In 2016, the Honda Civic will be getting a small redesign; upgradable turbo engine, higher fuel efficiency with a more stylish/sportier look. Now I’m all for saving some money and buying an older model, but with all the benefits that comes with a new car (reliability, new tech, streamlined power, next generation knowledge) would you blame me if I went with the new over the older model? Why am I starting this article by writing about a car? If you haven’t made the connection, each year in the NHL there seems to be more and more new talent replacing the old and this season is no exception. Pesos and I have put our bickering aside to come up with up and coming talent to watch.

 

Young Players We’re Watching 

I think we all know about Connor McDavid, and if you need any more info on Jack Eichel, see Viz’s post “I like Eich”. Some of these names are not new this year, but didn’t live up to the hype in their first year and are ripe for the picking this season. Sure, in the pre-season there are always position battles and young guys fighting to be noticed, but let’s look at some names that will actually stay, and potentially make a difference on your fantasy team this year:

Jonathan Drouin age: 20, LW (TB) – He has been playing alongside Steven Stamkos in the pre-season and building up their chemistry. Playing beside Stamkos, the points will be there, if he stays. In 3 pre-season games so far, he has 4 points (2G/2A, 2 on the PP)

Johnny Gaudreau age: 22, LW (CGY) – He hasn’t really stood out in the preseason but then again, it’s only the preseason. In spite of this I have a feeling like we will be talking a lot about this young Calgary team that features a ton of future potential and there are a few more of these guys on this list.

Aleksander Barkov age: 20, C (FL) – He didn’t play in the Panthers pre-season game against Tampa but had an assist and was plus 2 against the Stars. Look for a breakout season from this guy.

Dougie Hamilton D age: 22, (CGY) – With the injury to T.J. Brodie, Hamilton moves to the top D line with Mark Giordano. This has top defensive pairing in the league written all over it. As mentioned above, Calgary is a young team eager to prove themselves.

TJ Brodie D age: 25, D (CGY) INJ (week to week: Broken bone in hand) – Depending on how well Hamilton plays with Giordano, this might cut into some of Brodie’s point totals this season, but this kid is gold in a keeper league.

Sam Reinhart age: 19, C (BUF) – Very exiting pre-season so far, with 3 points in 2 games (2 on the PP). They are also talking about moving him to the wing so that he can log some top 6 minutes (as O’Reilly and Eichel are both Centre)

Ryan Strome age: 22, C (NYI) – A goal, 3 shots and 3 hits in a little under 17mins of ice time in a loss to the Devils. The Islanders are surely going to be a contender in the east and Strome will be a big part of that.

Mark Stone age: 23 RW (OTT) – Stone came out of nowhere last season and has continued this intensity in the pre-season. In the 1 game he played so far this pre-season he has 2 point (1G/1A).

Sean Monahan age: 20, C (CGY) – He scored a goal in a 4-1 win over the Canucks. Going into his third season I think it’s safe to say that Monahan will improve, albeit slightly, on his point totals from last year. Depending on your league’s setup, Monahan could be a late round pick worth taking.

Sam Bennett age: 19, C (CGY) – In three preseason games, Bennett has 2 points (1G/1A). He missed most of last season due to injury but was back and a played surprisingly well in the playoffs.

Dylan Strome age: 18, C (ARI) – If Arizona was smart they would be sending Strome back to juniors like they did last season with Domi. This team is going to be a mess, might as well let Strome dominate the OHL and World Juniors. If he stays up I think he’s worth a flier and worth watching closely for a keeper league.

Max Domi age: 20, C (ARI) – He is young and full of potential but only has 1 point in the preseason. He’s going to be a good player but in Arizona he won’t be surrounded by all stars to push him to be better so it might take him awhile to come into his own.

 

Other Things We Noticed in Preseason Play

Tyler Ennis C, LW (BUF) – In two preseason games so far he has 5 points, playing a total of 20:58 minutes per game. Watching him play with Eichel is exciting and you can see he’s playing with more confidence and intensity.

Paul Stastny C (STL) – He scored three points in a 6-0 win over the Stars. As he is turning 30 this winter, Stastny could be starting to slow down. He’s had a solid preseason but I’m not confident it’s going to translate into regular season success. I’ve had Stastny on my teams for a couple of years now and have watched him on the wire in some of my shallow leagues. Although he’s had some ups and downs, I’m not ready to give up and hope although expect some volatility from him this year.

