Five Players Off to Disappointing Starts in 2016-2017

As every new season rolls around, there are bound to be players that come in hot and players that come in cold. Most of the time these come as surprises, especially for teams paying big money for players that start the season slow.

1. Justin Williams, Washington

At 35 years old, Williams is at the tail end of his career. After seven seasons and two Stanley Cup wins in Los Angeles, he signed a two year, $3.25 million per deal with the Capitals in hopes to give them the extra push in the playoffs to make it past the second round.

So far this season, Williams has two goals and four points in 21 games. He is on pace for 16 points, which would be down 36 from 2015-2016. Washington needs Williams to start producing immediately. Currently playing on a line with Lars Eller and Zach Sanford, becoming an extra layer of scoring would help push the Capitals up the standings and win their second consecutive Metropolitan Division title.

2. Anthony Duclair, Arizona

After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015-2016, Duclair has fallen off a cliff early this season. Acquired in the Keith Yandle deal with the Rangers in the spring of 2015, the Coyotes envisioned Duclair as a future top-six mainstay, but now are reportedly listening to offers on him.

In 21 games this season, Duclair only has one goal. On pace for only a handful of goals, Duclair is not doing much to help Arizona improve after last season, as they are currently tied for last in the league.

The Coyotes forward core is primarily young, with the likes of Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse, and Laurent Dauphin making up a large majority of the group, so inconsistency is expected. But, Duclair has been here before and has a 20 goal season under his belt. Arizona needs him to turn his season around if they want to turn theirs around as well.

3. Andrew Ladd, New York (I)

Signed to be John Tavares’ left winger for he next half-decade, things have not gotten off on the correct foot for Andrew Ladd and the New York Islanders.

Ladd has bounced around on all four lines and subsequently only has two goals in 21 games. He played with John Tavares for around ten games and had no goals, but it may be time for another trial run, seeing that he is going to be wearing blue and orange for a long time.

If Ladd can find his groove next to Tavares, Nelson, or Cizikas, it would be a huge plus for the Islanders. Currently in last place with Arizona, they’ve taken a huge step back after two straight 100 point seasons.

4. Jimmy Hayes, Boston 

Hayes has struggled since being traded to Boston from Florida, but this season has been far worse than the previous. He has one goal and no assists in 21 games and has been a healthy scratch on occasion.

Hayes has one year left after this year at $2.3 million, but his future with Boston appears uncertain. A trade does not seem out of the question at this point in time. Hayes is 6’5 and a good skater for his size, and at his current contract there may be a few takers. A scenario change may be good for him to get back on track.

5. Jiri Hudler, Dallas

Hudler signed a one year, $2 million deal with the Stars this offseason, which appeared to be a very team-friendly deal at the time. However, in the four games Hudler has played when he has not been injured, he has zero points and zero shots on goal.

Hudler has been regressing since being almost point-per-game with Calgary in 2014-2015. If he can return to that form, he would become a very valuable asset for the Stars, either on the roster or on the trade market.

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

The next two years for the Islanders are about retooling, not winning

After two straight 100-points seasons and three playoff appearances in four years, things are looking pretty bleak for the New York Islanders.

They currently sit in 28th in the league, two points ahead of Arizona in the cellar. They have 42 goals for, 22nd in the league, and 54 goals against, 23rd in the league. The team is getting no depth goal scoring. Only three players, John Tavares (.76), Brock Nelson (.70), and Dennis Seidenberg (.53) are averaging above .50 points per game.

The lack of scoring on the Islanders, a fun, fast paced team just two seasons ago, is astonishing. Jason Chimera and Andrew Ladd, the two big offseason acquisitions for the Islanders, have combined for three goals total. Anders Lee and Nikolay Kulemin have one each, and Ryan Strome and Josh Bailey have two each.

A decade filled with promises and hope has gone off the rails in one short offseason. It’s not an impossibility that the Islanders can turn around their 5-8-4 record, but the lineup they currently have does not seem to have the tools to win.

So where does it go from here? Turning to the New York Rangers, oddly enough, and what they did over the summer is a good start.

Outside of Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich, the Rangers made some high quality moves this offseason after a disappointing five game playoff run. They flipped Derrick Brassard for electrifying Swedish center Mika Zibanejad, a move that has already paid dividends. They also signed some cheap, fast options for the middle six in Brandon Pirri and Michael Grabner, both of which have had success so far.

