Will Jagr boost the production of Elias, Henrique or Zajac?
Fantasy Impact - The New Jersey Devils have signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal worth $2 million, plus $250,000 every five games up to 40 games (so $4 million) per TSN.
The Devils get - A master at protecting the puck, seeing the ice and making dazzling moves. But he's lost a step or three and his accuracy and timing are microseconds off - which mean everything in hockey. Jagr had zero goals in 23 playoff games despite being one of the best players on his team in many of those games. That's not to say that Jagr won't score again. He did score an impressive 16 goals, for a 41-year-old that's amazing. But I get the feeling that he'll wear down and be pretty ineffective by mid-February.
Also keep in mind that the Devils lead the NHL in back-to-back games for next season. Fully 22 times (so 44 games) they will be playing back to back. That can't be good for the ol' groin, eh Jaromir?
Fantasy Players Impacted: Since Jagr is the temporary Ilya Kovalchuk replacement, he'll just slot into the line combinations accordingly. I could look at this impact one of two ways - I could look at it like he is replacing Kovalchuk (negative) or I could look at it like he is joining a Kovalchuk-less team in need of help (positive). Let's look at it from the latter perspective.
Had they not signed him, then Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique would have fewer quality options to play with. Mattias Tedenby would have been a regular in the lineup and Dainius Zubrus would have been a winger in the top six. Now Zubrus is a third-line winger or center and Tedenby will be in and out of the press box.
Without Jagr, maybe prospect Reid Boucher gets a look (Boucher profile here). Or perhaps the Devils sign Damien Brunner - who, while unproven, has more long-term upside and is less of an injury risk.
Potential Line Combos:
Elias - Zajac - Jagr
Clowe - Henrique - Ryder
Carter - Loktionov - Zubrus
Tedenby - Gionta - Bernier
With extras Matteau, Josefson, Barch, Janssen, Olesz
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
1. Henrique and Zajac
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
2. Prospects such as Boucher and Stefan Matteau