A look at the drafts stocks and Devan Dubnyk and Jake Allen, Nathan MacKinnon and Mark Scheifele inked long term, Jonathan Bernier exits The 6 and how will the top offenses of last year fare next season?
There should be profit potential with Dubnyk entering the 2016-17 campaign. The Wild will likely be underappreciated across the board, and Dubnyk's showing last year will probably be cast as a letdown.
However, since joining Minnesota, Dubnyk owns a .925 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average with a 59-35-8 record and 10 shutouts. Those numbers aren't completely topped up by his Veznia-calibre run in 2014-15, either.
Immediately following the coaching change in mid-February, Dubnyk posted a 14-3-1 stretch with a .928 save percentage, a shutout and just 37 goals allowed over 19 appearances. And even before the bench swap, Dubnyk had an above-average .917 Sv%.
Minnesota is deep with excellent two-way players throughout the lineup, and now they'll be coached by Bruce Boudreau. Dubnyk is a fringe No. 1 fantasy goalie with the upside to flirt with top-five billing at the position, again.
However, it seems likely he'll be sitting there waiting to be plucked well into the early middle rounds of drafts as a potential No. 2 for your virtual club. Depending on how your drafts unfold and the strategies you employ, Dubnyk's a tender to hone in on as a No. 1 or No. 2 goalie.
After missing time with a knee injury and lower-body injury last season, and never being tasked with carrying the load over an entire season, Allen shouldn't be minted a slam-dunk No. 1 fake goalie … yet.
It's easy to say he hasn't proven himself, and when you wait around for proof, you often miss out. But in this case, what exactly are we going to miss out on? That's not entirely known at this point, and when we're reaching on an unknown there is more of a risk.
Allen has shown flashes of being a high-end goalie both in the real and virtual game, and he's improved in each season in the league. However, St. Louis has a huge void now without David Backes, and how that impacts the team is completely up in the air.
The division is loaded with star-studded teams, and in most cases, each of those teams have improved thus far in the offseason. The exception is Chicago, and until they fall back, they can't be taken lightly.
Yet, with that in mind, Allen has posted a 22-10-1 record with a .918 save percentage and 2.31 goals-against average against the Central Division for his career.
This is a perfect example of where a goalie would be an exceptional No. 2 for your roster, but he's going to be drafted as a No. 1, likely. The potential and concerns are both part of the package in this case.
With an eight-year, $49 million contract ($6.125 million annual salary cap hit), Scheifele is now officially the No. 1 center in Winnipeg.
I've already shared my case for the emerging star, but the long-term commitment is beyond encouraging for Scheifele fully taking over as the top offensive pivot for the Jets.
And to reiterate from the above link, after the first couple/few rounds of drafts, why not swing for the fences with Scheifele in the hopes of hitting his true breakout?
Similarly to Scheifele, MacKinnon is a player I've touched on already. And MacKinnon's tenure with Colorado was also extended Friday with a seven-year, $44.1 million contract ($6.3 million annual salary cap hit).
There is all kinds of upside here, obviously, and the asking price isn't too rich right now. A realistic set of benchmarks is the 30-goal, 30-assist 225-shot showing return that only nine players were able to accomplish last season.
Also, just like Scheifele, MacKinnon is a prime target in the early middle rounds to compliment a first round star. It's all going to fall in line soon for MacKinnon, and he's currently priced at his fantasy floor and well below his ceiling.
Mike put the follow-up, Anaheim-Toronto trade in context well yesterday.
One thing he didn't discuss was how this is a fantasy positive for Bernier. As indicated, Bernier will likely have a decent share of the starts for the Ducks, and 25 starts for Anaheim sure beats any number of starts he was going to have for Toronto.
In keeper/dynasty setups, this move also helps, as a solid season for Anaheim could have Bernier back on the radar to be a potential No. 1 goalie or work his way into an even greater timeshare for the 2017-18 season. Remember, he'll enter unrestricted free agency next July 1.
