I was hyped up about Terry going into the year when he started the season playing on the top line with Rakell and Getzlaf. He did nothing and then was eventually sent down to the AHL where he ripped it up, posting 37 points in 32 games. The Ducks never-ending injury problems earned him a call up again and he played Saturday’s matinee against the Devils on the fourth line and second power play unit. Playing just over 11 minutes, he managed to score a goal and an assist. I have him on my watch list for now – the kid has talent but until he gets the deployment he’s best left in free agency.
As we’re at the midway point of the season, I thought it would be a fun and sad exercise to revisit my drafts and fill myself with regret at some of my picks that didn’t work out quite as expected and then build myself back up with a few that have proven to be pretty pretty nice. Not wanting to keep all the pain and pleasure to myself (I’m giving), I asked you, the lovely followers and readers of ATOI, to share your biggest regrets and baddest steals as well. Thanks to everyone who chimed in! Even if I didn’t give you a mention below it was really fun reading everyone’s comments! Tweet at us @avgtimeonice anytime – we love hearing from you.
Mark Scheifele: Not someone I regret drafting, someone I regret somehow missing out on despite my love for the Jets and being high on Scheifdog going into all my drafts. He went in the second half of the 5th round of my KKUPFL draft, 7 picks after I took Clayton Keller. I took Evgeny Kuznetsov the previous round so I didn’t want to pick two pure centers in a row, but damn. Keller has been turning it around of late, but the offense still runs hot and cold in Arizona and Scheifele has 49 points in 39 GP (as of 1/1). He is shooting 22.4% but I thought he could be at least a point per game player and he’s upped his shot rates from 2.08 last year to 2.51 shots per game this year and is averaging about 2.5 more minutes of ice time this year than last. Career year incoming.
Kevin Shattenkirk: Everyone was pretty down in the dumps on the Rangers going into this year. I didn’t expect them to be contenders but I thought they could challenge for a playoff spot and certainly score a few goals. I was into David Quinn and what he might be able to do with his new, young team, and figured a PPQB in the 9th round wasn’t the worst pick I could make. Little did I know 2018-19 would be Pionk SZN #NealForNorris. The theory was solid and the next pick was Oscar Klefbom who has been only marginally more useful so I don’t feel too bad about this one, but Jeff Petry 24 picks later would have been cool.
Shayne Gostisbehere: I was super high on Ghost going into this season and took him in the 3rd round of my friends league draft. I wanted an elite defenseman early but I could have had Gaudreau, Byfuglien, or Forsberg with that pick. Still hoping for a big 2nd half from him but he’s been killing me in this league.
Rickard Rakell: This one hurts not because Rakell is bad. I still like him a lot. But seeing that I could have had Rantanen, Marner, or Aho instead? Big ouch. I had them all in the same tier of wingers but looks like Ricky Racks is the odd one out now.
Dougie Hamilton: My other whiff on defense, I ended up with Dougie in two leagues. The pick immediately after mine in my big money cash money league? Morgan Rielly. Hard to feel too much regret when you’re in first place (#champslikeus) and with a 2.4% shooting percentage and a career-high 3.32 shots on goal per game it seems impossible that he won’t turn it around in the second half. Go, Dougie, go.
(Edit: Since the time of writing Dougie has 2 goals and an assist in 2 games! He couldn’t stand being called a regret!)
My ATOI collaborator, Lewis, (responsible for 99.9% of sad Jake Allen tweets) regrets spending $30 in his auction draft ($260 budget) on none other than Jake “the Snake” “can’t make a save” Allen. Lundqvist went $23 and Markstrom and Hutton were only $8 each. Poor guy.
Lewis isn’t the only one suffering from poor-goalie-performance-induced regret. Fantasy Hockey Trades on Twitter took Cam Talbot in the 5th over Dubnyk, Bishop, Price, and Hutton. Hope they at least were able to add Mikko Koskinen. Oh, and Bergeron, Scheifele, Rantanen, and Backstrom were all still available.
