Power takeovers for Gusev, Neal, Frolik; Goalkeeper Rankings Markstrom, Knight, Smith (September 18) – DobberHockey
With the upcoming opening of training camps, it’s officially the professional testing season. Hey, we have to get excited about something hockey related.
The Blues announced on Friday that they had signed up wingers James Neal and Michael Frolik at the PTO. Unsurprisingly, Neal saw his contract bought out by the Oilers earlier this offseason. It is possible that one or even both of these players will stay if the Blues finally manage to trade Vladimir Tarasenko soon. Otherwise, their chances of signing a one-season contract at St. Louis seem slim, as the Blues have a sizable forward roster.
A timeline of Dobber’s tweets:
Before I saw those tweets, I was going to say something like, “The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Darryl Dobbs as their new GM. His first move was to bring Nikita Gusev to a professional trial. All kidding aside, maybe Arizona or Buffalo would have been a better option for Gusev to get his career back on track with that much-needed ice time?
Our latest Offseason Fantasy Grades features the Vancouver Canucks. Or you can check out the full list here. As these are displayed in alphabetical order, we only have a few left.
DobberHockey’s 16th Annual Fantasy Hockey Guide is now available, fully updated and ready to download. Pick it up here!
The Top 100 Roto Rankings has been updated for September. Don’t hesitate to use them if you have a draft for a single upcoming season. I love receiving feedback from those who use the leaderboards, so leave comments by all means.
Today I’m going to discuss three other goalies that fall just outside the top 100 and why, as well as some benefits they can offer your team if you pick them after the 100.
Another observation of fictitious drafts that others have also noted to me is how criminally low the Markstrom is. Currently his Yahoo ADP is 139. In my most recent draft, Markstrom was chosen at 174! I noticed this because I was going to select Markstrom as my next pick, but I was still able to select Anton Khudobin instead (pick 194, also insanely low!)
The Flames didn’t invest a 6×6 contract on Markstrom to get him to sit on the bench. With that, only Connor Hellebuyck played more games last season than Markstrom (42). With inexperienced options Dan Vladar and Adam Werner competing for backup work, Markstrom believes he’s taking on one of the heaviest workloads in the league this season.
You can have your opinion on the quality of a Markstrom goalkeeper. His .904 SV% and -4.19 GSAA from last season are not helping his cause. However, his first season in Calgary was odd with the COVID restrictions, so this year could be better for him now that he’s familiar with the new system. If Calgary can bounce back with a playoff appearance, Markstrom could have a high winning total relative to the volume he expects to face.
Considering his ultra-low draft value and last season’s results, I don’t see Markstrom as a top 100 option just yet. But that may change if he displays the kind of goalie he showed in 2019-20, where he was the backbone of a Canucks team that won two playoff rounds.
Perhaps a little earlier than expected, the Panthers gave first-round pick Knight a few late-season starts, and he didn’t disappoint (4-0-0, 2.32 GAA,, 919 SV% ). The fact that the Panthers also looked to Knight in the playoffs while allowing Chris Driedger to escape to Seattle also helps his stock considerably as this season approaches.
Even with the promise and the upside, Knight’s 85 ADP looks a bit high. He is undoubtedly influenced by the Yahoo rankings themselves, which rank Knight at 76. There is even a well-known site that ranks Knight just outside his top 50. Knight may well justify this value based on his game when ‘he is called. sure, but there’s still that mountain of contract the Panthers have with Sergei Bobrovsky for five more seasons. As I said on the Fantasy Hockey Hacks podcast, Knight will have to significantly outperform Bobrovsky to be able to receive the majority of starts in Florida.
I had already planned to take Knight out of the top 100, but the returns of a Twitter follower helps me to assert my choice here. For the record, I didn’t have Bobrovsky in the top 100 either.
Smith isn’t in the top 100, but I’ll give the editors credit for this one. Smith’s 126 ADP looks fair, and he’s even ahead of Carter Hart and Jacob Markstrom. This ADP is despite the fact that Yahoo has Smith ranked at 370, behind Henrik Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne, who cannot help your team if they are retired. Okay, but maybe no goalie is better than a bad goalie in some cases. But is Smith a bad goalie?
I’ll come clean up. I have harassed Smith in the past. I laughed with everyone when the Oilers brought Smith back not once, but twice when there are clearly younger options. Needless to say, I wasn’t someone who took a flyer about Smith when he took the Oilers’ starting position in January and ran with it. In fact, Smith, 39, has probably had the best season of his career (21-6-2, 2.31 GAA, .923 SV%) since his exceptional 2011-12 season with the then Coyotes. Only four of the 24 goalies who played as many games as Smith (32) posted a better save percentage.
The more important question might be what Smith will be this coming season. You would be hard pressed to think he would repeat those numbers. However, management believes in him enough to award him a two-year contract. When it expires, its age will match its jersey number (41). Coaches believe in him enough to make him the starter, and we all know how far Smith and Dave Tippett are coming back.
It’s worth mentioning that Smith had two below-par seasons with a -8.17 GSAA and -11.72 GSAA heading into last season, so there’s no guarantee Smith will deliver what the Oilers will deliver. need netting. However, the Oilers are seen as a playoff team in a weaker Pacific division, and they can get past many of their goalie issues. This should give Smith the opportunity to score plenty of wins regardless of how well he performs.