The core was certainly in place for the Rangers, but they were able to make the right moves to turn them into a contender again in just a few months.

The same has to be done by the Islanders in the upcoming two seasons. These years aren’t about winning. Fact of the matter is – the Stanley Cup is not finding it’s way to Brooklyn before John Tavares needs a new contract.

The Islanders will have a total of 19 players (on the roster as of November 19, 2016) in need of new contracts in the next two offseasons, with nine of those being RFAs. Those players are:

2017 UFAs: Cal Clutterbuck, Dennis Seidenberg, Thomas Greiss

2017 RFAs: J-F Berube, Calvin de Haan, Adam Pelech

2018 UFAs: John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Josh Bailey, Jason Chimera, Thomas Hickey, Jaroslav Halak

2019 RFAs: Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield

It’s hard to predict who will stay and who will go, but assuming at least Grabovski, Kulemin, Seidenberg, Halak, and Chimera are off the books by 2018-2019, that’s almost $18 million in cap space. Take into account re-signings and the massive contract you hope you can sign John Tavares to and that number dwindles, but it’s still a heap of bad contracts coming off the books regardless.

The Islanders have a plethora of young prospects eager to make the leap as well. After a few years to fine tune their abilities in the minors, you have to assume Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, and Mathew Barzal will be ready to go, or at least traded for quality, NHL-ready pieces. The Isles also have Parker Wotherspoon on defense who looks like a gem, but it is uncertain when he’ll be able to crack the lineup.

If all goes well, the Islanders could have these 12 forwards on their roster come the start of the 2018-2019 season: John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho-Sang, Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Shane Prince.

There are still more variables though. It’s near impossible to predict a lineup two seasons into the future.

One is the expansion draft. Due to the Islanders likely protecting Leddy, Hamonic, Pulock, and Boychuk on defense, only four forwards can be protected. It’s entirely possible that one forward from the aforementioned list winds up on Las Vegas. Cal Clutterbuck or Josh Bailey could walk to free agency as well.

Ryan Strome was also omitted from the list. Whether he is taken by Vegas, or is traded (more likely), it is hard to see a future with Ryan Strome as a New York Islanders player. The team has a ton of young centers ready or almost ready, and Strome doesn’t play as well on the wing as he does at center.

Remember the Rangers comparison from before? This is where it could fall in. The draft glamour of Strome has certainly fallen off, but he is still a valuable trading asset. If Garth Snow can flip him for a better, perhaps younger player like the Rangers did with Derrick Brassard and Mika Zibanejad, it will be a win.

Another thing the Islanders have to figure out is goaltending. Jaroslav Halak almost certainly is not coming back when his contract is expired. I’d bet Greiss gets a new one this summer, but you never know. The Islanders have to hope and pray that Ilya Sorokin, a goalie who has torn it up in the KHL the past two years, wants to come over and play in North America next season or the year after that. If he doesn’t they’ll need to resort to Plan B in net, whatever that may be.

The end all and be all of it is this: the New York Islanders are not in a place to win these next two seasons. It’s now on Garth Snow to spend this time retooling the roster and getting the correct core of players surrounding John Tavares before he has the chance to talk to other teams in June of 2018.

-Kevin, @theNHLFiles

Three teams that could claim Andrew Hammond off waivers

After failing to trade him, the Ottawa Senators placed 28-year-old goaltender Andrew Hammond on waivers earlier today.

“The Hamburglar”, as he is more well known by after his impressive run late in the 2014-2015 season that left him with a 20-1-2 record, played in two games for Ottawa this year. In those two games, he posted a .793 SV%.

Although the last two seasons haven’t been ideal for Hammond, he still provides value. He has a reasonable cap hit at 1.35 million for this season and the next.

Injuries have been at a premium in the NHL early on this season, so there are certainly teams looking for goaltending help.

The most notable is the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Quick is still out for a few more months. Currently, the Kings are rolling with Peter Budaj and Jeff Zatkoff in net, although Zatkoff is just returning from injury. They also have former first round pick (of Dallas) Jack Campbell in the minors.

Claiming Hammond would be a relatively low-risk move for the Kings. He could return to form in front of a strong defense comprised of the likes of Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty, and his cap hit is low enough not to hurt Los Angeles in the long run.

