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Schroeder, Ranger, Zuccarello, and more - five cap bargains for this season.

 

 

It gets stated often but one cannot underestimate the importance of cap bargain players on a successful cap league roster. Unfortunately, cheap quality players are not easy to find. What makes this task more difficult is that each league setup offers a different set of relevant players.

 

Here are five players who signed new one-year contracts this summer and are set to become bargain fantasy contributors in one format or another.

 

Jordan Schroeder (C – Vancouver)


Cap Hit: 600,000

 

The former first-round pick landed a one-way contract despite an underwhelming 2012-13 campaign. His status as a high draft choice will help him get opportunities to produce which works in your favor if you own him. There is some risk here though. Schroeder will probably find himself in different spots on the roster – sometimes on a scoring line and other times in the bottom-six – so it is not a given that he will produce enough to be relevant. If it all clicks he could clear the 40-point mark and be a good depth contributor in points-only leagues.

 

Corey Tropp (RW – Buffalo)


Cap Hit: 577,500 (two-way deal)

 

Tropp lost most of last year because of a knee injury. He also lost a chance to make the Sabres after the lockout ended. He will get another chance this fall. He is on a two-way deal and may spend some time in the AHL but he brings more to the table than some of the other bubble players in Buffalo. He has been a good offensive producer in the AHL and provided solid physical play. He could surprise at the NHL level even though he will probably not be good enough offensively for points-only leagues. He will be better-suited for roto leagues that combine his decent point totals with hits, blocked shots and PIM.

 

 

Mats Zuccarello (LW – New York Rangers)


Cap Hit: 1,150,000

 

Zuccarello is an excellent cap bargain who offers a lot of short-term upside in most scoring formats. In 67 career games spanned over three years he has 11 goals, 23 assists, a plus-13 rating, 18 PIM, 91 hits, 37 blocked shots, 12 power-play points and 111 shots on goal. Needless to say he has always been a good fantasy contributor and his opportunity to take the next step has never been better. Look for him to spend the majority of the year in the Rangers’ top-six. Considering the quality of centermen in New York Zuccarello could even push the 50-point mark.

 

Theo Peckham (D – Chicago)


Cap Hit: 575,000 (two-way deal)

 

Peckham signed a two-way contract in Chicago which probably puts him in the AHL to start the year. He will be competing with Mike Kostka and some of the Hawks’ young blueliners for call-up priority. If your league counts PIM, hits and blocked shots he could be an excellent contributor when called upon. His best year was in 2010-11 in Edmonton where he had 13 points, 198 PIM, 196 hits and 123 blocked shots in 71 games. He is not worth adding now but keep him on your radar in case he makes his way into the Chicago lineup. He is capable of being your team’s best physical player for short stretches.

 

Paul Ranger (D – Toronto)


Cap Hit: 1,000,000

 

Ranger returns to the NHL after a multi-year absence for personal reasons. Many poolies fail to remember that he was a very good defenseman during his first NHL stint in Tampa Bay. The chart below shows his career numbers including peripheral stats:

 

Year

GP

G

A

PTS

PPP

PIM

HITS

BKS

05-06

76

1

17

18

1

58

41

89

06-07

72

4

24

28

5

42

68

89

07-08

72

10

21

31

5

56

106

118

08-09

42

2

11

13

5

56

63

72

09-10

8

1

1

2

0

6

5

11

Total

270

18

74

92

16

218

283

379

Per 82 games

82

5

22

27

5

66

86

115


Ranger was beginning to emerge as a solid offensive blueliner and that secondary scoring ability along with excellent peripherals made him a strong all-around roto player. Now in Toronto, it is not clear if he will be able to reach those numbers again. Fantasy owners should not count on it, especially on the offensive front. The opportunity will probably not be there in Toronto. But even with a lack of power play minutes he has already shown an ability to produce at even strength. That, combined with a probable return of his peripheral numbers, still makes him a viable depth option.

 

Previously from Daoust:


Recent UFA Signings: Cap Edition

The Cap Value of NHL Goaltenders

Capped: The NHL's New Pension Plan

The Remaining UFAs

Give Eric a follow on Twitter (@DH_EricDaoust)

 


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