The affect of a long postseason on your fantasy keepers.
We're down to the final two hockey teams and although it's exciting for the fans of the Kings and Devils it may be torture for some of us to see our fantasy studs still on the ice playing their hearts outs. It's no secret that everyone playing right now is going at full speed trying to get their name on the coveted Lord Stanley's Cup. The after effect of all this is the extra ice time being accumulated by your Ilya Kovalchuk's, Anze Kopitar's, Jonathan Quick's, Martin Brodeur's or whoever you will be keeping on your fantasy roster entering 2013 can be brutal. For this article, I will break down some keepers as it pertains to their future statistics next season. For those of you that are in a fantasy hockey keeper league this article should fill your need of keeper advice for a while. Like always, find me on twitter if you want to discuss some of these keeper options @Awies28
Side Note: I know I picked the Rangers to come out of the East but if you "read here" you'll see that I mentioned the Devils as a team that has what you need to go far in the postseason (#1 penalty kill this year). I'm just saying that it did not surprise me that they came out of the east. #KingsIn5
2012 Western Conference Champions
Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick G- This postseason has been Quick's coming out party and although he may not be able to maintain his postseason sub 2 goals against average next season, he will still be a top 5 goalie entering next year. He's 26 years old which is young compared to his counterpart Martin Brodeur (40 years old). I don't think the extra ice time will effect Quick next season. I think it will help the young net minder as he gains vital experience in his 5th season as a pro. I'm expecting big things next year from the L.A. Kings' Goalie.
Anze Kopitar C- I've written about Kopitar before. I don't think the 24 year old will have any fatigue issues entering next season.
Dustin Brown RW- Brown has had two previous postseason stints. In 12 games (6 games in 2010 and 6 games in 2011) Brown tallied 2 goals and 5 assists averaging 18:53 minutes of ice time in 2010 and 20:00 minutes of ice time last postseason. In the seasons after the playoff runs, the King's captain put up 57 and 54 points respectively. He also played in all 82 games the following season after his two first round exits. I'm not worried one bit about Brown next year, if anything I think his fantasy stock has risen due to his recent performances this year (16 points in 14 playoff games so far).
Justin Williams RW- The 30 year old winger always seems to miss a lot of time but when he's on the rink he gives solid value. Generally I'd be concerned with a player like Williams but the Kings have managed his ice time this postseason to the tune of 17:09 minutes per game. He's not the 30 goal scorer he was back in 2005 and 2006 but I think his floor next season, baring injury, will be 20 goals and 35 assists on a Kings team that is beginning to figure out how their offense will work.
Mike Richards C- It was a difficult transition coming to LA this season after spending his first 6 years with the Flyers but Richards should rebound next year. Over the past 4 years Mike has managed at least 62 points (80 in 2009) but this past year he only had 44 (18 goals, 26 assists). In my personal opinion this should make Richards a "proven player off a down year" type guy entering your hockey drafts in 2013. Buy relatively low and expect better results. I'm thinking he's a mid 50's points guy.
Drew Doughty D- After a breakout 2010 (59 points) Drew hasn't posted more than 40 points over the past two years. Doughty isn't a question of, will postseason play effect him next year? The real question with Doughty is: who is the real Drew? The 59 point blue liner? Or the high 30's guy who will finish in the upper 60's in penalty minutes? My guess is Doughty, at age 22, will figure some things out from this year's playoffs and possibly challenge his 2010 numbers.
Dustin Penner LW- In 14 playoff games this year Penner has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) but don't be fooled. Penner will get a lot of hype before next year's draft but I'm one fantasy writer that is going to tell you not to buy into the unforeseen. I think everyone is caught up with his 2010 season (63 points) but keep in mind he has never had over 47 points in any other campaign. I think he'll be a solid contributor but don't pay for more than 45 points. He was a top 100 draft pick entering 2012.
Jeff Carter C- Carter was a top 30 fantasy selection entering this past year with the Blue Jackets. Since being sent to LA Carter has done nothing but score. He managed to score 6 goals in 16 regular season games and 4 goals in 14 postseason games so far. Carter will be undervalued entering next season but he still warrants top 50 consideration.
Dwight King D- With 2 game winning goals in this postseason, King has gotten a lot of recognition but keep in mind he's only 22 years old and has played in a total of 33 regular season games in his first two years as a pro. King should be nothing but a late round flyer pick as ice time will be an issue. The Kings don't want to overwork the young blue liner. He managed 14:38 minutes on ice this past season and I'm not sure the Kings are ready to make him a first line defender.
2012 Eastern Conference Champions
New Jersey Devils
Martin Brodeur G- He's 40 years old! That being said Dominik Hasek has recently stated he wants to return to the NHL next season, he's 47! #OldiesButGoodies or #PleaseRetireYourKillenMe take your pick.
Ilya Kovachuk LW- I've written about Ilya before. I'm a fan and I think he has another solid season in 2013.
Zach Parise RW- Parise had a career high in ice time this year averaging 21:29 minutes per game (82 games played). He's played 21:00 minutes on average so far through 17 postseason games this year but at after missing almost all of 2011 with a lower body injury I don't think the extra ice time will take that big of a toll on him entering 2013. Prior to his 2011 injury he's played in at least 81 games in his first 5 years as a pro and I'd expect nothing less next year. Parise is worth a second round draft pick as he is a borderline top 10 forward.
Patrik Elias C- The 36 year old defied his critics this past year tallying 78 points (26 goals, 52 goals) and although his 15.9 shooting percentage was his highest since the millennium I think Elias will once again offer top 50 production from the forward slot. There's no question in my mind he understands his role with the team, i mean, he's been with the Devils for his whole 17 year career.
David Clarkson RW- This past year was Clarkson's breakout season as he put up 30 goals and 16 assists. He will creep into the top 100 draft picks and if nothing else changes, I could see Clarkson actually improving with the experience he's gained in this year's playoffs having 3 goals, all game winners, and 6 assists in 17 games.