Another team in search of goaltending help is the Philadelphia Flyers. Michal Neuvirth is slated to be out another four to five weeks, and organizational trust in Steve Mason appears to be waning. Anthony Stolarz, who has been good in the AHL this year, is currently with the team, but it is uncertain if he is completely ready.

Hammond would provide another NHL-caliber option in net for Philadelphia. It allows Stolarz to continue to grow in the AHL while Mason and Hammond work the NHL. The only issue the Flyers face is that they would have to waive Hammond in a few weeks when Neuvirth comes back and that would create a logjam in the crease down in the minors if he were to clear.

Lastly, the Edmonton Oilers may have a use for Hammond. After starting off the season hot, the Oilers have gone into a tailspin, having lost their last five in a row.

Currently in net, the Oilers employ Cam Talbot and Jonas Gustavsson. Talbot has been fantastic, but after the three games Gustavsson has played, he sits below a .900 SV%. With no immediate option other than Laurent Brossoit looming, the Oilers could provide a longer term home for Hammond.

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Mock NHL Expansion Draft (Nov. 2016)

The Anaheim Ducks protect: 

 

4 forwards: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Rickard Rakell

4 defensemen: Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, Kevin Bieksa

1 goalie: John Gibson

 

Expansion requirements:

5/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

0/1 required exposure goalie

 

The Ducks will have to trade for a goalie to fulfill expansion requirements or potentially leave John Gibson up for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Josh Manson (D). 

 

The Arizona Coyotes protect: 

 

4 forwards: Jamie McGinn, Tobias Rieder, Anthony Duclair, Jordan Martinook

4 defensemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Connor Murphy, Michael Stone

1 goalie: Mike Smith

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Coyotes will have to trade for and forward to fulfill expansion requirements or potentially leave Jamie McGinn or Tobias Rieder for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Kevin Connauton (D).

 

The Boston Bruins protect: 

 

7 forwards: David Krejci, David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Beleskey, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, Brad Marchand

3 defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Colin Miller, Torey Krug

1 goalie: Tuukka Rask

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Jimmy Hayes (F).

 

The Buffalo Sabres protect: 

 

7 forwards: Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis, Zegmus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, Marcus Foligno

3 defensemen: Rasmus Ristolainen, Zachary Bogosian, Jake McCabe

1 goalie: Robin Lehner

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Linus Ullmark (G).

 

The Calgary Flames protect:

 

7 forwards: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Troy Brouwer, Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, Emile Poirier, Sam Bennett

3 defensemen: Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, TJ Brodie

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

0/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Flames will have to trade for a defensemen to fufill expansion requirements or potentially leave TJ Brodie or Dougie Hamilton for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Hunter Shinkaruk (F).

 

The Carolina Hurricanes protect:

 

7 forwards: Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak, Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Di Giuseppe

3 defensemen: Justin Faulk, Ryan Murphy, Keegan Lowe

1 goalie: Eddie Lack

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

0/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Hurricanes will have to trade for a forward and defensemen to fulfill expansion requirements or potentially leave multiple players for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Klas Dahlbeck (D).

 

The Chicago Blackhawks protect:

 

7 forwards: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Marcus Kruger, Artem Anisimov, Richard Panik, Ryan Hartman

3 defensemen: Nick Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook

1 goalie: Corey Crawford

 

Expansion requirements:

0/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Blackhawks will have to trade for two forwards to fulfill expansion requirements or potentially leave multiple players for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects: Trevor van Riemsdyk (D).

 

The Colorado Avalanche protect: 

 

4 forwards: Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Carl Soderberg

4 defensemen: Tyson Barrie, Francois Beauchemin, Nikita Zadorov, Erik Johnson

1 goalie: Calvin Pickard

 

Expansion requirements:

3/2 required exposure forwards

0/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Avalanche will have to trade for a defensemen or leave one unprotected and keep seven forwards instead to fulfill exposure requirements.

 

Las Vegas selects Semyon Varlamov (G).

 

The Columbus Blue Jackets protect: 

 

7 forwards: Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Alex Wennberg

3 defensemen: Seth Jones, David Savard, Ryan Murray

1 goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

3/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Joonas Korpisalo (G).

 

The Dallas Stars protect: 

 

7 forwards: Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, Cody Eakin, Radek Faksa, Brett Ritchie

3 defensemen: John Klingberg, Daniel Hamhuis, Esa Lindell

1 goalie: Kari Lehtonen

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

3/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Stars have to trade for a forward to fulfill exposure requirements or potentially leave a protected forward for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Antoine Roussel (F).

