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Campkin looks at a guy flying under the radar in Washington...former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer

 

As the season nears an end, we are all either making a push towards a championship or thinking about next season. Today I am going to take an in-depth look at a guy who is not only a great option to help you with your 2013 push, but also a player who you should be bumping up your draft boards next September: Troy Brouwer.

 

 

Brouwer has always been a player who has some offensive upside. Over the past few seasons he has had a few prolonged spurts where he performed like a 45-55 point player but he has never been able to sustain it for an entire season. This shortened season, Brouwer is seeing a ton of PP time and he is playing on a great line, resulting in 28 points over 40 games (a 57 point pace over an 82 game schedule). The point output only scratches the surface of Brouwer’s value though; let’s run his numbers through Fantasy Hockey Geek to get a more complete understanding of what Brouwer brings to the table value-wise:

 

(Yahoo! 12-team league: G,A, +/-, PPP, SOG, Hits, GAA, Sv, W)


Rank

Player

G

A

+/-

SOG

PPP

HITS

67

Patrice Bergeron

10

21

23

93

4

24

68

Troy Brouwer

15

13

-4

87

14

92

69

Sam Gagner

14

21

-6

98

14

30

 

From the chart above you can see that FHG calculates the 37% owned Brouwer as the 68th most valuable player in this particular league, ranking ahead of the 75% owned Gagner and just behind the 62% owned Bergeron (although the similarly underrated Bergeron would be ranked even higher if he wasn’t injured). So what makes Brouwer so valuable?

 

  • Goals: With 15 goals on the season Brouwer ranks 25thin the entire league, tied with the likes of Zach Parise and Blake Wheeler. Often times, players who score goals but don’t get a ton of assists are overlooked because their overall point total isn’t elite. Top goal scorers should never be overlooked though and Troy Brouwer is a perfect example of this.

     

  • PPP:Brouwer averages 3:28 of powerplay time per game, playing on the #1 powerplay unit in the entire league. This has been a major source of his spike in production, not only for PPP but also for G, A and SOG. Brouwer’s 14 powerplay points are only bettered by 18 players in the entire league. Noted powerplay performers such as Getzlaf, Datsyuk and Marleau all have less points with the man advantage than Brouwer does.  

     

  • SOG:With 87 shots in 40 games, Brouwer is only at a 178 shot pace, which is less than I would like out of a top forward but not a terrible total for a second or third RW. This is a category that used to hurt Brouwer a lot more with a previous season high of 133. The increased PP time this season has helped Brouwer’s shot total get to an acceptable level and certainly high enough to work with given his contributions to other categories.

     

  • Hits:This is the big one for Brouwer. His hits are actually down this season, but he is still a monster hitter who is currently dishing them out on an 82 game pace that would see him amass 188. Amongst players who have at least 10 goals this season, only five guys have more hits than Brouwer (Callahan, Brown, Kane, Ovechkin, Doan).

     

  • A lot of managers might look at Brouwer as a player who only has value in a league that counts hits, but even in a Yahoo! standard pool (G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SOG) he is the 85th most valuable guy which makes his 37% owned number incredibly low. His blocked shot total isn’t bad either and he even chips in with the odd shorty, making Brouwer a guy who should be owned in almost all league formats. I could understand Brouwer being a FA in very shallow leagues or leagues that focus more heavily on points but he certainly shouldn’t available in 63% of Yahoo! leagues as he currently is.

 

The analysis above should help you to understand how Brouwer has been providing value this season, but what do we make of him going forward? I mean, he is a guy whose career high point total is 40. Personally, I think Brouwer has the ability to be a 55 point, 180 shot, 200 hit player over the next couple of seasons. He is signed in Washington through the 2015-2016 and seems to be in the perfect scenario to maximize his value. As long as he keeps seeing the prime minutes that he is currently seeing, Brouwer will be a top 60-90 own in most leagues and just outside of the top 10 at a very scarce RW position.

 

Everything I have said does hinge on the assumption that he keeps the minutes though, so I wouldn’t go drafting or trading for Brouwer as the 60th best player just yet. Keep in mind that the scenario Brouwer is in (good line, top PP minutes, high shooting %) is probably the best scenario he could ever hope to be in I wouldn’t overpay for him. If Brouwer got dropped to the 3rd line and off of the powerplay his value would take a huge hit.

 

The one other warning I would throw out there on Brouwer is that he has a history of starting strong and tailing off. In the previous two seasons, Brouwer has averaged .54 points per game prior to the all-star break and 0.25 points per game after the break. In this shortened season he is obviously unaffected by this phenomenon and is currently rocking a 0.7ppg average. I personally think that the previous season’s variances were likely more related to the different opportunities that were afforded to Brouwer at the time and if he continues seeing the good minutes with the Caps then he will continue scoring for an entire season, but this is something that bears watching next season.

 

I believe that despite the fact that Brouwer is already performing close to his top end potential he is still largely undervalued by most GMs. As such, I would try to acquire Brouwer as if he is the 150th most valuable player and then hope he continues to produce at the level he currently is. I would not acquire him as if he is already the 12th best RW in the league because then you would be getting fair value at best, but you would be assuming the risk of a potential line demotion or lack of PP time.

 

Troy Brouwer is a great example of a player who has elevated his game from a bit of a niche player to an under the radar guy who can contribute greatly to your fantasy hockey team. To find more guys like Brouwer sign up for Fantasy Hockey Geek today! Keep in mind that memberships last for a calendar year so you can do some great offseason analysis and still have access to all of the gold that FHG has to offer come draft time.


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