The NHL season gets back underway tonight after an extended break for most teams. I was originally going to update my hold/stream list, but I’m going to push that back to the near future and instead, I’ll look back at my ten bold predictions from preseason and see how they’re developing. Let’s get to it!
1) Gabe Vilardi is a hold all season, boosting his shot rate on the way to 30+ goals.
I was all in on Vilardi going into the season. Sadly, an injury set him back, causing him over a month of game time. While it will take a crazy heater for Vilardi to get to 30 goals, he is playing at over a 30 goal pace. He’s gone from under two shots per game to being a plus in shot rate, so the reasoning behind this prediction is playing out as I had hoped. Somehow he’s still available in almost 50% of leagues, which is outrageous. Damn injuries!
2) Karel Vejmelka is a top 15 goalie.
Whoops. My hope with Arizona taking a jump has happened, but the issue is that Vejmelka has fallen off a cliff. Instead, Ingram has taken the job and is a top ten goalie. The situation played out how I hoped, but this one has no chance of being correct at this point.
3) Tyler Toffoli tops last season’s 73 points, putting up at least a point per game in doing so.
The Devils have been a mess, with a lot of that being caused by injuries. Toffoli should set a new career high in goals, but the assists have completely dried up, so he won’t sniff a point per game. That said, I’m not writing off a big second half with Jack Hughes’ return impending.
4) Cale Makar stays healthy en route to a 30 goal, 100 point season.
While the goals look unlikely, crazier things have happened than a player of Makar’s caliber going on a goal scoring binge, even as a defensemen. If he can stay healthy, Makar is a great bet for 100 points which is great to see.
5) Cam Talbot is a top ten fantasy goalie.
The way this has gone is absolutely insane. Six weeks ago, Talbot was the #2 goalie on the season. Now, after not winning a game in over a month, he’s down to 13th. He may even be taking a back seat to Rittich for a while. Hopefully the All-Star break let Talbot and the Kings reset, plus that they get the boost of a new head coach. This should come down to the wire.
6) Moritz Seider, who is D16 in ADP, is outperformed by his teammate, Shayne Gostisbehere, who is D43 and almost 100 spots behind Seider in ADP.
I had zero Seider stock this season. He’s played in line with my expectations, and that’s not even on a 45 point pace. He’s currently the #24 overall defensemen if your league includes plus-minus. In those leagues, Gostisbehere, who has six more points than Seider, is #46 overall because he’s a whopping -20 already. If your league doesn’t factor in plus-minus, that Gostisbehere actually is outperforming Seider. I suspect that this will be a loss, but it’s not impossible.
7) Ryan Donato plays his way onto the fringe in 12 man leagues, becoming a hold for stretches.
This hasn’t come close to fruition. Donato has been good for a few games at a time over the season, but he hasn’t approached this range. I can’t see him going back to Bedard’s wing once Bedard comes back, so this looks completely dead.
8) Only two players receive first place Calder votes: Bedard and Devon Levi.
Woof. Levi has been bad, plain and simple. Faber is arguably the favorite at this point, and personally, I don’t think it’s even a debate, he’s a huge favorite over Bedard when factoring the missed playing time. Faber is already one of the best defensive defensemen in the league as a rookie. Welp.
9) The top line for the Blues for 225+ points, while their goalie is the least valuable player in fantasy.
Well let’s talk about the second part first, because this couldn’t be more wrong. Binnington is G22 right now, and you’ll be just fine with him as your #3. The points prediction is going to be very close. Right now, the Thomas-Kyrou-Buchnevich trio has 128 points, so they need 97 combined over the last 33 games for the Blues. In other words, they need to be right at a point per game a piece, which right now, they’re slightly behind. If they stay healthy, this is going to be a nail biter.
10) The defenseman with the second most points after Makar? Evan Bouchard.
Bouchard has slowed down a bit, but he’s still around a point per game. The problem is that he’s only fifth in points per game for defensemen, and Makar isn’t even first. That honor goes to Hughes, although Makar is ahead on points per game. While Bouchard has been fantastic overall (he’s currently D6), he’s not catching Hughes in points unless Hughes gets hurt, and Bouchard would still have to hop Dobson and Hedman. Not happening.
Three Point Challenge: We will do Tuesday’s games. You can not select Kucherov, MacKinnon, Pastrnak, McDavid, Miller, Panarin, Rantanen, Pettersson, Q. Hughes, or Reinhart. I’ll go with Hintz against the Sabres.
That’s all for now guys. I’ll be back on Wednesday recapping the action from the next two nights. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!