 

The Detroit Red Wings protect: 

 

7 forwards: Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheehan, Justin Abdelkader, Andreas Athanasiou

3 defensemen: Niklas Kronwall, Xavier Ouelette, Alexey Marchenko

1 goalie: Petr Mrazek

 

Expansion requirements:

3/2 required exposure forwards

3/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Darren Helm (F).

 

The Edmonton Oilers protect:

 

4 forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic

4 defensemen: Andrej Sekera, Brandon Davidson, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom

1 goalie: Cam Talbot

 

Expansion requirements:

3/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Patrick Maroon (F).

 

The Florida Panthers protect: 

 

7 forwards: Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trochek, Nick Bjugstad, Jussi Jokinen, Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault

3 defensemen: Aaron Ekblad, Mark Pysyk, Keith Yandle

1 goalie: Roberto Luongo

 

Expansion requirements:

3/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Jason Demers (D).

 

The Los Angeles Kings protect: 

 

4 forwards: Anne Kopitar, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter

4 defensemen: Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Brayden McNabb

1 goalie: Jonathan Quick

 

Expansion requirements:

5/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Nick Shore (F).

 

The Minnesota Wild protect:

 

7 forwards: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Erik Haula, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, Nino Niederreiter

3 defensemen: Jonas Brodin, Ryan Suter, Matt Dumba

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

0/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Wild will have to trade for a goalie to fulfill exposure requirements or potentially leave Devan Dubnyk for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects: Marco Scandella (D).

 

The Montreal Canadiens protect: 

 

7 forwards: Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Andrew Shaw, Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Jacob De La Rose, Phillip Danault

3 defensemen: Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Nathan Beaulieu

1 goalie: Carey Price

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

0/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Canadiens will have to trade for a goalie to fulfill exposure requirement or potentially leave Carey Price for the taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Dalton Thrower (D).

 

The Nashville Predators protect: 

 

4 forwards: Ryan Johansen, James Neal, Calle Jarnkrok, Fillip Forsberg

4 defensemen: PK Subban, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi, Matthias Ekholm

1 goalie: Pekka Rinne

 

Expansion requirements:

4/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Anthony Bitetto needs to play 27 more games to fulfill defensive exposure requirement.

 

Las Vegas selects Craig Smith (F).

 

The New Jersey Devils protect:

 

7 forwards: Adam Henrique, Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Zajac, Beau Bennett, Reid Boucher

3 defensemen: Andy Greene, Damon Severson, John Moore

1 goalie: Cory Schneider

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Jon Merrill (D).

 

The New York Islanders protect: 

 

4 forwards: John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas, Ryan Strome

4 defensemen: Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic, Ryan Pulock

1 goalie: Jaroslav Halak

 

Expansion requirements:

7/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Brock Nelson (F).

 

The New York Rangers protect: 

 

7 forwards: Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes

3 defensemen: Daniel Girardi, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh

1 goalie: Henrik Lundqvist

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

3/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Rangers will have to trade for a forward to reach exposure requirements or potentially leave a protected forward for the taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Jesper Fast (F).

 

The Ottawa Senators protect: 

 

7 forwards: Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Mike Hoffman, Derrick Brassard, Mark Stone, J-G Pageau, Curtis Lazar

3 defensemen: Dion Phaneuf, Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci

1 goalie: Craig Anderson

 

Expansion requirements:

0/2 required exposure forwards

3/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Senators will have to trade for two forwards to fulfill exposure requirements or potentially leave multiple protected players for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Matt Puempel (F).

 

The Philadelphia Flyers protect: 

 

7 forwards: Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Scott Laughton, Nick Cousins, Wayne Simmonds

3 defensemen: Shayne Gostisbehere, Michael Del Zotto, Radko Gudas

1 goalie: Steve Mason

 

Expansion requirements:

3/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Michael Raffl (F).

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins protect:

 

4 forwards: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Phil Kessel

4 defensemen: Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin, Derrick Pouliot

1 goalie: Matt Murray

 

Expansion requirements:

5/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

0/1 required exposure goalies*

 

The situation with Marc-Andre Fleury is currently up in the air. His potential trade will heavily affect the expansion draft*

 

The San Jose Sharks protect: 

 

7 forwards: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Mikkel Boedker, Chris Tierney, Tomas Hertl

3 defensemen: Brett Burns, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Justin Braun

1 goalie: Martin Jones

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

2/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Sharks will have to trade for a forward to fulfill exposure requirements or potentially leave a protected forward for the taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Melker Karlsson (F).

