Ramblings: Tatar and Nyquist, Andersen, Reimer, Schwartz, and More (September 16)

by Michael Clifford on September 15, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Tatar and Nyquist, Andersen, Reimer, Schwartz, and More (September 16)

Ramblings: Buying a pair of Wings, Andersen, Reimer, Schwartz, and More

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The Colorado Avalanche will probably be one of the more interesting teams this year – new (better?) coach, talented roster, new stats hires – but perhaps one of the more compelling teams to watch this year is the Detroit Red Wings. Not compelling in the “must-watch” sense, but rather what this team looks like without Pavel Datsyuk, a declining Henrik Zetterberg, a questionable defence group, and the goaltending tandem. Not to mention the young kids up front including, but not exclusive to, Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, and Anthony Mantha. With the 25-year playoff streak on the line, it’ll be up to the young guys to step up and make it 26.

Kind of lost in the shuffle of the post-Lidstrom/Datsyuk/Zetterberg transition to Larkin/Mantha/Mrazek are Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist. While both were relative disappointments last year, with Nyquist posting just 17 goals and 43 points, and Tatar just 21 goals and 45 points, there is reason for optimism.

Nyquist and Tatar, respectively, have managed 0.90 and 0.96 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the last three years, which includes the down years last year. That 0.90 goals/60 mark for Nyquist ties him with Sidney Crosby and Jason Spezza, while Tatar’s mark of 0.96 puts him between Tyler Toffoli and Brandon Saad. Both also posted similar points/60 rates last year as the year before when they each cracked the 50-point plateau.

Clearly, the problem was ice time. Tatar lost over 130 minutes of five-on-five ice time, and Nyquist lost about 90, compared to the 2014-2015 season. In fact, in all situations, Luke Glendening played more per game (14:35) than Tatar did (14:21). How did this team make the playoffs?

My hope is that with Frans Nielsen in the lineup, at least one of Nyquist or Tatar will play alongside him. That should be done in offensive situations as well. (For the record, I would rather have Tatar than Nyquist in a fantasy league.) But coach Jeff Blashill has to realize that running Glendening out there more than Tatar, and Justin Abdelkader for 18:30 a game just isn’t going to work. Over the last 20 years, this team was at its best when it used its high-skill players with the grinders as support pieces, not the other way around. If Blashill is smart enough to figure this out, Tatar and Nyquist could be in for rebound seasons, and their draft day cost will be minimal.  

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Yesterday’s Ramblings took a dive into some players who have been seeing their ADPs rise on ESPN. Beyond the obvious – rising ADPs necessarily depresses profit potential – it can help identify trends in the public opinion. Which players are being thought of highly, and which players are being neglected? Keeping track of these trends throughout draft season can help when fantasy owners have their own drafts.

Today’s Ramblings will look at the opposite; players whose ADPs are falling. There may be a reason for this, be it they were too high initially, or a situation has changed. Sometimes there is no good reason for it, and that can present solid buying opportunities. Final note: this is a seven-day change in ADP, denoted by 12-team leagues.

Evander Kane (-54 to 147)

One guy that was ranked way too high out of the gate, and is now seeing his stock plummet faster than Bre-X in the spring of 1997, is Evander Kane. If memory serves, he was a top-75 pick initially, and now he can be had at least six rounds later.

This ADP is a lot more reasonable than where it was, obviously, but it’s also about where he should rank. Even with the excellent peripherals he can provide like shots and penalty minutes, he still has not been able to prove himself to be a consistently solid producer. What’s more, he’s almost never healthy. There is also the off-ice problem of Kane being charged with harassment.

Aside from the legal issues he’s facing, the on-ice production leaves a lot to be desired. He has the talent necessary to be a perennial 30-goal scorer, but doesn’t put himself in a position to do so, literally, by the way he attacks the net from a distance.

Getting Kane outside the top-125 picks is fine. Even in two-thirds of a season, in a roto league, he can still come close to returning value because the peripherals will be strong. There is also the upside offensively if he ever figures it out. It is definitely a risk, but one worth taking.

James Reimer (-50 to 230)

Perhaps more than any of the other significant drops in ADP, this one is the most confounding. Reimer is a more-than-competent backup, likely at least a league-average goalie (which is a bigger endorsement than it sounds), and is going to a team on the rise. Beyond that, the guy that Reimer is backing up is a 37-year old goalie coming off hip surgery.

Anyone that drafts Roberto Luongo would do well to grab Reimer at the end of the draft also. Drafting the tandem should give good aggregate ratios, and all the accompanying wins. If anything should happen to Luongo, the insurance policy is a must. Of all the goalies going outside the top-25 drafted, Reimer is one of a very few that can finish well inside the top-25. Even if he only starts 20 or 25 games, he can return the value given his cost quite easily.

