24 Sep Offseason Fantasy Quick Hits: Pacific Division – Anaheim Ducks
EASTERN CONFERENCE WESTERN CONFERENCE
|METROPOLITAN DIVISION||ATLANTIC DIVISION||PACIFIC DIVISION||CENTRAL DIVISION|
|1.||CAROLINA HURRICANES||9.||BOSTON BRUINS||17.||ANAHEIM DUCKS||24.||BOSTON BRUINS|
|2.||COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||10.||BUFFALO SABRES||18.||ARIZONA COYOTES||25.||BUFFALO SABRES|
|3.||NEW JERSEY DEVILS||11.||DETROIT RED WINGS||19.||CALGARY FLAMES||26.||DETROIT RED WINGS|
|4.||NEW YORK ISLANDERS||12.||FLORIDA PANTHERS||20.||EDMONTON OILERS||27.||FLORIDA PANTHERS|
|5.||NEW YORK RANGERS||13.||MONTRÉAL CANADIENS||21||LOS ANGELES KINGS||28.||MONTRÉAL CANADIENS|
|6.||PHILADELPHIA FLYERS||14.||OTTAWA SENATORS||22.||SAN JOSE SHARKS||29.||OTTAWA SENATORS|
|7.||PITTSBURGH PENGUINS||15.||TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||23.||VANCOUVER CANUCKS||30.||TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING|
|8.||WASHINGTON CAPITALS||16.||TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS|
Got: Antoine Vermette, Jonathan Bernier, Jared Boll, Mason Raymond,
Lost: Frederik Andersen, Anton Khudobin, David Perron, Jamie McGinn, Shawn Horcoff, Chris Stewart, Brandon Pirri, Mike Santorelli
Anaheim had a great season last year, winning the Pacific division, only to be ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Nashville Predators. Repeated years of playoff disappointment led to the firing of coach Bruce Boudreau and the re-hiring of Randy Carlyle for a 2nd rodeo in Anaheim.
The Ducks let a lot of players go this offseason, partly to re-tool for the current year and also due to many up and coming youngsters making their way through the pipeline. Some of them are pretty attractive for fantasy purposes.
Shea Theodore is a 21 year old defenseman who put up great numbers in the AHL last year, and also had an impressive callup mid-season. He is on my radar as a late round steal in re-draft leagues. He should absolutely be owned in keeper leagues as well. He was getting first unit powerplay time in his NHL callup last year. He should crack the team, and even though there’s a new coach in town, I think he has a shot to put up 40 points this year if he can manage to get on the first powerplay unit. There’s lots of offensive minded defenseman ahead of him on the depth chart like Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler, but pay attention to how his role shakes out in training camp.
Speaking of Sami Vatanen and Cam Fowler, they are attractive fantasy pieces as well. I think Vatanen can put up 45 points if he can stay healthy and manage to stick on Anaheim’s top PP unit. It all depends if the Ducks decide to roll with one or two defenseman on their PP, as Getzlaf likes to play the point. Also with Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour rising up the ranks quickly, there are suddenly a lot of mouths to feed on the Aneheim blue line. This situation definitely bears watching. Cam Fowler isn’t really my cup of tea but he should still be good for his usual 35 points. As Anaheim can only keep so many defenseman due to the upcoming expansion draft, he may be traded mid-season. If he went to a team with less offensive weapons on the blueline, he could see a spike in his point totals. Just something to keep aware of.
Onto Brandon Montour, the guy is only 22 and put up 57 points as a d-man in the AHL last year. Certainly impressive to say the least. I think he will crack the team this year and who knows what can happen with a little power play time. In keeper leagues I want this guy. In one year leagues I am monitoring the situation closely. Definitely a watch list guy. I probably won’t draft him unless he has a stellar preseason.
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are still a dynamic fantasy duo.
The loss of Frederik Andersen and the acquisition of Jonathan Bernier makes John Gibson the de facto number 1 goalie around town. He should be in for a career year. This guy has been a top goaltending prospect for some time now and is just waiting to be a top fantasy goalie. After the elites such as Carey Price, Ben Bishop, Henrik Lundqvist, and Braden Holtby, I’m going after Gibson. He will play probably somewhere in the range of 55 games if he’s healthy and will certainly be a viable number one tender for your fantasy squad. The only thing that makes me a little weary is I think Jonathan Bernier will actually be a pretty good backup this year. He got a raw deal in Toronto, and is now playing behind a much better team. Remember, he too was once a top goalie prospect not too long ago. Couple that with his familiarity with Randy Carlyle, and you never know, a hot streak or good run of play good earn him some more playing time or even create a 1A/1B situation like there was last year in Anaheim with Frederik Andersen.
One more guy I really like – Richard Rakell. He will lineup as the third member of the Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry line. He is only 23 and scored 20 goals last year. I think he is a great late round pick in your draft as someone who could shatter their career highs and put up around 55 or maybe even 60 points. Take him, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Getzlaf and Perry aren’t 90 point players anymore, but they should still be good for 70. I like Perry better of the two because goal scoring comes at a premium and he will score you at least 35, but I like both to rebound from disappointing years last year and neither is a bad pick.
Not a huge fan of Ryan Kesler in fantasy. He is a great two way player but I think his 70 point days are behind him. He is more of a 50-55 point guy and I don’t like his ceiling enough to draft him. I’d stay away.
Hampus Lindholm is an unreal real life shutdown defenseman who can get 30 or maybe even 35 points but he is not my favorite fantasy defenseman. I wouldn’t draft him.
Keep an eye on Nick Ritchie. I don’t think he’ll be relevant this year but he has loads of potential. He could be a mid-season callup, or even maybe crack the team, and if he ever gets onto that top line with Getz and Perry, he could definitely produce.
Other top prospects in the system like Max Jones, Sam Steel, and Jacob Larsson won’t be fantasy relevant this upcoming season.
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