Real or Imagined? Eastern Conference Defensemen

by Eric Daoust on December 13, 2016 | (4 Comments)
  • Eastern Edge
  • Real or Imagined? Eastern Conference Defensemen

Buy, sell, or hold? Your stock report on the defensemen of the Eastern Conference.

With about one third of the NHL season complete we are starting to see a clearer picture of how things will ultimately play out. Still, there remain plenty of anomalies throughout the league that require further analysis. Specifically, some players are capable of producing more than their current rate which puts them in “buy low” territory while others are likely playing above their means putting them in “sell high” territory.

Many factors help determine a player’s buy/sell status. Various percentages and advanced stats help paint a more accurate picture of the situation. Also, historical production, ice time and opportunity also play a role. Today we will look at defensemen for the final eight teams in the Eastern Conference with the focus put primarily on points-only leagues.

 

New York Islanders

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

NICK LEDDY

26

22:59

65.2

4

8

12

5

2.0

7.7

 HOLD

JOHNNY BOYCHUK

26

20:10

32.4

4

5

9

1

2.3

6.7

 HOLD

DENNIS SEIDENBERG

20

19:34

4.3

4

5

9

0

1.1

18.2

 SELL

TRAVIS HAMONIC

24

20:32

17.6

2

6

8

1

1.4

6.0

 HOLD

CALVIN DE HAAN

27

18:27

4.9

1

6

7

0

1.6

2.3

 WAIVE

THOMAS HICKEY

27

18:38

17.3

2

4

6

1

1.3

5.7

 WAIVE

SCOTT MAYFIELD

3

11:35

0.8

1

2

3

0

0.7

47.6

 WAIVE

ADAM PELECH

9

15:26

0.8

1

2

3

0

1.1

10.1

 WAIVE

RYAN PULOCK

1

3:57

19.1

0

0

0

0

0.0

0.0

 BUY

 

 

Dennis Seidenberg

Seidenberg is off to a great start with an unexpected nine points through 20 games. There are many red flags here leaning towards him falling off the map soon. For starters, he is not much of a shot generator with just 22 to date and his shooting percentage (18.2 percent) is unsustainable. Not to mention he has not hit 20 points since 2011-12. He has been useful especially in multi-cat leagues but the sell-high window is closing fast. In fact, it may have closed already.

Ryan Pulock

Pulock was a candidate to be one of the top rookies this year. However, an injury and some stints in the minors have limited him to just one game in New York. Still, with the Islanders lacking a dangerous second offensive threat up front there is still hope for a resurgence. This is a reach in shallow leagues but in deeper setups he is worth keeping on the radar. Expect modest production if he plays.

 

New York Rangers

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

RYAN MCDONAGH

30

24:02

65.4

1

16

17

6

1.7

2.0

HOLD 

BRADY SKJEI

30

16:43

25.7

1

13

14

3

1.2

2.8

SELL

NICK HOLDEN

30

19:46

9.7

4

10

14

2

0.7

19.0

SELL

KEVIN KLEIN

26

17:28

1.7

0

8

8

1

0.8

0.0

WAIVE

DANIEL GIRARDI

26

18:47

1.6

3

4

7

0

1.0

11.5

WAIVE

MARC STAAL

30

19:34

1.1

3

3

6

0

1.1

9.1

WAIVE

ADAM CLENDENING

8

14:22

44.2

0

3

3

1

0.5

0.0

BUY

 

 

Brady Skjei

Skjei has been a great story to follow as the 22-year-old surprised many with 14 points in his first 30 games. While there is good reason to think he will have a productive career, he is not getting enough ice time in any situation to keep this rate up. His current output along with his status as a former first-round pick should make him appealing on the trade market. Sell him for a more proven commodity.

Nick Holden

Like Skjei, Holden is off to a great start that is likely unsustainable and a product of the Rangers’ offensive outburst this year. He has not been much of a factor on the power play. Meanwhile, though he has had good stretches on offense at times he has historically been a mediocre point producer. Not to mention, he has just 22 shots on goal to date making it very unlikely his current goal output will continue.

Adam Clendening

Clendening is a real wild card. He has three points in his last three outings but each of them has been separated by many stints in the press box. When he plays he sees plenty of time on the power play and could be one to watch down the stretch. All it takes is one injury and Clendening might become a regular in the lineup. In that case he would likely become a good depth scorer in most leagues.

