Dose: Quarter Season Awards

Dose: Quarter Season Awards

Dadoun lists his picks for the Quarter Season Fantasy Awards

There were no games on Thursday as the league took American Thanksgiving off, but we will have a full schedule on Friday that includes six games before 7:00 p.m. ET.  In the meantime, this seems like a good point to look back on what happened in the first quarter of the season and recognize some standout players.

For this week’s Rotoworld Hockey Podcast, Joey Alfieri and Michael Finewax gave out their quarter mark Fantasy Awards and I thought I’d offer my picks here.  Be sure to check out the podcast for what they had to say.

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Top Forward –There has been no shortage of amazing forwards so far this season, but I feel like I have to give the award to Nikita Kucherov.  True, Steven Stamkos has three more points (36 to 33), but Kucherov’s 17 goals in 21 games (Stamkos has 10 goals) is a huge asset to any fantasy team.  Kucherov also has 16 PIM to Stamkos’ eight, four GWG to Stamkos’ one, and 81 SOG to Stamkos’ 70, so there are other categories where he has an edge.  Meanwhile, Stamkos has been the better option in terms of PPG and PPP.  Clearly, having either one of them is amazing, but at the end of the day I still have to give it to Kucherov because having those extra goals is such a big help.

Top Defenseman –I see St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo as the clear choice here.  He leads all defensemen with seven goals, is tied for the lead with 20 points, is tied for second place with a plus-11 rating, and is tied for fourth place with 69 SOG.  Where he’s been a bit lacking is power-play points as his six thus far is acceptable, but there are plenty of blueliners that surpass him in that regard.  Most notably, Shayne Gostisbehere and John Carlson already have 10 PPP thus far.  Still, Pietrangelo is putting up elite numbers in enough categories to make him both well-rounded and top tier.  There isn’t a blueliner I’d rather have owned in the first quarter.  Erik Karlsson deserves an honorable mention though as he’s been limited to 15 games, but still has 17 points to lead all blueliners in terms of points per game (1.13).

Top Goalie –There are quite a few goaltenders that haven’t played up to expectations this season, but one elite goaltender that has played as advertised is Sergei Bobrovsky.  He’s the reigning Vezina Trophy champion and he’s the frontrunner to claim the award in 2018 with his 13-4-1 record, 1.91 GAA, and .936 save percentage in 118 games.  His GAA and SV% are both league-leading among netminders that have started in at least 10 games.  Meanwhile, only Andrei Vasilevskiy has won more games with his 15-2-1 record.

Biggest Surprise –There are a few rookies that have surprised me this season, but probably the one that’s stood out the most is Mathew Barzal with his five goals and 20 points in 21 games.  Brock Boeser has 21 points in 19 contests while Clayton Keller has 20 points in 24 contests, so Barzal isn’t the only rookie that’s excelled over the first quarter, but Boeser and Keller were both in my top-five for rookies going into this season while Barzal wasn’t even in the top-10.  As an side, Barzal’s rise has also made the Islanders look good for acquiring his well traveled pick (16th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft).  That selection originally belonged to Pittsburgh, but it was dealt to Edmonton so that the Penguins would acquire David Perron and the Oilers later dealt the pick to the Islanders along with a second rounder so that they could acquire Griffin Reinhart.  Reinhart didn’t end up working out for Edmonton and he’s now in Vegas’ organization as an AHLer, so that trade was particularly one-sided in favor of the Islanders.

Biggest Disappointment –Easily Carey Price.  He’s sidelined right now with a lower-body injury, but Price had been struggling when he was healthy with a 3-7-1 record, 3.77 GAA, and .877 save percentage in 11 games.  There’s a fair chance that he’ll bounce back once he’s healthy, but those that spent a first round pick on him in fantasy drafts haven’t gotten any real value out of that pick yet.  An honorable mention goes to Brent Burns, who many pegged to be this season’s top offensive defenseman, but thus far has no goals and eight assists in 20 games.  Still, at least fantasy owners have gotten a bit of benefit out of Burns even if it’s nowhere near what they were hoping for.

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