Jeff Skinner LW,RW (CAR) – Skinner leads the preseason in goals with 4 in two games however he hasn’t matured into the player most thought he would and his injuries are a factor. Carolina is going to be in the bottom-five this year and don’t expect much more than 35 points from him this season.

Zdeno Chara D (BOS) – Chara is day-to-day with an upper body injury which is not good. There’s a lot of miles on that frame and let’s be serious, Big Z isn’t getting any younger. The Bruins are a Rask injury away from the lottery. One positive is some of the young guys in Boston are going to get more playing time. The bad news is they traded away their best young defender (Hamilton). Dark times lie ahead in Beantown.

Milan Lucic / Anze Kopitar / Marian Gaborik (LA)  I actually haven’t seen them play together (have they yet?) but I did see some practice video, I’m pretty excited for this line.

Evander Kane LW (BUF) – Similar to Ennis, it’s easy to see that Kane and this Buffalo team are having fun on the ice as they prepare for regular season. Some teams are trying out lines and combinations, or still trying to figure out how they will fit but Buffalo’s key members seem to be there already. In the 2 games Kane has played, he has 3 goals (1PPG, 1SHG), his ice time per game is 22:24 minutes.

Vladimir Tarasenko RW (STL) – What’s to be said? He leads the pre-season in points on a Blues team that could use the offence, especially when the post season rolls around. This guy is going to be dominant.

Ryan O’Reilly C, LW, RW (BUF) – There are too many Buffalo players on this list. Especially being a Sens fan, it’s tough to watch your team’s pre-season games and take away more highlights from the competition. In two games, O’Reilly has three points (1G/2A). BTW, I’m currently drooling over his multi-positionality (Yahoo).

3 VS 3 Overtime Play

This format is going to be exciting when the NHL introduces it In the 2016-17 season as there will be so much open space for stars to run around. It also means make one mistake and you’re basically done. Just look at what JVR did last night against the Canadians. I’d rather watch a team’s top three face off against each other than watch what sometimes feels like an endless shootout.

Patrick Kane’s trial is taking up way too much sports highlights

What a mess this has been! Personally I think Kane should have taken an absence from the team, or at least the NHL should have stepped in and said “look, take some time and get this sorted out”. Suspending him with pay isn’t saying he’s guilty, but it is what it is.

Marv’s Final Thought

These are just some of the things we saw and by no means is this an exhaustive listing of the pre-season highlights but it gives us a great idea of the season to come. If you want to talk exhausting, try not disagreeing with Pesos for a whole week! I guarantee that once the season starts, Marv vs. Pesos will be in full gear and you can all weigh in on who’s smarter.

Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions about your leagues, drafts or players in general. We look forward to your comments.

 

 

Marv & Pesos

  1. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    want to keep on saying to suspend somebody without proof of anything but won’t say “what that is”. just say what you are really saying. I’d love to hear the theory here. Youse guys should use this as your resume for a PR firm. This (unless i’m wrong and the NHL somehow knows he actually did rape somebody) isn’t like the ray rice thing being covered up by NFL. If in fact he did rape somebody and the NHL knows about it, yes they are all dirty dirty bastards. I would think (and i don’t work for a PR firm, i’m only concerned about what’s real) suspending somebody unless he’s actually guilty of something makes for worse press than not suspending somebody till he’s actually judged or proved guilty of something. I’m sure the NHLPA agrees with this. It would make a funny blurb if the NHL did suspend him right now, “The NHL today will suspend Patrick Kane for being accused of raping a woman at his house. We’re not saying he did it, nor have we heard of or seen any proof that he did, but we sure are scared of the possible money will could lose if by not suspending somebody now it comes out that he did rape somebody and we didn’t suspend him before we knew that. We do in fact support the idea of guilty until proven innocent when it does possibly save us future money lost”. They’d pretty much have to have the policy of suspending anybody accused of things that had they been true are bad enough to be suspended for.

    • MarvPesos

      Marv says:
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      @Montezuma’s Revenge… right now: I think what your seeing in Pesos comments about the Kane allegations is frustration that we are still talks about it. When I first brought up this point in the article, it was my own frustration with the amount of coverage vs game highlights that were being played. In my opinion, there’s no suspension, Kane’s playing, until there’s a verdict or he’s let off, let’s stick to the hockey side of things, forget the case kinda thing. Not to say that I still think that this case (while it exists) will be a big enough distraction for Kane, might not affect his point total and play every night, but I think we will see some distracted games mixed in.

  2. Pesos says:
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    Alright, since you won’t drop it here is my thought process.

