Fantasy Hockey Mailbag – Tkachuk Trade, Breakout Defencemen, Goalie Rankings

Fantasy Hockey Mailbag - Tkachuk Trade, Breakout Defencemen, Goalie Rankings

Fantasy Hockey Mailbag – Tkachuk Trade, Breakout Defencemen, Goalie Rankings

Join the Hacks for episode 72 of the Fantasy Hockey Hacks Podcast! This week the Hacks answer fantasy hockey questions from listeners and followers! The Florida Panthers make John’s list, and much more.

Subscribe to our podcast on all major directories; and stay up to date with the latest in fantasy hockey news and fantasy hockey advice. Be sure to visit LeftWingLock.com, the best source for fantasy hockey intelligence; and The Hockey Podcast Network for more great hockey-related content.

Highlights:
  • Fantasy hockey impact of the Matthew Tkachuk trade
  • When to draft Roman Josi?
  • Our thoughts on Dougie Hamilton next season
  • Patrick Kane in Edmonton?
  • Early goaltender rankings
  • Which young defencemen will breakout this season?
  • Will Seattle win a Stanley Cup before Vegas?
  • Vincent Trocheck’s fantasy upside in New York

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John’s List

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!

The Florida Panthers – For giving up half their roster and a 1st round draft pick for Matthew Tkachuk.

Headlines W/ The Hacks | July 18-25, 2022

The 2021-2022 regular season has wrapped, but if you’re planning to defend your fantasy hockey championship next season be sure to get your draft kit from our partner, Left Wing Lock – Available August 1st!

News This Week
  • The Nashville Predators signed Nino Niederreiter to a 2-year, $8M ($4M AAV) contract.
      • Niederreiter posted 24 goals, 44 points in 75 games played last season.
  • Kasperi Kapanen signed a 2-year contract extension with a $3.2M AAV.
      • Kapanen posted just 32 points and 11 goals in 79 games played last season. 
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois signed his qualifying offer with the Winnipeg Jets –  1-year at $6M. Dubois posted 60 points and 28 goals for the Jets in 81 games last season.
  • Former Jet, Patrik Laine signed a 4-year, $38M ($8.7M AAV) contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets. 82-game pace of 38 goals, 82 points last season for Laine.
  • Following the Laine signing, the Blue Jackets shipped Oliver Bjorkstrand to the Seattle Kraken for a third and fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Bjorkstrand has four seasons remaining on a 5-year, $27 million contract ($5.4M AAV) he signed with Columbus on Jan. 6, 2021. 
      • Bjorkstrand has played at an 82-game pace of 30 goals and 61 assists on average the past 3 seasons. If he gets PP1 deployment could be an excellent mid/late round target. tEVSH was just 7.2% last year.📈
  • Matthew Tkachuk (extended for 8-years at $9.5M AAV) and a conditional 4th-round draft pick was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt, and a lottery-protected 2025 1st-round draft pick.

