The Sens locked up a piece of their future as Brent Wallace reported the team signed him for six years with an average annual value of $4.75-million.
Just on the surface, this seems like a smart deal as it’s a reasonable cap hit and they can let him walk in his late 20s if they want to. On the other hand, his play-driving numbers playing away from Mark Stone weren’t very good (like, not very good on the Sens, not just compared to the NHL in general, which is even worse). This is a guy with a lot still to prove, so how this contract will look remains to be seen.
As for 2019-20, I can see him Martin Erat-ing his way to a respectable fantasy season because he’ll have to play a lot of minutes on a team with very little depth. Consider that after the trade deadline last year, he played 17:40 per game across 15 games compared to 15:48 up until the deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the 18-19 minute range this year and that level of ice time will give decent production, almost regardless of how good the actual team is.
One small bit of news to pass along as it looks like Dmitrij Jaskin will be heading to the KHL:
The 26-year old winger had 27 goals and 69 points in 303 career NHL games, most of them with St. Louis. He’ll also be known as the guy who played with St. Louis in 2017-18 and Washington in 2018-19, making him maybe the unluckiest NHLer in recent memory?
Anyway, I bring him up because I wrote about him last week in the context of players I was high on who never panned out. This isn’t just conjecture, either: here’s my take on the Oshie-Brouwer trade four years ago and how that could be good for Jaskin’s move to the St. Louis top-6, and I also wrote how he and Paul Stastny played together and why that would be good fodder for Jaskin’s eventual move to the top-6. While he did get some time in the top-6 in St. Louis, he obviously never lasted long, and his NHL career is over (for now).
It’s also a case on being careful about corsi differentials. That was one of the reasons I was high on Jaskin following the 2014-15 season, as he finished with a relative corsi in the same neighbourhood as Zach Parise and Ryan O’Reilly. Of course, what my idiot self didn’t realize is this was largely driven by being excellent defensively but, at best, average offensively. It’s one reason why I now shudder when I see people just proclaiming a good corsi rating as the reason a player will be a good fantasy asset; one does not necessarily beget the other and more context is needed.
Anyway, best wishes to Jaskin on the next phase of his career. He deserves to still be in the NHL because of his defensive prowess alone, and I hope to see him back someday.
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Let’s take a spin through some draft rankings.
There are some positional battles that we’ve been discussing all offseason. A few of them are Girard/Makar, Hughes/Myers/Edler, and Josi/Ellis. Let’s go through what we have at Yahoo.
(note: remember Yahoo! leagues are goals/assists/plus-minus/shots/hits/PPPs)
Girard and Makar
I’ve written a lot on both Samuel Girard and Cale Makar this off-season; here is a discussion on Girard’s entry rates, Girard’s new contract, and Makar in the playoffs. There are more Ramblings like that. Let’s just say it’s not necessary for me to dig deeper at the moment.
Yahoo’s draft analysis has Makar going near the top-25 defencemen, and in the same range as guys like Dougie Hamilton, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Zach Werenski. On the flipside, Girard is being drafted outside the top-50 defencemen, and in the same range as Travis Sanheim, Will Butcher, and Kevin Shattenkirk.
As I’ve written before, I’m not certain Makar is the PP1 quarterback right out of the gate and having to draft Makar will mean potentially forgoing names like OEL, Werenski, Hamilton, Trouba, and Theodore. This isn’t to disparage Makar as I do think he will be an elite defenceman in the NHL in short order, but are the Avalanche, a likely Cup contender, going to have a rookie running their power play right out of the gate? I’m not so sure. Heck, it even took Rasmus Dahlin – probably the best defensive prospect to come around in a decade – three-quarters of a season to wrangle that spot full-time (though Ristolainen was often still used as a second defenceman). I think we’re looking at a situation where Makar probably takes over that top PP unit this season at some point, but I certainly wouldn’t want to draft him over someone like Dougie Hamilton to wait for it to happen. I’d rather draft Girard over someone like Shattenkirk and hope that ends up being the correct course.
It appears fantasy owners may have to pay a good-sized price for another rookie defenceman with the expectation there will be top PP minutes available right away. It looks like Quinn Hughes will be cheaper than Makar as Yahoo! has him just inside the top-35 defencemen, in the neighbourhood of names like Ekblad, Ellis, and Provorov.
I will say that this is much more reasonable. There aren’t a lot of players ranked later that I would target as must-have players outside of a couple names like Ryan Pulock or Shayne Gostisbehere. In that sense, I don’t have a huge problem paying this price for Hughes.
For the record, Edler is going just outside the top-50 defencemen and Myers way later.
This is where I’ll say as far as drafting Makar and Hughes go, the type of league will matter. I do think both players eventually take over the top power-play unit for their respective teams at some point this season. In that sense, there will kind of be two seasons for each player: pre- and post-PPQB. If Makar takes over the top PP unit in December, let’s say, then that would be great for head-to-head players as they start to make their run for playoffs, and then have that PPQB for the actual fantasy playoffs themselves. For roto players, you’ll have to absorb those early stats, making the late surge less effective. While I probably won’t be paying that price for Makar in any type of one-year league, I certainly see the argument for drafting Hughes.
This is different than the first two situations as those are rookies that hope to take over the PP1 reigns. This is a situation where a significant piece (P.K. Subban) was traded off the blue line and now it’s a two-horse race for those prime PP minutes.
Obviously, Josi has the inside track, but that Nashville power play was a mess last year. If that doesn’t correct itself, Josi is going to have a hard time returning his draft day value. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, he’s going as the fifth defenceman in Yahoo! leagues.
One concern I have with taking Josi that high in Yahoo! leagues is those leagues include hits, and Josi has one (1) season with at least 60 hits in his career. When you factor in the PP production issues – he’s accumulated more than 20 PPPs in one (1) season in his career – we can see how tenuous this draft pick is. Consider this: two years ago, Josi set a career-high in plus/minus (plus-24), a career-high in hits (80), the second-highest shot total of his career (253), had the second-highest PPP total of his career (20), and still wasn’t a top-5 defenceman. In order to pay off being a top-5 defenceman in Yahoo! leagues, Josi would likely require a career year. In my experience, expecting a career year from someone just to pay off their ADP, let alone recoup value, doesn’t end well. For reference, the number-4 defenceman in Yahoo! fantasy last year was John Carlson. He had 70 points, was plus-21, and had 33 PPPs. There’s your baseline for Josi exceeding his D-5 ADP. Good luck.
Ellis, meanwhile, is going around where Quinn Hughes is being drafted, which is to say a third or fourth defenceman in 12-team leagues. I don’t think Ellis is the better fantasy option between he and Josi, but I don’t want to bet on Josi at his ADP over Ellis at his ADP, either.
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