Dynasty Hockey: 8 Players To Trade Before Next Season
As your fantasy league’s regular season starts to draw to a close, dynasty hockey owners should already be looking toward next season. This is the time of year when you look down your roster and make decisions on players who have been automatic keepers over the last number of years. Do you hang onto a player who is aging or seems to have peaked or do you cut bait and try to maximize their value in a trade? We’re going to look at 8 Players who are at least 90% owned that you could or should consider moving on from before next season.
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8 Keeper Level Players To Trade Now
Morgan Rielly, Age 27 Toronto Maple Leafs (D) – 100% Owned
There have been some concerning signs in Rielly’s production. Since coming into the league he had shown a steady increase in his point production hitting a high mark in points in 2018-19 with 20 G and 72 PTs. This was complemented with a SOG total of 223. In the two seasons since, his point production has dipped down to around a 0.60 PPG rate at a time when the Leafs are one of the top 5 scoring teams in the league. While he is still a very good point-producing defenseman, at 27 he is at the stage where a number of players do reach their peak. If you are a sell-high kind of owner this may be the time to do so with Rielly.
Evgeni Malkin, Age 34 Pittsburgh Penguins (C) – 95% Owned
When do you move on from a first-ballot Hall of Famer? Maybe you don’t, but maybe you see a guy who hasn’t played a full 82-game season since 2008-09 and wonder if injuries and time are going to be more difficult to overcome. Malkin was under a PPG and only had 8 goals in 29 games this season before he went down with another injury. He should have another run in him this season and the playoffs but if there was ever a time to try and cash out on a player of his pedigree this would be the year to do it.
Johnny Gaudreau, Age 27 Calgary Flames (LW,RW) – 98% Owned
What is wrong with Calgary and what has happened to Johnny Hockey? Two seasons ago Gaudreau put up 99 points and seemed unstoppable. Last season he scored at 0.82 PPG rate and this season he is at 0.70. This is still a very good hockey player so there is a reasonable expectation he can bounce back. The question may be whether he needs a change in scenery for it to happen. There is a risk to moving on from Gaudreau now as it could be selling low but if there is a deal out there for dynasty hockey owners with Gaudreau on their rosters I would take a hard look at it.
Kris Letang, Age 33 Owned Pittsburgh Penguins (D) – 98% Owned
Letang had a poor start to this season and there was speculation that Jim Rutherford abruptly resigned earlier this season as he was rebuffed by management in his want to trade Letang. Like Malkin, his Pens teammate, Letang has battled injuries almost on a yearly basis and he hasn’t played a full season since 2010-11. He’s bounced back this year and is having another typical Letang season with PTS, PPP, Hits, Blocks making him one of the more valuable fantasy defensemen in the league. That said, I think this offseason would be an ideal time to sell high on Letang as his numbers and games played are likely going to trend downward going forward.
Blake Wheeler, Age 34 Winnipeg Jets (C,RW) – 97% Owned
Like Malkin, Wheeler is also 34 years old. He is listed as a dual C, RW but his center playing days appear to be over with only 7 draws this year. He is still an effective PP player and he will likely still put up some decent point totals but with his FOW, Hits, PTS all decreasing and his position duality removed, his value is about to drop off significantly. His 5v5 play has also drawn a lot of criticism from the analytical crowd as it ranks toward the bottom of the league, another indication that Wheeler’s decline is in motion.
Brett Burns, Age 36 San Jose Sharks (D) – 96% Owned
One of the biggest changes in Burns’ game is the number of shots he is generating. He has gone from putting 300+ SOG as early as two seasons ago to being on pace for under 200 this year. Less shots = less offense = less points. He has felt the effect of a weaker Sharks team that bottomed out last season and is a middle-of-the-road team this year. Even as a 0.50 PPG player with the PP and PK minutes he gets, he is still a valuable defenseman in Dynasty Hockey League play. Despite his age (36), you should be able to play all that into a good return in a trade.
Claude Giroux, Age 33 Philadelphia Flyers (C,LW,RW) – 95% Owned
Even though 2017-19 were two of Giroux’s best offensive seasons, his production has dropped off enough over the past two seasons that it’s safe to say that he will not be a PPG player again at this stage of his career. His value as a supporting scorer on your fantasy team and ability to play all three forward positions still makes him a marketable commodity. He also adds FOW and PPP giving you the ability to make a positive deal before his production falls off even more dramatically over the next year or two.
Joe Pavelski, Age 36 Dallas Stars (C,LW) – 90% Owned
I cannot fathom why Pavelski is only 90% owned in fantasy leagues. He is having a monster season and sits in the top 15 of all skaters in Fantrax rankings. Despite that, or maybe because of it, if Little Joe was on my roster I would make it a priority to trade him this offseason as this is the year to try and cash in on Pavelski. His FOW production is down to 50% and his shooting % is close to 17% which is inflating his goal-scoring. Based on those trends and his age he is likely to regress next season, making him a prime player to cash out on.
Trading a superstar or star player will always come with risks but my preference in dynasty hockey is always to trade a player too early rather than too late. If you can trade from a position of strength your return will typically mitigate the risk that comes with parting ways of a player perhaps you once deemed untouchable.
For more help in putting the cherry on top of your fantasy hockey season, check out Mark Hillier’s Goalie Streams for Week 13.
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