Hello everybody and welcome in for the third installment in this new series. Over on my Twitter feed I’ve been spamming everyone with arbitrary lists, just quick hitting lists to get my thoughts on several fantasy hockey related topics (and several non-fantasy hockey related topics) out and on the record. In these posts I’ll dig a little deeper into those lists and give you a bit of the “why” behind them. Without further ado, let’s get into it:
I feel like people are way too optimistic about Matt Murray. This is a guy who had a worse save percentage than Sergei Bobrovsky and was gutter level in Goals Saved Above Average/60. Now he goes to an Ottawa team that will once again be competing with Detroit to be the worst team in the league and we all think he’s going to be good again?
Igor Shesterkin has had insane hype due to a spectacular 12 game regular season sample and a great (albeit brief) KHL career. But he’s being drafted as though he’s a stud in line for a 55+ start workload and I just can’t get there. Maybe he explodes right away. But how many goalies come into this league and light it on fire in their first full season? I’m taking the under on the workload and the crazy stats people have projected for him. It doesn’t help that New York is far from a defensively capable squad; they were dead last in expected goals against/60 in the league last year and it wasn’t particularly close.
Ilya Samsonov falls under a similar category. People seem to think Henrik Lundqvist was only brought in to back up Samsonov but this could be a true 50/50 situation, at least for the first year. Lundqvist is still a capable goalie and if Samsonov falters behind Washington’s middle-of-the-pack defense Lundqvist will easily eat starts.
Mackenzie Blackwood is another goalie who may not be able to outplay his veteran counterpart. Long term I like Blackwood as much as anyone but Corey Crawford is one of the most underrated goalies of the past decade and he’ll steal plenty of starts from Blackwood. Combine that with the fact that New Jersey is not a defensive juggernaut and there could be some Year 2 fallback for Blackwood’s counting stats.
Vancouver’s goaltender situation is one I’ll be actively avoiding. It’s a bottom-five defensive team that didn’t do much to improve in the offseason. Braden Holtby’s struggles over the last two years have been well-documented, and while Thatcher Demko had a nice four-game playoff run, his regular season stats inspire far less confidence. This has all the earmarkings of a goalie tandem with neither goalie significantly outplaying the other, with the fantasy ceiling capped by a terrible defense. Pass.
This one is a no brainer. Alexis Lafreniere walks onto an offensively-minded team with some real firepower throughout the lineup. I’d set the over/under at a 59.5 point pace, as he was widely touted as the most NHL ready player in the draft.
Cole Perfetti should slot in perfectly behind Mark Scheifele as the #2 center for Winnipeg. He probably needs another year and some work on his skating before he hits the show for good, but the Jets have some spectacular wingers to surround him with and he should fit like a glove.
The Minnesota Wild had to be thrilled when Rossi fell into their lap at pick #9. He is immediately their most skilled center and if anyone outscores Lafreniere from this draft class, my money would be on Rossi. He should center the top line in Minnesota between Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala for a long, long time.
Jamie Drysdale fills a need for the Anaheim Ducks as an offensive stud defenseman and future PP1 quarterback. He may need a couple of years before making the jump, but he is easily the most naturally talented defenseman the Ducks have and it’s just a matter of time before he’s running a power play that will also feature uber-prospect Trevor Zegras.
Jacob Perreault should be another beneficiary of Zegras in the Ducks’ near future. Perreault profiles as a goal scoring winger and the trio of Zegras, Drysdale, and Perreault should form 3/5ths of an elite PP unit within five years. If Perreault continues to develop into a complement to Zegras and can slot in alongside him 5v5 as well, 35-40 goals is not a pipe dream.
Clearly this list will be completely subjective and different for everyone, but I absolutely love how Colorado meshed the old and new with the Nordiques jersey. The Rangers’ Statue of Liberty jersey is a classic, and I didn’t understand the hate for the Red Wings’ all-white look. There’s very little you can do with a logo that hasn’t changed since 1932, and I liked that instead of overdoing something they underdid it. I love the bold red in the old Blues’ jerseys, and how can you not love the royal purple of the Kings? At the very least, none of these are nearly as bad as Anaheim’s…
Anaheim’s jersey is horrifying. There’s no cohesion, no theme, just a weird looking duck doing weird things. Gross. Montreal’s has gotten some love but the blue just completely throws me. Doesn’t seem like the rouge et blanc to me. Toronto’s is a mess, the leaf is stylistically inferior to pretty much every other iteration and the patterning is offputting as well. New Jersey’s is ugly and I will not listen to arguments otherwise. Ottawa’s jersey is just odd. The arm bands don’t fit with the logo for me and I can’t get behind it.
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