rely on Parenteau to pick up 45-plus points, then it could be a long season. But if he gets 45-plus points in support of those three, then the Islanders have broken through.
Ready for full-time – Ryan Pulock has stud potential and is a must-own in most keeper formats. He does have a bit of an injury history so even if he makes this team it’s best to play it safe and assume no more than 70 games. But when he is healthy he’ll flirt with a point every two games as a rookie, with more to come later. (Read up on Pulock here)
Alan Quine led Bridgeport in scoring in 2014-15 and may have done so again in 2015-16 were he not up with the big club for a couple of games, as well as a minor injury. He held his own in the NHL, even seeing some time on the John Tavares line, and in the postseason Coach Jack Capuano chose to scratch Ryan Strome rather than Quine. At this point, Quine is probably not in the plans for a top six job, but really that’s just an injury or some line juggling away from happening. And if he repeats what he showed us last year, he could surprise. (Read up on Quine here)
Scott Mayfield is a hulking (6-4, 224) defenseman with a track record of plenty of penalty minutes. He’ll never be even a 20-point player but he could certainly be a 180 PIM guy. The 23-year-old should make the team at least on a part-time basis and post 70 or 80 PIM in 60 games. (Read up on Mayfield here)
Mathew Barzal is the Islanders top prospect forward right now. Last year’s 16th overall pick had 88 points in 58 games for Seattle in the WHL. The Islanders’ recent track record with prospects indicates that they will wait at least another year on him (and I believe they will), but many fantasy owners feel that he’ll make the jump in the fall so I decided to make a note on him here. He’ll probably get a ‘look’ in the form of a handful of games to start, but look for him to go back to the WHL. If Barzal does stick, it will be because he’s putting up impressive points. (Read up on Barzal here)
Fantasy Outlook – The Islanders are still a deep team, though not as deep as they were last year. They also have an excellent prospects pipeline that is loaded with youngsters who are of fantasy interest. If a couple of third- and fourth-year players bust out – such as Anders Lee, Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson – then this team will easily be back up to ‘A’ status. But Tavares needs some help, and not just 50-points help.
Fantasy Grade: B+ (last year was A)
- Ramblings: A Trade To Announce, Isles Secure Eberle, Battered Bruins (June 15)
- Ramblings: Hawks/Pens Trade, Buyouts, Pettersson and Vasilevskiy’s Value
- Fantasy Take: Niskanen Traded For Gudas
- Top 100 Roto Rankings - June 2019
- Fantasy Take: Maatta To Blackhawks, Kahun to Penguins
- The Journey: Which One-Year ELCs Are Worth a Gamble?
- 21 Fantasy Hockey Rambles
- Geek of the Week: How Much Petrol Is Left in Petro's Tank?