Tag: jeff skinner

Top-15 UFA Players This 2019 NHL Off-Season

This has to be one of the better UFA off-season’s upcoming. There are a ton of solid players along with a handful of superstar UFA’s this off-season. Just for clarification a UFA means unrestricted free-agent. Meaning that any team can offer them a contract where as a RFA is restricted and their current team gets first bid then if they decline their is a period where the player is available to any team.

1. Erik Karlsson: San Jose Sharks have a very difficult choice, let their captain Joe Pavelski go or re-sign Erik Karlsson… Karlsson is 28-years-old coming off a 6.5 million dollar cap hit, probably looking for 9.5-10.5 million.

2. Artemi Panarin: A BIG conversation surrounding this play-making star. Panarin is looking for around 9 million I’d assume and if the Blue Jackets do shed Sergei Bobrovsky, Panarin may return to Columbus.

3. Jeff Skinner: At only 5.75 million a year Skinner is producing like a 8.5+ million type player right now. Skinner has 29 goals and 42 points in 43 games this season. It will be a BIG topic for Buffalo on what to do with Skinner come the deadline/free agency.

4. Matt Duchene: The 27-year-old forward has been unbelievable this season. Due to his speed, goal-scoring, play-making ability, Duchene will be a highly sought after forward. He has 42 points in 37 games this season (18G, 24A).

5. Mark Stone: Another Senator, Stone is probably going to be making the same he is now just a long term deal. It seems likely he will stay with Ottawa though, depending on Duchene.

6. Joe Pavelski: The 33-year-old veteran forward seems like he is not aging with currently 25 goals and 38 points in 46 games. Pavelski will probably cost 7-7.5 million a year.

7. Sergei Bobrovsky: This is based on Panarin really but I think we see Bob walk from Columbus after this season or possibly soon. Either way whoever gets Bob will need to sign him to a 4-5 year deal for 7 million a year.

8. Jordan Eberle: Eberle did produce 59 points (25G, 34A) in 81 games last season and currently has 19 points (9G, 10A) in 38 games this season. Eberle will cost around 6 million per year, also looking for a long term deal.

9. Jacob Trouba: At 24-years-old, a righty defenseman, a proven top-four defenseman the Jets will have to re-address this situation one more time now. Trouba is on a 5.5 million dollar deal and will look for as much as he can get honestly.

10. William Karlsson: At 5.25 million the Vegas tested Karlsson to see if he could do what he did last year one more time and see if he was worth a big contract. Well, Karlsson has 15 goals and 15 assists in 47 games. He will probably end with around 28 goals this season which may reduce his contract amount but he will see a long term deal.

11. Semyon Varlamov: At 30-years-old this seems to be the age that makes or breaks goaltenders. A lot of teams could use a number one and the Avalanche have to sign a lot of players off their entry level contracts and Mikko Rantanen, what will happen with Varlamov is unknown.

12. Tyler Myers: A big right handed, top-four defenseman is very valuable in this league. The Jets have to choose between Myers or Trouba really.

13. Kevin Hayes: Likely a trade target for many teams this deadline and it is said the Rangers are looking to move him before the deadline but Hayes is making his case for 6 million a year at 5-6 years with 33 points in 39 games this season.

14. Gustav Nyquist: The Red Wings will most likely trade or let Nyquist walk this off-season but to a contending team Nyquist is a valuable experienced, play-making forward. He has 37 points in 45 games this season.

15. Brock Nelson & Anders Lee: Most likely both are going to stay with the Islanders but Nelson is a pure-goal scorer, plays a lot like the other person on this list, Anders Lee. Both of them have a knack for the front of the net. Nelson has 29 points in 42 games this season and Lee has 33 points in 42 games. Combined these two will cost the Islanders around 12.5 million a year.

