Fantasy Mailbag: Capitals’ Samsonov has edge over other young goalies

Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov. (Nick Wass/AP)

It may be Friday the 13th, but there’s nothing spooky about the goal scoring numbers across the NHL. They’re up and it’s great to see.

As this decade draws to a close, it’s fascinating to see how far the game has come offensively over the last 10 years. From 2010 to 2018 only eight players, altogether, were able to hit the 100-point plateau, a far cry from the six that did it just last season.

Currently, there are seven players on pace to hit the century mark but a couple others are still in reach too. I still can’t believe Wayne Gretzky did it 15 times. I guess his nickname speaks for itself.

Player Team Point Pace SN Fantasy Value
Leon Draisaitl Oilers 133 4
Connor McDavid Oilers 130 4
Nathan MacKinnon Avalanche 127 4
Brad Marchand Bruins 117 4
David Pastrnak Bruins 114 4
John Carlson Capitals 112 3
Jack Eichel Sabres 109 3
Artemi Panarin Rangers 98 4
Jonathan Huberdeau Panthers 98 3
Aleksander Barkov Panthers 95 3

For what’s worth, only Connor McDavid (three) and Nikita Kucherov (two) came into this season riding consecutive seasons of 100 points or more.

Now to your questions:

Buy Low

Matt Murray, Penguins: Tough stretch; will regain form; long season; contract year.

Brent Burns, Sharks: Notorious slow starter; new coach; top fantasy defenceman.

Blake Wheeler, Jets: 11 points over last nine games.

Sell High

Cale Makar, Avalanche: Rookie wall coming at some point?

J.G. Pageau, Senators: Contract year; Ryan Dzingel?

Ryan Strome, Rangers: How long will he play with Artemi Panarin?

Yup, easy decision. Go with Ilya Samsonov.

With Braden Holtby and Nick Backstrom both pending unrestricted free agents, it’ll be interesting to see how the Capitals handle this situation. If anything, Samsonov could be auditioning for the No. 1 role for all we know. He’s got the pedigree and the skill set.

Cayden Primeau is very raw and has Carey Price firmly in front of him. Alex Stalock is a career backup and he’s 32, so we know what he is at this point.

While I must admit that John Gibson’s injury history has always scared me off from owning him, I’d definitely accept that trade offer.

For me, it comes down to the battle of the Ryans – Nugent-Hopkins versus Strome. You can’t overlook the exposure to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton. As indicated above, Strome is an excellent sell-high candidate right now. The Rangers are likely a deadline seller and I know Panarin is primed to play with Mika Zibanejad long-term.

Do it.

It’s easy to just look at the current numbers and say Sebastian Aho by a landslide. It’s closer than one would think, however.

From a fantasy perspective, Gabriel Landeskog’s attachment to Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen should never be understated. He does a lot for that line. Colorado is the real deal.

In my opinion, Aho is still scratching the surface of what he could be in the NHL. Of the two in question, he profoundly has the higher ceiling and is improving by the game. Aho is starting to enter superstar status.

Go Aho or go home.

With Rick Bowness now at the helm for the Stars, I’d wait a couple more games before making a decision on Roope Hintz.

Right now, the 23-year-old is centering Joe Pavelski and Alex Radulov. On top of that, he’s still on the first power play unit too so, clearly, there’s a lot of value still there. With all that star power in Dallas, it’s a shame that there’s only one puck to go around.

Monitor closely. We’ll see what happens.

Yes, I’d hold onto Pavel Buchnevich.

There’s no question that it’s been an up and down first couple of years in the NHL for the skilled forward. He’s been plagued with consistency issues and has been in and out of David Quinn’s doghouse so many times that I’ve lost count.

There’s just so much there. I see it; you see it; coach Quinn definitely sees it. Now, can he put it all together day in and day out is the big-time question? The 24-year-old is currently on pace for his first career 50-point season but that’s still ions away from what I think his ceiling could be.

Have faith.

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