The last update of the Fantasy Guide was Sunday Night. You can likely look for updates to happen daily or every second day until puck drop.
Friday’s update was no easy task and very in-depth. The Erik Karlsson trade had so many implications and I ended up touching about 20 player projections on both teams as a result. This is why you buy this online Guide to supplement anything you picked up at the newsstand.
To me, the biggest jump in projected points goes to Karlsson himself. Brent Burns and Karlsson are too far into the elite category to cannibalize each other’s production. My favorite 50-50 sleeper player as a result of this trade is the guy I traded three hours prior to Ottawa announcing the deal – Marc-Edouard Vlasic. On one hand, he’s a Band-Aid Boy who only seems to get hurt when his production is on fire. But on the other hand, he is the best left-hand shooting defenseman on San Jose. He has been tied at the hip to Justin Braun for the last five years (so that’s the downside of the 50-50 risk), but he is a favorite to pair up with Karlsson.
My favorite non-Karlsson player in this deal is the boost that goes to Chris Tierney. This had help, of course, from J-G Pageau getting injured and now Tierney is the second-line center. He’s at a prime age with a steady increase in production. It is Ottawa, though, so his ceiling is limited. But I like him for mid-40s now, with a bit of upside.
Update – the Panthers have taken the captain's C from Derek Mackenzie and given it to Aleksander Barkov!
ANNOUNCEMENT 1: Dobbernomics is now open. A FREE game where the value of each player is driven by total ownership. You get five transactions per week, that you can save or use, to take advantage of a player’s low cap value while dropping a player with high cap value thereby increasing the overall value of your roster. Winning can be twofold – most fantasy points at the end of the year, or highest roster value. Check it out here!
So the Victor Rask injury is even more serious than we thought. He didn’t just slice his fingers in the kitchen and require minor surgery – he sliced tendons and required major surgery. Rod Brind’Amour says he will be out “months for sure”. Because Rask was one of the key centermen on the team, this has an impact on several players. Martin Necas goes from “a pretty good chance” of making the team to “a near-lock”. Ditto for Lucas Wallmark, who has to clear waivers to be sent down. I bumped up Wallmark’s projected games played in the Guide. I bumped up Necas’ production expectation. This also puts Janne Kuokkanen and Aleksi Saarela firmly on the map. I still don’t have them making the team, but now I think they will get in a dozen games (or more) early on in the season. If Necas were to crash and burn, then Sebastian Aho will have to be taken off the wing and put at center. And that would shift things around quite a bit.
Tampa defenseman Jake Dotchin getting released from his contract last week (followed quickly by St. Louis prospect Dmitrii Sergeev) because of conditioning (or lack thereof) was very interesting. Naturally my first thought was that NHL teams can get out of bad contracts any time the player they no longer want eats an extra cupcake for dessert. If you subscribe to the Athletic you can read an article of them diving into the issue here. But it looks as though in order to pull this off, teams would need to provide many warnings and thoroughly document the entire process. Because in order to keep teams honest, the NHLPA pretty much has to appeal each and every case.
Jonathan Drouin has reportedly arrived in camp in remarkable shape. His agent said that he trained hard all summer and arrived in camp leaner and faster. One observer called him easily the best player on the ice Sunday. He was also on the wing, it should be noted. I really like his outlook for the year ahead in terms of personal progression. But since nobody else on the Canadiens will hit 60 points, it is hard to see him get there.
Columbus beatwriter Aaron Portzline had this to say about Vitali Abramov’s chances of making the roster, given that the forward corps is deep when it comes to one-way contracts:
“The challenge ahead of Abramov is steep. He needs to prove more than his NHL readiness; he needs to prove he can play and produce in a top-nine role, which does not appear readily available. He’ll likely need to do that at the AHL level first.”
You can check out Abramov’s scouting profile here, if you don’t know much about him.
ANNOUNCEMENT 2: Rob Vollman’s player usage charts are now live on Frozen Tools. Furthermore, we stuck each team’s usage chart in the “advanced” tab of each player profile. Now all the advanced stats you need is at your fingertips (and it loads remarkably fast). Kudos to Eric Daoust for getting that done.
Travis Sanheim sustained an injury during a preseason game. He was hit by Matt Martin and left the game with a shoulder injury. An update will be provided later today, but don’t be surprised if he misses the start of the season.
Matt Martin boards Travis Sanheim. Shocker 🙄 pic.twitter.com/ArVomyr2Vx— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 16, 2018
Josh Morrissey signed a two-year deal worth $3.15 per season. Darnell Nurse is expected to sign something similar. Besides Nurse, the remaining RFA’s are Miles Wood, William Nylander, Sam Reinhart, Nick Ritchie and Shea Theodore. Of these six players, I can see Nylander holding out the longest, followed by Theodore. Call it a hunch. Funny thing about Nylander is that I remember going through this about 20 years ago. I just remember his dad, Michael Nylander, holding out…thought I can’t dig up firm documentation on it. Contract stuff with the Nylander family seems to be a regular thing, unless my memory is off.
I didn’t give Martin Kaut much of a chance to make the Colorado roster this year or even next, but it is looking as though the team really wants him to succeed quickly and they are giving him every opportunity to do so. He played on the right wing on Colorado’s second line with Tyson Jost and Alex Kerfoot and is apparently doing well. He is eligible to play in the AHL this year and the belief is that he will be sent there but will be one of the first call-ups when injury strikes. Similar to the thinking with Mikko Rantanen back in his post-draft year when he played nine games with the big club and tore it up in the AHL.
The Bruins gave a tryout contract to goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos. Presumably to challenge the staff with fitting more letters on a jersey than they did with Forsbacka-Karlsson.
It looks like Jordan Greenway is being tried at center and he isn’t doing too bad there. Generally prospects who are natural centermen start off on the wing unless they are the cream of the crop. Obviously Greenway is just that. The Wild are also using Mikael Granlund on the point on the power play, which is interesting. That means Jared Spurgeon won’t rake in Ryan Suter’s lost PP points and instead the team will roll with Granlund – Matt Dumba duo. Assuming the experiment works, of course. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
Early camp notes from out of Vancouver are saying that wunderkind Elias Pettersson is working well on a line with Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin in an all-Euro line. If so, that’s a huge boon for Goldobin and Baertschi owners.
We’re already getting cuts from training camp, but at this point the notable names haven’t started yet.
Announcement 3: Now available: my player draft list for $9.99. You already get it free with the Fantasy Guide, but some of the more casual players may not want the Guide and will look to save a dollar. On sale now in the shop!
See you next Monday.
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- Injury Ward: Crosby, Dahlin, Makar, Werenski, Grubauer, & Kadri
- Ramblings: Kadri returns; Dahlin and Werenski updates; elite players; Laine's season - December 12