Fantasy Hockey

2019-20 Fantasy Hockey NHL Trade Deadline Recap

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With the NHL trade deadline, players, analysts and fans alike are bombarded by uncertainty, speculation and surprises.

The media circus surrounding the deadline was on full display on deadline day as Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau skated off the practice surface, causing a media frenzy. Twitter blew up with erroneous conjecture, meanwhile, Gaudreau simply went off the ice to use the washroom.

Conjecture aside, a plethora of trades occurred prior to the 3:00 p.m. EST deadline. 32 trades were made, with 55 players changing uniforms.

Along with the infinite wisdom from fantasy hockey insider, DFSx42, we’ll take look at some of the most important trades made on and leading up to the deadline day.

More importantly, we’ll delve into the fantasy implications of these trades.

2019-20 Fantasy Hockey NHL Trade Deadline Recap

Martinez:  Golden Knight in shining armor

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Alec Martinez will always be known by Los Angeles Kings fans as the man who cemented his legacy —as well as the Kings’ legacy— for the Game 5 overtime goal against the New York Rangers to bring Lord Stanley’s Cup to the City of Angels.

Although his name will forever be in the record books, the stay-at-home defenseman hasn’t exactly produced fantasy viable numbers since.

The Kings have stumbled their way into the NHL’s basement and were sellers this past deadline. As a result, Martinez, who carries a $4M AAV on his contract was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 19 for a 2020 and 2021 second-round pick.

Already, the left-handed rearguard has managed to register two goals and two assists in three outings for his new team.

Although all his points came at even strength, Martinez has been slotted on the second power-play unit. With the offensively gifted William Karlsson and Vegas’ resident over-achiever, Reilly Smith on the same line, Martinez becomes fantasy viable.

Boston bolsters depth, adds Ondrej Kase

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Outside of arguably the best top line in hockey, the Boston Bruins struggled to find fantasy relevant depth out of their forward cast for most of the season.

To shake things up, Bruins GM Don Sweeney made a pair of seemingly modest trades before the deadline.

The Bruins started with the acquisition of Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for David Backes, Axel Andersson and a 2020 1st round pick on Feb. 21. Boston also added size to their offensive corps with a deadline-day deal with the Ducks acquiring winger Nick Ritchie in exchange for depth winger Danton Heinen.

It should be noted that although the price paid for Kase on the surface is outrageous, Backes (or what’s left of him) has one of the worst contracts in the league from a value perspective. The 35-year-old has a $6M AAV until 2021 and has only mustered three points this season.

Although Kase has been battling his way back from an illness that has kept him out for the better part of the month, Sweeney said that when he’s ready to go, he’ll likely be playing alongside David Krejci or Charlie Coyle.

Should the 24-year-old winger play top-6 minutes in Boston, he’ll be an intriguing option as a fantasy flier.

DFSx42 sees nothing but upside for Kase from a fantasy perspective:

“Kase is especially noteworthy as he could really step up his production now that he’s no longer on such a bad team. In short, we now have some legit options in Boston to get a piece of that offense on the cheap.”

Washington Capitals – Transforming to Team Russia

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The Montreal Canadiens signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a veteran minimum contract mid-way through the season following his departure from the Kings.

Kovalchuk showed the Kings he has plenty left in the tank. By scoring 12 points in his first 15 games for Montreal, he became one of the most relevant trade chips in the league.

The Washington Capitals cashed in a 2020 3rd round pick to acquire the fourth most prolific Russian goal scorer in the history of the NHL.

DFSx42 is chomping at the bit to see these all-time Russkis in action with the man advantage:

“Already possessing one aging all-time great Russian, they double down and add another. I doubt Kolvalchuk gets the minutes he got in Montreal with Washington but he’s a massive upgrade over Tom Wilson on the PP1. That’s no disrespect to Tom Wilson, he’s a great all-around hockey player, but Kovalchuk is something special on the power play.  Matching him with Ovi, I can’t wait to watch it in action.”

Likely seeing third-line minutes, owners should temper expectations, but adding Kovalchuk’s skill to an already high-powered offense could reap benefits for fantasy owners.


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Deadline Duck Hunting, Sonny is shining

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With the Anaheim Ducks going through an apparent rebuild, their head office was one of the busiest on deadline day. Making six trades on Feb. 24 and one a few days prior, Anaheim landed eight newcomers and a 1st round pick.

DFSx42 looked past the new faces to analyze the implications pertaining to the players already on the roster:

“They’ll likely experiment heavily, but at first glance, Sam Steel looks to get more playing time on PP1 and Silfverberg takes a big hit playing on an awful PP2, which was already one of the worst power-play units in the league even before the fire sale.”

Out of the trades the Ducks made, one move, in particular, has an instant impact on fantasy dynamics.

The Ducks sent Devin Shore to Columbus for Sonny Milano in a straight-up deal.

While Shore’s versatile presence as both a winger and center can help shore up some depth for the Blue Jackets’ playoff push, Milano becomes one of the top players on a lackluster Ducks squad.

Despite being highly touted in junior, Milano hasn’t found his groove in the NHL. The 16th overall pick of the 2014 draft will now be playing alongside Ryan Getzlaf on Anaheim’s top line.

This bodes well for the young winger will see ample time on the powerplay.

In his first game as a Duck, Milano led the way with two goals (including a power-play marker). He should continue to produce given the heightened opportunity.

Storm warning across the Metropolitan Division

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Being marred by injuries hasn’t stopped Carolina Hurricanes from being on the cusp of success.

The Canes, fresh off a shellacking of the Toronto Maple Leafs, went into deadline day with conviction. Carolina pulled off three trades, all of which are notable and fantasy relevant.

The Hurricanes bolstered their defensive prowess by adding offensive D-man Sami Vatanen in exchange for Janne Kuokkanen, Fredrik Claesson and a 2020 conditional 4th round pick from New Jersey.

They acquired another defenseman, Brady Skjei, sending a 2020 1st round pick to the New York Rangers.

Lastly, Carolina shipped Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Eetu Luostarinen and Chase Priskie for Vincent Trochek.

“Brady Skjej & Vatanen coming over should significantly restructure their defense. If Dougie Hamilton comes back they’ll have quite the plethora of fantasy-relevant D to roster each night. The Trocheck trade is particularly significant because Vinny has always had that tantalizing fantasy talent and it’ll be interesting to see how he factors in.”

The Canes have shown that they’re looking to make a deep run in the playoffs. With explosive offensive talent at the top of their lineup, Trochek should thrive if given the opportunity to break into the Top-6.

Edmonton finds McDavid speed on the wing

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Edmonton bolstered their defense by adding Mike Green at the deadline. More importantly from a fantasy perspective, they found linemates for offensive maestro Connor McDavid.

The Oilers sent Sam Gagner and a pair of second-round picks to Detroit in exchange for Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner.

The Oilers also acquired scrappy winger Tyler Ennis from the tanking Ottawa Senators for a 2021 5th rounder.

Athanasiou, a speedy winger, has the potential to be the top fantasy pickup as the dust settles from the deadline. He played on a horrid Red Wings team and currently has the worst plus/minus in the league at -45.

The change of scenery, along with being linemates with the best hockey player in the world should help. Ennis also becomes a top fantasy play because of his proximity to McDavid.


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Both Athanasiou and Ennis scored and goal and added an assist in their first game with the Oilers. Fantasy owners can expect more production going forward.


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About Tyler Mulligan

Sports Journalist from Toronto, Canada. Fantasy hockey, basketball and football aficionado.

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