 

The St. Louis Blues protect: 

 

7 forwards: Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen, Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz, Nail Yakupov, Ty Rattie, Jori Lehtera

3 defensemen: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Joel Edmundson

1 goalie: Jake Allen

 

Expansion requirements:

4/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

3/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Dimitrij Jaskin (F).

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning protect:

 

7 forwards: Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Val Fillpula, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Kucherov

3 defensemen: Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman, Slater Koekkoek

1 goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy

 

Expansion requirements:

4/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

3/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Vladimir Namestnikov (F).

 

The Toronto Maple Leafs protect: 

 

7 forwards: Nazem Kadri, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, Kerby Rychel, Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic

3 defensemen: Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Connor Carrick

1 goalie: Freddie Andersen

 

Expansion requirements:

1/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

2/1 required exposure goalies

 

The Maple Leafs will have to trade for a forward to fulfill exposure requirements or potentially leave a protected forward for taking.

 

Las Vegas selects Victor Loov (D).

 

The Vancouver Canucks protect:

 

7 forwards: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Loui Eriksson, Brandon Sutter, Jannik Hansen, Sven Baertschi, Bo Horvat

3 defensemen: Erik Gudbranson, Alex Edler, Chris Tanev

1 goalie: Jacob Markstrom

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Marcus Granlund (F).

 

The Washington Capitals protect:

 

7 forwards: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson, Andre Burakovsky

3 defensemen: John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, Matt Niskanen

1 goalie: Braden Holtby

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Nate Schmidt (D).

 

The Winnipeg Jets protect:

 

7 forwards: Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Bryan Little, Matt Perreault, Adam Lowry, Marko Dano, Spencer Komaschuk

3 defensemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Tyler Myers*

1 goalie: Connor Hellebuyck

 

Depends on Jacob Trouba situation*

 

Expansion requirements:

2/2 required exposure forwards

1/1 required exposure defensemen

1/1 required exposure goalies

 

Las Vegas selects Joel Armia (F).

 

LAS VEGAS LINEUP: 

 

Carl Hagelin – Craig Smith – Jimmy Hayes

Darren Helm – Brock Nelson – Jesper Fast

Michael Raffl – Vlad Namestnikov – Patrick Maroon

Antoine Roussel – Melker Karlsson – Dimitrij Jaskin 

 

Extras: Matt Puempel, Hunter Shinkaruk, Marcus Granlund, Nick Shore, Joel Armia 

 

Marco Scandella – Jason Demers

Nate Schmidt – Trevor van Riemsdyk

Kevin Connauton – Josh Manson 

 

Extras: Klas Dahlbeck, Victor Loov, Jon Merrill, Dalton Thrower

 

#1: Semyon Varlamov

#2: Joonas Korpisalo

#3: Linus Ullmark 

 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

 

 

 

 

 

Four potential forwards the New York Islanders could trade for

It’s no secret that the New York Islanders desperately need help this season. 

Currently sitting at 29th in the league with a 5-8-3 record and ahead of only Arizona, the Islanders have not been able to generate offense at all so far this year. Valuable winger P-A Parenteau was waived in favor of Mat Barzal, a star prospect who played only two games before being sent back to Major Junior, and J-F Berube, a third-string goalie who hasn’t played a game and is being kept around due to injury concerns with Jaroslav Halak. 

It has been rumored that general manager Garth Snow has been sniffing around the block in hopes to find a trading partner these past few weeks. Snow is no stranger to deals of this kind: he made one back in 2013 when he sent Matt Moulson, a first round pick, and a second round pick to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek. 

Vanek was eventually traded to Montreal before signing with Minnesota in the summer of 2014. 

But this begs the question, what is out there this year? In a cap-strapped league and a looming expansion draft, trades are at a halt. The Islanders don’t have many assets to deal either. Michael Dal Colle, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and picks outside the first round make up the bunch. 

Snow will have to do some serious work to find a trading partner this early on in the year, but here are some potential options. 

1. Gabriel Ladeskog, LW, COL

The Avalanche have been looking to shake things up on their own front recently, and Landeskog is a valuable asset that may be expended by them. A second overall pick in 2011, Landeskog has gotten off to a less than stellar start in 2016-2017 with four goals and eight points in fifteen games. Landeskog has had three consecutive seasons of 20 or more goals and would be a big-bodied and much-needed addition to John Tavares’ wing. 

