2022 NHL Free Agent Recap & Projections Feat. Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock)
Join the Hacks for episode 71 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! This week special guest Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock) joins us to recap NHL free agency and discuss the potential fantasy hockey implications for next season; including a few loose projections! A former Flame makes John’s List!
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- Johnny Gaudreau to…Columbus?
- Mike’s thoughts on the Flyers off-season moves
- Who were the big winners and losers in NHL free agency this year?
- Can Brent Burns return to fantasy hockey greatness in Carolina?
- Just how bad will the Chicago Blackhawks be next season?
- Robert Thomas inks a new 8-year contract with the Blues – can he live up to it?
- Bruce is betting on Ilya Samsonov in Toronto next season!
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Special Guest: Mike McLaughlin (Left Wing Lock)
- How has your summer been?
- Are you happy with Philadelphia’s off-season to date?
- Thoughts on Philadelphia’s draft pick – Cutter Gauthier?
- Thoughts on Philadelphia acquiring Tony DeAngelo for next season?
If you have been listening to our podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about “John’s List”; which is basically John’s $h!t list of players past and present. If you have any suggestions for players/subjects we should add to the list, let us know!
Johnny Gaudreau – For making the most ridiculous free agent signing in recent memory! Gaudreau told the Flames that he was hitting the market for “family reasons”, then turned around and signed with a mediocre franchise that is still 8-hours from his hometown in New Jersey…
NHL Free Agency Recap
- Who were the big winners in this year’s free agency?
- Ottawa Senators
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Who were the big losers in this year’s free agency?
- St. Louis
📈 – Fantasy Value Increase
📉 – Fantasy Value Decrease
⛔ – Fantasy Value Unchanged
📉Ryan Strome (C), ANA | Projection: 15 G, 35 A, 50 Points
- Ryan Strome signed a 5-year, $25 Million ($5M AAV) contract with the Anaheim Ducks. Fantasy Spin: Strome goes from New York where he played with Artemi Panarin, to now playing for a rebuilding Anaheim, likely with Mason MacTavish and Frank Vatrano. Expect a step back from the former Ranger.
⛔Frank Vatrano (C), ANA | Projection: 20 Goals, 20 Assists, 40 Points
- Frank Vatrano signed a 3-year, $10.95M ($3.65M AAV) contract with the Anaheim Ducks. Fantasy Spin: Vatrano’s best season was in 2018-2019 when he produced 39 points and 24 goals as a member of the Florida Panthers. Vatrano should see time in the top 6 for the Ducks and PP2; but likely only fantasy relevant in very deep leagues, or as a streamer.
Carolina Hurricanes (Winner)
📈Max Pacioretty (F), CAR | Projection: 40 G, 40 A, 80 Points
- Max Pacioretty (along with Dylan Coughlan) was traded from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations. Fantasy Spin: Carolina scored 11 more goals than the Vegas Golden Knights at 5v5, and Pacioretty also goes from the 25th-ranked PP in Vegas to 13th in Carolina. Playing next to Sebastian Aho and Brent Burns on the top line and top power play unit should see Pacioretty return similar results compared to his time in Vegas.
📈Brent Burns (D), CAR | Projection: 16 G, 52 A, 68 Points
- Brent Burns has been Traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. He along with Lane Pederson went to Carolina for Steven Lorentz, goalie prospect Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 3rd-round pick. The Sharks are retaining 33 percent of Burns’ contract, meaning the Canes are on the hook for $5.28M for the next 3 seasons. Fantasy Spin: I can easily see Brent Burns returning to form (maybe not fully) and producing 65+ points next season. The past 3 seasons his deployment has changed – less PPTOI (~2:30 PPTOI) and roughly 40% OZ starts as he has been asked to shoulder a more defensive load. If Burns can shoot at a similar rate of a few seasons ago (3.2 SOG/GM) and receive more offensive deployment, 65 points should be a breeze. For comparison, Tony DeAngelo produced at a 65-point pace last season, while shooting just 2.4 SOG/GM; though he did benefit from a team even-strength shooting percentage of nearly 11%.
