With the Fantasy Hockey season fully upon us, training camps started, fantasy drafts being scheduled and players getting injured, it is time to look at the Average Draft Positions (ADP) on Yahoo! and see who is going way too late in drafts.
I’ve looked at the ADP’s of all of the Left Wings and cross referenced them with the Rankings in our Fantasy Hockey Draft Kit to see who the most undervalued Left Wings are right now.
Last week I wrote the same article, looking at Centres. On the DailyFaceoff Podcast we’ve also taken a detailed look at the Centre and Left Wing position in our Positional Previews for the 2016-17 Fantasy Hockey season. They’re worth a listen, I promise!
Jaden Schwartz – St. Louis Blues
Yahoo! ADP-145.7 | DFO Ranking-55
Last Season: GP-33 | G-8 | A-14 | PTS-22
2016-17 Projection: GP-80 | G-28 | A-37 | PTS-65
Schwartz had a forgettable 2015-16 season, thanks in large part to a fractured ankle that he suffered in October. He missed 49 games, but picked up 22 points (8G / 14A) in the 33 regular season games he was available for and an additional 14 points (4G / 10A) in 20 playoff games.
His injury ravaged season appears to have everyone forgetting about the 24-year-old winger. In the two years prior to 2015-16, Schwartz had 56 (25G / 31A) and 63 points (28G / 35A) while only missing nine games. During that time his combined 53 goals was tied for eighth among left wingers while his 66 was 13th and the 119 points was 11th.
A lot of Schwartz’s value comes with playing the majority of his 5-on-5 minutes with Vladimir Tarasenko. The Russian has developed into an elite goal scorer, which bodes well for a playmaking winger like Schwartz. Last year, he played over 60 percent of his even-strength minutes with Tarasenko and while they were on the ice together they managed a strong 54.1 CorsiFor% and scored an impressive 59.1 percent of the goals while on the ice.
Everything mentioned above besides a fractured ankle is great. However, Schwartz is being drafted as the 30th(!!!) left wing eligible player on Yahoo! even though prior to last year he played among the top-10 at the position. Don’t let one injury plagued season make you forget just how productive Schwartz can be in 2016-17.
Mike Hoffman – Ottawa Senators
Yahoo! ADP-140.8 | DFO Ranking-63
Last Season: GP-78 | G-29 | A-30 | PTS-59
2016-17 Projection: GP-79 | G-31 | A-31 | PTS-62
Last year, I think I was in the minority when it came to believing if Hoffman was the real deal. He scored 27 goals with 21 assists (48 points) in his first NHL season which led to me projecting him for 25 goals and 28 assists (53 points)—which ended up to be pretty accurate. Hoffman finished the 2015-16 season with 29 goals and 30 assists (59 points), but it looks like people still don’t believe.
Despite averaging 28 goals over the last two years, the 26-year-old winger is being taken as the 29th left wing eligible player and is being drafted in the 12th round on average. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. The former fifth overall pick proved he was a capable goal scorer in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL and he hasn’t slowed down at all.
Hoffman is a speedy winger with a great winger who can also be found playing the point next to Erik Karlsson on the Senators’ power-play—see video below.
I don’t think he will blow up for 40 goals in 2016-17, but he has the potential to be a 30-30 player and that warrants a draft pick closer to the sixth round than the 12th.
Jeff Skinner – Carolina Hurricanes
Yahoo! ADP-157.3| DFO Ranking-105
Last Season: GP-82 | G-28 | A-23 | PTS-51
2016-17 Projection: GP-77 | G-32 | A-23 | PTS-55
Skinner was plagued by injuries, mostly concussions, from 2012-14, but managed to play in all 82 games last season and has only missed five games in the last two years combined. The 24-year-old is one of the best skaters in the NHL and is already a six-year veteran of the NHL.
Skinner is entering the prime of his career and has already cracked 30 goals twice. Even with injuries mixed in, Skinner ranks 11th in the NHL in goals since he broke into the league back in 2010-11. He doesn’t have the best surrounding cast in Carolina, but he is one of the better goal scorers there is and is capable of cracking 30 goals regardless of who he is playing with.
