Fantasy: 3 bust candidates who won't meet expectations
Get ready for your season with theScore's fantasy hockey draft kit.
Here are three players unlikely to meet expectations next season relative to how high you'll need to draft them.
Brayden Point, C, Lightning
There's no denying Point is one of the best all-around players in the NHL, but when it comes to fantasy, he's not nearly as valuable. He doesn't rack up shots, hits, or blocks, so most of his value is tied to goals, assists, and power-play points.
However, Point may struggle to match the near point per game pace he played at last season now that linemate Nikita Kucherov is done for the year. Here's a look at Point's five-on-five metrics with and without Kucherov the last two seasons:
Point also does plenty of damage with the man advantage, ranking fifth in the league with 28 power-play goals over the past two seasons. However, Kucherov assisted on 21 of those goals, notching the primary helper on 11 of them.
Center is also the deepest position in fantasy hockey, so there's no point in drafting the Lightning pivot as early as you'll need to. He's currently listed at No. 22 in Yahoo's rankings.
Tony DeAngelo, D, Rangers
DeAngelo enjoyed a breakout season in 2019-20, finishing fourth among defensemen in goals (15) and points (53) in 68 games. However, history is not on his side when it comes to repeating that production, specifically in the goals department.
Since 2005-06, only two defensemen have posted a shooting percentage of 10 or higher in back-to-back seasons with a minimum of 100 shots: Lubomir Visnovsky (2005-07) and Ryan Whitney (2006-08).
DeAngelo's 10.1 shooting percentage last season ranked third among blue-liners with at least 100 shots. His chances of duplicating these numbers are unlikely unless he increases his shot volume. DeAngelo's 149 shots a year ago were the 26th-most among blue-liners.
There are further concerns with DeAngelo, though. Sixteen of his 38 assists came on the man advantage last season. And while he was a key member of the power play, it wouldn't be overly shocking if the Rangers eventually replaced him with teammate Adam Fox if the top unit gets off to a slow start.
Dominik Kubalik, LW/RW, Blackhawks
Banking on Kubalik to replicate the production from his excellent rookie season would be a huge mistake. He scored 30 goals last season, but did so with a 19.1 shooting percentage - the seventh-highest in the league among players with at least 100 shots.
Most of the players ahead of him on the list either take the majority of their shots from close to the crease - like Zach Hyman and Alex Killorn - or are proven snipers - such as Leon Draisaitl and Mika Zibanejad. Kubalik doesn't fit either description.
Kubalik's 79 hits help in certain leagues, but outside of his goal-scoring, he didn't provide much fantasy value. He had just 16 assists, only 157 shots, and didn't receive much power-play time.
Jonathan Toews - Kubalik's primary center last season - is out indefinitely to start the season with an illness, which doesn't help the sophomore's chances.
(Analytics source: Natural Stat Trick)
Josh Wegman has been theScore's resident fantasy hockey expert since 2015. Find him on Twitter @JoshWegman_.
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