- Written by Eric Daoust
This week we look at a few smaller signings that may have flown under the radar…
Even with the flow of hockey news slowing down significantly during the month of August, there are still occasional signings that have an impact on your fantasy team. Sometimes the signing itself is worth analyzing. Other times you can look beyond the news itself and wonder if there are similar players out there that can help you.
Over the last few weeks there have been some interesting signings at bargain prices. Today we will look at four of these players with varying skill sets and situations. But even though they are not stars by any means they still offer some kind of appeal in the fantasy world.
Ryan White – Philadelphia
By no means should you rush to add White to your keeper team or even consider selecting him in your one-year draft this fall. After all, he signed a two-way deal with the Flyers after getting ditched by the Canadiens despite having restricted free agent status.
If White does in fact play games in Philadelphia this year, he may be worth a look in the right kind of multi-category league. He has shown signs of decent all-around production in the past, especially in PIM, hits, blocks and even in the faceoff circle. If you do bring White onto your team, whatever stats he brings to the table will be provided at an extremely cheap price.
Beyond White, there are a ton of players currently on two-way deals that are virtually unknown today but can provide some immediate fantasy numbers if promoted. This applies especially to physical players and fighters as their hits and PIM will translate to the NHL almost seamlessly. Many of these potential contributors are not worth owning now but could be added from the waiver wire if/when they do get the call.
Jakob Silfverberg - Anaheim
In one sense, it is refreshing that Silfverberg did not follow the trend and sign a larger contract before truly arriving on the scene. But as Dobber pointed out in the August 18 ramblings, this bargain contract may in fact work against Silfverberg. Money does play a role in the opportunities that players receive. His cap hit simply does not put him above the other promising young forwards in Anaheim which could lead to him being moved around a lot throughout the lineup during the year.
From a production standpoint, Silfverberg is not quite there yet. He is a decent depth option in a number of deep formats but is on the brink of providing much more to fantasy owners. Unfortunately, we have to wait an additional year or two for him to progress into a scoring-line player. Thankfully, his minuscule cost makes him a low-risk player to own in the meantime.
Michael Del Zotto - Philadelphia
Almost immediately after it was announced that Kimmo Timonen would be out long-term with blood clots, the Flyers filled the empty roster spot with Del Zotto. The inconsistent defenseman has the potential to put up a ton of points in the right situation. If there was ever a situation that would allow him to return to form, this is it. The Flyers need puck-moving defensemen and that is what Del Zotto brings to the table.
The risk here is that Del Zotto can be a total flop and the Flyers still have a bit of cap space once they put Timonen and Chris Pronger on long-term injured reserve to make a trade if needed. But if he plays the full year in Philadelphia he should be able to post respectable numbers at the very least considering his below-average cap hit.
Mark Borowiecki - Ottawa
The most interesting fantasy player in this list is Borowiecki. In real life he will probably spend his career as a bottom-pairing blueliner. But in the fantasy world he may be the next rugged defender to provide golden production in leagues that count PIM and hits.
Despite just 21 games of NHL experience, Borowiecki is now under a one-way contract for the next four years. His cap hit of $1.1 million given by the budget-conscious Senators starting next season shows that he has won the team’s confidence. This will allow him to make the move to the NHL full-time and provide an impact similar to what Matt Carkner once brought to the Senators.
The danger, of course, is that as a bottom-pair defenseman on a team with a surplus of bodies Borowiecki will spend some time in the press box. This will hurt his value as he cannot help you when he is not in the lineup. But when he does play he will provide a ton of nastiness which will translate to your fantasy scoreboard. If he can eventually earn a stable spot in the lineup, he can turn into a poor man’s Radko Gudas. The skill set is there. All he needs is the right chance to maximize his value.
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