Sanheim signs it’s time for a Yahoo Draft (August 22) – DobberHockey
The last player to have an arbitration hearing accepted a contract on Saturday. Travis Sanheim signed a two-year, $ 4.675 million AAV contract with the Flyers.
The contract makes Sanheim the Flyers’ fourth-highest-paid defenseman, behind Ivan Provorov and newcomers Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen. They should be the Flyers’ top four defensemen for the coming season. Still, with the Flyers also adding Keith Yandle on a one-year contract, those additions should all but remove Sanheim from all power play time (he’s only averaging 33 seconds per game in 2020-21 anyway). . Sanheim’s under-22 was the Flyers’ second worst last season, but expect that number to improve with all the additions to the blue line this offseason.
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey just opened its doors a few days ago. So I decided to try my hand at a simulated project very early on. No preparation, no grading, just popped out of my head while I was watching (part of) a movie at the same time.
Here is the team that I wrote. It was a 12-team league with standard Yahoo settings. The numbers indicate the tour, then the overall choice.
1-4 Nikita Kucherov (CT – AD)
2-21 John Carlson (was – D)
3-28 Connor Hellebuyck (WPG – G)
4-45 Johnny Gaudreau (Cgy – AG, RW)
5-52 Brock Boeser (Van – AD)
6-69 Anze Kopitar (LA – C)
7-76 Jack Campbell (Tor – L)
8-93 Darnell Nurse (Edm – D)
9-100 Filip Forsberg (Nsh – LW)
10-117 Joe Pavelski (Dal – C, RW)
11-124 Neal Pionk (Wpg – D)
12-141 Jonathan Marchessault (VGK – C, LW)
13-148 Vincent Trocheck (Auto – C)
14-165 Filip Hronek (Det – D)
15-172 Tristan Jarry (Fosse – L)
16-189 Travis Konecny (Phi – AD)
For the full results, visit my personal Goods Fantasy Hockey blog.
I was able to choose where I chose between 1 and 12, apart from a few people who had arrived before me. I chose choice # 4 because my first level of players is Connor McDavid (the best in this level), along with Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov and Leon Draisaitl. Needless to say, I was glad Kucherov was able to run into me in fourth choice. I certainly won’t have the luxury of the perfect location in the real live drafts, however.
Every year I say I’m not going to write a goalie record. And then in at least one draft, I got sucked. It happened to me to choose Hellebuyck just where I had drafted him in the Roto Rankings. One of these years I’ll find the courage to start recruiting goalies after pick 100 and see how it goes. If that means I have to shoot for Mike Smith all year, so be it. The goalie is such a dice roll anyway. However, goalie races that start much too early could hamper this plan as well. Remember that it is the lack of supply and the FOMO that determines the values of goalkeepers compared to other positions.
A general comment on this draft: I felt like I could catch a goalie when I needed to. I felt like I could catch a striker when I needed to. But around the middle rounds, I felt like I was catching up with the defenders and never being able to recover. Once a second or third level defender was chosen, they all seemed to fly away. Even the pickers caught them! Yahoo’s algorithms need to get smarter. This could be something to watch out for in your own draft… or at least the next fictitious draft.
Right before the pick 100, I started drafting the Top 100 Roto Rankings players that I thought I fell. But does that mean they are candidates to break out of the top 100? Since these are initial rankings, Yahoo may re-evaluate these players. Although I have to say there were no obvious blatant players who were ranked way too high (i.e. no Martin Marincin).
Since I don’t expect to be writing for real for at least a month, I plan to start over shortly. Even if you’ve done a lot, it still helps you get into the right frame of mind. In the meantime, here are a few players who I think are initially ranked too low, why they can be ranked where they are, and why I think it might be too low.
How do you think I behaved? Let me know in the comments below.
I wrote about Nurse when he signed his eight-year extension with the Oilers. In this article, I mentioned that Nurse scored 16 goals which was a career high. Over a full season of 82 games, that would have been prorated by 23 goals. That would have been an outlier for a defenseman whose career high in the previous five seasons was 10 goals. I can understand fantasy owners being cynical that he can keep up with this pace, which I would agree with. Especially since he has never scored 10 power play points in a season and will likely start the season with the Oilers’ second power play unit.
Even if the score decreases, Nurse provides powerful peripherals. Yahoo now counts hits as a standard category, and it has hit the 100 hit mark in each of its last six seasons. He’s also shooting a ton with at least 100 shots in five of his last six seasons, and he has reportedly been on pace for over 200 last season. Whether you like it or not, plus / minus is also a standard category, and it hit a career high of plus-27 last season (only Leon Draisaitl had a higher tally over the Oilers).
Maybe another defenseman who is demoted because he could be in the second unit on the power play? Josh Morrissey was on the ice 59.2% of the Jets’ power play time last season, while Pionk only played 43.5%. This was the distribution of the power play, although Pionk edged Morrissey on both the power play (10 DPI to 9 DPI) and overall (32 PTS to 21 PTS).
Like Nurse, Pionk contributes well beyond the rating categories. Pionk also regularly hits 100 hits, as he has in each of the past three seasons. He also takes his share of shots, reaching 100 shots in each of the past three seasons. Maybe I didn’t need to write both Nurse and Pionk, but I couldn’t resist adding Pionk to pick number 124. Still, if Pionk is on the first unit power play, he could be in a rotating monster season.
This team would do quite well in the shooting category. Prior to the shortened 2020-21 season, Marchessault had hit 200 shots in his previous three seasons. In fact, in the past four seasons, only five players have taken more shots than Marchessault. This high volume of hits is what places Marchessault in the Top 100 Roto Rankings. So I am very happy to choose him at number 141.
Marchessault is not an elite goalscorer, but he has always ranged between 0.7 and 0.8 PTS / GP for each of the last three seasons. Plus, he offers at least one hit per game, which is part of the straightforward style of play he plays and helps Vegas push the game to the opponent’s side of the ice.
I think Trocheck was drafted this low in many leagues last season after a trade with Carolina and what turned out to be a 38-point season (in 62 games). Alright, fish it out after pick 150 then. However, he has just finished a season where he was on a pace of 75 points (43 PTS in 47 GP). He should be a top 100 player in my opinion. There is extra value beyond the scoring, as he has hit 100 hits in six straight seasons and double-digit power play points in five of his last six seasons.
Detractors of Trocheck can note that he had slowed down late in the season (no goals in his last 14 games, four assists in his last nine games). It could have been a regression in shooting percentage, as he had shot 18.1% before that drop while his career shooting percentage was in the 9-10% range.