 

Ottawa

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

ERIK KARLSSON

29

27:01

68.8

7

20

27

9

2.4

10.1

 HOLD

DION PHANEUF

29

22:55

48.8

3

7

10

4

2.4

4.3

 BUY

CHRIS WIDEMAN

24

13:18

28.6

1

6

7

1

1.4

3.0

WAIVE

MARC METHOT

25

20:14

1.8

0

3

3

0

1.5

0.0

 WAIVE

CODY CECI

29

23:14

21.3

0

2

2

0

1.8

0.0

BUY

MARK BOROWIECKI

28

13:42

0.7

0

1

1

0

0.4

0.0

 WAIVE

ANDREAS ENGLUND

4

9:57

0.3

0

0

0

0

0.3

0.0

 WAIVE

FREDRIK CLAESSON

7

11:08

2.8

0

0

0

0

0.3

0.0

 WAIVE

 

 

Dion Phaneuf

As it stands, Phaneuf is on pace for 29 points which short of his yearly points-per-game figures from recent years. However, there are factors hinting this year might be a bit different. He already has 10 points despite the Sens underwhelming offensively and due for an uptick. He is also sharing the ice with Karlsson often which will help with his production moving forward. Do not be surprised if he finishes around 35 points which makes him a solid depth offensive defenseman in most leagues.

Cody Ceci

At this point Ceci is a long shot to bounce back to a level that makes him fantasy-relevant. However, he should stay on your radar due to his upside as injuries could change his role down the stretch. His ice time is at a career-best 23 minutes per game so his importance to the team is not in question. However, until his power play minutes increase it will be difficult for Ceci to produce impressive numbers.

 

Philadelphia

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

MARK STREIT

31

19:53

38.2

5

11

16

6

1.8

9.0

HOLD 

SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE

29

20:30

66.1

4

12

16

9

2.3

6.0

BUY

IVAN PROVOROV

31

20:38

29.3

3

11

14

2

1.7

5.7

HOLD

BRANDON MANNING

27

18:19

2

3

6

9

0

1.3

8.5

WAIVE

ANDREW MACDONALD

23

19:22

2.6

1

8

9

0

0.6

7.2

WAIVE

MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO

14

18:46

5.2

3

5

8

0

1.9

11.3

SELL

RADKO GUDAS

22

19:58

1.2

1

7

8

1

1.7

2.7

WAIVE

NICK SCHULTZ

9

16:47

0.1

0

3

3

0

1.0

0.0

WAIVE

 

 

Shayne Gostisbehere

While last year’s incredible rookie campaign was obviously going to be difficult to replicate in year two, there is certainly room for improvement from his current numbers mainly due to a low on-ice five-on-five shooting percentage. Prior to his recent injury he had five points in six games so the buy-low window is small if not closed already. Regardless, a player of this caliber is worth a shot if you think you can land him in a trade.

Michael Del Zotto

Del Zotto has been a frustrating fantasy defenseman over the years with alternating good and bad years at the offensive end. So far he is hot out of the gate with eight points in 14 games but his average ice time is down under 19 minutes, his lowest since 2013-14, and his role on the power play is almost non-existent. Simply put, the conditions are not there for Del Zotto to keep it up and he is also an occasional healthy scratch. If someone in your league believes in him sell him for whatever you can get.

 

Pittsburgh

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

KRISTOPHER LETANG

24

24:57

74.2

2

16

18

8

3.1

2.7

HOLD 

JUSTIN SCHULTZ

29

16:22

33

3

10

13

2

1.8

5.7

SELL

IAN COLE

29

17:19

1.2

2

9

11

0

1.1

6.3

 WAIVE

TREVOR DALEY

29

20:11

29.7

2

7

9

3

1.5

4.6

BUY

BRIAN DUMOULIN

28

18:31

4.8

0

5

5

0

1.4

0.0

WAIVE

OLLI MAATTA

29

17:40

2.7

0

1

1

0

1.2

0.0

WAIVE

STEVE OLEKSY

2

5:33

0

0

1

1

0

0.5

0.0

WAIVE

DAVID WARSOFSKY

4

15:19

20.5

0

0

0

0

1.5

0.0

WAIVE

DERRICK POULIOT

1

12:29

17.3

0

0

0

0

1.0

0.0

WAIVE

 

 

Justin Schultz

Schultz has bounced back in a big way in his first full year with the Penguins after a tough end to his time in Edmonton. However, his current output is not likely to be sustained especially after his recent stretch of eight points in five games. He is getting third-pairing minutes and is playing a secondary role on the power play. He will be a productive defenseman moving forward but do not expect him to continue at his current 37-point pace. Try to move Schultz for an underachieving proven commodity. This is a great time to test a rival owner’s patience.

Trevor Daley

Daley is not a strong buy-low candidate as his offensive upside is limited and he has been underwhelming most of his career. However, he played extremely well after arriving in Pittsburgh last year, producing at a 34-point pace. This year he is on pace to hit 25. Given the fact he logs more than 20 minutes per game and sees time on the power play there is room on a team like the Penguins for Daley to be more productive.