He currently has 194 career starts with a .915 save percentage, and he had a .923 save percentage in 2013-14 for Toronto -- not bad. A change of scene will be fully welcomed, and Bernier becoming a viable No. 2 fantasy goalie in the future isn't out of the question. Perhaps, even as early as next season.
It could prove to be a mistake to label Bernier based on his performance the past two seasons considering Toronto was basement-dwelling club.
How do the top-2015-16 Offenses look?
The Ranking is the team's goals for, power-play percentage and shots on goal per game ranks added together. The lower the ranking the better the offense, and the above five teams finished with the lowest rankings.
Here are some quick-hit thoughts.
The only major contributors missing are defensemen Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers, and their absences aren't of particular fantasy concern. Offensive growth from Valeri Nichushkin, Radek Faksa, Brett Richie and Stephen Johns should admirably compensate.
However, personnel might not be the only determinant to maintaining the offensive production for Dallas. A heightened focus on limiting the opposition could weaken the Dallas punch.
It's only a mild concern, and the Stars project to be in the running for the league's highest-scoring team again next year given their elite offensive weapons.
Lars Eller could offer more scoring punch than Jason Chimera, at least potentially, and there is no reason to anticipate Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom and John Carlson to do nothing but more of the same.
During their years as a perennial contender, the Bruins won with a stout defense. They were a legit offensive powerhouse in 2015-16 and missed the playoffs.
On the surface it is a scoring blow to replace David Backes with Loui Eriksson, but putting Ryan Spooner in a more specialized offensive role should limit the loss of Eriksson. Plus, Backes could prove to be a better power-play fit.
There is also significant upside for David Pastrnak to take a big step forward in his third season. And Boston is also very firmly in the running to add Jimmy Vesey, which would add another top-six scorer to the fold.
Overall, it would be surprising to see Boston remain among the top offensive teams in the league, but the Bruins don't project to fall below the middle of the pack, either.
If you didn't know, the Blackhawks are extremely top heavy with high-end stars matched with supporting pieces. They had the second-highest shooting percentage on the power-play and the 27th-best shooting percentage at even strength.
It's another go figure.
Replacing the secondary production of Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen isn't going to be easy looking at the current Chicago depth chart. Yet, Brian Campbell's addition will be a positive both at even strength and with the man advantage.
From afar, in July, it would seem pretty difficult for Chicago to post another poor offensive season at five-on-five. However, on the contrary, the power-play efficiency doesn't seem too out of whack given their clientele. So, there is a case to suggest there won't be a significant drop in scoring.
Yet the lack of scoring depth is a concern, and a deep attack is something each of the final-four teams this spring boasted. Negative regression for Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin almost seems like a given, too.
The Sharks lost no one of significance and brought in a capable offensive support piece in Mikkel Boedker. While Patrick Marleau appears to be declining as an offensive contributor after posting just 22 even-strength points, Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi are in their primes, and Tomas Hertl is poised to take a step forward.
No Roman Polak stands to help a youngster (Dylan DeMelo or Mirco Mueller) take a jump and help the team offensively, too. Additionally, there is no reason to expect the power play to slow down given the inherent and exceptional skill and chemistry.
Don't discount another big offensive season across the board for the fantasy relevant Sharks, and as a team, they should be explosive again in 2016-17.
Thanks, Dobberheads. Enjoy the weekend.
- Ramblings: More Stars Injuries, Murray's Contract, Wild/Hurricanes Undervalued (Oct 21)
- Ramblings: Werenski is a Dreamboat, Kucherov vs. Hall, Pulock Hurt (Oct 22)
- Early Returns: Real or Imagined? (2016-17)
- Looking Ahead: Week Three (2016-17)
- Top 100 Keeper League Goalies - October 2016
- Saturday's NHL Picks: October 22, 2016
- Cheap Players for Daily Fantasy Hockey (Oct 22, 2016)
- The Journey: Early Season Prospect Trends