Reader Brad J. would have had an extremely clutch 18th round steal in Thomas Chabot except he dropped him in week 1 for a third (unnamed, probably in shame) goalie. I’ll pour one out for ya bud.
First thing’s first when we’re talking about steals here: a player you drafted in the 2nd round is not a steal, no matter how good they are (and I’m speaking as someone who somehow managed to get MacKinnon in the 2nd). I’m talking second half of your draft and the later, the better. Is that a hot take? Also players who have major injuries and miss time (ahem, Raanta) don’t count because no way you can predict that stuff and that’s why Malkin always falls way later than he should and then is a beast for smart teams.
Brayden Point (10th round, 117th overall): I was pretty into Brayden Point going into this season, expecting him to finish around 75 points after a strong 2017-18 season where he finished with 66 points. He’s on pace for 107 and despite a high (21.7% shooting percentage) he doesn’t really show any signs of stopping. His regular multipoint games have been dope as hell. As the 9th ranked player in my league based on our settings that was obviously huge value for me.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (12th round, 141st overall): PLD is a multicat stud, and despite a bit of a cool start (4 points in his first 9 games before his big 3 point night against Buffalo on October 27), he’s currently sitting at 49th overall in my league rankings. His peripherals give him a nice floor even when the offense isn’t there, but it usually is — his 36 points in 39 games isn’t too shabby at all.
Dustin Brown (14th round, 194th overall): Dustin Brown was a sick pick because I could immediately stash him in IR and add a free agent (the disappointing Troy Terry, alas, but here we are). Despite missing time at the beginning of the season, Brown quickly made his presence felt (I actually forgot to take him out of IR for his first game back where his goal would have won me my matchup, #tilt). Based on that league’s settings, he’s averaging 4.9 fantasy points a game, which makes him equal in production to Mikael Granlund (6th round, 81st overall) and just ahead of Jonathan Marchessault (4th round, 50th overall) and Vincent Trocheck (4th round, 49th overall).
Jonathan Drouin (16th round, 222nd overall): Really owe my good pal and ATOI collaborator, Ben, a shoutout and a beer for this pick. I was not too into anyone on Montreal but he encouraged me to give Drouin a chance late in my draft because line 1 powerplay 1 players available this late don’t just grow on trees. And, as usual, he was right! Drouin is the 81st ranked player for my league settings AND he has dual center/wing eligibility. P good.
Huge shouts out to my competitor in my friends league, Mark G., for proving that center depth is truly endless by drafting Mika Zibanejad at the end the 15th (179th overall) and Matt Duchene at the top of the 16th (182nd overall). Major shade to Mark for dropping Duchene for someone who was almost definitely not worth it but he gets mad at me when I try to look to see who, so a mystery it shall remain.
Lewis redeemed his $30 Jake Allen flop by snagging Elias Pettersson for only $3. That works out 7 cents per point for the Alien.
Alex Tuch has been big money for reader Ryan M. – even better that he snagged him in the 17th round of his 14-team league.
Several people also mentioned being thrilled with their late Mark Giordano and Morgan Rielly picks – who seem to have gone after known disappointment Dougie Hamilton for just about everyone.
Okay, so ignore what I said about steals being the picks you make in the backend of your draft. Hockey Talky got David Pastrnak in the 5th round which is absolutely, totally bonkers to me. FIFTH ROUND. He went 12th overall in one of my leagues and 13th overall in another.
Cam Atkinson also proved to be a great late-round pick for a lot of readers, including Cam P.
And perhaps the biggest steal of the bunch for most teams is 2nd-in-league-scoring Mikko Rantanen who a few people managed to get in the 8th and 9th rounds. His average draft position in Yahoo was 61.7. Wild.
You can’t swing a dead e-cat on Twitter without hitting five different posts about the resolutions NHL players or teams or personalities should be making as we step into the tabula rasa of 2019. Frankly, we’re tired of reading the optimistic lies of the season, given that the vast majority will be discarded by March (but that gym membership charges through December, you go-getter you). So we’re bringing you our top five broken resolutions, that try as they might, NHLers will boldly promise and then pretend they never considered before the snow melts. In the spirit of the season, I’ve included my own as number five, and I’ll wager other fantasy GMs out there are as guilty of this vice as I am.
