Eastern Conference All-Disappointment Team (Jan 2017)

by Eric Daoust on January 10, 2017 | (9 Comments)
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Conference All-Disappointment Team (Jan 2017)

Looking at the most disappointing players in the Eastern Conference.

Every year we go into our fall drafts and manage our keeper-league teams with certain expectations set on each player. Unfortunately, things rarely go according to plan and plenty of players leave us disappointed. As a result many of us are left scrambling for solutions. Do we wait it out or do we abandon ship and look elsewhere for production? Thankfully, there is still half a season remaining to correct some of these slow starts.

Today we will look at the Eastern Conference all-disappointment team. In some cases the player has to be looked at from different angles as his outlook will not be the same in one-year leagues as it will be in keeper leagues. Also, some players thrive in points-only while others are not pure point-producers but excel in multi-category formats.

The figures listed are each player’s projects points-per-game ratio from the Fantasy Guide along with their current points per game.

All-Disappointment Team

 

Player

Pos

Proj. Pts/G

Actual Pts/G

Diff

Andrew Ladd

LW

0.73

0.32

-0.42

Patrice Bergeron

C

0.79

0.38

-0.41

Bobby Ryan

RW

0.78

0.42

-0.35

 

 

Andrew Ladd – After signing a rich long-term contract with the Islanders this past summer, Ladd’s struggles have been well-documented. He was given plenty of opportunities to click on the top line next to John Tavares but ultimately worked his way down the roster and also saw his ice time decline. He started showing signs of life in late December with a streak of five points in four games but has still not logged 17 minutes in a single game since December 4. Another area of concern is his shot volume – Ladd is on pace for just 132 after getting 181 last year and 224 in 2013-14. Barring a return to the top line it is difficult to envision him averaging more than 0.5 points per game moving forward. That might be enough for him to be valuable in some leagues, especially multi-category settings that count PIM, hits, blocks and shots.

Patrice Bergeron – A repeat of last year’s 68 points was going to be a tall order but Bergeron’s awful first half was unexpected. Usually good for 30 or more assists per season, he is on pace for just 14. Look for that to change especially with the likes of Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak lining up on his wing. Looking at Bergeron’s IPP (Individual Points Percentage) of 41.7 we see to which extent he has been hurt by poor luck. In each of the last three years his IPP was 71 indicating he has simply not been rewarded with regular frequency when the Bruins score while he is on the ice. Another good sign is an ongoing hot streak of five points in his last six games. Look for this level of play to continue.

Bobby Ryan – Normally a solid point-producer who adds good contributions across a few categories, Ryan has been a total bust thus far. After posting 56 points along with 183 shots and 16 power-play points last year, he has just 14 points in 33 games with equally disappointing 53 shots and three power-play points. The main issue has been his ice time. While he is still in the top-six and is frequently on the top power-play unit, he is down to 15:18 after being over 17 minutes in each of the past two campaigns. If you are scraping the waiver wire for help on the wing, Ryan has more offensive upside at this point than a guy like Ladd but his outlook is also not very good, at least for this year. At some point he will get back on track.

 

Player

Pos

Proj. Pts/G

Actual Pts/G

Diff

Niklas Kronwall

D

0.45

0.12

-0.33

Aaron Ekblad

D

0.56

0.27

-0.30

 

 

Niklas Kronwall – Last year Kronwall produced at a 33-point pace and is one year removed from eclipsing 40. At the age of 35 he is obviously in decline but there was still hope for another productive campaign. Unfortunately, ongoing knee problems have led to reduced minutes and virtually no offensive production despite still logging a lot of time on the power play. Even if Kronwall had more left in the tank the Red Wings do not produce enough goals to help him produce good numbers. He may still have a place in the NHL as a depth defenseman but should no nowhere near your fantasy roster at this point.

Aaron Ekblad – After teasing us for two years with potential 40-point campaigns, Ekblad’s production has gone dry in his third year. All of this despite averaging career-highs in both ice time (22:41) and power-play ice time (3:16). There is cause for concern as he has just one point in his last 11 games and in each of his last five his ice time has been below his season average. To make matters worse, he has been changing defense partners often of late and was even paired with Jakub Kindl last night. Ekblad is too talented to not be in buy-low territory but all signs point to a disappointing final point total. In keeper leagues making a pitch for him now could pay off in a big way down the road.

