Since everyone but the St. Louis Blues has played at least three games, we’re already getting a signal from the fantasy haves and have-nots. It’s not about overreacting to a collapsing asset and kicking it off too hastily in a fit of panic; there is a big difference between early and premature. And there’s nothing brash about making immediate adjustments, as a small handful of semi-popular fantasy players already seem largely out of place. this season.
Jamie BennF, Dallas All-Stars (55.5%): It feels like the end of an era, doesn’t it? After serving as a valuable fantasy asset with Dallas for years, the 33-year-old now seems entrenched in a supporting role with the Stars. Averaging 13:39 in a last-six slot, Benn has two shots and two hits to show for three games.
Until he hangs up his skates for good, the 14-year-old veteran will be one of the toughest forwards to face, but his most productive years are clearly in the rear-view mirror. Even though the fantasy leagues are deeper, I’m already looking for another skater to replace Benn.
Jack RoslovicF, Columbus Blue Jackets (49.8%): Behind Boone Jenner and cole sillinger, Roslovic is already the first odd center when it comes to the Blue Jackets top six. His new (experimental) stance on the No. 1 power play doesn’t seem set in stone, either. The 25-year-old will undoubtedly emerge from this early-season slump and start contributing, but to what extent?
Unless your fantasy league is offshore, there are more exciting players with a bigger edge available. At least look. Roslovic had 45 points in 81 games with Columbus last season.
Shane WrightC, Seattle Kraken (44.2%): Not this year, not yet. Not in the redesigned fantasy leagues. Logging around six minutes a game on the Kraken’s fourth line, credited with just one hard-to-detect assist, Wright could return to Junior soon after Halloween.
The organization does not want to shake the confidence of the child and he needs to play. Especially after missing opportunities due to COVID over the past two years. (Should he instead be able to compete in the AHL like teenagers who cut their teeth competing in college or Europe? Take that up with the CHL.) Even if Wright manages to stay in Seattle, his output will be limited. .
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Juraj SlafkovskyF, Montreal Canadiens (9.4%): Skating on the Habs’ fourth line, Slafkovsky hasn’t had a point in four games, in which he averaged less than 11 minutes/game. There is already talk of this year’s top draft pick being sent to the minors, where he can play a much bigger role. Which, frankly, if Coach Martin St. Louis isn’t going to promote the terrifically tall teenager to the roster, makes sense.
A dynasty gem for future seasons, Slafkovsky may not have much to offer fantasy managers this year. Not anytime soon, anyway.
Owen PowerD, Buffalo Sabers (72.4%): Let me assure Buffalo fans everywhere that I completely agree that Power will be a great asset on the Sabers blue line for years to come. It’s just not there yet, especially as fantasy merchandise. Not outside of ESPN.com’s deepest leagues. Give the boy time.
Vince DunD, Seattle Kraken (50.9%): A pair of power-play assists across five competitions isn’t enough to stoke loyalty outside of leagues that matter more than just scoring (even then, a little disappointing, right?). Dunn doesn’t hit a lot or block shots or even shoot the puck across the net as often as you’d like, which limits his potential in fuller fantasy competition.
In the Kraken Fold, give your fellow defender Adam Larson consideration – if not already talked about – then expand outside of Seattle for a fuller fantasy punch.
John GibsonG, Anaheim Ducks (65.8%): It was ugly. After the Ducks’ opener against the visiting Kraken — in which he still conceded four goals — the Anaheim No. 1 served as a fantasy liability in his own right. While the team as a whole deserves its fair share of blame, Gibson doesn’t look great either. Bench him for now, starting with Thursday’s road incline in Boston, then reevaluate. Having a goalie who bleeds fantasy points more often than not isn’t a help. Rather the opposite.
It’s not about being patient (for now) with a solid goalkeeper, in a good team, getting off to a wobbly start – like Marc-Andre Fleury, Jeremy SwaymanWhere Thatcher Demko. The Ducks could struggle more often than not this season.
That’s not to say Georgiev will be the starting keeper in two months or even two weeks, or that Jared Bednar will be fiercely anti-tandem in 2022-23, but the gig is the former Ranger to lose right now. So managers with limited spots on the roster, which is most of us, may instead choose to jump in with another, slightly more risky candidate, on a lousy team, who will to play more on the more rarely used backup from Colorado. At least until/if Georgiev fumbles and Francouz starts stealing more starts.