September 13, 2023, 12:29 am
To put it plainly, a ton has happened in the last few months causing widespread roster upheaval in the NHL. But, that’s life in a league with a pretty low salary cap. Much like the documentation of a monumental cataclysm on Earth, there’s plenty of talk about what happened during the event. The end results are often far more intriguing – the creation of mountains, rivers or canyons, etc. Thus, we must talk about how all these moves and additions will impact the respective teams and their fantasy implications.
It is interesting that while both conferences experienced change, most of the noteworthy Free Agents decided to sign somewhere in the East. The obvious can be stated: similar to this past season, it’s going to be a bloody race to the finish.
However, in fantasy hockey, all teams offer intrigue because, unlike some other sports where the effort comes into question and stars frequently rest, hockey players are simply built differently. Especially in the West, unsuspecting teams have a chance. Every. Single. Night. With that being said, let’s get into the Western Conference. This thread will focus on the fantasy implications of new additions.
Some bullet points:
– With starting goalie John Gibson set to be traded, Anaheim is still very much in the rebuilding stage.
– They drafted a pro-ready center in C Leo Carlsson out of the SHL, signed a 3-year entry-level contract
– FWs Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry need to take strides defensively, SHOULD take strides offensively
– FW Frank Vatrano creates tons of shots (231 last year), and should get more minutes
– D Jamie Drysdale returns from missing the entire last season due to injury. He should handle a top pairing spot and PP time.
Offseason AdditionsD Radko Gudas
FWs Alex Killorn and Brock McGinn
– Gudas offers value on the physical side, of course. He won’t add much on offense, but I’d project him to beat his shot output from last year (110).
– Killorn offers middling value as he enters the twilight years of his career and now has to adjust to a much younger crop of teammates. I expect him to be a middle six player and lose minutes to Frank Vatrano. He’s a pass-first winger which lends more value to others and could potentially add value on special teams. Expect him to take a step back and hover around the 40-point threshold. He could potentially garner some PP time, but Anaheim is trying to gauge where they stand on their youngsters so he could lose high-priority minutes that he once had in Tampa.
– Brock McGinn adds physicality to the Ducks FW group, but will not be fantasy relevant except in extremely deep formats (19 pts last season)
– C Leo Carlsson is technically a new addition via the Draft, so we’ll slot him in here. He’ll probably start the season as the third-line center for the Ducks but with the likely departure of some players via trade, including Adam Henrique (via Daily Faceoff) which would pave the way for a 2nd line opportunity. He’s only 18, so expectations should be tempered. That being said, I see him putting up 35-40 points, assuming his role increases. He possesses the skills and size to overcome his lack of NHL experience.
Stay tuned for a brief podcast to analyze the Ducks upcoming season!