Frederik Andersen (-32 to 171)

The hesitation here is obvious. Andersen had to pull out of the World Cup of Hockey due to injury. The timeline given, though, has him back before the regular season is set to begin. If we believe what the team is telling us – which is admittedly a precarious thing to do – there isn’t much reason to doubt Andersen’s health heading into the season.

Toronto, as a team, was probably better than anyone could have expected last year. Yes, the standings had them at the bottom, but their non-goal results were fine. Their CorsiFor% was solid for that roster, the scoring chance differential was adequate (both taken from Corsica, by the way), and that gives hope that with more talent on the roster, the team should be much better in actual results this year.

Andersen is the unquestioned starter in Toronto, something that wasn’t the case in Anaheim. That means he should be getting close to 60 starts this year, given a healthy season. Toronto’s roster should be improved, and if they can at least replicate their underlying stats from last year, are going to be considerably better standings-wise. Remember: on that last-place team last year, James Reimer had almost an identical goals against average (2.49) to Pekka Rinne (2.48) and Henrik Lundqvist (2.48). That is a function of the Leafs being decent defensively, Rinne being awful, and Lundqvist having a bad defensive team in front of him. If the Leafs are better, and Andersen can do what he normally does while staying healthy, he’s a top-25 goalie. Don’t even think about drafting a Stars goalie ahead of him.

Jaden Schwartz (-32 to 140)

Over Schwartz’s first three full years in the league, he was top-30 in points per 60 minutes at five-on-five out of 117 forwards with at least 2500 minutes played (2.07). That mark is similar to others over that stretch like Jeff Carter (2.08), Brandon Saad (2.04), and Jordan Eberle (2.01). Over the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons, he was one of just 15 forwards to score at least 25 goals and manage at least 30 assists. Sure, he was injured last year, but given how good we know he can be, and the fact that he’s in his scoring prime, his ADP right now is bizarre.

The hesitation through the prism of injury I suppose is understandable, but by all accounts, he should be all-systems-go for the season. With that ADP, it’s pretty much irrelevant anyway. The peripherals won’t be outstanding as he’s not a volume shooter nor a goon. But he will be given loads of offensive opportunity, and there’s little reason to think he can’t be the player that fantasy owners have known him to be. I would personally go as high as roughly a top-100 pick for Schwartz, and any time after that is just pure gravy.

Alex Galchenyuk (-25 to 156)

What worries me about Galchenyuk the most is Michel Therrien going back to his binky (David Desharnais). It’s easy to forget that without Tomas Plekanec falling off in the second half last year, and Desharnais getting hurt, Galchenyuk probably never gets to the first line centre position for Montreal in 2015-2016.

I don’t really think they can go back to Desharnais as the top line centre, but it seems inevitable that if Galchenyuk stumbles as the 1C, they go back to what’s familiar at some point. In that context, the dropping ADP is a bit more understandable.

It’s not like Galchenyuk’s ADP was egregious to begin with, though. He basically started as a 10th round pick (top-120 players), and has slid to the 12th or 13th. The correction for Galchenyuk was pretty much in his initial ADP, now it’s just a huge over-correction by the public. The kid is supremely skilled, is set to line up with Max Pacioretty, and either Brendan Gallagher or Alex Radulov, is coming off a 30-goal, 56-point season where he actually saw less ice time per game than in 2014-2015, and is being drafted aboout a round ahead of Patrick Marleau.

Believe me, as a Habs fan, the prospect of Desharnais back on the top line is both very scary, and a distinct possibility. I have to think that the Habs coaching staff can’t be so incredibly dumb to give Galchenyuk any sort of extended demotion from the top line. With more ice time and potentially elite line mates, Galchenyuk should be able to repeat close to what he did last year, with upside beyond that. 

Victor Hedman (-18 to 78)

It’s probably weird to think a defenceman with three straight double-digit goal seasons, and a 55-point campaign, is a breakout candidate, but there is no better descriptor for Hedman right now. The Lightning are loaded, healthy, and Hedman is ready to take over that blue line on the power play.

At the least, fantasy owners probably shouldn’t lose anything from Hedman being drafted where he is. His season last year put him on the fringe of a top-12 defenceman in roto leagues. This is a player, though, that has the talent and the supporting cast to approach a 60-point season though. There is no reason that he should be going anywhere after names like Duncan Keith or Ryan Suter. For those that wait on defencemen, this is a guy to grab as a number-1 in the sixth or seventh round of a 12-team league.

Stats from Hockey Reference, Hockey Analysis, and Corsica