Wednesday, FPL reviewed eight of the 16 players whose fantasy value changed the most as a result of being traded in the week leading up to the deadline. Time to look at the other eight.
Cody Hodgson to Buffalo
As far as backlash goes, from a fantasy hockey writer’s perspective, I’m pretty certain Vancouver fans are as ruthless as anyone out there, so I’ll choose my words carefully. Hodgson is a skilled hockey player with lots of upside and very good hockey sense. He’s also having a good rookie season. But let’s be honest - 40 points will be a push, so let’s not hold a parade in his honor. He also has a history of injuries over the past three years, which makes me wary as a fantasy owner. And finally: skill, hockey sense, in his 20s and with some upside? Sounds like I just described Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, etc. So Hodgson won’t waltz into a better depth chart situation in Buffalo. The bottom line is, for the short term, Hodgson’s value will suffer, but three years from now his value will benefit from this move.
Jack Johnson to Columbus
Whoops. His minus-4 after two games says it all. Johnson is probably going to be a top defenseman in the NHL, but it won’t happen for several years. The team will have growing pains as it goes back to the drawing board and JJ will share them.
Zack Kassian to Vancouver
This was a good trade for both teams, but I favor Vancouver’s side (there, that should placate any Canucks fans upset with me for my thoughts on Hodgson). Kassian may not have quite the same upside as Hodgson, but it’s closer than you think. And Kassian has much-needed size. He’ll produce at a 40-point pace, at the very least, for the next several years and is a fantastic dark horse for your playoff pool. When he hits his mid-20s, watch out. He could surprise you with the sudden jump in offense.
Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville
I can’t speak for the long term, because the M.O. for the Kostitsyn brothers is pretty well established as “inconsistent.” But for the short term, Kostitsyn looks like a good bet to really start to roll. Give him a few games to learn the system, as his brother Sergei needed. But then in the final 10 games of the season I wouldn’t be shocked to see Andrei tally 10 points. And he, too, makes a great playoff dark horse. An unrestricted free agent in the summer, he’s gotta earn that next contract.
Kyle Quincey to Detroit
Quincey is a player who has faded in the second half - I don’t think a change of scenery will fix that. And in Detroit, a team with so many options for its power play, I don’t see Quincey producing numbers next season, either.
Antoine Vermette to Phoenix
Vermette is not a first-line center, but this is the second straight team he has gone to that desperately needs one. So the opportunity is there - again - for success. Now in his eighth season, we know what we’re getting in Vermette: an on-again, off-again player who will get you 40 points one year, 60 points the next. Obviously, this is a 40-point year…and no new environment is going to change that. But I really like the outlook for next season in terms of a “buy low” opportunity. And I wouldn’t rule out a 14-points-in-18-games type of finish to this season.
Wojtek Wolski to Florida
What a great fit for Wolski. This is a team that has turned a few “maybe” offensive players into “wow.” Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg have done very well there, as have Marcel Goc and, lately, Sean Bergenheim. On the downside, Scottie Upshall has faltered, but that could be due to injury. Wolski is an offensive talent. Soft? Inconsistent? Sure. That doesn’t fit in at all with John Tortorella and getting Wolski to change is just forcing a square peg into a round hole. Florida should use his skill and take him for what he is. So far, on the third line, he has two points in three games. If he can work his way up to a top line, look out.
Marek Zidlicky to New Jersey
Zidlicky is having a tough year. He went from being a very talented offensive defenseman to a liability on defense and almost zero help on offense. How does this happen in the span of a year? Much like with Jonathan Cheechoo, the injuries have added up. In the meantime, Matt Taormina – who was on a bit of a roll before the trade – continues to sit in the press box.
Darryl Dobbs’ Fantasy Pool Look is an in-depth presentation of player trends, injuries and much more as it pertains to rotisserie pool leagues. Also, get the top 300 roto-player rankings on the first of every month in THN’s Fantasy section. Do you have a question about fantasy hockey? Send it to the Fantasy Mailbag.