Hey guys! It’s Sven, and we have another 31 in 31. Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2019-20 fantasy hockey season. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to streamers, deeper league holds, even to rookie-eligible prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
Last year my previews went alphabetically, but this year we’re going to go division-by-division, starting with the top team. On our sixth stop on the 31 in 31 tour, we’re headed back to California to preview the Anaheim Ducks! Last season the Ducks were – well, wounded ducks. Their amount of injuries combined with players just being inconsistent led to a forgettable season. With their core only getting older and some tough decisions made this off-season, I have a feeling these guys have a couple of rough years ahead. That being said, there is still some excitement and some young talent brewing!
SURE-FIRE STUDS: Error 404 – Stud Not Found
SVEN’S SLEEPERS: Ondrej Kase (30GP 11-9-20)
Small sample size thus far, but Kase is projected to be #1RW alongside Getzlaf and Rakell to start the season. I liked him a lot heading into last season, and he had the production I was expecting when he was healthy. This might be his breakout year!
Sam Steel (AHL: 53GP 20-21-41)
A rookie eligible player (NHL: 22GP 6-5-11) that has a great chance of making an impact at centre for the Ducks this season. If he proves himself early he could be looking at a #2C role. 11 points in 22 NHL games is respectable, and I can’t wait to see what this kid does this season.
HOLDS: John Gibson (58GP 26-22-8, .917SV%, 2.84GAA), Rickard Rakell (69GP 18-25-43), Ryan Getzlaf (67GP 14-34-48), Cam Fowler (59GP 5-18-23)
For how well Gibson played last season, it was a shame the team around him was so hurt. He’s an elite goalie, but I don’t think the wins will be there to make him a #1 in points leagues. For that reason, he’s a hold. Provided he stays healthy, expect a big bounce-back campaign from Rakell. Getzlaf proved last season that he can still produce even when he doesn’t have wingers, he’ll be a hold and a great buy-low option until he retires. Fowler is my favourite to QB the Ducks’ #1PP, and has been pretty consistent over the past few seasons. He’s a good #3 or #4D option and logs minutes (when healthy).
STREAMERS: Jakob Silfverberg (73GP 24-19-43), Daniel Sprong (63GP 14-9-23), Josh Manson (74GP 3-13-16)
Silfverberg has been a consistent 40-50-point guy for five straight seasons. He may have a couple hot streaks this year. I had high hopes for Sprong last season until he was shipped off to Anaheim and he never really found a role. Not sure how the Ducks will use him this year, but a PPG in his first AHL season (2017-18) is no joke. Manson struggled big time last season, but I expect a nice bounce-back that will at least make him fantasy relevant again.
PROSPECT PIPELINE: Maxime Comtois (QMJHL: 25GP 31-17-48)
I picked up Comtois as my rookie in my main league only to find out he was being sent back to Junior. Seven points in ten games and they send him back? Hopefully it was for the best. Comtois will have a chance at cracking the roster this season, and hopefully he can pick up where he left off. However, there are several Ducks young bucks that are all fighting for roster spots, and a few others (Max Jones, Troy Terry) already have over 30 NHL games under their belts.
Josh Mahura (AHL: 40GP 1-18-19)
Mahura chipped in for a goal and four assists in 17 NHL games last season. What always seems to be the case for the Ducks these past few years is they have an abundance of young studs coming in on the back end. His first pro season will be a challenge, but I like his offensive upside down the road.
Isac Lundestrom (SHL: 2-7-9)
When Lundestrom got to the States last season, he didn’t quite fit in with the big club but he did chip in with San Diego (AHL: 12GP 0-6-6). A full season in the AHL will bode well for the Ducks’ 2018 first-rounder.
If you think I missed covering a prospect, be sure to check out my article from last season!