  • What is the fantasy impact for the players involved in the Matthew Tkachuk trade? 
      • 📈Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk’s fantasy stock gets a bump, IF he plays w/ Barkov at even-strength. The Panthers were a superior offensive team to the Flames last season (4.11 GF/GP), and had a stronger power play. However, Tkachuk is a real regression risk IMO. 16.6 iSh% (career 13.5%), 12.5 tEVSH% (~9% 3-Yr Avg), and shot volume (3.1/GM) up vs. career (2.6).
      • 📉Jonathan Huberdeau. The former Panther had a career-season last year, posting 115 points in 80 games. Even if Huberdeau had been in Florida this upcoming season, those numbers would have been very difficult to duplicate. 1.44 Pts/GM was by far the highest of Huby’s career, he had averaged 1.12 Pts/GM over the past 3 seasons. Additionally, his shot volume of 2.8 SOG/GM was also a career-best, something he had only achieved once prior to last season; career average of 2.3 SOG/GM. Huberdeau also posted a secondary assist rate of .82 A2/60; that rate was .26 in 2020-2021 and .49 in 2019-2020. 
      • MacKenzie Weegar. Weegar carved out a very nice role for himself in Florida, largely playing on the top pairing with Aaron Ekblad. The former Panther averaged an 82-game pace of 10 goals and 45 points over the last 3 seasons in Florida, while receiving little to no power play time! My initial reaction was that this would be a definite downgrade for Weegar’s fantasy stock; but if he’s given top-pairing and PP1 deployment the opposite could be true. I’ll reserve judgment until I see his deployment in training camp. Weegar’s iSH% was down last year at just 3.9% (career is 5.2%), shot volume was up at 2.5 SOG/GM, and he has produced 2.19 hits/GM or higher in each of the last two seasons. Lots to like about this player.
  • Now in my keeper league, I have Jonathan Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm. Is this a good thing or not?
      • It’s not a bad thing by any means. Jonathan Huberdeau was tied with Gaudreau last season with 115-points, so you can’t really ask for a better player to substitute for Johnny Gaudreau. I do believe that Huberdeau is a regression candidate for next season though, and likely settles in closer to his 3-year average of 1.12 Pts/GM, or around 92 points.
  • Pick one player to keep: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Huberdeau or Alexander Barkov? Categories include Hits, SOG, Blocks, +\-, G, A, Pts.
      • Nathan MacKinnon. I like his situation the most out of the three players mentioned. Colorado, even without Nazem Kadri, is still an elite offensive team. Makar, Landeskog, Rantanen, and Nichushkin are all locked up until at least 2025-2026. Unless Jonathan Huberdeau signs an extension with the Flames, he is a UFA at the end of the season, making it very difficult to assess his value beyond this year. 
  • Mark Lazerus posted some info from an online sportsbook, setting odds on destinations for Patrick Kane this off-season. The Edmonton Oilers lead that list at +300; should the Oilers be in on Kane, and what would the trade look like? How many points could you see Kane producing with the Oilers?
      • Patrick Kane playing alongside Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl would be an absolute dream, but that’s all it is. The Oilers would be better served to use that cap space to bolster their blueline ahead of the playoffs next Spring. That said, Patrick Kane playing in Edmonton’s top 6 would make him an automatic threat for 100 points.
  • Thoughts on Dougie Hamilton going into next year? Horrendous end to last year maybe pushes his ADP down. NHL.com recently released rankings have him ranked at 121.
      • Dougie Hamilton will be better next year in my opinion. Never shot below 5%, was at 4.6% in his first year in New Jersey (career average is 6.1%). PPTOI (2:30) was the lowest he has seen since 2018-2019, so that will be something to keep an eye on in training camp. If he gets back to PP1 deployment, I feel better about drafting Hamilton. A ranking of 121 (10th round) feels about right given his performance last year, and his uncertain deployment. 
  • How would you rank the goalies, as things stand now? Overall ranking in brackets (x).
    • Tier 1 | Elite/Franchise Goalies
      1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL (1)
      2. Igor Shesterkin, NYR (2)
    • Tier 2 | All-Star Goalies
      1. Frederik Andersen, CAR (3)
      2. Juuse Saros, NSH (4)
      3. Jake Oettinger, DAL (5)
      4. Jacob Markstrom, CGY (6)
      5. Ilya Sorokin, NYI (7)
      6. Jack Campbell, EDM (8)
      7. Tristan Jarry, PIT (9)
      8. Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (10)
      9. Thatcher Demko, VAN (11)
    • TIER 3 | Workhorse Starter
      1. Marc-Andre Fleury, MIN (12)
      2. Jordan Binnington, STL (13)
      3. Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA (14)
      4. Darcy Kuemper, WSH (15)
      5. Alexandar Georgiev, COL (16)
      6. Cam Talbot, OTT (17)
      7. Robin Lehner, VGK (18)
      8. Jonathan Quick, LAK (19)
      9. John Gibson, ANA (20)
    • TIER 4 | Fringe Starter/Tandem
      1. Jeremy Swayman, BOS (21) 
      2. Ilya Samsonov, TOR (22)
      3. Semyon Varlamov, NYI (23)