    The NHL is a private entity, governed by a CBA which was collectively bargained between the NHL and NHLPA. There is a line in the CBA that allows the NHL to suspend Kane WITH PAY regardless of a charge or not (Article 18-A.5 if you want to look it up). Private parties are not beholden to due process.

    There’s evidence in this case, if there wasn’t then a Grand Jury wouldn’t be sought after to determine whether charges should be laid or not. Don’t forget how this portrays a potential victim. Allowing Kane to play shows the Hawks and League believe the victim is a gold digger just looking for money. Not taking her allegation seriously is exactly the thing you don’t want to see. It deters other women from coming forward because they fear being ridiculed.

    Suspending him with pay in no way says he’s guilty. Organizations and busniesses do this all the time. The head of the Canadian Olympic Committee stepped down recently over allegations of Sexual Harassment.

    Kane makes over $10 million a year, missing some training camp to get his personal life in order is almost meaningless at this point.

  3. Brian says:
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    Getting away from talks about Kane….

    First off, my first year doing hockey, i’m pumped. Love your site, and it’s been my go to for baseball/football.

    I’m sitting on no D men on my bench (unfortunate bypoduct of an auto drafted team…due to scheduling change in draft to 2am local time…no, i’m not salty…i did get first pick a got Ovechkin)…anyway… I’ve got Victor Hedman, Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, and John Klingberg. On the bench I’ve got Ryan Kesler, both Sedin’s, and Ondrej Palat. 10 team Yahoo league, standard points, G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, and SOG. Any suggestions on who to pick up for a bench spot?

    Looking at available players, sorting by % owned, I’ve got the top 4. Next on the list… Muzzin, Phaneuf, Stralman, Trouba, Fowler…Maybe a lesser owned player that looks promising?

    One more quick question. Only have 2 goalies as well, Schneider and Varlamo. Do I need a 3rd?

    • MarvPesos

      Marv says:
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      @Brian: personally, in 10 team leagues I do not draft bench players. similar to greys philosophy of not keeping too many extra bat benches, I fill my defense spots and that’s it. But how many bench spots do you have? What’s are your goalie stats? Are you in a head to head league? I’d be more looking at adding a bench goalie, who’s available?

      • MarvPesos

        Marv says:
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        @Marv: sorry, I meant to say I don’t draft bench defenceman in a 10tm league

      • Brian says:
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        @Marv: We have 2 C, LW, RW, 4 D, 2 G, 4 Bench, 1 IR. Goalie stats are W, GA, SV, and SHO. Sorting goalies by % owned again, i’ve got the top 2, Pavelec, Mrazek, Mike Smith, Bernier, Cam Ward, Eddie Lack

        • Brian says:
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          @Brian: Oops, yes, its head to head .

        • Pesos says:
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          @Brian: Those are some tough ones to pick from. I can see all of them, outside of Smith, splitting time with the backup so you might not get to maximize games played. I would expect Mrazek to give you the best possible chance of racking up wins but the question is, how many starts does he get with Jimmy Howard still in the mix. Pavlec will likely split time with Hutchison, Bernier with Reimer and Ward with Lack. My gut says to pick up Mrazek as one of your bench players and see what he gives you.

          • MarvPesos

            Marv says:
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            @Pesos: agree here with pesos, mrazek has most upside and looks to be the starter entering the season (he will probably time share with Howard) but a great bench goalie to have, especially if he plays to his potential

            • Brian says:
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              @Marv: Thanks to both of you!!

    • Pesos says:
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      @Brian: When dealing with filling you bench, I’m on the same page as Marv. Use those spots for forward positions and an extra goalie. They’re going to provide you with more points typically. If you suffer an injury to one of your D guys, there’s always someone to pick up that will give you something unless you’re losing a top 5 defender like Karlsson.

  4. Viz

    Viz says:
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    Great stuff guys! You made me even more excited for the Sabres than I already was haha.

  5. Johnny Hockey holds no clipboard says:
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    Need advice on keepers, get to keep 2 and I have 3 I can’t decide to choose 2 from.
    Pretty heavy on scoring but we do have D points, hits and goalies hold quite a bit of the points as well (saves +1, wins +5, losses -5, SO +6, GA -2) My 3 to choose from are Steven Stamkos, PK Subban and Pekka Rinne. Leaning toward Stammer and Rinne, whats your thoughts? Is there enough D to surplant PK’s production and how good do you think Rinne can be this year? I think Stamkos is a given but wanted your thoughts.

