It remains to be seen where Matthew Tkachuk will position himself in the Florida Panthers roster, but I think it’s safe to say that his offensive numbers will take a hit. He scored 100 of his 104 points playing against Johnny Gaudreau last season and maybe the only Panthers player he could have played with that would have brought him closer to that mark was Jonathan Huberdeau, but he was fired in Calgary.
Maybe Tkachuk pushes Carter Verhaeghe out of the front row and plays with Aleksander Barkov and his numbers won’t drop much, but I think he’ll eventually settle into a role with Sam Bennett and Anton Lundell. It would be a very effective and difficult line to play against, but in this scenario, a 25-point loss to Tkachuk wouldn’t shock me.
It’s very possible that we’ve just seen the best offensive season Tkachuk will have in his entire career, so be careful not to overload him or pay too much to acquire him in a trade.
Ville Husso should be of great long-term value to Detroit, but for the 2022-23 campaign there is cause for concern about his numbers. When Alex Nedeljkovic left the Carolina Hurricanes a year ago for Detroit, he saw his save percentage drop from .932 to .901. Now, maybe the Wings will be slightly better this year and maybe Husso’s skillset is better suited to handle a weaker defensive team, but it’s hard to imagine his numbers won’t drop at least a bit. .
In the long run, though, it’s good to keep a young goalkeeper in an up-and-coming team if you’re in a goalkeeping league.
It’s going to be tough to draft Patrick Kane in the right spot this fall given how decimated Chicago’s roster is. Kane won’t need top-notch talent to produce consistently, but those combinations aren’t pretty right now. One would think that his numbers would at least go down somewhat.
That said, on the flip side, you might want to target a player later in your drafts that Kane might be able to support. Lukas Reichel could end up getting the coveted center spot next to Kane and could see a big boost in production. Reichel may be a bit of a sleeper in the deeper leagues.
Speaking of deep sleepers, I always like to make a list of players with decent value who aren’t likely to be drafted. It’s inevitable that your team will suffer an early injury or maybe someone you drafted late doesn’t cope, so it’s good to have a few players you’re ready to pounce on. One player who could fit this bill is Adam Henrique. Henrique has quietly had a great season, scoring at a 60-point pace and averaging more than two shots per game. He is also a great asset if your league has game wins and has dual eligibility at center and left wing. He’s probably not draftable unless your league is super deep, but keep Henrique on your waiver wired radar if a need on your roster opens up.
Looking for a valuable defenseman late in your drafts? Keep an eye out for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi. His 27 points last season don’t really jump out at you, but more than half of them came on the power play. Durzi might end up being a bit of a specialist in this area, where while his overall totals aren’t great, he might help you win the Power Play category on a weekly basis.
Alex Killorn has just completed a career season, but his end to the campaign was very curious. Killorn has scored just four goals in his last 16 regular season games and scored just once in all of the playoffs, and he’s scored just one point after the first round . I’m always suspicious of players who don’t finish strong and that second line in Tampa, which will likely include Brandon Hagel and Anthony Cirelli, will probably be a control line. I just don’t see Killorn scoring 25 goals and once again flirting with the 60 point mark.
If the New Jersey Devils’ top six can stay healthy next season, I think they’ll be one of the most successful teams in the league. This is where you’ll want to keep an eye out for Dawson Mercer and Yegor Sharangovich as valuable forwards on your roster. Chances are that at least one or maybe even both will play with Jack Hughes and they will each have a potential 25 goals in this situation. It’s very likely that you won’t have to hit either until the last few rounds of your drafts or you might even steal them in the first week or two on the waiver feed.
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