      4. Anton Forsberg, OTT (24)
      5. Ville Husso, DET (25)
    • TIER 5 | Backup/Spot Start or Streamer
      1. Vitek Vanecek, NJD (26)
      2. Spencer Knight, FLA (27)
      3. Logan Thompson, VGK (28)
      4. Carter Hart, PHI (29)
      5. Pavel Francouz, COL (30)
      6. Matt Murray, TOR (31)
      7. Antti Raanta, CAR (32)
  • Where is the sweet spot when drafting Roman Josi in a standard league? When does the value meet the production for y’all? Love the stuff, keep it coming!
      • To guarantee Josi on your roster in a standard 12-team league, you’ll need to snap him up sometime in the 3rd round – which I would not do personally. I would suggest Josi becomes a “value pick” anytime in the 5th round or later. With that in mind, Josi is due for some regression next season, no different than Forsberg and Duchene. Josi’s iSH% (8.2%) and tEVSH% (9.7%) are above career averages; and his 1.20 Pts/GM are significantly higher than his previous career-high of 0.94 Pts/GM. The Preds captain is a prime BUST candidate based on last season’s results and perceived fantasy value.
  • Which young defencemen will break out this season? 
      • Miro Heiskanen, DAL. We mentioned him a few weeks ago, but I really think the 23-year old is set to have a big season; assuming John Klingberg or another PP specialist does not arrive in Dallas. Heiskanen has never averaged more than 2:45 PPTOI (57.9% PP share), and has still managed to play at an 82-game pace of 40+ points in each of the past three seasons. Miro’s iSH% was just 3.2% last year (career 5.3%), and his tEVSH% was just 7.1%. Lastly, Peter DeBoer is infamous for running his PP from the point, taking shots and creating rebounds or tips. Pavelski could be a beneficiary of this system as well. 
      • Evan Bouchard, EDM. Bouchard took over PP1 duties during the Oilers run to the Western Conference final this past Spring, and that shouldn’t change this Fall. 43 points and 12 goals in 81 games played this past season, and just 1:20 PPTOI per game (29% PP share)! Bouchard’s tEVSH% (7.7%) suggests there could be some positive regression. 15 goals and 55 points could be well within reach, given PP1 duties next season.  
      • Jake Sanderson, OTT. Everyone has been talking about the Ottawa Senators, and with good reason. 2020 5th overall selection, Jake Sanderson, is expected to make his NHL debut after putting up 26 points (8 goals) in 23 games for the NCAA University of North Dakota. The Dobber Prospect Report mentions Alex Pietrangelo as an “upside comparable”. Keep an eye on this guy in training camp! 
      • Bowen Byram, COL. Bowen Byram has dealt with his fair share of injuries during his short career to date; but finally enjoyed some success at the end of last season, playing at an 82-game pace of 14 goals and 46 points. Power play time will be a challenge for as long as Cale Makar is around, but he also hits at a rate of 1.77 hits/game. 
      • Mikhail Sergachev, TB. With Ryan McDonagh being traded to Nashville, expect Mikhail Sergachev to step up for the Tampa Bay Lightning. 3-year average 82-game pace is 41 points and 8 goals. For category leagues, Sergachev produced nearly 2 hits/GM and 1.5 blocks/GM last season.
      • Jamie Drysdale, ANA. After shooting 10.7% and scoring 3 goals in 24 games in 2020-2021, the 6th overall pick from 2020 scored just 4 goals in 81 games – a 2.9% individual shooting percentage. I expect Drysdale’ shooting percentage settles in somewhere closer to 5 or 6 percent and we see him post between 8-10 goals and 40+ points.
  • Which developing/rebuilding team wins a championship first:  Anaheim, Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Jersey, Seattle, Sabres? I’d bet on LA or Detroit – Andrew G.
      • I would agree that LA and Detroit are building something special, and are positioned well for future success. Seattle’s roster is also rounding into form with Beniers and Wright down the middle, and the additions of Andre Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand. One of those three teams would be my pick. 
  • Do you believe the Seattle Kraken will win a Stanley Cup before the Vegas Golden Knights?
      • It’s really hard to say that the Vegas Golden Knights got better this off-season after shipping out their leading goal-scorer in Max Pacioretty. There are also a lot of questions surrounding the health of both Mark Stone and Robin Lehner. I like Seattle’s long-term potential with Beniers and Wright up the middle, but I don’t think I’m prepared to say that Seattle wins a cup before Vegas just yet. 
  • How do you think Vincent Trocheck and Panarin will mesh on the second line? What is Trochek’s fantasy upside?
      • Trocheck has established a fantasy floor of roughly 20 goals and 50+ points; while his ceiling at this point is 31 goals and 75 points. Playing with Panarin should certainly give Trocheck a fantasy boost (played mostly with Necas and Svechnikov in CAR); if he can stay healthy and grab a spot on the top power play unit (4th in the NHL at 25.2%), Trocheck has a chance at hitting his ceiling. 25 goals and 70 points is NOT out of the question IMO. Trocheck also provides great value in hits leagues at 2.28 hits/GM the past two seasons.


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