⛔Artturi Lehkonen (LW), COL | Projection:
- Artturi Lehkonen gets a 5-year, $22.5M ($4.5M AAV) extension with the Colorado Avalanche. Fantasy Spin: he was a clutch scorer for Montreal and Colorado in the playoffs. If he does get top 6 minutes with the Avs he could have a solid season around 40-45 points. However if he ends up playing on the 3rd line, he will not be fantasy relevant.
Columbus Blue Jackets (Winner)
📉Johnny Gaudreau (LW), CBJ | Projection: 34 Goals, 50 Assists, 84 Points
- Johnny Gaudreau signed a 7 year, $68.5M ($9.8M AAV) deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. WTF?!!! Fantasy Spin: Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. I don’t see any path here back to 100 points from Gaudreau. Unless Columbus can suddenly dig up a #1 center. His point totals will regress and it will not be pretty.
⛔Mason Marchment (LW), DAL | Projection: 20 Goals, 40 Assists, 60 Points
- Mason Marchment has signed a 4 year, $18M deal with the Dallas Stars worth $4.5 million per season. Fantasy Spin: Marchment could see top six minutes in Dallas. However don’t expect that to translate into better numbers than last season. He was very efficient playling 4th line minutes in Florida last season. He will get more ice time, however do not expect that to translate into better point totals. 14.9 iSH%, 12.1 tEVSH%, 77 IPP.
Detroit Red Wings (Winners)
⛔Andrew Copp (C), DET | Projection: 20 Goals, 35 Assists, 60 Points
- Andrew Copp gets a 5-year, $28.125M ($5.625 AAV) contract from the Detroit Red Wings. Fantasy Spin: on a revamped 2nd line with Jakub Vrana and David Perron, they will get lots of opportunities to put up points. someone to watch in the later rounds,
⛔David Perron (LW/RW), DET | Projection: 25 Goals, 35 Assists, 60 Points
- David Perron signed with the Detroit Red Wings. 2-year, $9.5M ($4.75M AAV) contract. Fantasy Spin: on a new team with new linemates, I don’t think he repeats last year’s numbers but will be one to watch as they will have lots of opportunities this season. ALSO: Dominik Kubalik, Ben Chiarot
Edmonton Oilers (Winner)
⛔Evander Kane (LW), EDM | Projection: 37 Goals, 38 Assists, 75 Points
- Evander Kane re-signs with the Edmonton Oilers. He signed a 4-year, $20.5M contract extension with an AAV of $5.125M. He will also be Devon’s 1st round pick in every fantasy draft this season! Fantasy Spin: I have Evander Kane’s fantasy value unchanged for next season as he will be returning to the same situation. Between the regular season and playoffs, Evander Kane produced 56 points and 35 goals in just 58 games played! That works out to an 82-game pace of 79 points and 50 goals. Kane provides great category coverage as well – 3.5 SOG/GM, 3.14 Hits/GM, 1.40 PIMS/GM
📈Jack Campbell (G), EDM | Projection: 50-55 Starts (65% Net Share), 32-35 Wins
- Jack Campbell to the Oilers with a 5-year, $25M dollar deal ($5M AAV). Fantasy Spin: Campbell will be the unquestioned starter for the Edmonton Oilers next season, barring injury concerns. The Oilers are hoping they get the Vezina-candidate worthy netminder from the first half of the season.
New York Rangers
⛔Vincent Trocheck (C), NYR | Projection: 24 Goals, 32 Assists, 56 Points
- Vincent Trocheck to the Rangers on a 7-year, $39.375M deal with an AAV of $5.625 Million. Fantasy Spin: Trocheck should find himself taking over Ryan Strome’s spot as the second line center in New York, playing alongside Artemi Panarin. Last season, Trocheck had his best offensive year since 2017-2018, when he posted 75 points with the Florida Panthers. Trocheck brings plenty of value in leagues that count hits and penalty minutes; but should also post serviceable offensive numbers with the Rangers. Top 6, PP1. ALSO: Jaroslav Halak
New Jersey Devils
📉Ondrej Palat (LW), NJD | Projection: 17 Goals, 33 Assists, 50 Points
- Ondrej Palat has signed a 5-year, $30M ($6M AAV) deal with the New Jersey Devils. Fantasy Spin: Palat produced at a 75-point pace during the playoffs (21 points, 11 goals in 23 GP – 22.9 iSH%!!), which he then parlayed into a $30M deal with the Devils. Palat will not be playing with the same caliber of players in New Jersey, so expectations should be tempered.
- Max Domi and Andreas Anthanasiou signed twin 1 year $3 million dollar deals with the Chicago Black Hawks. There will be lots of opportunities for them with the Hawks this season. Might be worth a late round flier.
Ottawa Senators (Winner)
📈Claude Giroux (C/RW), OTT | Projection: 25 G, 45 A, 70 Pts
- Claude Giroux goes home, signs a 3-year, $19.5M ($6.5 Million AAV) contract with the Ottawa Senators. Fantasy Spin: It’s hard to call Ottawa an upgrade over Florida, but it certainly appears better than Philadelphia given some of the moves the team has made. Giroux should be very productive playing next to DeBrincat and Stutzle; and he should be deployed in nearly all situations.
📉Cam Talbot (G), OTT | Projection: 45-50 Starts (60% Net Share), 28-32 Wins
- The Minnesota Wild have traded goalie Cam Talbot to the Ottawa Senators for goalie Filip Gustavsson. Fantasy spin: Talbot’s value will take a hit, now sharing the crease with Anton Forsberg in Ottawa, MAF is now the uncontested starter for the Wild.
⛔Josh Norris (C), OTT | Projection: 37 Goals, 32 Assists, 69 Points
- Josh Norris signed an 8-year, $7.95 AAV Contract extension with the Senators. Fantasy Spin: The Sens 1st line center is poised for another strong season as Ottawa has made considerable upgrades to its top 6, including Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat. Where Norris may see real improvement is on the PP, where he is likely to play with Tkachuk, Giroux, Debrincat, and Chabot!🔥 Note: Norris’ iSH% (20.3%) is a concern, and unless he can significantly boost his shot volume, we may see some regression next season.
⛔Evgeni Malkin (C), PIT | Projection: 34 Goals, 49 Assists, 83 Points
- On the eve of free agency, Evgeni Malkin re-signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. 4-year, $24.4M extension with an AAV of $6.1 million. Fantasy Spin: Evgeni Malkin’s fantasy value should remain largely unchanged after staying in Pittsburgh. As always, health is a concern, but Malkin will play in a talented top 6 and on the first power play unit with Crosby and Letang.
⛔Rickard Rakell (LW/RW), PIT | Projection: 21 Goals, 29 Assists, 50 Points
- The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Rakell on July 11th to a 5-year, $30M ($6M AAV) contract. Fantasy Spin: Rickard Rakell has typically been a 20-goal, 45-point player the past few seasons; but if he can stick on the top line with Crosby and Guentzel, the ceiling is certainly higher. Shot-volume (2.6 SOG/GM) was down a bit last season, keep an eye on that early in the season. No other concerns with underlying numbers.
📈Jeff Petry (D), PIT | Projection: 12 G, 28 A, 40 Points
- On Saturday (July 16th), Jeff Petry (along with Ryan Poehling) was traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Mike Matheson and a 2023 4th-Round pick. Fantasy Spin: Petry’s days as a PP QB may be numbered; but in Pittsburgh he is primed for a bounce-back after a horrific 2021-2022 season (6 goals, 27 Pts in 66 GP) in Montreal. Exposure to either one of Crosby or Malkin should provide much better results for Petry. Also, with the exception of the past two seasons, Kris Letang has typically been injury prone; and it’s safe to assume that Petry will see PP1 time if/when Letang goes down with injury. ALSO: Ty Smith
📉Andre Burakovsky (LW), SEA | Projection: 20 G, 30 Assists, 50 Points
- Andre Burakovsky has signed a 5 year, $27.5M ($5.5 AAV) deal with the Seattle Kraken. Fantasy Spin: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that moving from the league’s top-rated offence, to one of the worst will not help Burakovsky’s fantasy appeal. However, the former Av could see improved offensive deployment in Seattle – top line and top pp?