2. Martin Hanzal, C, ARZ

Hanzal is a pending unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Coyotes who is rumored to be on the block. Although he has injury concerns, Hanzal plays a reliable two-way game, something New York has been lacking in their number two center spot without Frans Nielsen. The Coyotes are reportedly seeking a young, NHL-ready center in return, which Ryan Strome fits the bill of. There’s some maneuvering to do, but it’s entirely possible. 

3. Valtteri Filppula, C/LW, TBL

Much like Hanzal, Filppula could help the Islanders at both ends of the rink. He has 10 points in 16 games this year and can kill penalties when called upon. The only call for concern with Filppula is his contract situation. He’s on the books for one more year at five million and has a no-movement clause, requiring him to be protected for the expansion draft. 

4. Tyler Ennis, C/RW, BUF

Ennis, 27, has been in the rumor mill for quite some time now. He only has two points in 12 games this season, but is a speedy player that has shown flashes of brilliance. If placed on John Tavares’ right wing, he has the ability to take off as a formidable winger. Ennis is on the books for two more years at 4.6 million per. 

Other options include Jason Zucker (LW, MIN), Jeff Carter (C/RW, LAK), and David Desharnais (C, MTL). 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Contributor article: 2016-2017 Fantasy Hockey Sleepers 

The following article was contributed by Anthony Magliaro. He can be found on Twitter at @amags7. 

Another fantasy hockey season is upon us. The importance of hitting on a few of your potential sleepers towards the back end of your draft and in free agency is imperative. It allows you to invest more picks into known commodities that you can count on helping you achieve your goal of winning your league.  

Look at any championship winning roster and I guarantee you’ll find a few. Let’s flash back to my draft last season. While everyone was plucking goalies in the first couple of rounds, I’m sitting tight, grabbing the likes of Jamie Benn, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, and Max Pacioretty to lead my high-powered offense. Now lets fast forward about an hour later to the late rounds of that draft… “And in the 13th round, Magliaro selects….. Martin Jones”. The reactions of my league mates were priceless. “Martin Jones? He’s a backup!”
 
While Jones didn’t go on to win a championship last season, my fantasy team did. Now its time to make the case for a few that can do the same for you as you prepare for your drafts. 

Jonathan Drouin, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning (ESPN Rank – 150, Yahoo Rank – 117)

After a season-long controversy with the Bolts last season, Drouin stormed back during the playoffs, recording five goals and nine assists for 14 points through 17 games.

Drouin recorded these numbers against top teams in the league and will do much more damage against teams that aren’t as skilled. Seven of these points were also recorded on the power play unit, which he figures to see more time on during the course of this season. 

In addition, as it stands right now, Drouin will play on Tampa’s top line alongside gritty left wing Alex Killorn and one of the league’s best goal scorers in Steven Stamkos. With Drouin’s pass first mentality, I can see him accumulating tons of assists on Tampa’s high-powered offense. 

P.A. Parenteau, RW, New York Islanders (ESPN Rank – 129, Yahoo Rank – 237)

I had to do a double take on the Yahoo rankings to make sure I was looking at this season’s when it came to Parenteau. Parenteau will be riding shotgun with John Tavares once again, a player which he has shared success with in the past. On two brutal Islanders teams with limited offensive options besides Tavares, Parenteau posted 120 points in 161 games. 

Now, Parenteau rejoins forces with his old team and superstar on a much more revamped team that could see his production skyrocket even further. Parenteau will see time on the Islanders power play and will also have Islanders big fish signing Andrew Ladd on his opposite wing.

 This is also a contract year for Parenteau, as he signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders this offseason. For his ranking on both sites (especially Yahoo), he’s a steal.

Aaron Ekblad, Defenseman, Florida Panthers (ESPN Ranking – 111, Yahoo Ranking – 83)

All things considered, Ekblad probably shouldn’t have made this list. He is a superstar defenseman who is getting better and better as each game passes. I put him on this list because of his ranking and how he may drop even further due to his injury concerns. 

After suffering a concussion at the WCOH playing for Team North America, fantasy owners may stay away and look at healthier options to lead their blue line. This is where a savvy owner should pounce all over the Panthers franchise defenseman. 

