Fantasy Hockey drafts are getting underway, so it is a good time to start looking at some of the Average Draft Positions (ADP) and see who is going way later than I think they should be.
For the purpose of this article, I am using Yahoo! and their Draft Analysis tool and cross referencing it with our DraftKit to see who some of the most undervalued players at each position are. For the first article I am going to take a look at the centres.
Centre is the deepest position heading into the 2016-17 Fantasy Hockey season, so if you can take other positions in the early rounds and target some of these centres in the rounds later than they should be going, you could be on your way to building a Fantasy Hockey Champion.
Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks
Yahoo! ADP-151.2 | DFO Ranking-79
Last Season: GP-74 | G-11 | A-44 | PTS-55
2016-17 Projection: GP-75 | G-13 | A-46 | PTS-59
Sedin is in the twilight of his career but remains one of the best playmakers in the NHL. Henrik has never been known as a goal scorer, but he is tied for ninth in the NHL with 138 assists over the last three seasons. Entering his 16th NHL season he is no longer a point-per-game threat, but should find himself near the top of the league in assists.
If you have been paying attention to the World Cup of Hockey, Henrik has been playing on a line with his brother Daniel and Loui Eriksson and they’ve looked great. That trio will likely play the majority of the 2016-17 season together in Vancouver after Eriksson signed there this summer. If the WCOH is any indication, they’re going to be dangerous.
Henrik’s lack of goal scoring limits his fantasy value, but there is no reason for him to be dropping to the 13th round like he is on Yahoo! right now.
Ryan Johansen – Nashville Predators
Yahoo! ADP-76.5 | DFO Ranking-24
Last Season: GP-80 | G-14 | A-46 | PTS-60
2016-17 Projection: GP-82 | G-27 | A-45 | PTS-72
I don’t know how Johansen could be dropping this far. The 24-year-old centre enjoyed a breakout season in 2014-15 which led to massive expectations in 2015-16. After a slow start Johansen was traded to Nashville where he finished the season with 34 points (8G / 26A) in the final 42 games.
Across 82 games, Johansen was on pace for 66 points, which would have been tied with Nikita Kucherov and Jaromir Jagr for 21st in the NHL. His lack of goal scoring can be attributed to his 7.6 shooting percentage (second worst of his career), which will work itself out in 2016-17. A full season in Nashville, likely on a line with Fillip Forsberg should produce better results.
In the two years prior to last, Johansen had 63 points (33G / 30A) and 71 points (26G / 45A)—those skills have not gone anywhere, so he should be drafted as such, not as a seventh round pick.
Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche
Yahoo! ADP-101.5 | DFO Ranking-51
Last Season: GP-76 | G-30 | A-29 | PTS-59
2016-17 Projection: GP-76 | G-27 | A-40 | PTS-67
Duchene was nearly a 30-30 player last season, why is he dropping to the ninth round? Not to mention the Avalanche offence struggled for the majority of last season and should be opened back up with Patrick Roy no longer behind the bench.
You can’t put a tonne of stock into what you see at the World Cup of Hockey, but Duchene had two goals against Team USA last night, including this beauty.
Duchene has tremendous speed and should play on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog—gross. Duchene proved last year he can be a 30-goal scorer and had 47 assists in 2013-14, so he carries an extremely high ceiling that warrants more attention on draft day.
Tyler Johnson – Tampa Bay Lightning
Yahoo! ADP-146.8 | DFO Ranking-98
Last Season: GP-64 | G-14 | A-24 | PTS-38
2016-17 Projection: GP-76 | G-25 | A-35 | PTS-60
Johnson burned his owners last year so I can understand a little hesitancy heading into 2016-17, but for him to fall into the 13th round is excessive. Even with a terrible 2015-16 campaign, the 26-year-old is averaging 58 points per 82 games over the last three seasons, which lends hope for him returning to form this year.
If that isn’t enough, Johnson impressed with 17 points (7G / 10A) in 17 playoff games to remind everyone how good he is. A return to 70-plus points may not be in order, but he is a talented centre on a dangerous Lightning team that should be going five rounds earlier than he is right now.
Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
Yahoo! ADP-59.9 | DFO Ranking-29
Last Season: GP-77 | G-13 | A-50 | PTS-63
2016-17 Projection: GP-77 | G-23 | A-50 | PTS-73
Getzlaf’s first half in 2015-16 was downright terrible…for lack of a better term. Getzlaf had just one goal in his first 29 games and just 23 points (3G / 20A) through 35 games. However, the veteran centre turned the corner in January, returning to his former self and finishing the season with 40 points (10G / 30A) in his final 42 games.
It seems as if people are forgetting how good he was down the stretch and I would be drafting him two or three rounds earlier. His goal production last year was troubling, but he shot just 7.3 percent, which is way down from his career 11.9 shooting percentage. If you average out his 178 shots with his career shooting percentage you get 21 goals, which is close to what you should expect from the Ducks’ No.1 centre this season.
Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames
Yahoo! ADP-61.1 | DFO Ranking-34
Last Season: GP-81 | G-27 | A-36 | PTS-63
2016-17 Projection: GP-81 | G-31 | A-37 | PTS-68
Monahan isn’t dropping as far as the five players mentioned before him, but he still carries tremendous value as the sixth round pick he is on Yahoo! right now.
As Calgary’s No.1 centre, Monahan has turned in 62 points (31G / 31A) and 63 points (27G / 36A) in the last two seasons. At just 21-years-old and playing huge minutes next to the gifted Johnny Gaudreau, this is just the start for Monahan.
There isn’t much that Monahan doesn’t have going for him. He has good size (6’3” / 195 lbs), offensive ability, defensive ability, heavy usage and great linemates. Don’t let him slip too far on Draft Day.