Wild West Summer Series 2018: Edmonton

by chriskane on August 6, 2018

Welcome back for a rousing round seven of our summer series, this time featuring Edmonton. In addition to the Western Conference make sure you catch up on Cam’s team breakdowns in the Eastern Edge Series.

 

The idea for these columns 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.

 

Edmonton

 

Recap:

There were high expectations going into 2017-18. Edmonton was coming of a rather successful year in 2016-17. They made the playoffs, finishing second in the Pacific with 103 points. Connor McDavid was great, Cam Talbot proved his doubters wrong, and Leon Draisaitl broke out for 77 points. It seemed like the start of something magical. Unfortunately it was a disaster. McDavid and Draisaitl were still good, but just about everything else went wrong and they ended up well out of the playoffs with a disappointing 78 points on the season.

 

Undervalued:

Darnell Nurse:

 

High flyers like McDavid and Draisaitl certainly weren’t going to be undervalued going into the year, and with the fantasy desert otherwise that was Edmonton through significant portions of 2017-18 it was not easy to find players who over-performed their draft positions. One who managed it though was Darnell Nurse.

 

Justin Faulk

CAR

D

85

Nikita Zadorov

COL

D

96

Alec Martinez

LAK

D

103

Darnell Nurse

EDM

D

105

Tyler Myers

WPG

D

111

Jake Gardiner

TOR

D

113

Keith Yandle

FLA

D

114

 

Take a look at the end of year company that surrounds him. The average draft position of those defensemen is about 150, with Nurse clocking in at 223. He ended up as the 33rd ranked defensemen in 2017-18 and 105th player overall.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

82

6

20

26

0.32

194

3.1

161

0

153

 

As with some other defensemen listed in this section for previous teams, he is certainly helped by the fact that we are counting hits in this category. With only 26 points on the season he is clearly less valuable in leagues that don’t count some of the peripheral categories. I do want to make sure to mention though that Nurse’s increase in value in 2017-18 is not just that this league counts hits. Nurse saw career highs in every single counted category.

 

There are no alarming numbers that would indicate that anything he did was unsustainable, in fact it looks like all of the increases are due to the simple fact that he increased more than three minutes in average ice time from 2016-17. In fact by the end of the year he was seeing some games with as many as 27 minutes of total time on ice. He did also technically increase his average time on the power play, though not enough to give us any reasonable expectation that he will produce power play points in the future.

 

From the outside it looks like this level of production will be repeatable, which is great news for leagues counting shots, blocks and hits. Admittedly if your league is points only, you may want to look elsewhere.

 

Overvalued:

Michael Cammalleri:

 

At 35 it doesn’t appear that many were hoping for a sudden resurgence for Michael Cammalleri. He was drafted right near the end of most people’s standard drafts. It seems like maybe folks were hoping for a low risk gamble, that a change of scene might do him some good, and he might have a chance to hit 20 goals being out of New Jersey. It did not work out. Even being traded to Edmonton didn’t do much to help.

 

Artturi Lehkonen

MTL

LW

463

Ryan Reaves

VGK

RW

466

Michael Cammalleri

EDM

LW

471

Michael Frolik

CGY

RW

478

Tom Kuhnhackl

PIT

LW/RW

479

 

Cammalleri ended up as the 471st most valuable player, meaning he was not rosterable in any but the deepest league out there. It is not entirely surprising as he has had several down years, and is getting older, but the drop from draft position to final ranking is still impressive.

 

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

66

7

22

29

0.44

128

5.5

43

4

32

 

In addition to playing only 66 games in 2017-18 he averaged only 13:46 minutes per game. That number has been dropping steadily for the past three seasons. This case is fairly straightforward, Cammalleri is now 36, has been declining for several years and hasn’t broken the 50 point barrier since 2009-2010, or 20 goals since 2014-15. Is it possible with ideal deployment he could break 20 goals again (like power play and even strength time with Connor McDavid)? Maybe. Is it likely to happen? No.

 

Ryan Strome:

 

I had to mention Ryan Strome. For one, he has been hyped for quite some time, and he is a constant member of the, “is-this-the-year-for-_____” conversation. Just in case anyone was wondering it wasn’t 2017-18. He ranked as the 453rd most valuable player and the 59th most valuable C/W eligible player. The only only player who was drafted out of the below group was Athanasiou.

 

Colton Sceviour

FLA

C/RW

430

Andreas Athanasiou

DET

C/LW

440

Ryan Strome

EDM

C/RW

453

Adam Lowry

WPG

C/LW

456

Pavel Zacha

NJD

C/LW

457

 

Like Cammalleri he was drafted at the end of a standard league, likely as a hopeful shot in the dark. He even managed to disappoint those low expectations.Here is the real reason I wanted to mention Strome though. I have included those who were drafted near him, the other long shot options if you will that you could have taken instead of Strome.

 

Player

Team

Position

End Of Year Rank

ADP

Charlie Coyle

MIN

C/RW

369

196

Jonathan Marchessault

VGK

C/LW

48

197

Ryan Strome

EDM

C/RW

453

199

Nick Schmaltz

CHI

C/LW

342

206

Brayden Point

TBL

C/RW

134

213

 

Look at that list! Charlie Coyle didn’t have a great year either, but certainly had moments of value throughout 2017-18. Jonathan Marchessault went two picks before Strome and ends up with 75 points. Brayden point goes 14 picks later and gets 66. It just goes to show that it is certainly possible to get a diamond in the rough at that point in the draft, but Strome certainly wasn’t it.

 

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Points/ Game

Shots

Sht%

Hits

PPlay Points

Blocks

82

13

21

34

0.41

147

8.8

43

6

17

 

So in positive news 34 points is Strome’s highest point total since 2014-15 with the Islanders. The bad news is 34 points is Strome’s highest point total since 2014-15. In reality, for him to break out he needs a change in deployment. Even though he changed teams he still didn’t see more than 2:00 a game in power play time, or more than about 15 minutes total time on ice. The depressing thing is that he did actually see some time on the power play one unit with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and still didn’t have much to show for it.

 

Unless something changes in his deployment, like a significant increase in time on ice, and power play time, I don’t see much of a breakout coming. Unfortunately there haven’t been any real indications that that change is destined to happen for 2018-19. The situation is of course worth monitoring as anyone who gets significant time with McDavid and to a lesser extent Draisaitl is worth a look.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Next week: Los Angeles

 

 

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