Goalie Fantasy Free Agency Shakedown
Information is key if you want to dominate your fantasy hockey draft. Here are some players with major risk factors, that you should be wary of drafting, and in some cases, you should strike him from your list completely.
Maxim Afinogenov ATL
Afinogenov signed on to play in the KHL. So you may Ufaseed want to avoid drafting him, eh?
David Krejci BOS
After putting up 73 points in 2008-09, Krejci had a let down last year, dipping to 52. He had a good run in the playoffs; however, off-season surgery on his wrist may slow him down at the start of the season. If he’s healthy to start the season, he should rebound in fantasy value, but keep an eye on his status before you draft.
Tomas Plekanec MON
Plekanec was a fantasy star in the first half of last season, only to slow down as the year progressed. He disappeared in the playoffs, registering just 11 points in 19 games. He’s been very inconsistent over his career to this point, seeing point totals of 47, 69, 39, and 70 over the past four seasons. Following that pattern, he’s scheduled for a downturn.
Marc-Andre Bergeron (UFA)
Since entering the league, Bergeron has carried expectations of developing into a offensive-defenseman. While it’s come in spurts, he has yet to reach any noteworthy milestones in terms of points. However, he has put up some decent goal totals the last two seasons. Assuming he resigns with Montreal (big assumption) he could get plenty of powerplay time with Markov on the shelf. Until he signs a deal, he’s a risky option. He’s also had a history of injury to add to his risk factor.
Denis Grebeshkov NAS
Grebeshkov signed with the KHL. So don’t draft him, sucker.
Joni Pitkanen CAR
Pitkanen is one of those players that always seems to be capable of more, so you’re tempted to give him one more chance. When healthy and on his game, he’s a dynamic offensive player; however, 46 points is the most he’s achieved in one season, which he did again last year. Playing on a rebuilding Hurricanes roster won’t add to his value either, so budget for 40 points and hope for more.
Sheldon Souray EDM
Charting Souray’s goal and point totals will give you a headache: over the past 5 years, he’s scored 12, 26, 3, 23, and 4. A lot of that is due to injury, but you also have to consider the impact of his relationship with the Oilers right now. Souray has asked to be traded, so if he remains, how effective will he be? He’s also 34 years old, which isn’t a positive thing for an injury-prone defenseman. His goal potential is tempting, but proceed with caution.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere TOR
As a team, the Maple Leafs have assembled a top notch defense. So from that perspective, drafting a Toronto goalie could be a respectable option for the first time in a decade. On the other hand, it’s 50/50 on which goalie you should pick. Giguere and Gustavsson are in a dead heat for the job and will likely split the starts until one gets hot. Burke obviously likes Giguere, so he may have a slight edge, but you may want to watch training camp before making your choice. Either way, look for improved numbers from Giguere this season.
Jonas Gustavsson TOR
(See J.S. Giguere). Classic split crease scenario with two goalies apt to get injured. Whoever gets the starts should deliver good fantasy numbers, so if you draft one, you may want to pocket the other on your bench.
Ray Emery (UFA)
Still waiting to find a home…
Semyon Varlamov WAS
With Theodore leaving town, most GMs assume Varlamov is the guy. And who wouldn’t want the starting goalie for the President’s Trophy winning team on their roster? The problem here is that Varlamov has done very little to prove he’s here to stay as the Capitals top goalie. He may be pushed this fall by Michael Neuvirth, and if neither of them can shine, don’t be surprised to see Washington deal for #1. If he can keep the job, Varlamov will get his wins, but there are much safer options out there.