 

Player

Pos

Petr Mrazek

G

 

 

After breaking out as the Red Wings’ number-one goalie last year, expectations were high for Mrazek heading into this season. The 24-year-old has responded poorly with just nine wins to date and a .895 save percentage while being outplayed by both backup Jimmy Howard and third-stringer Jared Coreau. Mrazek obviously cannot be any worse than this. However, given his situation with Howard having experience as a starter and a team that is not a powerhouse Mrazek is not worth adding unless the league is fairly deep.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

 

Player

Pos

Proj. Pts/G

Actual Pts/G

Diff

Boone Jenner

LW

0.63

0.28

-0.35

Tyler Johnson

C

0.87

0.57

-0.30

Gustav Nyquist

RW

0.68

0.45

-0.23

 

 

Boone Jenner – Like Ryan, Jenner has failed to live up to expectations this year while seeing his ice time decline. Oddly enough, this has happened while lining up on a line with Cam Atkinson, one of the top producers in the NHL this year. He is still getting a ton of shots as he is on pace to finish just shy of 200 by season’s end. Two pieces of evidence indicating bad luck are his shooting percentage (6.5 percent) and IPP (47.8). Simply put, it makes no sense for this cold run to continue. Look for Jenner to get back on track soon and start producing like his old self soon. He is definitely a huge buy-low option in multi-category leagues.

Tyler Johnson – For the second year in a row Johnson is producing below expectations. The concern is growing as he is producing at a similar points-per-game rate as last year despite the injury to Steven Stamkos opening up more opportunities. Johnson has been better since the Lightning captain has gone down but nowhere near the form he showed two years ago. With the team spreading around the scoring at even strength, Johnson sometimes finds himself separated from his top winger Nikita Kucherov which makes it that much more difficult to get on track. He should see a small uptick down the stretch but not enough to warrant attempting a buy-low trade.

Gustav Nyquist – After two very promising campaigns to start his NHL career, Nyquist followed up with back-to-back stinkers. This year he has hit rock bottom with just four goals and 18 points in the first half including no points in his last six. Despite the struggles he continues to get his usual ice time and role on the power play so at some point he will start finding the back of the net more frequently considering he averages above two shots per game. Expectations should be kept in check but if you need a winger to produce a point every two games in the final months Nyquist is definitely a guy to consider.

 

Player

Pos

Proj. Pts/G

Actual Pts/G

Diff

Ryan Murray

D

0.43

0.12

-0.31

Shayne Gostisbehere

D

0.68

0.48

-0.20

 

 

Ryan Murray – In a short amount of time Murray has gone from a potential top-pairing defenseman with some offensive upside to a fantasy afterthought. After netting 25 points last year it was plausible to think he could take the next step. Instead, we have seen his average ice time slip from 23 minutes to 18 as Murray now finds himself on the Blue Jackets’ third pair. In one year leagues he has no value and in keeper leagues his name value likely holds more weight than his production will for the foreseeable future. If you owned him then hopefully you sold high around the time the team acquired Seth Jones or at least when Zach Werenski showed he was NHL-ready.

Shayne Gostisbehere – The biggest difference for Gostisbehere in his second year is his shots are not going in as frequently. Last year he had 17 goals with an unsustainable shooting percentage of 11.2. This year he is down to just 4.2 percent, a mark that has plenty of room for improvement given Gostisbehere’s abilities and style of play. He might not reach the 0.72 points per game he achieved as a rookie but he remains one of the better offensive defensemen in the league. If he is somehow available in a league that focuses on offensive categories then you should be all over it.

 

Player

Pos

Jaroslav Halak

G

 

 

After a bad start to the season Halak found himself on waivers and is now in the AHL. In the short-term he carries no value but between now and the trade deadline he could be on the move if an NHL team suffers an injury or needs a shake-up. At that point Halak could provide some immediate return as he would have something to prove but overall his stock has been in slow decline ever since he left Montreal. In keeper leagues he is not worth an investment beyond a potential short run later this season as his days as a full-time starting goaltender are likely done.

*

Follow me on Twitter @DH_EricDaoust.

 

  • Toms

    Quick question.
    B. Dubinsky and B. Jenner
    Which one you will choose in multi-category league for second half ?

    Thanks.

    • Eric Daoust

      Dubinsky

  • Allan Phillips

    I think that Mrazek is more talented than he has been able to show. He has extremely poor defense in front of him, and they are hanging him out to dry regularly (saw it first hand last night). I’m not on the Blashill train, to me he doesn’t seem to be working out, as you would have expected Tatar and Nyqvist to both have bounced back following Blashill’s rookie season. There is something seriously wrong with this team and is likely to get worse before it gets better.

  • starz31

    Should Werenski owners be concerned about a potential Ghost-like season next year?

    • Eric Daoust

      It’s certainly possible. His current pace is difficult for most dmen to maintain.

    • jerrodedson99

      Werenski is already starting to regress (pts-wise anyway). 4pts in his last 10 games (and all on the PP). I think the bigger question is will the second half see Columbus as a whole come down to earth? Can Atkinson, Wennberg & Co keep it up?

  • MarkRM16

    What about Ryan Strome? He’s been awful so far.

    • puckman

      In his case its been 2 seasons actually 😉 My 2 missing candidates are Larkin and Schneider. Sophomore for Dylan & unexpected regression for Schneidy

    • Eric Daoust

      Strome is close but his “diff” was only -21. Several ahead of him. The one I had the most trouble omitting was Tavares.