Carolina should actually be better than they were last season, when Skinner had 28 goals, so as long as he can continue to stay healthy, he is a solid bet to top 30 goals and approach 30 assists. On average, he is going near the 14th round but I have him pegged as an eighth-to-10th rounder.
Tomas Tatar – Detroit Red Wings
Yahoo! ADP-167.3| DFO Ranking-121
Last Season: GP-81 | G-21 | A-24 | PTS-45
2016-17 Projection: GP-82 | G-27 | A-27 | PTS-54
Tatar enjoyed a breakout year in 2014-15, posting 29 goals and 27 assists, which led to big expectations in 2015-16, but he struggled all year long. The 25-year-old finished with just 21 goals and 24 assists and it looks like owners aren’t ready to get burned again.
The Slovakian is dropping to the 14th round of fantasy drafts, but should be going closer to the 10th round in my opinion. Tatar is an excellent possession player (56.5 CF% in 2016) and makes his linemates a lot better—linemates without Tatar have a 51 CF%, but have a 57 CF% with him.
With Pavel Datsyuk out of the mix, Tatar will need to return to his 2014-15 form if the Red Wings are going to be successful and I don’t think that’s too much to ask. He has the skill set and the teammates to be a 30-30 player this season, but let’s see him get back to 25-25 before we get carried away.
He certainly comes into this season with a ton of confidence as Team Europe is heading to the World Cup of Hockey on the back of two Tomas Tatar goals, including the overtime game-winner.
Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators
Yahoo! ADP-48.5| DFO Ranking-14
Last Season: GP-82 | G-33 | A-31 | PTS-64
2016-17 Projection: GP-82 | G-35 | A-40 | PTS-75
There is so much to like about Forsberg heading into the 2016-17 season—especially if you get him in the fourth or fifth round, which is where he is going right now. I have him ranked as an early second-round pick (14th overall), which speaks to how highly I think of the Swedish winger.
In his first two full seasons in Nashville, Forsberg has posted 63 (26G / 37A) and 64 points (33G / 31A). Compared to the rest of the NHL, Forsberg ranks fifth in goals (59), sixth in points (127) and 10th in assists (68) over that span, which is why I think he is a borderline first round pick.
In addition to his past success, he is only 22-years-old and this will be his first full season on a team with Ryan Johansen and the offseason addition of P.K. Subban makes the Predators an even better puck-moving team. This is just the beginning for Forsberg, who should see plenty more ice-time on a line with Johansen this season.
James van Riemsdyk – Toronto Maple Leafs
Yahoo! ADP-122.4| DFO Ranking-92
Last Season: GP-40 | G-14 | A-15 | PTS-29
2016-17 Projection: GP-81 | G-28 | A-30 | PTS-58
Prior to last year, van Riemsdyk had only missed two games in his first three seasons in Toronto, but missed 42 games due to a foot injury in 2015-16. In all honesty, the Maple Leafs were in no hurry to get van Riemsdyk back on the ice as their season was lost and winning games wasn’t exactly in their best interest—*cough* Auston Matthews *cough*.
The American-born winger was on pace for 29 goals and 31 assists (60 points) last year and few wingers have been as consistent year-to-year as van Riemsdyk. During his four years in Toronto, van Riemsdyk has averaged 29 goals and 29 assists per 82 games, so basically a 30-30 player.
Disregard last year’s injury and look for him to turn in a healthy season in 2016-17. With the addition of Matthews and an infusion of other prospects, the Maple Leafs should be much improved this year and van Riemsdyk should continue about his consistent, (almost) 30-30 production they look like they have undergone Gastric Sleeve Surgery. He is currently slipping to the 11th round, but should be treated more like an eighth round selection.
It is also worth noting that Tatar’s teammate Gustav Nyquist has an ADP of 168.0 and I have him ranked two spots behind Tatar (123). Like Tatar, Nyquist is coming off of a disappointing year following a breakout year two seasons ago. He is equally as capable of putting up huge numbers in 2016-17 and should be going about four rounds sooner.