When looking at Ekblad’s career stats, in his rookie season, Ekblad posted 170 shots and a 7.1 shooting percentage. In this past season, Ekblad posted 182 shots and an 8.2 shooting percentage. Oddly enough, Ekblad posted 3 less points than his rookie year. 

You can chalk it up to bad luck, but I’ll chalk it up to him never playing with a defenseman solid enough to set him up for offensive success. Ekblad has played with the likes of Brian Campbell, Dmitry Kulikov, and Erik Gudbranson. While they may have been serviceable for the Florida Panthers, they’re all defensive-minded defensemen. 

With a revamped Panthers defensive core, Ekblad is keen for a breakout. 

The Panthers power play was also already inside the top 10 last season, and now they will have a power play that features Ekblad, Huberdeau, Barkov, Jagr AND Yandle. Yandle has had at least 40 assists in each of his last three NHL seasons. If he is producing, there is a good chance Aaron Ekblad will be as well this season.

Adam Henrique, Center, New Jersey Devils (ESPN Ranking – 133 , Yahoo Ranking –  113) 

The Devils made a huge splash this summer when they acquired Taylor Hall from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Adam Larsson. A team that was desperate for scoring now will boast a more than competent first line in Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, and Kyle Palmieri. This line could be a dark horse for a top line in the league throughout the year. 

Hall will do wonders for the game of Adam Henrique. The two played together from 2007-2010 on the Windsor Spitfires and have shown before that they have the chemistry that’s needed for instant production. 

Henrique posted 30 goals on a lackluster Devils team last season. With the addition of Hall, expect Henrique’s point totals to increase, while also seeing an increase in his power play production.

Three key takeaways from the 2016 World Cup of Hockey 

The World Cup of Hockey has come and gone with, quite honestly, not much of a stir in the hockey world. 

Maybe it was the fact that it took place in September, or maybe it was the two odd teams (North America and Europe) that threw it for a loop, but the World Cup was just flat out not as exciting as the Olympics are. Three key takeaways can be made from the tournament. 

#1: The USA needs a change in guard

The United States came and went in the tournament without a win. A management group headed by Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi and Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella put together a group of players based on grit rather than skill. 

“If you want to go head-to-head and play a skill game, your odds of winning that game when you look at those matchups is not very good.”

-Dean Lombardi on Team USA facing Team Canada

It’s fairly evident that the United States needs a change up front, which goes hand in hand with a change on the ice. 

The players Team USA picked were flat out wrong. The game of hockey is continuing its slow transition to a skill game, and the roster the Americans put together had no chance keeping up with Canada, North America, or arguably anyone else in the tournament. 

Whenever the next major hockey tournament the United States plays in is, Olympics or World Cup, this year’s team should be exhibit number one as to why a new set of management and players needs to be used. 

#2: The future is bright for hockey 

To be fair for the United States, a lot of key, young options were taken from them by the under-23 North American team. 

The likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel, and Auston Matthews, among others, were unable to play for the United States. Whether or not they would have if they were eligible to is up for debate. 

There is no question that the combination of the young Canadians and aforementioned Americans was thrilling to watch. The tournament took a big hit when they were eliminated in favor of Russia. 

The North American team exemplified what the future of hockey holds: fast, skilled, and passionate gameplay. These players, combined with those from Finland, Sweden, and other countries throughout the world, prove that hockey will be fun to watch for many decades. 

I do not think that there is a doubt that Team North America will exist again in the next World Cup. There’s no doubt, either, that they’ll have plenty of supporters too. 

#3: The World Cup of Hockey still needs a lot of work

As it got put before, the World Cup did not live up to all of its hype. 

ESPN did a good job at making most games accessible to watch, but the commentating and analysis got rough at times. More experienced additions to the staff may be a good idea next time around. 

The venue wasn’t bad, but you could just tell the atmosphere wasn’t up to par. Team Europe moving on didn’t help that. It did get rowdy near the end once Canada tied it and eventually won it in the finals, but that’s to be expected. 

The World Cup does have potential, but may never exceed the intensity that the Olympics provide. The two tournaments are just not on the same level. 

The NHL has a lot of time to work most of these kinks out. The game has changed a lot since the last World Cup of Hockey in 2004, and it will surely change a lot before the next one in 2020. The challenge the league faces is adapting to that and making the games as intense as possible, which sadly was not the case this year. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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