We are 27 days away from the start of the NHL season. The scheduling of your Fantasy Hockey drafts have begun. The DraftKit is on sale and it is time to start previewing the 2016-17 NHL season.
I will be previewing two teams every day and each preview will consist of: Projected Line Combinations, a breakdown of each team’s top Fantasy assets, a look at their goaltending situation and 2016-17 NHL Standings projection.
If you don’t want to wait for the previews, buy our 2016-17 DraftKit—which has previews for every team as well as projections for over 300 players and goalies. You will get rankings and projections on here over the next few weeks, but why wait, when you can get it all right now for just $4.95?
Let’s take a look at the Boston Bruins.
|David Backes – C – (from STL)||Loui Eriksson – LW – (to VAN)|
|Anton Khudobin – G – (from ANA)||Lee Stempniak – RW – (to CAR)|
|Riley Nash – C – (from CAR)||Brett Connolly – RW – (to WSH)|
|Dominic Moore – C – (from NYR)||Jonas Gustavsson – G – (to EDM)|
|Dennis Seidenberg – D – (to UFA)|
The Bruins didn’t undergo a lot of changes this offseason, but their changes were big ones. They lost Loui Eriksson to free agency but replaced him with David Backes. They also lost Jonas Gustavsson to Edmonton but brought in Anton Khudobin. The Bruins big problem in 2015-16 was their blueline and they did nothing to address that issue this summer.
Boston’s blueline is still anchored by Zdeno Chara, but his advancing age has slowed him down over the last few seasons. Their offensive catalyst on the back-end is Torey Krug, who has elevated his game into the top-20 defensemen. Outside of those two, the Bruins don’t have fantasy contributors on their blueline. Joe Morrow was a big prospect, but has yet to develop at the NHL level. The Bruins will need the former first-round pick to take a step forward in 2016-17. He is a physical defenseman with a big shot, so he should be treated as a fantasy sleeper if he sees enough power-play time.
Up front Patrice Bergeron leads a quality group of forwards. Bergeron is arguably the NHL’s best two-way forwards and he has played alongside Brad Marchand for the better part of six seasons, but 2015-16 produced the best results yet. Each of them had career-years. Marchand posted 37 goals and 60 points while Bergeron finished with 32 goals and 68 points. They will likely have the newly acquired Backes on their wing, which makes a very dangerous top-line. The rest of their top-9 is underrated. David Krejci is consistently undervalued and a group of young wingers—Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak and Jimmy Hayes—are still developing, but could all be key fantasy assets this season.
In goal, Tuukka Rask is coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career. In the previous four seasons, Rask never posted a goals against average over 2.30 or save percentage under .922, but last year the Finnish netminder had a 2.56 GAA and .915 SV%. Most of his struggles could be chalked up to a depleted blueline in front of him. Rask’s future owners can expect improved numbers this season. Khudobin comes over from Anaheim to be his backup, but Malcolm Subban lurks closely behind him and could make the jump to the NHL this season.
Overall, the Bruins likely won’t be much better than they were last season, especially when you consider that Marchand likely won’t reach 37 goals again. However, they should have improved production from others which will have them finish close to where they were a year ago.
Bruins in the DFO Top 275:
- 56. Tuukka Rask – G
- 64. Patrice Bergeron – C
- 81. Torey Krug – D
- 110. Brad Marchand – LW
- 119. David Krejci – C
- 137. David Backes – RW
- 148. David Pastrnak – RW
- 175. Ryan Spooner – C
- 190. Zdeno Chara – D
2016-17 Season Projection:
The Bruins will finish in a similar spot to where they finished in 2015-16, missing the playoffs by a hair—marking the third consecutive season that they’ve missed the playoffs, which is their longest drought since they missed for eight straight seasons between 1960 and 1967.
- Boston Bruins