1.Gary Bettman – Resolution to not let NHL All-Star snubs get under his skin. Estimated date of letdown: 1/2/2019.
This failed resolution got accelerated Wednesday morning as Alex Ovechkin announced that despite being selected captain of the Metro Division, he had a standing engagement to wash his hair on January 26th. Bettman can’t do much but suspend Captain Cap for a game and grouse about letting the league down. Look for more stars to follow suit, especially those who were, like Ovechkin, upset with the league’s decision to forgo the Pyeongchang Olympics. Meanwhile, a week and a half of time off with a new baby at home will help Ovi limber up for the playoff run while providing some critical support on the homefront, which any new parents will tell you is as valuable as it gets. And if it should happen to chap Bettman’s ass? Well, все на солнце ровно глядим — неровно пьём и едим.
2. 30 NHL Teams – Resolution to get a Vegas flu shot. Estimated date of letdown: 1/6/2019.
The idea that teams would struggle in their first games against the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena spilled all kinds of media ink last offseason, but if anything, the 2018-19 strain has been even more punishing. Vegas is 5-0-2 on Friday and Saturday at home this season, and if you throw in New Year’s Day, which is basically a Sunday, they are 6-0-2 with three shutouts. Obviously these players are professionals, but they are humans with human vices, and when you’re watching San Jose lurch around the ice en route to a 6-0 loss on the second night of a Vegas back-to-back, you have to wonder. This resolution will get its next test on Sunday. If the Devils hit the absinthe and turn their red-hot goalie into Mackenzie Wormwood, we can feel confident that the other 30 NHL teams aren’t turning over a new leaf when they hit the strip.
Not a goal but something I’ve never seen before! Two trips on one breakaway! An underrated skill among the non-hockey-playing public is how hard it is to get back on your feet after a trip. Lehmann just pops right back up and keeps going which is pretty bonkers.
9. Ryan Poehling
Ryan Poehling completes a natural hat trick with 23.4 seconds left as Team USA rallies from 4-0 down to force OT vs… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
As we’re about to ring in 2019, let’s bid adieu to 2018 with a recap of the bet, worst, wildest, saddest etc etc moments in hockey from the past year. In no particular order, here are the most majestic moments of 2018.
Tweet at us @avgtimeonice with your own additions to this list and we’ll retweet our faves!
The Caps winning the cup and the entire bender that followed
Alright, this one is obvious but there’s no way we couldn’t include it. If you were cheering against Ovi, you’re terrible and should just unfollow us now. The only thing better than seeing him finally lift the cup was the entire team bender that ensued. Let’s refresh, shall we?
But what might have been my personal favorite was Jakub Vrana’s entire instagram presence, from having Holtby hold his hand while he got his tattoo to him just very drunkenly and very happily saying the names of his teammates and pointing at them in his stories (which he probably has zero recollection of). I mean, this young wasted boy rolled up his short sleeve shirt to show off his wrist tattoo! God bless you, Jakub.
Just a guy on pace for 35 goals, 240 shots, 200+ hits, and a G/60 on par with MacKinnon this season.
Since his breakout 2015-16 season, Boone Jenner has been appreciated in fantasy circles for his shots and hits, and the hope that he can one day replicate his Cy Young-worthy 30 goals and 19 assists. However, GMs pining for Jenner’s good ol’ days may be missing the rise of another player in the same mold, frequently deployed on the same line.
Josh Anderson joined the Blue Jackets one season after Jenner in 2014-15, and while he wasn’t scoring at the rate Jenner did (a combined 5 points in 18 games over his first two seasons) he did throw his 6-3 frame around just the same, with 64 hits in that same span of games. Since then, Anderson has steadily taken over as the peripherals-and-goals heavy fantasy target of choice in Columbus, as Jenner has become waiver fodder. But what can we expect from Anderson moving forward, and is he more likely to fade like Jenner, or develop along the lines of more successful power forwards?