NHL Fantasy hockey sleepers 2018-19

Fantasy Hockey DEEP Sleeper candidates for the 2018-19 campaign

Petr Mrazek: After a “failed” stint in Philadelphia it seems the young goaltender has been given one more chance in Carolina. After signing a one year deal with the Hurricanes this offseason. Mrazek will be used as either a back up or the number one option in Carolina if Scott Darling does not perform to #1 standards. With Cam Ward out it opened the perfect door for Mrazek going to Carolina with not much to lose and on a “prove it” deal Mrazek has the ability to either take Darling’s spot or be a spot starter for you next year. Darling played in 40 games last year posting a 13-21-7 record and a 3.18 GAA and .888 save percentage. So right now this is anyone’s crease in Carolina, with Mrazek’s 3.06 GAA and 14-13-6 record and .906 save percentage the two goaltenders are very similar. It is worth a shot to wait on Mrazek and use him as a waiver wire add every now and again.

Oliver Bjorkstrand: Being extended in Columbus is a good sign for Bjorkstrand as he now has the ability to play a little looser and be more creative. After completing his first full year, playing in all 82 games last season Bjorkstrand collected 11 goals and 29 assists with 9 power play points. It seems as if Bjorkstrand will be slotted on the second line, now if Panarin does end up leaving, Bjorkstrand easily gets pumped up and he is playing top three minutes. Either way he is seeing top six minutes next season it seems like and playing alongside Nick Foligno and Alex Wennberg will be beneficial to the young right wingers growth. It is worth a shot on Bjorkstrand if he is there late in the draft around the 12th-14th round, why not or just wait on the waiver wire.

NHL Fantasy hockey sleepers 2018-19
Keep them together good things can happen…

Anthony Beauvillier: This is a known deep sleeper I feel like. With all the concerns surrounding the Islanders right now, a lot of people are under estimating how good Beauvillier could be, last year he tallied 21 goals and 36 points in his first season with the Islanders. Sure Tavares won’t be there next year but he did not play with Tavares anyways so it does not mater, Beauvillier started seeing more time with Barzal and Eberle and that line was clicking. If they do option for that line again we can expect similar if not more production. Now put into consideration he has a year under his belt, will be more confident, will be playing power play two time and now gets an awesome coach. If others sleep on this guy, don’t let him go.

Jimmy Vesey: With his new bridge deal, Vesey has a lot to prove these next two years to the Rangers new coach and the Rangers fans in general. When Vesey came over he was a expected to be a big free agency signing. While he came from Harvard winning the Hobey Baker the shifty left winger has not been all glit and glamour under the New York stars. After tallying back to back 16 plus goal years, Vesey has not been all that consistent throughout the year though. He seems to hit his stride and fall off quickly, but now with two years under his belt and some top players leaving. Vesey will have ample amount of playing time and a clean slate with David Quinn. I would say a solid 12th or even later look at Vesey is a good choice.

Brenden Dillon: With Paul Martin gone and the Sharks having a pretty adjustable defenseman roster from 2-7, Dillon has the potential to be a top four defenseman on this Sharks roster. Last year Dillion collected a career high 22 points, with 17 assists and 5 goals. Dillon is the perfect example of a deep sleeper, although he does not get tossed around a lot in the league the left handed defenseman can be a very beneficial spot start, a solid waiver wire addition that is going to give you 15+ minutes per game with a ton of upside.

Vince Dunn: Collecting 19 assists and 24 points in his first year the 6’0 left handed defenseman surely made his name worthwhile for fantasy hockey owners to look at. Dunn also collected 9 powerplay points and now with 79 games under his belt young defenseman will be called upon more next year. The sophomore slump concerns come in but we are not expecting much from Dunn other than upwards of 24 points, which for a waiver wire add or 13th or later draft pick the Blues second line, #4 defenseman is for sure a deep sleeper. Playing alongside Colton Parayko on line two and on the second powerplay provides major upside. If Dunn’s name is out there. Give him a chance!


NHL Free Agents 2018

Notable Goaltender Free Agents: Lehner, Mrazek, Hutton

Carter Hutton: Hutton has been said to be getting a lot of traffic from teams around the league. A lot of teams can use Hutton’s services. The question is though will Hutton settle for another backup goaltending job or will he go to a team that will offer him a starting role. It seems that Hutton wants to leave St. Louis indicating he wants to be a starting goalie. Luckily some starting roles are open. The Islanders, Sabres, Red Wings, Flyers, Canucks and others can all use a starting goalie. Hutton has started in 114 career games posting a 63-39-17 record, with a 2.42 GAA and .915 save percentage. Hutton was undrafted emerging in the league with Chicago in 2012 shortly being moved to Nashville the following season where he started in the most games of his career. Appearing in 34 games with a 20-11-4 record, 2.62 GAA, and .910 SV %. Hutton appeared in just a combined 53 games in the following three years. Until seeing more time this past season appearing in 26 games posting a 17-7-3with a 2.09 GAA and .931 SV percentage. Hutton came in for relief after Jake Allen had some minor mishaps in the crease, which Hutton was a solid and reliable number two which is probably why he has gained so much interest around the league. Hutton has got calls from a few teams and most notably the Blackhawks, where he started his career in 2012.