 

Tampa Bay

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

VICTOR HEDMAN

29

24:50

49.1

5

14

19

8

1.9

9.1

 HOLD

ANTON STRALMAN

20

22:39

39

1

7

8

5

1.4

3.6

HOLD

NIKITA NESTEROV

21

16:59

26.4

2

3

5

1

1.2

7.9

BUY

JASON GARRISON

27

18:19

4.8

1

3

4

0

1.3

2.8

WAIVE

BRAYDON COBURN

29

16:14

2.2

0

4

4

0

1.3

0.0

WAIVE

SLATER KOEKKOEK

17

13:19

2.6

0

4

4

0

1.0

0.0

WAIVE

ANDREJ SUSTR

29

17:47

1.8

0

4

4

0

1.5

0.0

WAIVE

LUKE WITKOWSKI

8

9:44

2.2

0

1

1

0

0.8

0.0

WAIVE

 

 

Nikita Nesterov

Nesterov is a long shot to deliver anything of significance this year but he is trending in the right direction. His role is slowly expanding and he has done a better job staying in the lineup on a consistent basis. His points-per-game rate currently has him on a 20-point pace and a small uptick would put him on the map in deeper leagues. After all, despite the loss of Steven Stamkos the Lightning still have an immensely talented roster that will put up plenty of goals down the stretch.

 

Toronto

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

MORGAN RIELLY

27

22:49

30.7

1

14

15

3

2.2

1.7

BUY

JAKE GARDINER

27

20:14

49.2

5

6

11

3

1.7

10.9

HOLD

NIKITA ZAITSEV

27

22:07

39.1

0

10

10

4

1.4

0.0

SELL

MATT HUNWICK

19

17:56

1.4

0

6

6

0

0.9

0.0

WAIVE

MARTIN MARINCIN

16

18:03

0.9

1

4

5

0

0.9

6.9

WAIVE

CONNOR CARRICK

23

17:11

24.2

1

2

3

0

1.6

2.7

WAIVE

ROMAN POLAK

22

17:18

0.1

1

1

2

0

0.7

6.5

WAIVE

 

 

Morgan Rielly

It is amazing Rielly has been able to amass 15 points through 27 games despite not seeing much time on the power play on many nights. Lately the tide has turned in that regard as Rielly is not constantly on the top power-play unit. This makes him far more likely to maintain his current production or even see an increase down the stretch. The possibility of 50 points by season’s end is real.

Nikita Zaitsev

As Rielly’s offensive role has expanded, Zaitsev’s presence on the man advantage has diminished substantially. His overall ice time is still very good but without prime power-play opportunities his upside is limited. After all, that is where four of his 10 points have come. Currently he is on a 30-point pace but unless his recent utilization changes maintaining this rate will be very difficult.

 

Washington

GP

TOI

%PP

G

A

Pts

PPP

SHT/G

SH%

Status

JOHN CARLSON

27

23:30

61.2

1

11

12

6

2.4

1.5

BUY 

DMITRY ORLOV

27

18:59

27.4

1

9

10

2

1.6

2.3

HOLD

MATT NISKANEN

26

22:01

33.6

0

10

10

1

1.9

0.0

HOLD

NATE SCHMIDT

23

15:06

1.1

0

6

6

0

1.1

0.0

WAIVE

BROOKS ORPIK

27

17:15

0.4

0

6

6

0

1.0

0.0

WAIVE

KARL ALZNER

27

20:16

1.4

2

2

4

0

1.1

6.7

WAIVE

TAYLOR CHORNEY

5

13:00

0

0

1

1

0

1.2

0.0

WAIVE

 

 

John Carlson

This one is pretty obvious as Carlson, the undisputed top defenseman in Washington, has grossly underwhelmed thus far. In particular, his goal-scoring has suffered greatly with a shooting percentage of just 1.5 percent after being over 6 percent in each of the last two years. Carlson’s season-end result might not jump out relative to expectations but should easily produce at a 50-point pace moving forward once puck luck starts going his way.

*

Follow me on Twitter @DH_EricDaoust.

 

  • RM

    Where is the Eastern Defensemen Part 1? I want to see the Habs D look. I searched and can’t find it.

    • Jeet

      Same. I couldn’t find it either.

      • Eric Daoust

        I was on vacation the past 3 Mondays so I didn’t get to it. I’m mirroring Wild West and this is where we’re at. I’ll try to find a spot for part 1 in the coming weeks.

  • Striker

    I think you would be crazy to sell Skjei depending upon format of course. His point production on this team is sustainable. NYR when healthy scores in bunches. Skjei is now an NHL regular & if injuries hit his role will increase. I must admit I have a bias having drafted him late in both my fantasy leagues. after McDonaugh NYR has no better Dman for helping to drive offense. Skjei has a solid transitional game & see’s fairly consistent 2nd line PP time, the reason he’s putting these points. In my leagues, all points driven, the return wouldn’t come any where close to justify giving him up.

    As for Clendening avoid at all costs. Clendening’s role is to collect his pay check; 600K, & play when absolutely necessary nothing more as all he brings is some PP abilities. He will only play due to short term injury, a veteran & or Skjei needing a night off. If a serious injury hits, Gilmour or Graves would be promoted or NYR would address in trade. Clendening is a cheap insurance policy that you can justify keeping in the press box night after night. You need not worry about stunting his development he has no future in the NHL. The perfect player to sit with his 600K cap hit.