  6. MarvPesos

    MarvPesos says:
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    Personally, I’d be taking Stammer and Rinne. Stamcos is Stamcos and the Nashville organization has said that they expect Rinne to handle the majority of the starts (around 60-65). Nashville has a pretty good team (had a lot of injuries last year) and I expect Rinne to play to his potential (Hint: very well). I love P.K Subban as my #1 defense and have had him in my keeper for years. You have to figure that if you only get to keep 2, there will be a lot of decent defense talent out there and you might be able to grab him in round three. But I think its pretty close, you have HITS as a category, but is PIMS ? that would make them even closer. In the end, Nashville and Rinne will get enough wins this year (hell probably get you 43-45 wins & 4-5 SO with low goals against- thats a lot of points).

    • Johnny Hockey holds no clipboard says:
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      @MarvPesos: We do get a half point for each PIM but it’s still just not enough to give up Rinne as goalies are much more sparse and weighted heavy in my league. I too have been holding onto Subban and Stamkos for a few years now, that’s why I think I am finding it hard not keeping him but I think you just put the straw in my drink and took a sip as Rinne will be better for my team and there is a chance still of getting Subban as well. One more question for you unrelated to fantasy hockey, who starts the season, and who starts more games during the season, Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek?
      LGRW!

  7. Funny Name says:
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    What’s you thought on the penguins top 6 and power play ? Viz was high on Perron with thought on playing with Sid and Kessel, but I read on the yahoo update (through roto world I think) he will be on the 3rd line. It also says Plotnikov is on the 2nd with Malkin and Hornqvist. What about Kunitz? Liking the articles so far, keep up the good work.

    • Pesos says:
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      @Funny Name: Outside the big 4 there, anyone could play the wing on the Malkin and Crosby lines. I think it’s a safe bet that Perron and Kunitz will get the bulk of the time in the top 6, maybe even rotating who they are with. As for the PP, it’s hard to see anyone not named Malkin, Letang, Crosby Kessel and Hornqvist on the top until. Perron and Kunitz will be down on the second unit.

  8. slimbo says:
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    in a keeper league with hits….

    drop seabrook, abdelkader or ribeiro for any of these guys?

    clutterbuck, orpik, markov, kronwall or stralman

    thanks

    • Pesos says:
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      @slimbo: What is the value of hits as opposed to goals, assists and points? Clutterbucks going to get your a load of hits but he doesn’t put up points at any rate near Abdelkader or Ribeiro. Andrei Markov doesn’t really hit, he’s never put up more than 61 hits in a season and he’s getting old. Last season, Seabrook out hit Kronwall and but had 13 less points. Of the D, Orpik had the most hits last season at 306 but only put up 19 points and he’s also getting older, so I wouldn’t expect much point production from him this season.

      In the end, it comes down to how much hits are valued. If you think Orpiks hits will provide more overall points for you than Seabrooks hits/points, then make the switch.

  9. Goals (G) 3 Assists (A) 2
    Penalty Minutes (PIM) 0.5 Power Play Goals (PPG) 2
    Power Play Assists (PPA) 1 Faceoffs Won (FOW) 1
    Faceoffs Lost (FOL) 0.5 Shots on goal (SOG) 0.5
    Hits (HIT) 1 Blocked Shots (BLK) 0.5
    Defensemen Points (DEF) 0.5 Short Handed Points (SHP) 1

    You can see hits & blocked shots score high. Need a D-man to replace Chara, who went to IR; Boychuck, Fowler, Erik Johnson, Hampus Lindholm, Orpik, Trouba, Shultz, Stralman, Tyler Myers, Trevor Daley, Seth Jones, T.J. Brodie, Niskanen, Goligoski, Edler Cody Franson, Olli Matta, Muzzin. Any of these guys stand out to you? thanks Marv / Pesos.

    • Pesos says:
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      @madden_curser: When looking at that list, the first thing you want to do (at least the first thing I do) is try to determine where that player is going to be playing in the lineup. Boychuk, Franson, Niskanen, Myers are all guys that should get decent amounts of time at ES and on the PP. The thing with hits and blocked shots is they’re a product of lack of puck possession, which isn’t a good thing if you’re getting double and triple the amount of points for a guy who scores. Best idea is a good balance of both. Right off the bat Boychuk stands out to me. He’ll hit (179 hits last year) and get plenty of time on the PP. Franson is another guy I would look at as I think he’s going to get significant time in Buffalo this season. I think, of the guys you listed, Franson and Boyckuk are your best options.

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