Petr Mrazek: Mrazek is another young goaltender hitting the free agency market. After being sent over from Detroit to Philadelphia at the trade deadline it has been rumored that Mrazek will not be getting an offer from Philadelphia this offseason making him a qualified free agent. Mrazek was drafted in the 5th round in 2010, making his appearance in the NHL 2012, appearing in just 34 games during his first three years. Slowly after that, he started getting more frequent time from 2015-2017 appearing in 93 games posting a 45-37-15 with a 2.69 GAA, .911 SV percentage. After having a falling out in the 2016-17 season, Mrazek appeared in just 15 games with Detroit after being sent to Philadelphia. Last season Mrazek posted a 14-13-6 record with a 3.05 GAA and a .905 SV percentage in 33 games. Where will Mrazek end up is unknown right now as it only came out a few days ago that he will be a free agent now. A lot of traction will be coming after Mrazek as he is a 26-year-old goaltender with a ton of upside.

Robin Lehner: Another 26-year-old goaltender on the free agency market. Lehner has been said that he will also not be receiving a contract offer from the Sabres, therefore, he will be a free agent. Lehner was expected to be a solid number one this season after failing to do so and posting a 14-26-9 record, the Sabres have obviously decided to move forward. Lehner has career numbers of 72-97-35 with a 2.82 GAA and .915 SV percentage. Lehner has been the “starter” in Buffalo for about two seasons now, after beating out Andres Nilsson last season, Lehner was given the ropes in Buffalo. Being drafted by Ottawa in 2009 in the second round and spending 5 seasons with them appearing in 76 games and failing to post an above .500 record in net, Lehner was sent over to Buffalo in 2015. Not making his mark as a number one goaltender yet, Lehner still has plenty of time to prove to some NHL clubs that he is a worthy number one.




FREE NHL Picks: March 20, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins(41-26-5) vs New York Islanders(30-32-10)

The Islanders are out of a playoff spot, for anyone that truly believes they still have a shot you sir are delusional. They have now dropped 9 of their last ten games, lost 3 of those in overtime and are currently on a three-game losing streak. They’ve picked up 5 points of the last possible 20 points and 1000 percent out of it. They have 9 games remaining after tonight and, right now it does not look good for New York. They usually play Pittsburgh well, but right now this deep in the season with the Penguins looking to make a run at first, I can’t see them dropping to the Islanders. These two have faced off three times prior to this and 2 of the three games have gone to overtime, the Penguins hold the season series 3-0, looking for the season sweep here. In their last ten, the Penguins are 5-4-1, playing mediocre hockey as of late. On top of the Penguins struggles they are a decent road team, posting a below .500 road record, 15-18-4, also dropping 4 of their last five road games. The Penguins are certainly the better team, even with Tristian Jarry or Casey DeSmith in net the Penguins are most definitely the favorites here tonight, going Penguins.

Dallas Stars(38-27-8) vs Washington Capitals(41-25-7)

Day 1 of 9 without Ben Bishop starts tonight, the Stars get their first test vs the Capitals and Kari Lehtonen gets his first start in a week. The Stars are in serious trouble here as the Kings won Monday night they now sit two points out of a wild-card spot and have a very tough remaining schedule ahead of them. They are 2-4-4 in their last ten while posting a 14-17-5 road record. A lot of pressure is on the Stars top three guys of Radulov-Benn-Seguin, the only three who really do anything for this team and now they are really going to be called upon. As the Capitals more than likely have a playoff spot locked down, they still could drop out of first so every point is crucial for this team as well. The Capitals are 6-4-0 in their last ten coming off a loss to Philadelphia, with the Penguins behind them by 2 points and Flyers by 4 points. These last few games will not be easy for Washington and the race for the number one seed in the Metropolitan division is going to come down to the wire. Tonight, I may go with the road dogs here the Stars know how desperate they will need to play and how crucial this game is, I see a full team effort and a solid performance out of Lehtonen, call me crazy, going Stars.

Florida Panthers(36-27-7) vs Ottawa Senators(26-34-11)

The Panthers got the first job done of the week, now they have to face yet another non-playoff opponent and this game is another MUST win, going back to back won’t be easy but the Panthers with a win over Montreal Monday night sit now three points out, with two games in hand. The Panthers will probably go with James Reimer as Roberto Luongo started Monday night. Reimer last start came against the Bruins March 15, in which he posted a 46 save shutout. When Luongo was out Reimer did play his part fairly well and did all he could to keep the Panthers afloat. On the season Reimer has 17 wins, 3.06 GAA and .910 save percentage. Ottawa though, will not be an easy opponent, playing spoilers hockey and a team playing a little better over the last month, they will give the Panthers a run for there money. The Senators are 5-4-1 in their last ten with a 15-14-6 home record and having beat teams like the Lightning, Dallas, and Vegas recently this team is not going to be an easy feat. Also, the Panthers and Ottawa faced off just last week(March 12), where the Senators beat the Panthers 5-3. These two have met two times already and the series is tied 1-1, after the Senators beating Florida I see Florida coming out flying. Going Panthers here tonight.

