We are 23 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 Calgary Flames.
|Brian Elliott – G – (from STL)||Joe Colborne – C – (to COL)|
|Troy Brouwer – RW – (from STL)||Mason Raymond – LW – (to ANA)|
|Chad Johnson – G – (from BUF)||Josh Jooris – C – (to NYR)|
|Alex Chiasson – RW – (from OTT)||Pat Sieloff – D – (to OTT)|
|Linden Vey – RW – (from VAN)|
After shockingly making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2014-15, the Flames disappointed in 2015-16, winning just 35 games and finishing fifth in the Pacific Division. Despite a rough season, Calgary comes into 2016-17 with high hopes and a bright future.
This summer the Flames addressed their glaring need for a No.1 goaltender. Last year, they were last in the NHL with an ugly 3.13 goals against average (GAA) using Karri Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Joni Ortio and Nicklas Backstrom in goal. In the offseason they traded for Brian Elliott to be their No.1 netminder and also signed Chad Johnson to be his backup. In 2015-16, Elliott led the NHL with a .930 save percentage and was tied for second in GAA (2.07). In his five seasons with St. Louis, the 31-year-old goalie posted an impressive 2.01 GAA and .925 SV%. His acquisition should help solidify the Flames’ crease that has ranked in the bottom half of the league over the last four seasons.
One of the Flames’ strengths is their blueline. Their top pairing of Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie produces high-end fantasy numbers and Dougie Hamilton is capable of doing the same on their second pairing. All three of them rank in the top 30 among defensemen in points over the last three seasons—Giordano is eighth (151 points), Brodie is 26th (117) and Hamilton is tied for 28th (110).
Calgary didn’t lose many forwards this offseason but added Troy Brouwer to their top-6 as well as Alex Chiasson and Linden Vey to their bottom two lines. The Flames are led by third-year winger Johnny Gaudreau, who will once again find himself on the top line with Sean Monahan this season. Gaudreau’s 142 points (54G / 88A) through his first two seasons ranks 12th in the NHL and he has established himself as one of the best wingers in the league. Monahan has also posted 60-plus points in two straight seasons and they will likely play with Brouwer, who has been a consistent 20-goal threat. Their second line will be anchored by sophomore centre Sam Bennett, who had 36 points (18G / 18A) in his rookie campaign. This group ranked 10th in the NHL in goals for and should be found there at the end of 2016-17.
The biggest change for the Flames is their goaltending, which will be much improved and should lead to many more wins. Calgary has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven years, but a top-10 offence combined with an improved defence could lead to the Flames getting back into the postseason.
Flames in the DFO Top 275:
- 13. Johnny Gaudreau – LW
- 34. Sean Monahan – C
- 38. Mark Giordano – D
- 74. Brian Elliott – G
- 94. Dougie Hamilton – D
- 100. T.J. Brodie – D
- 187. Sam Bennett – C
- 251. Troy Brouwer – RW
- 258. Dennis Wideman – D
- 272. Michael Frolik – RW
2016-17 Season Projection:
The addition of Brian Elliott should lead to a lot more wins in Calgary this season and a return to the playoffs for the Flames. The Pacific Division might be the worst division in the NHL, making things a little easier on the Flames.