 

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NHL Point Leaders; Goals, Assists, Points

Points:

  • 1. Mikko Rantanen; 45 points
  • 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 43 points
  • 3. Nikita Kucherov; 42 points
  • 4. Mitchell Marner; 38 points
  • 5. Brayden Point; 37 points
  • 6. Connor McDavid; 35 points
  • 7. Blake Wheeler; 34 points
  • 8. Matt Duchene; 33 points
  • 9. Nicklas Backstrom; 33 points
  • 10. Alex Ovechkin; 32 points
  • T-10. Mark Scheifele; 32 points
  • T-10. Jack Eichel; 32 points

Goals: 

  • 1. Patrik Laine; 21 goals
  • 2. Jeff Skinner; 20 goals
  • T-2. Brayden Point; 20 goals
  • 3. David Pastrnak; 19 goals
  • T-3. Alex Ovechkin; 19 goals
  • T-3. Nathan MacKinnon; 19 goals
  • 4. Joe Pavelski; 17 goals
  • T-4. John Tavares; 17 goals
  • 5. Cam Atkinson; 16 goals
  • T-5. Gabriel Landeskog; 16 goals
  • T-5. Mark Scheifele; 16 goals
  • 6. Sean Monahan; 15 goals
  • 7. Filip Forsberg; 14 goals
  • T-7. Chris Kreider; 14 goals
  • T-7. Sidney Crosby; 14 goals
  • T-7. Connor McDavid; 14 goals
  • 8. Auston Matthews; 13 goals (five others tied at 13)
  • 9. Zach Praise; 12 goals (twelve others tied at 12)
  • 10. Alex Chiasson: 11 goals (eleven tied at 11)

Assists

  • 1. Mikko Rantanen; 34 assists
  • 2. Mitch Marner; 32 assists
  • 3. Blake Wheeler; 30 assists
  • T-3 Nikita Kucherov; 30 assists
  • 4. Jack Eichel; 27 assists
  • 5. Brent Burns; 25 assists
  • 6. John Carlson; 24 assists
  • T-6. Thomas Chabot; 24 assists
  • T-6. Nathan MacKinnon; 24 assists
  • 7. Nicklas Backstrom; 23 assists
  • 8. Jonathan Huberdeau; 22 assists
  • 9. Mark Giordano; 21 assists (five tied at 21)
  • 10. Artemi Panarin; 20 assists

 

NHL News: Is it to early to jump the gun on the Buffalo Sabres?

I am ready to throw off a knee-jerk reaction, the Sabres are legit. They are making the playoffs, the wild card or three seed in the Atlantic. Going to lose in the first round, get back to the drawing board. Cup Champions in 2020. Well, that escalated quickly.

Buffalo Sabres team stats

In all reality though the Sabres have looked exceptional this season. They rank FIFTH in the NHL in points right now with 24 points. They sit 18th in the NHL in goals for(55), 18th in goals against(54). Only average 2.89 goals for per game(21st), allow just 2.84 goals against per game. Have the 20th ranked power play(18.5), 9th ranked penalty kill(82.1). As you can tell by the numbers they are a middle of the pack team performing at a crazy rate. In my eyes this is a HUGE step forward for the Sabres. They allow just 2.84 goals against, they used to be one of the worst ranked teams in the league. Last year they allowed 3.39 goals per game and only scored 2.41 goals for.

It is still early in the year but the Sabres newly formed blue line of Rasmus Ristolainen and Jake McCabe, a healthy Zach Bogosian, Marco Scandella and a third line of Rasmus Dahlin and Nathan Beaulieu this blue line is deep and it is because of two reasons. The addition of Dahlin and emergence of McCabe. Not to mention , Carter Huttons 2.48 goals against and the Sabres forward line one of Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart can have some credit to. The Sabres have not seen this much production from a line since maybe coach Phil Housley was on the team. 

Sabres second/third line depth

We can also mention that the Sabres have three forward lines that can score and no line is ever a liability out there. With Casey Mittelstadt, Conor Sheary, James Pominville, Kyle Okposo, Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka. The Sabres do not need to worry about line one doing all the work anymore. When you have 10 players with 6+ points and Jack Eichel is not your only guy with 20+ points on the year it makes it a lot easier to win games. 

The Sabres took two games from the best teams in the league, the Lightning Tuesday night and Winnipeg Friday night. They have Minnesota Friday night and the remaining of their November schedule looks like the Penguins, Red Wings, Flyers, Canadiens, Sharks, Lightning and Panthers. They play four road games in the remainder of November but the Sabres can very well come out of November into December with some confidence and a serious shot at the wildcard/postseason play.

NHL: New faces in New places; fantasy impact and more!