Philadelphia Flyers(37-25-11) vs Detroit Red Wings(26-35-11)

Wow, the wheels have fallen off the wagon for Detroit here, just a little while ago I feel like I remember seeing this team with a .500 record, but after dropping 10 straight the Red Wings are really struggling they are 0-9-1 in their last ten. The storyline of tonight will be Petr Mrazek’s return to Detroit since the trade and also if the Red Wings can snap out of their drought and actually win. The Red Wings and Flyers have met now two times already and each game has been a one-goal game, one game went to overtime as well. But with the Flyers battling for some playoff separation from the Blue Jackets and posting a 3-6-1 record in their last ten, I would find it very hard to see this team lose. Mrazek will come out hungry I think and the Flyers will run this team into the ground. Going Flyers tonight.

Toronto Maple Leafs(43-22-7) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(49-19-4)

The Lightning have clinched the playoffs making them the second team to do so, but tonight will have a playoff atmosphere to it, so the Lightning better not think this is going to be some wash away game. These two have met now three times already and every game has been a playoff-type game, the Lightning hold the season series at 2-1, winning the last matchup in a shootout. If anyone caught the Kings vs Wild game Monday night, this game will look very similar to that one. The Leafs will be without Auston Matthews again tonight, as well Frederick Anderson is uncertain for tonight. The only issue the Lightning have is playing without Ondrej Palat, not a big loss. The Lightning come into this game posting a 7-2-1 record in their last ten with a 26-8-2 home record, coming off a road win vs Edmonton. The Leafs come into this game with a 6-2-2 record in their last ten, on a four-game win streak, with an 18-14-5 record. The Leafs will probably go with Curtis McElhinney, who is coming off a 33 save shutout vs Montreal and a win in his last three starts. The Leafs are flying high right now even without Matthews. This is going to be the game of the night for sure, even with the Leafs 9 points behind the Lightning, they are a hungry team right now and they are running with a ton of momentum into the playoffs now. Going Leafs tonight.

Other games on tonight…

Blue Jackets vs Rangers: Preview around 3 pm…

Oilers vs Hurricanes: Grab a cup of joe for this one. Oilers.

Kings vs Jets: Jets 

Avalanche vs Blackhawks: N/A

Canucks vs Golden Knights: Vegas 

Devils vs Sharks: SHARKS are hot, at home, Devils been on the road for five days now, going Sharks.  

Petr Mrazek trade

TRADE: Mrazek heads to Philadelphia for playoff push

Amongst the Flyers lists of goaltending injuries, as Brian Elliott hit the IR for 5-6 weeks, Michael Neuvirth left the game Sunday afternoon vs the Rangers. With the Flyers 1, 2 goaltenders out a move had to be in the crosshairs for this team. A deal for a player they initially declined three or so days prior to making an offer. The Flyers declined a 3rd round pick for Petr Mrazek the backup goaltender in Detroit. Well, as of last night around 9:30 PM(est), the Flyers and Red Wings came to terms for the 26-year-old goaltender. Petr Mrazek on the year has posted an 8-7-3 record in 18 games started with 2.89 goals against and .910 save percentage.

The buzz out of Detroit among Mrazek was hopes of being a starter since he was drafted in 2010. Getting his first real shot at the NHL came in 2014-15 where he posted a 16-9 record in 26 games started with a 2.38 GAA and .918 save percentage. It was high expectations and sights set on an eventual starting job for Mrazek from there. Unfortunately, he split time over the last two seasons, starting in a total of 93 games over two seasons posting a 45-38-15 record with 2.68 goals against and a .911 save percentage.

The numbers Mrazek has posted are fair to stand by for a young goaltender who split time for a majority of his career. Now, the 26-year-old, young, hopeful goaltender gets to hopefully shine in the streets of Philadelphia. Mrazek will not be going into something easy to handle. As the Flyers are battling for some playoff separation and playing much better and more consistent over the last month. Mrazek is being brought in to essentially lead this team into the playoffs and most likely be a playoff goaltender. Concerns may be there for Flyer fans and other NHL fans on whether Mrazek can handle the Philly media and Philadelphia pressure. It will be a new set of eyes on Mrazek, fans that critique and harpe on the smallest of things. It won’t be an easy time for the young goaltender, but being brought into an organization that is relatively young with other young, new players on the roster and others being brought up, Mrazek will have plenty of arms and ears to help him.

Mzarek needs to basically get through 23 games, being he won’t play all 23 probably, let’s say Mrazek starts 16 of the 23 games, I think it is fair to say that he can handle 16 starts for the Flyers and this trade most certainly favors the Flyers in this case.

Here is the trade breakdown:

Flyers receive Petr Mrazek and give up a 3rd and 4th round pick with conditions while Detroit also retains 25% of Mzarek salary. The conditions of the trade as broken down by Bob McKenzie are, if PHI makes playoffs and Mrazek wins 5 games for PHI in the regular season, 4th becomes a 3rd. If PHI advances to Conference Finals and Mrazek wins 6 playoff games 3rd becomes a 2nd. If PHI re-signs him next season, DET gets PHI 3rd in 2019.