Vatrano’s, Dunn’s and Fleury’s Upside in Seattle; Carolina and San Jose Protections – July 20 – DobberHockey
Well, it was quite a weekend in the NHL. We’ve had a lot of important exchanges, weird extension protection lists, important injury news and everything that has come up. Those enjoying their double-vax summer may have missed some important news; all of our Ramblings can be found here. Dobber and Ian had the chores over the weekend, so click on this link for their thoughts. The team has covered some of the trades we’ve seen go down, from a fantastic perspective, including Ryan Ellis in Philadelphia and Jared McCann in Toronto.
The extension protection lists have been submitted and that means we have an idea of what the Seattle list will look like. Keep in mind that Seattle can still transact this week, so extension listings may not be exactly that is available. We’ve seen a lot of side deals in the Vegas expansion, and it’s likely we’ll see some here.
What are these side deals, what does the final list look like, we’ll all drop the chips where they can. For now, I want to look at the listings of actual extensions and which is available. Namely, which players theoretically available in Seattle could see a big, fantastic boost with a change of scenery? We saw it in Vegas with guys like William Karlsson, Shea Theodore, and Alex Tuch. While they all had varying levels of success, each player went from waiver fodder to a significant fantastic contributor in Year 1 with their new squad. Is there someone like that available for Seattle? I think so. Here are three that I think could be big fantasy contributors with a bigger role on the Kraken. (This won’t include guys like Vladimir Tarasenko or James van Riemsdyk. They’ve been big fantasy contributors in their careers before.)
He was the first guy that immediately occurred to me. For years, many fantasy owners and analysts, including the current company, believed he would be St. Louis’ best-pair advocate of the future. To date, he has yet to play 19:30 per game in a single season, saw his ice time decrease in 2019-20 before increasing in 2021, and has 102 points in 267 games. career regular season. His escape certainly did not materialize.
Belief in Dunn is not unfounded. During his first three seasons in the NHL, this is where he ranked in various areas like assists (passes leading to shots from his teammates) and zonal in / out (source here):
Being in the league’s top quintile at the age of 21-23 in some of the important transition / play-making metrics that are being followed is generally good news. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate into fantastic success with the Blues. Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko have eaten up tons of minutes over the past few seasons, and the addition of Torey Krug this year has kept Dunn from seeing PP1 minutes. There were constantly obstacles in his way and now he might have the chance to start over somewhere else.
What is its advantage? Well, I think he can be a 45-point PP1 defender who can flirt with triple-digit hits and blocks as well as exceed two shots per game. It’s in a situation where he plays 22 minutes a night and runs the best power play. I don’t think he has the raw edge that Shea Theodore has (or did) when he was selected by Vegas, but he can be a lot better than he has shown in his four seasons. until now. Whether he ends up in Seattle or not, we’ll see, but I’ll be very interested in him if he wears the Kraken colors in a week’s time.
It wouldn’t be an NHL offseason if I didn’t spend a few hundred words talking about Vatrano. I’ve probably spent a few thousand words on him every offseason since 2016.
Vatrano has just completed its worst production season in Florida, despite the Panthers being a great team. With Verhaege / Duclair on the first row and Huberdeau / Hornqvist frequently on the second row, Vatrano largely remained on the third row, despite losing Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov. In fact, although the team lost two of their top 6 wingers in the offseason, Vatrano has had a three-year low in TOI. Looks like Florida is in their Cup window and they could add even more pieces this summer. This means that if Vatrano is not taken in expansion, it could see even less ice time in 2021-2022.
The reason we love Vatrano here is its rates. Over the past three years, Vatrano’s attempted shooting rate has been in the 90se percentile of NHL players (comparable to Tyler Seguin) and his success rate is in the 75e percentile. If he were to play a full season at about 18 minutes a night, he really has 30 goals, 150 hits, and 250 hits. Those are massive and massive totals in multi-cat leagues. He had already had a season with 24 goals, 208 shots and 139 hits, and that was in 2018-19 when he was playing at 2:40 p.m. per night. Again, there’s some upside-down fantasy here with 17-18 minutes per night for 80 games.
There are a lot of bridges to cross before this perk comes true, but I would love to see Vatrano in a starring role with the Kraken.
Okay, this guy doesn’t have Theodore advantage either, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a multi-cat advantage.
Fleury is a guy that fantasy owners don’t like very much as he only has 179 career games and his career TOI is only 15:10 per game. However, we have to note that Fleury was over 20 minutes a night once he got to Anaheim on the deadline this year, so we have at least some history of him playing second pair minutes.
The reason he appears to me is, like Vatrano, that he has very solid rates under his belt. Over the past three years, he’s ranked in the top third of the league’s defensemen for hits and blocks per 60 minutes at all strengths. He also has shot rates similar to Justin Faulk and Miro Heiskanen. Not that he would send Borowiecki-type hits with 21 minutes per night, but Fleury would go over 100 hits and 100 blocks with that level of YOU, and could flirt with two shots per game. These types of peripherals are very valuable in fantasy gaming.
Did you collect your copy of the Dobber Fantasy Prospects 2021 report?
One situation that kind of upsets me is what’s going on in Carolina. This is one of those teams that I watch and I think they must have some sort of agreement in place, right? Dobber had the exact same thought in his Ramblings yesterday. Otherwise, why risk losing Jake Bean, a potential first pair defender, to Brady Skjei, at best a second pair guy who is good at the PK? Is it possible that they are not as high on Bean as the others?
The reason I think there’s a deal in place is that I can’t imagine Carolina deciding to lose Bean for free. He is 13 years olde Overall pick just five years ago, they’ve invested a lot of time and money in his development, he’s had a great AHL season in 2019 and has been solid this year in the NHL. He’s not a first pair player right now, but he’s only had 44 career NHL games. If the Hurricanes weren’t really afraid to let Bean walk, I have to imagine they would have traded him before it got there. A 23-year-old defenseman with a pedigree who has shown excellent performances in the minors would generate significant interest in an era of flat-caping.
If I was making a bet, it’s that Carolina is working on a deal to free up Jake Gardiner’s cap space and that they will then fulfill her role. What that deal looks like, who knows, but it might cost them a few second-round picks to make it.
I will say I was surprised to see the Sharks protect Brent Burns. I think this is the right move because this team has so much bad money that trading futures contracts to get rid of one probably won’t move the needle as much. This team needs a complete overhaul, and it will take years. No one likes to hear it, but there is pain ahead for the next few years, Sharks fans.
A very important message from Luke Prokop, a draft pick from Nashville:
He becomes the first openly gay NHL player under contract, and just saying it publicly will help many others. He seems an honest young man, from reports throughout the day, and I wish him nothing but success and happiness for the future.