After finished second last in the NHL in 2014-15 and getting jumped in the Connor McDavid - Jack Eichel sweepstakes by the Oilers, the Arizona Coyotes surprisingly stayed in the playoff race for the majority of last season. While they ended up dropping off quite a bit at the end of the season, there are plenty of bright spots for the organization going forward. On top of the young talent that was already on the roster, there are some new Desert Dogs ready to make their NHL debut. While I don't see them contending for the playoffs this time around, the future is incredibly bright with plenty of fantasy assets. Let's take a look at what they're working with:
We are through the first week of football which means it's time for hockey to take the forefront. The season starts a month from today so it's time to pick up the pace on everything, including my rankings. Today I'll be getting through the top 150, the players that make up the middle rounds of standard drafts. After this group, we're looking at very few players who are must-draft in 12'ers. Here are the links to the top 50, 75 and 100. Remember, this is the point in the draft where you start drafting for need instead of best player available. If you're short on shots, get one of the guys who takes a ton. If you need penalty minutes, get someone who spends his time in the sin bin, etc. Let's get to it!
1989-90. That's the last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs. The streak was in serious jeopardy last season as Detroit didn't have a point to spare finishing in a tie for 3rd in the Atlantic but getting in on a tiebreaker; no team in the Eastern Conference made the playoffs with less points. Following the departure of Pavel Datsyuk, the Red Wings are faced with their toughest challenge yet to keep the streak alive. From a fantasy point of view, their roster is loaded with players who have great upside but also a low floor. Let's take a look!
Hey guys. The first two nights of The Stanley Cup Playoffs have been filled with drama and outstanding performances. Anytime somebody scores a hat trick in the playoffs, it's worth noting so Patric Hornqvist gets the lead here. The Penguins right winger, who had a disappointing season compared to ADP, came out as a man on a mission Wednesday night scoring a hat trick on four shots and added an assist in the 5-2 win over the Rangers. This series could turn ugly fast if Henrik Lundqvist misses any more time (more on that later). Hornqvist was in my top 50 going into the season along with the rest of the Penguins studs and ended up 60th in overall value in the player rater. Considering he played all 82 games, that's not the value we were looking for. As for next season, he's obviously in the top 100 but I expect him to settle outside of the top 50, somewhere between 50 and 75. The shots are great and everything else should be solid so there's value there but it doesn't look like he's going to be a guy who has a good chance of reaching 30+ goals, which looked like a good bet when he went to the Penguins. Could he do it? Sure, if things go right and he sticks with Sidney Crosby. But I'd rather wait until the end of the 5th or 6th round to find out. Here's what else I saw in the other games:
I've been talking about Nazem Kadri's shooting percentage for the entire season. To be blunt, it's not possible for a forward to be shooting 5% for an entire season; regression will always find you for better or worse. He finally saw a big boost on Tuesday scoring his third career hat trick on four shots in the 5-2 win over the Panthers. There aren't many guys who have an excellent shot rate and supply great penalty minutes but Kadri is one of them. I love players like these to fill out the middle or bottom of my roster and I'm sure I'll be higher on Kadri than most next season. Add in the young talent Toronto is adding around him and wouldn't shock me if Kadri approached 30 goals next season. Here's what else I saw around the league on Tuesday night:
The story of the weekend around the league was the goaltending performances. There were quite a few duds and a bunch of outstanding starts, including 3 shutouts Friday, 4 shutouts Saturday and one more on Sunday. The best of the bunch was a 38 save shutout by Fredrik Andersen in the 4-0 win against the Bruins on Friday. It's rare for the Ducks to be outshot but they buried their chances and were continually bailed out by Andersen. We all know that Andersen is very good at this point so the most telling thing was that in their next game, John Gibson received the start despite Andersen coming off a shutout. Bruce Boudreau is giving both of his goalies plenty of action and seemingly has a set schedule so you have to pay attention every day and start whoever gets the nod. Here's what else I saw around the league this weekend, starting with Friday's games:
It's an unpopular opinion but for my money, Erik Karlsson is the best player in the NHL. He makes a bigger impact on a game to game basis than any other skater in the league; it's scary to think about where the Senators would be without him. Karlsson had another one of his big games on Tuesday night with the game winning goal in overtime on his third shot while adding two assists in regulation. The Swede now has 60 assists (60!) to lead the league and 13 goals in 71 games with over three shots per game. He's even been a bit unlucky; his shooting percentage is its lowest since his rookie season. Karlsson came into this year as somebody to go around the turn in 12'ers but he's a slam dunk first rounder now. Here's what else I saw around the league Tuesday night: