Updated: Jan 23
Very similar to the NFL season, no preseason games led to a lot of unknowns heading into the season. Here is one early surprise and one player who may have been over valued from each West division team in this years fantasy hockey landscape:
Should be noted that all ADPs and Rostering % come from ESPN..
Dissapointment: Adam Henrique 41% rostered
With only one player rosted in over 41% of leagues. Adam Henrique is not the late round boom many may have predicted from Anaheims #1 centre. With an ADP of 116 on Yahoo, other players available in that range were William Nylander, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Kailer Yamammoto. So far Henrique has mustered 1 SOG through three contests and while someone on Anaheim has to score, don't be surprised if he falls well short of his 41 point projection this season.
Surpise: John Gibson 36% rostered
Gibson was the 12th highest fantasy scoring goalie in 2020 despite playing for an abysmal Anaheim team. In 2021 the team has not improved, but Gibsons proving to be more than worth his 212 ADP. Gibson was the 25th drafted goalie by avergage on Yahoo, and despite only one win through his first three starts, Gibby has managed to go positive in each game and has the 4th most points for amongst all goalies in the early goings of the season.
Dissapointment: Oliver Ekman-Larsson 74% rostered
To be fair to Oliver, through his first 2 games OEL had 3 points and was well on his way to outplaying his ADP. However, in a shorterend season a long term injury is really crushing to a player, especially a defenceman as they're much harder to replace when it comes to fantasy hockey.
Surpise: Jakob Chychrun 57% rostered
A ton of Arizona players could be picked here, but despite Kessel and Kellers great starts im going to go with Chychrun. With OEL out week to week Chychrun may be in line to recieve some more time on the man advantage. While Oesterle held the coveted PP1 time against Vegas last night., Jakobs hot start has him due for a reward. Adding that he has registered 4 points and 10 shots on goal makes Chychrun a must add moving forward.
Dissapointment: Ryan Graves 92% rostered
Don't get me wrong, Ryan Graves is a fantastic hockey player and any NHL team would love to have him, but it appears he drew the short straw when it came to Powerplay time. Graves was the second Avs defenceman taken off the board with an ADP of 82.4 (Makar-29, Girard-211, Toews-219). So far this season Graves has seen less minutes than the other three and is not seeing much powerplay time at all. This one hurts, and while their is plenty of time to turn it around and he will get points nonetheless, Graves is not on track to live up to expectations
Surpise: Gabriel Landeskog 99% rostered
Landeskog was picked as many to be a bust this year. So if you took him around that ADP of 55, do not fret! Many suggested that Colorado may spread the wealth this year and split Landeskog up from Mackinnon and Rantanen but so far that hasn't been the case. The Avs captain scored 2 goals in the blowout of St. Louis and has registered 4 shots in both of Colorados games so far.
Dissapointment: Jonathan Quick 10% rostered
Im going to be honest, the Kings have little to no fantasy relevance outside of Kopitar and Doughty. However in 10% of leagues somebody has Quick on their roster. I really don't know why, he's not very good and he plays on a team thats even worse. Unless you are in a dynasty league, their aren't very many good reasons to have Kings players on your team, except.....
Surpise: Anze Kopitar 97% rostered
This dude will always be good. While he may not be the ideal pick at his ADP of 65, someone on LA has to score, and when you're averaging 24 minutes of icetime a night that won't be hard to do for the Kings captain.
Dissapointment: Zach Parise 83% rostered
Parise in all honesty is a dissapointment by comparison. Zach is on his teams 1st powerplay as well as 1st line, but at the same time was drafted 20 picks before Kaprizov and 100 before Fiala. The latter two players have a much higher ceiling, and when drafting outside the top 100ish players, ceiling is what you should be aiming for. Parise always seems to be that guy that 5 people in your league will roster at some point, and while he will score points, he's not going to be some sort of league winner that you may be hoping for.
Surpise: Kirill Kaprizov 84% rostered
Speaking of league winners, hats off to you if you jumped on the Kaprizov bandwagon. Panarin 2.0 has lived up to the hype so far scoring 4 points including a the OT winner in his first NHL game. The key to success for most rookies is a mature game + opportunity + skill. Kaprizov is 23, averages almost 20 minutes a night, and just oozes playmaking ability.
Dissapointment: Erik Karlsson 99% rostered
Don't get me wrong, Karlsson is a great player and theres no reason to throw him on the trade block just yet. But when you're a defenceman drafted before guys like Scheifele, Stone, Barkov, Malkin, Konecny etc. You have to do one of two things, score or not go negative. While the former norris trophy winner is still a dominant force in the offensive zone, going negative including the -2 and -3 performances already, is a serious detriment to a fantasy team. If you have him you will have many nights where he can make a huge impact, and many nights where he will make you want to scratch your eyes out.
Surpise: Tomas Hertl 82% rostered
Hertl had a tough year in 2019-20, as did the rest of the San Jose roster. However, an ADP of 163, is the exact reason the analytic guy in your league always has a great team. Hertl was due for a bounce back and even Yahoo predicted him to have the most points amongst Shark forwards. Basically my point is if you took Couture at the ADP of 90 and passed on Hertl in the 150 range, that stings :(
Dissapointment: Mike Hoffman 91% rostered
Now hear me out. Hoffman is a fantastic goal scorer, 58 points and 28 goals last season was a great output. Except he did that with a Florida team that played him 17 minutes a night and heavily on the powerplay. While he's new to town, St louis is a much deeper team and so far the goal scorer has been seeing minutes on the third line and second powerplay unit. While this could all theoretically change, it might not. In that case there is almost no way that Hoffman lives up to his 94 ADP pedigree.
Surpise: David Perron 73% rostered
Surprise surprise, the man who led the St. Louis Blues in scoring last season, didn't lose his spot to Mike Hoffman. Perron scored 60 points last year and 27 on the powerplay. Yet he still fell to an ADP of 168. Provided Perron doesn't see a massive fall off in opportunity this season, feel free to laugh at the guy who took Hoffman 70 picks before him
Dissapointment: Robin Lehner 96% rostered
Lehner is a fantastic goalie playing for one of the best teams in the league. However, you arent gonna be the 10th best fantasy goalie like he was drafted as, when you're apart of a tandem. While Lehner should see the majority of ice time for the Golden Knights, he isn't going to see the 80/20 split most goalies share due to the pedigree and talent of the man behind him. If you have him now, don't drop him but be prepared to be plenty frusturated when you need a big Sunday performance and he doesn't even get the start.
Surpise: Max Pacioretty 98% rostered
This one is not a surprise to me. If someone can enlighten me as to why Pacioretty was taken 20 picks after Stone I'd love to know. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to two-way, NHL hockey, Stone is a much better player. But in Fantasy, Pacioretty had more Points, GWG, PPP, Hits and a better +/- than Stone last year, So far through three games Pacioretty has scored 3 goals, put 17 shots on net, and is +4. If you drafted him good job, he is still very good at hockey.
Thanks for reading and let me know who you think is due for a big season in the West division! If people are interested I can do the other divisions as well!