Fantasy Hockey

Biggest surprises and stumbles (December 26) – DobberHockey

Merry Christmas! I know it hasn’t been the most ideal holiday season, but I hope you had something to enjoy this year. Even without action in the NHL for at least a few more days, we can at least dive into the World Juniors today. Here are today’s matches that you can watch or at least follow.

Finland v Germany (Edmonton), 2 p.m. ET

Russia v Sweden (Red Deer), 4:30 p.m. ET

Czechia c. Canada (Edmonton), 7 p.m. ET

USA vs. Slovakia (Red Deer), 9:30 p.m. ET

Ben Gehrels will cover the World Juniors in The Journey over the next few weeks. Check out his first article on Three WJC Players Poised for Breakouts.

With no NHL games we can talk about at the moment, now is a good time to reflect on the season so far. Comparing Dobber’s projections to the actual results, I identified surprises and stumbles at the forward (two of each), defense (one of each), and goalie (one of each). Think of it as a provisional school report card, where for these players it might be good but it might not be. Not only will I describe the performance to date, but what to expect in the future. I will not include injured players, unless the player also performed poorly when in good health.


Surprise: Nazem Kadri

If someone from the future told you before the season that a Colorado player would be fourth in the league this Christmas, you would automatically assume the player is Nathan MacKinnon or Mikko Rantanen. Kadri’s place in the league’s scoring race is surprising in itself, but his 1.58 PTS / GP separates the field even more, as only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl score more per game. MacKinnon’s injury has a lot to do with Kadri being given front row minutes, but even MacKinnon’s return hasn’t stopped Kadri from racking up the points (11 PTS in the last 6 GPs). A minor drop might be inevitable, but the fact that the Avalanche is by far the best offense in the league (4.22 GF / GP) helps Kadri’s case.

Surprise: Troy Terry

Dobber projection: 74 GP, 13 G, 20 A, 0.45 PTS / GP

Terry score so far: 31 GP, 18G, 12A, 0.97 PTS / GP

I’m not trying to embarrass Dobber here. In fact, I don’t think anyone would have guessed that Terry would be a near point-per-game scorer with a 16-game one-point streak. Since the point streak, Terry has accumulated eight more modest points (including six goals) in 14 games. Additionally, some of his advanced stats show possible regression (24.3 SH%, 3.4 PTS / 60, 75 Sec. Asst%) in goals and assists. Terry has at least turned out to be a better player than we thought, but you might want to take the opportunity to buy him a more established higher level option.

Honorable mention: Andrew Mangiapane – 17 goals but only three assists in 28 games

Stumbler: Elias pettersson

Pettersson’s problems have been well documented. Switched to the second unit’s power play and even the third line, Pettersson just didn’t look good. If there is one silver lining, it’s that the Canucks appear to be a whole new team under new coach Bruce Boudreau (currently 6-0). Petey hasn’t set the world on fire since hiring Boudreau (4 PTS in 6 GP), but he has at least points in each of his last three games. Pettersson’s advanced stats (8.7% SH, 5.4 5-against-5 SH%) also show that a potential improvement is underway, while his shot rate (2.2 SOG / GP) is similar. in previous seasons. He might not really be the top flight, but he’s better than he’s shown this season. Your best bet is to continue to be patient.

Stumbler: Alexander Radulov

There are Stars players who are having offensive success right now, but Radulov is not one of them. The Joe Pavelski – Jason Robertson – Roope Hintz scoring line is miles ahead of the Radulov – Tyler Seguin – Jamie Benn line. We could easily include Benn or Seguin here, but we’ll pick Radulov because his ADP was before picking 100 in the Yahoo leagues and he has only scored one goal in 28 games. All of the advanced stats indicate improvement, but it might take a line shuffle for Radulov to kick off. Not helping his cause, Radulov is below 2 SOG / GP for the first time in five seasons. Trading or even dropping the 35-year-old forward off your roster is certainly on the table.

Honorable Mention: Blake Wheeler – Scored his first goal of the season in his 22sd game, the same game where he suffered an injury that forced him to LTIR


Surprise: Kevin Shattenkirk

The Ducks have been one of the most surprising teams in the league, so it’s no surprise that several Ducks are surprises on this list. With 18 points already, Shattenkirk has already nearly matched his fantastic guide projection in just 32 games. In addition, he doubled his point production per game and surpassed his overall point production from last season. He has recently shown signs of slowing down with a seven-game drop in the first half of December before recording points in his last two games before the break. Keep an eye on his production in the second half as he could easily get back to last season’s rhythm. In addition, Jamie Drysdale averages more power play time than Shattenkirk.

Honorable mention: Tony DeAngelo – You’d expect the score, but the fact that he stayed out of trouble might come as a surprise

Stumbler: Jeff petry

That the Canadiens don’t look like a Stanley Cup finalist after losing Carey Price and Shea Weber isn’t a huge shock, but the production of Petry falling off a cliff should be. Even during the shortened seasons, Petry had scored over 40 points in each of his previous four seasons with the Habs. Still, with two assists in 27 games, he won’t come close this season. How about zero power play points? Petry isn’t even on the First Unit’s power play anymore – that role has been given to banger Ben Chiarot. At the very least, Petry should be benched, and he’s dropable in a lot of formats as well.

Honorable mention: Jakob Chychrun – A plus / minus black hole whose score got back on track before injury


Surprise: Tristan Jarry

Jarry was the kind of goalie you would target first if you decided to use the Zero G strategy. With an ADP of 114 on Yahoo, Jarry was one of the best goalies in fantasy hockey. Jarry is another example of why it’s not a bad idea to overlook playoff performances in a short streak when drafting a goalie, as a small sample size against an opponent can distort your overall perception. Only Juuse Saros has a better starting percentage than Jarry (75%) for goalkeepers who have played at least 10 games, while only Jack Campbell has a higher GSAA (above average goals scored) than Jarry. (14.77 GSAA). With Evgeni Malkin returning soon and the Penguins holding a wildcard spot, Jarry should continue to be in a great position.

Honorable mention: Jacob Markstrom – Another Zero G target with a Yahoo ADP of 135

Stumbler: Spencer’s Knight

A rookie sensation at the end of the 2020-21 season, Knight was recently sent to the AHL. It looks like the Panthers have made a commitment to big-ticket goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, while recent pickup Jonas Johansson will back him up. I didn’t think Knight should have been drafted as high as he was (ADP 84.7 in Yahoo Leagues), but it seems criminal that he was drafted on average at least two rounds before the aforementioned Jarry considering of his lack of experience and his uncertainty. number of starts. Knight should continue to be in the goalie leagues because he has a bright future, but you can let him go into single season leagues.

Honorable mention: Semyon Varlamov – Missed time with injury, but also only has one win and below average ratios

Are there other players that you think were bigger surprises or stumbles, or at least deserving of an honorable mention? Let us know what they’ve done to your fantastic team below in the comments.

For more fantasy hockey discussions follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding