Fantasy: 3 bust candidates to avoid in your draft
Fantasy managers shouldn't necessarily avoid the following players at all costs, but we're projecting these forwards to vastly underperform their average draft position.
Note: Goalies were omitted from this post because we covered them here.
Chris Kreider, LW/RW, Rangers
Kreider is coming off a career campaign in which he tallied 52 goals and 77 points, leading him to be ranked 24th by Yahoo and 32nd by NHL.com. However, it's extremely difficult to imagine Kreider repeating his 2021-22 season considering his previous career bests were 28 goals and 52 points.
The 31-year-old's excellent campaign was aided by a 20.2 shooting percentage - over 6% higher than his career mark of 13.9 entering the season. Kreider scores a lot of his goals on deflections and rebounds, so an above-average shooting percentage can be expected. But a mark as high as last season is unlikely.
While Kreider helps managers in leagues that count hits (he had 141 in 2021-22), he's never been regarded as a good playmaker. If his goal-scoring dries up and regresses to his career norms, Kreider has no chance of returning value on the second-to-fourth round draft capital necessary to select him.
Nazem Kadri, C, Flames
Speaking of veterans coming off career years, we're not convinced Kadri can repeat. He tallied 87 points with the Avalanche in 2021-22, but his previous career best was 61 points. Set to enter his age-32 season, Father Time is not on his side.
There's also no guarantee how Kadri will fit in his new surroundings. With Colorado last campaign, he spent significant time sharing the ice with the likes of Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and - when on the power play - Nathan MacKinnon.
The Flames are a very good team, but they don't possess the same kind of firepower as the Avalanche. They also play more of a defensive-minded game under hard-nosed head coach Darryl Sutter. Kadri will likely be an excellent fit in Calgary, but it's difficult to imagine him returning value on his No. 56 rank on Yahoo and No. 62 rank on NHL.com. Center is the deepest position in fantasy, too, so his lack of positional flexibility hurts.
Troy Terry, RW, Ducks
Terry enjoyed a breakout season in 2021-22 that all Ducks fans had been waiting for, as the talented American winger tallied 37 goals and 30 assists in 75 games. Despite being just 25 years old and on an upward trajectory, a repeat seems unlikely.
For starters, Terry converted 19.3% of his shots - the 15th-highest mark in the league among players who skated in at least 50 contests. Prior to last season, Terry's career shooting percentage was 8.8%. It's possible he worked hard on his shot and was due for a bit of puck luck, but an increase greater than 10% is highly unsustainable.
Terry also produced only 24.2 individual expected goals, meaning he was very opportunistic and converted 13 goals above expected, based on the scoring chances he generated.
Terry isn't going in the early rounds of fantasy drafts (ranked 126 by Yahoo, 151 by NHL.com), but managers expecting him to build on his breakout year will be disappointed.
(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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