I am skeptical of a few of these, but here's #NYR's page in THN's fantasy hockey guide which showed up today. Laf projected as top scoring rookie. Igor gets projection of 31 wins, 2.40 GAA, .922 SV% pic.twitter.com/YGp6xZf6Lk
— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) November 17, 2020
This is based off an 82-game season, which we know isn’t happening this year. But still let’s dive in.
Too High (Expect 10% less points)
I may get crucified for this, but I think Artemi Panarin’s 82-game pace is too high. Panarin was on pace for 112 points last seaosn, so the 107 point projection here is predicting a repeat performance. I don’t think that will happen. This mostly has to do with Ryan Strome, whom I don’t think will come anywhere near his pace from last season (we wil get to that). Filip Chytil may be able to take that role, but that’s a question mark. As is Kaapo Kakko on this wing.
Tony DeAngelo’s 58 points struck me as high as well. And before you guys crucify me, it’s a safe bet that someone will not repeat a career season. DeAngelo’s goal total will likely come down, as he shot a whopping 10% last season, 60% higher than his career average. So for DeAngelo to match his point total, the assist numbers need to come up. He’s very talented and if he continues to get PP1 time, he might still get close to those numbers. But I also think Adam Fox gets a timeshare on PP1. If DeAngelo’s ice time on PP1 comes down, expect his point totals to come down as well.
Brett Howden likely won’t get 3C ice time, or even 3RW ice time. So that 39 points seems a bit too high. I also don’t think Alexis Lafreniere will get to 61 points because of ice time. He will be the 3LW coming into the season, so unless he gets significant powerplay time, I think he will struggle to get there.
Yegor Rykov and Vitali Kravtsov won’t his their projections either. But that’s because they will be in the KHL for the full season. I have to take the gimme’s when I can get them.
Too Low (Expect 10% more)
Adam Fox’s 35 point projection is way too low. He’s the best defenseman on the team, no hyperbole. It’s all about ice time with Fox. If he gets the timeshare on PP1, then he will definitely eclipse that point total. After all, he put up 42 points last season. This is another gimme.
Filip Chytil will go well beyond that 26 point prediction. He put up 23 points in 60 games last year, which is already above that pace. When you assume more ice time and eventually taking the 2C role from Strome, then he should get to 40 points. If he gets a hot shooting hand, he may get to 50 points. It all depends on ice time (sensing a theme yet?).
Chris Kreider’s 52 points seems like an accurate prediction, but I’m going to be bold. I think Kreider will finish with a 65 point pace this season. In years past, when one of Mika Zibanejad or Pavel Buchnevich got hurt, the KZB line got someone far inferior to replace them. Nowadays, they get someone equally skilled and shouldn’t miss a beat. I have to be bold somewhere, and this is my prediction.
Kaapo Kakko’s 42 point projection will be low if he gets consistent time with Panarin. If Julien Gauthier gets a lot of time with Lafreniere, he will probably double his 16 point projection. I also think Jacob Trouba, assuming a consistent and truly viable partner for him at even strength, gets above that 30 point marker. But powerplay time will play a role there.
Just Right (Within 10%)
Buchnevich (60) and Zibanejad (75) seem just right to me. This follows the same reasoning as Kreider above – I just think there is more talent at even strength to account for injuries. There’s too much talent for that entire line to miss the 60 point pace.
I also think they nailed Strome’s projections. He’s going to start the season with Panarin, with Chytil likely taking the 2C role at some point. That should be enough to get Strome to 50 points, which will be below his total from last year. But Strome is a lot like Michael Grabner – the production is well above the expectations and career norms. At some point, the bottom drops out.
Predicting points is a risky business. Little things, a puck bounce here or there, can impact points so much. THN’s NY Rangers point predictions are certainly worth the look. But it will be interesting to see how the Rangers use their players, which will be the biggest impact of all to points.