Training camp is in full swing, players are getting cut left and right and Fantasy Hockey drafts are winding up. It’s still a little too early to put a tonne of stock in Yahoo’s current Average Draft Positions (ADP), but it’s also worth taking a look at.
I went through all of the players with an ADP of 170 or lower and cross-referenced them with where I have them ranked. There were a lot of discrepancies and that can mean one of three things.
- It really is too early to get a solid idea from ADPs.
- Most of the people who have done drafts on Yahoo already don’t know what they’re doing.
- I have no idea what I am talking about.
Let’s at least pretend I do know what I’m saying and take a look at 15 players (skaters & goalies) that were going much later than where I have them ranked.
Devan Dubnyk – G – Wild (DFO Rank: No.17) – Yahoo ADP:46.0
Since Dubnyk joined the Wild, he ranks second in the NHL in Wins (99), SV% (.924) and shutouts (15) while also being tied for third in GAA (2.17). Dubnyk has been a top-3 netminder since January 2015, so how is he currently the No.10 goalie off of the board?
Dubnyk’s current ADP simply put: makes no sense. He has little-to-no competition for starts which makes him one of the safest bets in the NHL to start 60-plus games. Given how dominant he has been, 60-plus starts should translate into 40-plus wins with top-5 splits.
Ryan Johansen – C – Predators (DFO Rank: No.39) – Yahoo ADP:103.9
Draftees must be getting scared off by Johansen’s playoff injury. The Predators’ centre was hurt in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final and had to undergo emergency surgery for acute compartment syndrome of the left thigh. Johansen, who missed the Stanley Cup Final, made a full recovery and has participated in the preseason. That should ease the injury concerns, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Johansen is currently being drafted in the ninth round (on average) and is the 21st centre off of the board. He has inexplicably seen his shot production drop since joining the Predators, which limits his 30-goal upside. However, he still brings 20-to-25 goal and 40-to-50 assist upside to the table and that alone makes him worthy of a third or fourth round pick.
Justin Faulk – D – Hurricanes (DFO Rank: No.45) – Yahoo ADP:97.3
Faulk does not get nearly the respect that he deserves. The 25-year-old ranks sixth among defensemen in goals (48) over the last three years—scoring 15-plus goals each of those seasons. Faulk is a weapon on the power-play ranking third in PPGs (23) and tied for 18th in PPPs (50) over that same stretch.
The one knock on Faulk from a fantasy perspective is that he is a combined minus-68 over the last four seasons, but that’s more reflective of the Hurricanes as a whole. Over that same span, Faulk has a strong 52.7 CorsiFor% and has had a positive relative Corsi in each season.
The Hurricanes are an improving team and have a good chance to be a playoff team this season, which could turn Faulk into a positive player with 15-plus goals, 30-plus assists and impressive power-play numbers. If that’s not a top-10 fantasy defenseman, I don’t know what is—he is currently being drafted as the No.21 defenseman and a ninth-round pick.
Taylor Hall – D – Devils (DFO Rank: No.56) – Yahoo ADP:92.5
During his first season in New Jersey, Hall totalled 20 goals and 33 assists (53 points) in 72 games. Despite moving to a team that has been renowned for their defence, Hall managed to increase he shot rate from 3.25 (2011-to-2016) to 3.31 (2017).
Hall carried a 52.2 CF% with a 7.6 relative Corsi last year and the Devils are expected to be an improved squad in 2017-18, furthering his upside. New Jersey added Nico Hischier with the No.1 overall pick and playmaker Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals.
Hall was once touted as a first-round fantasy talent and now he’s going in the eighth-round, giving him a tonne of value. Look at his 23-goal, 38-assist (61 points) per 82 game pace from a year ago as his floor.
Jonathan Huberdeau – LW – Panthers (DFO Rank: No.57) – Yahoo ADP:78.7
Huberdeau’s 2016-17 season got derailed before it started as a preseason Achilles injury cost him the first 51 games of the season. Upon his return, Huberdeau picked up 26 points (10G / 16A) in 31 games—a 27-goal, 42-assist (69-point) per 82-game pace. That production would have had Huberdeau tied with Auston Matthews, Mikael Granlund, Alex Ovechkin and Jamie Benn for 20th in the NHL in points. Three of those players are going to be first-round fantasy picks this fall and Huberdeau is going in the seventh-round. Inexplicable.
Anze Kopitar – C – Kings (DFO Rank: No.59) – Yahoo ADP:100.2
In the three seasons prior to 2016-17, Kopitar was tied for 13th in the NHL in points (208) but struggled with just 12 goals last year. This seems like a case of “what have you done for me lately,” and you should take advantage of that. Kopitar still managed to tally 40 assists—the ninth time in 10 (full 82-game) seasons during his career.
Kopitar might be 30 years-old and the Kings might be on the decline, but the L.A. captain will log huge minutes, play nearly every game and record at least 40 assists. If we see his shooting percentage rise back to his career rate of 12.1, Kopitar should approach 20 goals and 60 points. Don’t let him slip to the ninth-round like everyone else seems to be doing right now.
Alex Galchenyuk – C/LW – Canadiens (DFO Rank: No.76) – Yahoo ADP:141.8
The addition of Jonathan Drouin and Galchenyuk’s permanent move to the wing may hurt his value a little bit, but it looks like people are forgetting that he was on-pace for a career-high in points last season. The 23-year-old was on-pace for 23 goals and 38 assists (61 points) but missed 21 games due to injury.
The American-born winger has been a positive CorsiFor% player throughout his first 336 career games, but saw his shot volume drop-off significantly last year. What I draw from this is that Galchenyuk is neither the 201-shot, 30-goal scorer we saw in 2015-16 but he’s also not the 140-shot, 16.3 shooting percentage we saw last year. Galchenyuk will likely fall somewhere in the middle, making him a candidate for goals in the low-to-mid 20’s with somewhere near-or-above 30 assists.
This is a player with sixth or seventh-round potential being drafted in the the 12th round.
Ryan O’Reilly – C – Sabres (DFO Rank: No.85) – Yahoo ADP:145.0
The case of O’Reilly is completely baffling. The 26-year-old has been extremely consistent, ranking tied for 26th in the NHL in power-play points (80) tied for 29th in points (234) and tied for 32nd in assists (148) over the last four seasons.
The 26-year-old is guaranteed to log huge minutes in the Sabres’ top-6, most likely next to quality wingers like Kyle Okposo. O’Reilly has a 2.0 relative CorsiFor% in two years with the Sabres and there have been no red flags that his production is unsustainable. O’Reilly was on-pace for a career-high 215 shots on goal last year, making him a candidate for 25 goals and 40 assists in his ninth NHL season. How is he dropping to the 13th round?
Part 2 (seven more players) coming on Tuesday (Sep. 26)
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