Just a mid-day, article before I leave work, yeah just so you people know I work full-time and usually do absolutely nothing but write on this site from 9-3 then hop to my other job 6-12 pm so one more article before I’m done for the day. A short one for you folks.

NEW FACES NEW PLACES; holy moly, are these guys new people as well? 

  1. Ryan O’Reilly if you keep up with the site, I have raved about O’Reilly numerous times now. But how can you not, a hattrick in a 4-1 win. 19 points tied for 7th in the league, 12 assists tied for 12th, eight power play points tied for 11th. The guy is simply on fire, but with his production being so high right now players like Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn have not been those big fantasy studs like last year.
  2. Max Domi is this the real Domi we know from Arizona? Who is this guy? 16 points in 15 games, 9 goals, seven assists. Domi totaled 9 goals for the last two full seasons, he has 9 in just 15 games, he barely cracked 9 in 82 games last season. Maybe it is Montreal that he needed, he seems to love it, dinners with his pops, the Montreal fan base. Domi seems to be in the right place. Can we expect this production all year? Maybe not, his fantasy value is tremendously high and off the charts for what he was expected to do. Either way he may be a good piece to add in a trade, because I see a 48-50 points year out of Domi which is good but his current pace is 90.2 points, not going to happen people.
  3. Elias Lindholm finally I am right on this kid! I have said for two-years now Lindholm is going to be a guy you will want in your fantasy league. He has been average around 45 points but this season he is off to a hot start. Lindholm has 17 points in 15 games (9G, 8A) he is right under John Tavares, ranked 19th in points and also has 7 power play points. Ride this guy until he cools off, with his hot play though players like Michael Backlund, Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik’s value has taken a slight hit lately.
  4. Jeff Skinner, how are you Buffalo? When he came everyone was like he is not going to be that good, he won’t produce it’s Buffalo. Check again people, 9 goals, 7 assists and 16 points in 15 games. I’d say him Jack Eichel have enjoyed each others company. But with Skinner doing so well and taking over that top line it has left players like Sam Reinhart in the dust. Reinhart went from the first line to third line now and has 1 goals and 8 points on the year.
  5. Ilya Kovalchuk talk about new places an ENTIRELY new place for this guy. From Russia to L.A. talk about a culture change. Kovalchuk has seem to adjust quite fine though, although the Kings are not doing well, Kovalchuk has 14 points in 14 games with 5 goals and nine assists with six power play points also.

 

Trade Talk: Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk to Chicago? Max Pacioretty on the trade block, again.

Jeff Skinner and Faulk talk

The Hurricanes go from terrible to decent and now want to go back to terrible it seems as they have set the price for 28-year-old veteran left winger Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk. Skinner is rumored to be a first-round and prospect, while Faulk is rumored to be around the same price. The Jeff Skinner aspect is more of a draw right now due to the fact he is a 20+ goal scorer for three years in a row and Skinner is nearing the end of his contract at 5.75 AAV right now. Ending at the end of 2019 season. Faulk is up in two years at a 4.83 AAV. The two places these two have been rumored to though is the Chicago Blackhawks. Aside from these two, Noah Hanafin and Scott Darling have also been put on the trading block, essentially everyone on the Hurricanes on the block beside Sebestain Aho, it seems Rob Brind’Amour is really trying to change the culture. Not much has been said since a week ago when this rumor came out but the Blackhawks and Hurricanes are in trade talks, so keep your eyes peeled!

Pacioretty trade talk 

Max Pacioretty we saw hit the trade block at the deadline this year in the 2017-18 season but nothing happened from that trade talk. Pacioretty is at 4.5 AAV and his contract ends at the end of this season, which is the main reason the Canadiens want to move him due to the fact Pax is a 5-time 30 plus goal scorer and will be earning around 6.5 plus mil per year, and the Canadiens clearly do not want to move forward with a long-term deal. Nothing has come up about where Pax is rumored to be going but we can expect Pax to find a new home this offseason.

Islanders and Hurricanes interest in Grubauer

More trade news, the Islanders, and Hurricanes have been rumored to reach out to the Capitals about Phillip Grubauer. The Islanders clearly need help in the goaltending department after how poorly Jaroslav Halak and Tomas Greiss completely fell through and did not live up to expectations. The Islanders hold the 11 and 12 picks in this year’s draft but if they do give up a first rounder for Grubauer, they are truly desperate. The Hurricanes are only interested in Grubauer because they have also been rumored to be trading Scott Darling. Not much has moved on this talk since it came up but let’s see where this goes.

