Wild West Summer Series 2018: Colorado

by chriskane on July 16, 2018

We are back this week for round five of our summer series, this time featuring Colorado. The idea is to compare end of 2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Geek rankings for individual players with an expected ranking based on their average draft positions from the start of the year. This process does not necessarily identify who was the most important player to each team but gives us not only an idea of who was a steal/bust on draft day, but where each player was valued going into this season. I will also be adding some thoughts on whether or not that is the new normal for the player in question and if we should be adjusting our draft positions. For a deeper dive on each team plus full projections make sure to get your copy of Dobber’s Fantasy Guide, out 8/1/2018.

 

And now for the technical details. We will be using the Fantasy Hockey Geek tool to get a ranking that combines all of a player’s stats for the searched categories. Like for the previous series, the ranks are based on a 12-team, head-to-head league, using the categories of goals, assists, power play points, shots, hits and blocks for forwards/defensemen and wins, saves, save percentage and goals against average for goalies. Player eligibility for this series is based on Yahoo, and draft ranks are based on average draft positions compiled from Yahoo, ESPN and CBS by FantasyPros.

 

Colorado

 

Recap:

Colorado just squeaked into the playoffs in 2017-18, largely on the back of a heroic effort from Nathan MacKinnon. Colorado ended the season with 43-30-9 record good for the last wild card spot in the Pacific, one point ahead of St. Louis. Incredible seasons from MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen spurred a 47 point improvement over 2016-17 and leave hope of more excitement to come.

 

Undervalued:

 

Unlike with Chicago, the short answer here is everyone on the team. There was hardly a player on the team that ended the season worse in the rankings then when the started. Nathan MacKinnon had an incredible season, doubling his point per game output of the 2016-17

 

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

74

39

58

97

1.31

284

13.7

38

32

22

 

Mikko Rantanen similarly doubled his point per game rates.

 

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

81

29

55

84

1.04

178

16.3

32

35

40

 

While both Rantanen and MacKinnon had incredible seasons, a lot has already been penned on their successes. I wanted to highlight a couple of other performances instead.

 

Gabriel Landeskog

 

Gabriel Landeskog finished 2017-18 as the 51st most valuable player and the sixth most valuable left wing. He actually shares a lot with the group around him, all of whom were drafted very late, but performed exceptionally well in 2017-18. I don’t think any of the group below were projected to be a top 10 even left wing at the start of the season. Landeskog was drafted 240th overall so cleary provided incredible value.

 

Jonathan Marchessault

VGK

C/LW

48

Dustin Brown

LAK

LW/RW

50

Gabriel Landeskog

COL

LW

51

Evander Kane

SJS

LW

52

Mikko Rantanen

COL

LW/RW

56

 

As with most of the over productive Colorado players and huge season from MacKinnon helped Landeskog return to relevance. He was coming off of a 33 point season in 2016-17 so anyone who took a chance on him was clearly banking on him returning to his 55ish point pace of previous years.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

78

25

37

62

0.79

183

13.7

149

17

51

 

Landeskog clearly has value in leagues that count peripheral categories. His hit numbers are consistently excellent, and he contributes in shots and blocks as well. In 2017-18 he saw he highest point pace since 2013-14, which certainly helped account for his dramatic rise in value.

 

Can he keep up the pace? There are actually some numbers in favor of that. He saw more shots, goals, assists and power-play points than in his recent several years, but also saw an increase of over a minute of time on ice, and the majority of that was on the power play. In that context it is not surprising that he saw recent highs in those areas as he was given more opportunities on the ice. Unfortunately he also saw his highest personal shooting percentage, team 5-on-5 shooting percentage, offensive zone starts, and PDO of any recent years. Those numbers seem to indicate that some of the offensive explosion might not carry over to next year. Another interesting note is that his IPP was significantly lower in 2017-18 than in recent seasons. That means even though he saw an increase in his own personal numbers he was actually less involved in the offense than in the past. That strongly implies something that we likely already knew, that it was Nathan MacKinnon who was driving the scoring and Landeskog was along for the ride. In fact 72% of Landeskog’s even strength points were scored when he on the ice with MacKinnon and Rantanen.

 

That means the questions really comes down to two things, is Landeskog going to have the same opportunity next year?  Will MacKinnon be able to repeat his incredible success? For me, I am anticipating closer to a point per game than a 110 point pace for MacKinnon, so I would expect closer to 55 than 65 points from Landeskog. As stated above though Landeskog has value for his peripheral categories so even if he does drop a few points don’t sleep on him in multi-category leagues.

 

Tyson Barrie

 

Tyson Barrie had an excellent 2017-18.  He finished the season as the 58th ranked player and the 18th ranked defensemen

 

Alexander Edler

VAN

PAC

D

47

Matt Dumba

MIN

CTR

D

55

Tyson Barrie

COL

CTR

D

58

Erik Karlsson

OTT

ATL

D

59

Alex Pietrangelo

STL

CTR

D

63

 

Initially I was a little surprised that he was ranked that low, as I thought I remembered him having an excellent point pace. As I took a look at his stats though I ended up being more impressed that he was actually ranked that highly.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

68

14

43

57

0.84

178

7.9

40

30

79

 

Barrie had an excellent point pace this year and scored 30 power play points. He is however at a distinct disadvantage with our category set up. His block numbers rank him 138th in the NHL for defensemen and his hits put him at 177th. Given his lack in that department I am very impressed at how highly ranked his season ended up. He ranked third in power play points from a defensemen and second overall in points per game (behind only Erik Karlsson).

 

Barrie saw increases across the board in 2017-18. Quite literally the only two categories that did not show improvement were shots (down by four) and time on ice (down by 36 seconds). The time on ice is a bit misleading though as he increased his power play time, and decreased his short handed time so overall he actually gained in productive ice time.

 

Much of Barrie’s scoring came on the power play and as with Landeskog it seems likely that much of Barrie’s point increases comes with support from MacKinnon. It is likely that Barrie will continue to be valuable in 2018-19, but if MacKinnon or that top line drop off too much then we could also see a drop in scoring pace from Barrie. Unlike with Landeskog though, Barrie’s lack of peripheral categories mean he will drop quickly in this ranking system so that is definitely something to keep an eye on.  

 

Overvalued:

 

As I mentioned above Colorado as a whole outperformed their preseason values. The only player that actually managed to finish off worse than his draft value was Tyson Jost.

 

Tyson Jost

As with other prospects that have occasionally been listed in this section, Jost is here because he has great potential, but as is usually the case with young players didn’t hit his potential in his first real season.

 

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

65

12

10

22

0.34

113

10.6

33

9

26

 

The point pace is low, but it is encouraging to see that as the season progressed he increased both his time on ice and his shot rate. He also significantly increased his power play time on ice from less than a minutes through the first quarter to over three minutes in the final. To me this indicates a player who is finding his feet and earning the trust of his coach and team. He has a solid pedigree and scouting report so expect him to grow with his opportunity.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Next week: Dallas

 

 

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