This summer there were changes abound and a lot of the player movement will have a huge impact on the fantasy hockey landscape for the 2017-18 season. In this two-part series we will take a look at 15 players who will be suiting up in new uniforms this fall and what to expect from them with their new teams. Let’s take a look a No.1-to-7.
Following two very successful seasons in Chicago, Panarin and his $6.0M AAV contract were dealt to the Blue Jackets this summer. The trade was a bit of a head scratcher as Brandon Saad carries the same cap-hit for more years, but the trade certainly won’t hurt Panarin’s fantasy stock. The 25-year-old has scored at least 30 goals with 40-plus assists in each of his first two NHL seasons—he is tied for seventh in the league in points (151), tied for 14th in goals (61) and 15th in assists (90) over that span.
The Russian winger has electrifying talent and a terrific shot, which should look excellent on Alexander Wennberg’s wing in 2017-18. Moving off of Patrick Kane’s line isn’t ideal, but Wennberg is a very talented playmaker with great vision, making these two a great match. While a 15.3% shooting percentage can sometimes be a cause for concern, Panarin’s elite shot should allow him to carry an above-average shooting percentage into 2017-18. He carries an impressive 54.1 CorsiFor% in 162 career games, so don’t expect those point totals to drop-off in his first year with Columbus.
In three years prior to 2016-17, Shattenkirk posted 45, 44 and 44 points but had a career-high 56 points (13G / 43A) with the Blues and Capitals last year. After just 19 regular season and 13 playoff games with the Capitals, Shattenkirk signed with the New York Rangers this summer.
Shattenkirk was long linked to the Rangers because he is a Greenwich, Connecticut native—one hour from New York City. Over the lat four years, Shattenkirk was tied for 10th among defensemen in goals (45), 11th in assists (144) and points (189).
Shattenkirk, who ranks second in the NHL in power-play points in that same span, will help a Rangers’ PP that was already tied for 10th (20.2%) last year. The move to New York should not change Shattenkirk’s production, but it will likely have a big effect on Ryan McDonagh’s usage and production.
Trade rumours swirled around Drouin following a dramatic 2015-16 season, but the trade didn’t materialize until this summer when he was dealt to Montreal. There’s no denying Drouin’s talent (see goal below), he had a great postseason upon his return to the Lightning in 2015-16 and had 21 goals and 32 assists (53 points) in 73 games last year.
The Canadiens added the French-Canadian because they were in need of some game-breaking talent in their top-6, but they also gave up on top prospect Mikhail Sergachev in order to make it happen. Drouin has outstanding vision and playmaking ability, making him a 20-goal, 40-assist threat in his first season with his hometown team.
Saad was originally a casualty of the salary cap strain in Chicago when he was traded to the Blue Jackets prior to the 2015-16 season. During two years in Columbus, Saad was tied for 23rd in the NHL in goals (55) and tied for 62nd in points (106).
Saad is a thick kid with great two-way ability and a return to Chicago likely means he will be reunited with Jonathan Toews—the duo had a 56.1 CF% and 61.7 GF% when they played together in 2014-15. Saad posted strong numbers in Columbus despite recorded just seven PPG and 11 PPP in 160 games. If he can carve out a larger role on the Blackhawks’ PP he has obvious 30-30 upside.
Radulov made his much anticipated return to the NHL in 2016-17, but it was unspectacular for the most part. (aside from some slick goals like this)
It seemed like all of North America was skeptical about Radulov’s return, which is why he was only signed to a one-year deal. However, he escaped the season without any crazy antics and earned himself a five-year pact in Dallas this summer.
Radulov joins what should be one of the most high-flying offences in the NHL and could play on a line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin—a trio that is bound to dominate and could be one of the most potent lines in the league.
The Stars are unlikely to struggle like they did in 2015-16, so look for Radulov to build off of last year and top 20-goals and 40-assists.
Darling is one of the best success stories in hockey over the last decade. Upon the completion of his time at the University of Maine, where he posted just an .895 SV%, Darling spent 65 games in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), 39 games in the ECHL and 53 games in the AHL before finally making it to the NHL, where he posted a .936 SV% in 14 games during his rookie season (2014-15).
Since then all he has done is post the fourth best SV% (.922) in the NHL—among goalies who have played at least 75 games. This summer he was able to emerge from Corey Crawford’s shadow as he was traded to the Hurricanes, where he is expected to serve as their starter, ahead of veteran Cam Ward.
The 28-year-old should have equal success in Carolina as the Hurricanes are one of the best young, up-and-coming teams in the league. Last season they had the third best CF% (52.2) and ranked sixth on the penalty kill (84.2%). With a great blueline in front of him, Darling is a No.2 fantasy netminder on draft day but carries low-end No.1 upside.
After seven seasons and 507 regular season games in Edmonton, Eberle’s run with the Oilers came to an end this summer when he was dealt to the Islanders for Ryan Strome. On the whole, Eberle’s numbers were relatively disappointing, but he was a consistent 20-plus goal scorer and had some really nice seasons during his tenure in Edmonton.
Now in Brooklyn, Eberle should find himself on John Tavares’ wing and unlike Andrew Ladd last year, he should have a lot of success. The 27-year-old absolutely disappeared in the playoffs last year, which was likely the last straw in Oil Country, but he is a natural goal scorer who should have no problem getting to 25 goals with 30 assists in his first campaign with a solid Islanders squad.
*All Advanced Stats via www.hockey-reference.com*
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