On Sunday, the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche made official a three-way trade involving Matt Duchene going to Ottawa, Kyle Turris going to Nashville and picks and prospects to Colorado.
Here is a breakdwon of the impact the early-season deal will have on your fantasy roster.
THE SENATORS GET: MATT DUCHENE
The Sens acquired Duchene, a speedy top-two centerman who has experienced some incredible highs and lows throughout his career.
For the most part, this trade is about kicking the can down the road for Ottawa. They could not come to an agreement on a long-term deal with Kyle Turris and have now brought in his replacement in Duchene. At 26, Duchene is two years younger than Turris and has an extra season on his contract. He also represents a more dynamic option for Ottawa.
Volatile would be the best way to describe this upgrade. Duchene’s highs have surpassed anything that Turris has achieved in the NHL. His two-season run from 2013 to 2014 includes a stretch in which he scored 113 points in 118 games, a near point-per-game pace Turris has never matched. But we are also three seasons removed from that run. Does Duchene have another point-per-game season in him?
He just might. Outside of a last season’s nightmare, he has sustained elite levels of even strength scoring:
Duchene’s 5-on-5 points per 60 minutes is at 2.7 this year despite skating most frequently with Nail Yakupov and Alexander Kerfoot. If he directly replaces Turris, Duchene will lineup with Ryan Dzingel and Zack Smith, which is a modest upgrade.
However, there is immense potential for Duchene should he lineup with some of Ottawa’s more explosive wingers such as Mike Hoffman or Mark Stone. Duchene’s power play usage should also spike in Ottawa because he cannot do much worse than the 2:22 he was seeing per game on Colorado’s second PP unit.
You’ll also note that Duchene’s best scoring season came in 2013-14 when he played in Patrick Roy’s rope-a-dope system that is not dissimilar from what Guy Boucher has the Senators playing. Duchene’s speed should allow him to excel on the counter-attack, which is no doubt why the Senators were so smitten with him.
If nothing else, getting out of a bad situation in Colorado should be a boon for Duchene. He has the potential to get back to scoring in the 60-point range, especially now that he gets exposure to Erik Karlsson.
THE PREDATORS GET: KYLE TURRIS
The No. 2 centre they desperately need behind Ryan Johansen. Despite joining a loaded contender, this is probably a step back for Turris’ fantasy value because he is clearly behind Johansen. The potential wingers for Turris are dynamic, but the bet is he’ll start with Kevin Fiala and Craig Smith on his flanks.
That’s an improvement over what he had in Ottawa, but it’s also unlikely that Turris will continue to see 19:42 per game as he was with the Senators. His usage will probably come in closer to the 16:37 range that Mike Fisher saw as the No. 2 centre last season — and those minutes included time on the penalty kill, something Turris was not doing for the Senators.
There’s also a large difference between Ottawa and Nashville in how they operate with the man-advantage. Over the past three seasons Nashville has been more efficient (19.6%) on the power play than Ottawa (16.8%) but Nashville is also more egalitarian in how they hand out minutes. While the Senators lean more towards giving time to their top PP unit, the Predators evenly split time between their units. The Predators are also awfully fond of a two-defenceman look on their power play that is going out of fashion in the league.
Taken altogether, these differences mean Turris is likely to see much less power play time and skate with weaker players, albeit in a more efficient system. It’s a net loss for his fantasy value. Think low 50’s instead of high 50’s for Turris’ point total. At a deep centre position, it could be the difference between keeping him on your roster and dropping him to the waiver wire.
Turris’ arrival also pushes Nick Bonino (whenever he returns from injury) out of the running for top-six minutes. Bonino is better served as a No. 3 centre anyhow, but this ensures he will only be relevant in the deepest of leagues.
Lastly, this should help to kick up the value of Nashville’s defencemen. Thus far, the Predators have received 14 goals from forwards not skating on their top line. It looks like this:
Scott Hartnell: 4
Craig Smith: 4
Colton Sissons: 2
Calle Jarnkrok: 1
Miikka Salomaki: 1
Austin Watson: 1
Nick Bonino: 1
Adding some more scoring depth should not only make the Predators the favourites in the Central Division, it should help their defencemen pick up some of the cheap secondary assists that help push them to greater levels of fantasy relevance. P.K. Subban has 51 points in 80 games as a Predator, but we all know he is capable of more.
THE AVALANCHE GET: SAMUEL GIRARD, VLADISLAV KAMENEV, SHANE BOWERS, ANDREW HAMMOND, FIRST- , SECOND-, AND THIRD-ROUND PICKS
Magic Beans! I kid, but none of the picks or prospects they received in return for Duchene will help fill in for him this season. The best prospect acquired, Sam Girard, is a talented rookie pro who scored three points in five games for the Predators this season, but is unlikely to pop up with much fantasy relevance behind Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson. The “undersized” defenceman at 5-foot-10 has potential to put up big points at the NHL level some day, but not likely this season. He should crack a thin Avalanche roster, though.
Vladislav Kamenev, the other prospect acquired from Nashville, has scored 59 points in his past 79 games at the AHL level and is probably ready to break into the NHL relatively soon.
Subtracting Duchene will mean more heavy lifting for the Avalanche goaltending. Semyon Varlamov is a prolific, but inconsistent option and should only fare worse. While he boasts a winning record this season, his 3.09 goals-against average and .911 save percentage are nothing to write home about. You probably don’t want to hitch your ride to the goaltending on a team going “All In for Dahlin”.
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