Today, I’m going to look at all of the impactful offseason moves in the Western Conference. If you didn’t catch my post on the Eastern Conference, you can do that here. Let’s get right to it!
Arizona Coyotes: Not exactly the place we want to start, but yay, alphabet! Arizona took on some bad contracts for draft capital, while signing guys to a one year flier like Nick Bjugstad. Nothing to really see here.
Chicago Blackhawks: Probably the two worst teams in a row. Epic tankapalooza here. Max Domi was a decent signing hoping to flip him at the deadline, and I’m sure young guys like Lukas Reichel will get some big minutes, but it’s hard to get excited about anything here.
Colorado Avalanche: Sakic’s big gamble of the summer was trading for Alexandar Georgiev to replace Kuemper. He’ll split with Francouz, although I suspect they try to give Georgiev more starts than Francouz. That makes Georgiev a #2 goalie on wins alone with upside if he can play at the level he did when he first broke into the league. With Kadri gone, Alex Newhook should receive a bigger role and become a great late round dart throw.
Dallas Stars: Unless Colin Miller finds his game again, the only addition of note was Mason Marchment. Marchment had a remarkable season last year out of nowhere and parlayed it into a nice payday. I’m a bit skeptical of him playing near that level leaving Florida’s system. I’m not looking to draft him in 12’ers but would in anything deeper.
Minnesota Wild: Outside of moving Fiala for cap reasons and moving Talbot out after keeping Fleury, Minnesota is running it back. Marco Rossi should crack the lineup but it’s hard to say how much opportunity he gets right away. Maybe he goes off like Boldy right away but he could get stuck on the 4th line. Filip Gustavsson is the new backup and could see solid playing time. Minnesota won’t want to run MAF into the ground, so I like his streaming possibilities.
Nashville Predators: Nino Niederreiter should get consistent top six minutes for the first time in a few years. I’m not sure if that makes him anything more than a solid streamer, but it’ll be worth monitoring. Ryan McDonagh moves into the top four but I don’t see much of a fantasy impact for him or the other defenseman on the team. Kevin Lankinen is the new backup for Saros. He can’t be worse than Rittich, and it seems like a decent gamble to hope that Chicago’s system was just bad.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues are basically running it back. Thomas Greiss comes in to be the backup. He was dreadful in Detroit, but Detroit has also been terrible defensively. Perhaps Greiss is washed up now, but I expect a bounce back to where he’s a solid streamer. You also can’t rule out Binnington falling on his face again.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are in the extremely awkward spot of their team seemingly being on the verge of getting blown up, but also having a lot of star talent to where they can battle for the playoffs. The team has been dreadful defensively so they hope to change that with Bowness becoming the coach? I’m not sure I buy it, but it makes me like Connor Hellebuyck even more in fantasy. Anyways, their only real move is replacing Comrie with David Rittich and if you can tell from the Preds blurb, I do not believe.
Anaheim Ducks: In the middle of a rebuild, the Ducks made some interesting moves. The highlight was John Klingberg on a one year deal. I love the move. He helps the young guys and they turn money into a trade deadline asset. He’ll be a solid #3D who can be better after the deadline. At forward, they poached a couple of Rangers in Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano. I’m torn on both. They can be elite streamers, or slightly worse or slightly better. For that reason, I wouldn’t draft either, but if they play with McTavish, their upside is quite high.
Calgary Flames: The team of the offseason. First, Gaudureau left. Then, Tkachuk made it clear he wasn’t going to stay so they moved him for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. After that, they signed Nazem Kadri. Craziness. Let’s go easiest to hardest for fantasy impact. Weegar won’t be on the PP and should maintain his even strength value. He’s a late round pick. Kadri goes into a worse situation than Colorado, but he should still be quite good. Top 100 is a no doubter. Top 75? I think so, but not top 50? It’s tough to say. Huberdeau is extremely tough because top 10 and top 25 is a huge difference. How much does Sutter vs. Brunette hurt his totals? I’m really interested to see where his ADP ends up. I feel like I’m gonna be the low man on Huberdeau now after years of being the high guy, but maybe I’m wrong.
Edmonton Oilers: Jack Campbell, come on down! Stuart Skinner is ready for the backup role, but Campbell takes the reigns in Edmonton. I’m torn on Campbell. On one hand, he’s had great stretches in Toronto and we’ve seen Smith be great while he’s worse than Campbell. On the other hand, the lows are lows. I would like him a lot as my #2, but I don’t know if that’s possible yet. I’m quite bullish on Skinner long term, but he’s only a streamer this year barring injury or Campbell being a disaster. Otherwise, the Oilers stood pat.
Los Angeles Kings: It’s all about internal growth in L.A. with one exception: Kevin Fiala. The Razzball favorite moved to the Kings with the Wild in a cap mess. He should immediately become the focal point on the power play and move onto Kopitar’s wing. Is that better than in Minnesota? Maybe not in terms of the better role. However, he can easily play 20+ minutes a game in L.A. as opposed to the 17:39 he averaged last season. That makes it a net win and Fiala is probably a top 30 guy now.
San Jose Sharks: It’s a lot of small stuff for the Sharks. Hill went to Vegas, more on that soon, spoiler alert! Luke Kunin could go into the top six but I still wouldn’t draft him. Same with Oskar Lindblom or any of the depth defensemen.
Seattle Kraken: Seattle desperately needed some offense and made some nice moves. First, Shane Wright falling to fourth overall seems crazy. I don’t know if he makes the team to open the season so we have to see how things look in camp. Andre Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand are the other two big moves. I’ve been all in on Bjorkstrand for five years at this point. I love the thought of him getting first line minutes so I’ll be aggressive on my ranking of him again. Burakovsky will be a guy who is a hold for weeks and then sit on waivers for a wire and then be a hold again. In other words, up and down, but I also like him with his minutes being a certainty.
Vancouver Canucks: The surprising move was signing J.T. Miller to an extension. That keeps the status quo from last year though. Ilya Mikheyev was brought in for a fairly big contract. There’s one spot in the top six… is it his or Andrei Kuzmenko, who killed it in the KHL? We have no idea yet. I’m a huge Mikheyev fan, but his role turns him into an elite streamer or a late end draft pick because he could turn into a hold. We’ll see in a couple weeks (hopefully).
Vegas Golden Knights: Robin Lehner being out for the season is a disaster. Their fans hate him because of MAF being sent to Chicago, but Lehner was incredible last season. They acquired Adin Hill from San Jose who hasn’t been good in the NHL yet. Laurent Brossoit probably misses the beginning of the season so he’ll backup Logan Thompson? Thompson is the goalie I’m targeting here as I think he’s the long term future and the future could be now. Their other addition was Phil Kessel on a one year deal. To be blunt, no thanks. As much as I like the guy and hope he sets the Ironman record, he’s a pass for me in fantasy.
That’s 32 teams! As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. I’ll be back either Monday or Tuesday next week with my Top 10/2o. Thanks for reading, take care!