Ilya Kovalchuk watch 

Ilya Kovalchuk watch has begun, as he was seen in L.A. visiting the Kings and then heading to the San Jose Sharks to visit them. Kovalchuk wants to win and make anywhere from 5.5 to 6 million a year, therefore, a lot of teams are off the radar for Kovalchuk. The Kings have some Russians and have harbored some Russians before in the past so that could work out. The Sharks is a bit out of left field but with the news of buying out Paul Martin, they will have the money and to see what they did this offseason Kovalchuck is clearly inclined to go to a winning team like San Jose.

 

 

Carolina Hurricanes: Carolina Eyes Playoff Push For 2017-18 Season

First, you look at Carolina’s front end and really there are no major holes to be filled. Skinner is a proven forward and top point producer when healthy. Jordan Staal has been making major strides after rough 2012-2014 outings. Staal seems to be a more reliable #1 center. Sebastian Aho avoids the sophomore worries and produces equal to similar numbers then that’s another goal scorer and play maker for Carolina. Elis Lindholm and Victor Rask paired together are perfect Lindholm is coming off a career season and so Rask. Plus both of them are in their low to mid twenty’s with plenty of years to produce great numbers. Teuvo Teravainen first season with Carolina was a successful one, as the team continues to win and grow on the front end so will Teravainen. If paired with Aho or Lindholm he can produce similar or better numbers. The Hurricanes are extremely young on the front end and with Lee Stempniak and Justin Williams in the mix as well, they have the veteran leadership to make a push this season.

  • Sebestian Aho 24G 25A, 45 points rookie season, 19-years-old
  • Elias Lindholm 11G 34A 45 points 22-years-old
  • Victor Rask 16G 29A 45 points 24-years-old
  • Jeff Skinner 37G 26A 63 pts 25-years-old best year since rookie season
  • Jordan Staal 16G 28A 45 points 28-years-old
  • Lee Stempniak 16G 24A 40 points veteran
  • Teuvo Teravainen 15G 27A 42 pts 22-years-old best season career during 1st-year w team major growth in Teuvo.
  • Key additions: Marcus Kruger, Justin Williams.

The defense is really not much of a concern too much either. With Faulk-Hanifin and Slavin-Van Riemsdyk, they have four NHL defenseman although they may not be elite level defenseman if any of these guys were your teams four defensemen you too would probably not be overly concerned. Hoping they can hold teams top lines off as their offense produces more efficiently, then Carolina can definitely make a push next season.

  • Defense: Justin Faulk 17G 20A 37 points 25-years-old. Proven top defensemen, last season was a down year but the growth of team plus bounce back season will only see better numbers.
  • Noah Hanifin 4G 25A 29 points 20-years-old
  • Jacob Slavin: 5G 29A 34 points 23-years-old. Hopefully, 7-year contract extension doesn’t ruin his game.
  • Key additions Trevor Van Riemsdyk.

The only real concern here is starting goalie, Cam Ward at age 33 cannot play 60 plus games next season and it seems Darling wants a starting role position. If the two split time it can cause some turmoil but or it can help mold Darling for the starting role job. If Darling gets the starting role and Ward plays that backup role well playing 20+ games, Darling holds up with the work load of 60+ starts next season, Carolina can certainly make a playoff push.

  • Goalies: Cam Ward 26-22 2.69 GAA. Coming off a bit more successful season. 33-years-old and is ending near of his career.
  • Scott Darling 28-years-old, looking to finally take on a starting role full time. Proved his worth in a Chicago 75 games played 39-17 2.37 GAA, during career. 3-1 career playoff record 2.12 GAA.

Carolina Case for Playoffs???

Carolina has five to six forwards that can produce on a nightly basis, four defensemen that can yield top NHL lines and two defensemen that can produce on the offensive side as well. Hoping Darling gets the starting role and holds the work load well and Ward plays the backup role well and helps mold the 28-year-old Darling. Carolina has the tools if everything works out well, this team can make a playoff push in my eyes.