St. Louis Blues
📉Robert Thomas (C), STL | Projection: 15 G, 45 A, 60 Points
- Robert Thomas signs a massive 8-year, $65M ($8.125 AAV) contract extension with the St Louis Blues. Fantasy Spin: Robert Thomas should have another productive season, but if Vladimir Tarasenko does finally gets moved it could be bad news for Thomas. With David Perron already shipped out to Detroit, the Blues’ top 6 is starting to thin out a bit. Also, Thomas is not a volume shooter (1.6 SOG/GM last season), and his underlying numbers scream regression (17.4 iSH%, 13.3 tEVSH%).
Tampa Bay Lightning
📈Mikhail Sergachev (D), TB | Projection: 10 Goals, 35 Assists, 45 Points
- Mikhail Sergachev has signed a huge 8-year, $68M ($8.5M AAV) contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fantasy Spin: With McDonagh gone, Sergachev looks to take on a much bigger role for Tampa next season. 82-game pace the last 3 seasons of 40+ Pts (near 10 goals), just shy of 2 hits/game. Played 23:58 in the SCF.
- More news from Tampa, Anthony Cereli has signed an 8 year, $6.25 million AAV contract extension with the Lightning. Dear Tampa Bay Lightning, can we get 8 year contracts to please? Pretty sure you could get all of us for under a million.
- We have another Lightning signing! This time it is Eric Cernak, with an 8 year extension with an AAV of $5.2 million dollars.
Toronto Maple Leafs
⛔Ilya Samsonov (G), TOR | Projection: 45 Starts (55% Net Share), 25-28 Wins
- The Leafs signed Ilya Samsonov to a 1-year, $1.8 million dollar deal. I think this deal will be the one that saves Dubas’s job by the end of the season. Fantasy Spin: Ilya Samsonov was definitely in need of a change of scenery, but the fish bowl in Toronto could be a challenge for the former Capital. The Leafs (3.07 GA/GP) were ranked 19th overall in GA/GP last season, so not exactly a defensive stalwart. The team did add some depth on defence though, bringing in Jordie Benn and Victor Mete. My guess is that Samsonov and Murray will essentially split the crease, barring injury or substantially better play from one of Samsonov or Murray.
📈Dylan Strome (C), WSH | Projection: 22 G, 34 Assists, 56 Points
- Washington signed the former Blackhawk to a 1-year $3.5M contract. Fantasy Spin: Literally any team is an upgrade over the Chicago Blackhawks at the moment; although Strome will no longer be playing with Patrick Kane… Strome should play at 2C alongside Anthony Mantha and TJ Oshie; and potentially on PP1, as long as Nicholas Backstrom and Tom Wilson are out of the lineup.
📈Connor Brown (RW), WSH | Projection: 15 Goals, 35 Assists, 50 Points
- Washington acquired Connor Brown from the Ottawa Senators for a 2024 2nd round pick. Fantasy Spin: With Tom Wilson on the shelf to start the season, Connor Brown could find himself on the top line next to Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. At the very least, he should have a spot in the top 6 until December or January.
📉Darcy Kuemper (G), WSH | Projection: 50-55 Starts (65% Net Share), 30 Wins
- Washington got their Keeper! Darcy Keumper signs a 5-year, $26.25M ($5.25M AAV) contract with the Capitals. Fantasy Spin: Obviously leaving the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche will not help Kuemper’s fantasy value, but if he stays healthy, he could be a solid starter for the Caps and your fantasy roster next season. I expect he will shoulder the bulk of the load in net, potentially with some rest in the last few weeks of the season.
📈Charlie Lindgren (G), WSH | Projection: 25-30 Starts (35% Net Share), 12-15 Wins
Washington signed Charlie Lindgren, likely to back up Darcy Keumper. 3-year, $3.3M contract ($1.1M AAV). Fantasy Spin: In just 5 starts for the Blues last year, Lindgren went 5-0-0 with a 1.22 GAA and .958 SV%! Washington is probably betting on him providing something closer to his 3-year average of 2.47 GAA and .916 SV%; which would still be excellent for a backup netminder. Lindgren should see more starts for the Caps, and could be a sneaky waiver wire add if/when Kuemper goes down with injury.
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