Hey everyone! I’ll be starting my rankings next week, but for now, I’ll be writing a post on offseason winners. Losers will be coming tomorrow. There has been plenty of player movement that I haven’t broken down yet so we might as well get right to it!
Mikhail Sergachev – I already wrote a sleeper post on Sergachev that you can read here.
Andrei Svechnikov – Also have covered Svechnikov here.
Alex Galchenyuk – Gally was moved again, this time to Pittsburgh for Phil Kessel. Two offensive forwards who are a train wreck defensively swapped for one another. Galchenyuk should slide right onto the second line on Malkin’s wing. We know that this line will get a high percentage of offensive zone starts putting Galchenyuk in the best position to produce in his career. It’s been a few years, but we’ve seen Galchenyuk score 30 goals before. I assume he’s going to be a trendy name come draft time but there’s merit to it. The one worry, and the reason why I may pass on him in drafts if he’s around the top 100 overall, is that he doesn’t have a spot on PP1. Given how much the top unit plays in Pittsburgh, that really hurts Galchenyuk’s ceiling (barring an injury to someone else of course).
Dylan Strome – The Blackhawks didn’t bring anyone else new into their top six meaning that Strome should play with Kane and DeBrincat again. Strome scored 51 points in 58 games with Chicago last year. Can he get to 70 points? It’s not out of the question, but the main thing is that he needs to get his shot rate up.
Cale Makar – Tyson Barrie is gone (more on that trade later) opening up a spot on PP1 for Makar. Barrie had 25 PPP last season and there’s reason to believe Makar could top that number. I’m expecting big things right away from Makar, possibly something like Chabot put up last season (55 points in 70 games). The upside is massive.
Nazem Kadri – Kadri moved to Colorado in exchange for Barrie. Kadri’s role has been limited in Toronto since Tavares arrived. Now, Kadri goes back to the second line while also being the favorite for the 5th spot on Colorado’s lethal top power play unit. The elite shot rate should come back making Kadri a favorite to be a top 100 player again.
Andre Burakovsky – Last Avalanche player, I swear! Burakovsky lacked consistency in Washington, but the main problem was that his role was constantly changing. Now, he’ll have a great opportunity to play on the second line with a very good center. When Burakovsky played with Backstrom or Kuznetsov, he put up points. When he played with Eller, he did not. Kadri is closer to the first two than Eller. Burakovsky is a great target for one of your last picks in your draft.
The Stars on the Stars – Joe Pavelski‘s move to Dallas makes this power play one of the best in the league. I expect Benn to bounce back while the others to maintain their production. The only concern is if three of them play together and the other is on the second line (Radulov?). I kind of expect two on each of the first two lines which could give us some excellent streaming opportunity. I’m looking at you, Roope Hintz.
James Neal – I’m not convinced that Neal has anything left, but just getting the opportunity in Edmonton moves him back up to late round flier status.
Dante Fabbro – With P.K. Subban moving to New Jersey, Fabbro will get a chance in Nashville’s top 4 immediately. I also think he gets time on the second power play unit. He’s more of a deep league option, but I don’t mind taking him as your last defenseman in redrafts. Whoever gets the 5th spot on Nashville’s first power play unit will also get a boost, although it’s unclear who that will be at this point.
P.K. Subban – This may be controversial, but I think this move helps Subban’s chances for a rebound in a big way. Nashville’s power play was the worst in the league last season. Subban will get massive minutes on a team with a lot of offensive upside. There is some risk here given the mess New Jersey has in net, but Subban could get back to being a top 10 D this season and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.
Semyon Varlamov – Varlamov goes to the Islanders where he’ll be the #1 option for Barry Trotz. He goes into the best defensive system in hockey. We saw last season what Lehner and Greiss did; Varlamov has a chance to do that. I’d want to pair him with Greiss, especially in roto leagues, but Varlamov will probably be my favorite G2 target this year.
Jacob Trouba – Trouba finally gets the chance to show that he’s the #1 defenseman that he believes he is. The Rangers power play has a lot of upside with Panarin and Kakko. Trouba put up 50 points last season and is probably a favorite to do it again. Whether Trouba will be a top 15 fantasy defenseman or not will come down to his shot rate. Two seasons ago, he was pushing towards three shots per game. Last season, he was under two per game.
Mika Zibanejad – Zibanejad’s season last year was a bit under the radar. 30 goals and 44 assists with 3 shots per game is incredibly strong. Now, he gets to play with Panarin. I don’t expect the penalty minutes to repeat, but Zibanejad could push towards a point per game.
Henrik Lundqvist – The Rangers should be much better defensively this season making Lundqvist a bounce back candidate. I think he can get back to 2017-18’s .915 save percentage which would make him a middling G2 again with upside from there.
Kevin Hayes – Hayes had a strong season for the Rangers but disappointed with the Jets. Hayes received the worst contract of the offseason (good for him to get that money) but he still goes into a great spot in Philadelphia. Hayes should play with JVR and Voracek giving him a great chance to top last season’s 55 points. Hayes is a great late round pick. The one concern is that there’s not a spot for him on the first power play unit and the dropoff to the second unit is quite large. The good news is that Hayes had only 11 PPP last season so it’s not a disaster going down to a smaller power play role.
Zach Hyman – Toronto didn’t acquire anyone to replace Hyman on the first line, especially if Marner doesn’t sign before the season starts. This allows Hyman to maintain streamer status.
Quinn Hughes – Everything is positioned for Hughes to have a great rookie season. J.T. Miller‘s move to Vancouver gives them a playmaker desperately needed for their first power play. The Canucks are still a year or two away, but they’re on the right path. They should be the better version of last season’s Ottawa team in that they score a lot of goals and give up a lot. Hughes could also be in line for a Chabot-like season, although I expect him to be a bit worse than that. He’s an easy pick in all formats though.
Josh Morrissey – The Jets defense has really thinned out leaving Morrissey to play huge minutes with Big Buff. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished at over 25 minutes per game. With that will come second unit power play time. Morrissey quietly played at over a 40 point pace last season and I expect him to take a slight step forward from there. I probably would take him as my last defenseman in a 12 man league, but even if you don’t want to go down that route, he should be on your radar as a possible waiver add.
That’s all for now guys. As mentioned above, I’ll be back tomorrow with a post on the losers of the offseason. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Sven will continue to have team previews coming up so also be on the lookout for those. Thanks for reading, take care!