Friday, August 17, 2018

Montreal Canadiens fantasy preview for 2018-19

Max Pacioretty, LW - INJ.* (NHL.com rank: 94) -- The Montreal Canadiens captain is entering a contract year (potential 2019 unrestricted free agent) and should be pursued in fantasy as an injury bounce-back candidate (limited to 64 games because of knee injury). The 29-year-old could be traded before or during the season and would gain value with such a development, but also has goal-scoring appeal if he remains with Montreal on the top line with either Jonathan Drouin or Phillip Danault, assuming prospect Jesperi Kotkaniemi (No. 3 pick in 2018 NHL Draft) does not make the team. Pacioretty comes with team concerns and contract uncertainty but is a five-time 30-goal scorer who should be targeted inside the top 100 overall.
Carey Price, G (141) -- It has been quite a fall from fantasy grace for Price compared to last season, when he was the first goaltender taken on average in Yahoo leagues (average draft position: 5.9). But fantasy owners should never completely overlook an individual player of his caliber. He has four seasons of at least 34 wins and a .918 save percentage in his NHL career. But the injury timetable for top defenseman Shea Weber (knee surgery) is a big blow to Montreal's bounce-back appeal, and Pacioretty's future remains unclear. Price is a risky No. 2 fantasy goalie option, even if available outside the top 100 overall.
Brendan Gallagher, RW (167) -- Even in a forgettable season when Montreal's three best players dealt with injury, Gallagher returned fantasy value and proved to be one of the most underrated category coverage assets in the NHL. He finished 91st overall in Yahoo last season with NHL career highs in goals (31), points (54), power-play points (17) and shots on goal (278). The fact Gallagher put up those numbers without a clear No. 1 center shows he has the self-sustainability fantasy owners crave. You can snatch Gallagher in late rounds as a potential right wing bargain.
Max Domi, C/LW (244) -- The Canadiens acquired Domi from the Arizona Coyotes in a trade for center Alex Galchenyuk on June 15, and each player can benefit from a change of scenery. Domi remains among NHL.com's top 250 rankings because of his age (23) and room for improvement in shooting percentage (6.0; tied for third lowest among forwards with at least 150 SOG). Domi will play in Montreal's top-six forward group, could even play on the top line if Pacioretty is traded and has a decent floor in four of the six standard categories.
Jeff Petry, D (N/A) -- With Weber expected to be out until mid-December, Petry is the favorite to take on the veteran's heavy workload, which includes first power-play usage. Petry's plus/minus (minus-30; minus-101 in NHL career) makes him a liability in standard leagues (he isn't ranked in NHL.com's top 250), but he has plenty of value in a points-only format. Filling in for Weber last season, Petry broke out for 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) and 23 PPP, shattering his previous NHL career highs (28 points, seven PPP in 2016-17).
Other players with fantasy upside in late rounds or off waiver wire: Jonathan Drouin, C/LW/RW; Shea Weber, D (INJ.); Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C; Victor Mete, D; Jacob de la Rose, C/LW
*Potential 2019 unrestricted free agent

INJ. - Injury concern entering 2018-19

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