Again with the lists. This time, fantasy experts took their shot at predicting players that will drop in production and be this season’s busts. A few Golden Knights were unfortunately selected in Sports Illustrated’s newest list of fantasy flunkies.
One of the first players SI cautions fantasy GM’s to steer clear from is Vegas’ left-handed sniper.
Max Pacioretty (Golden Knights) ESPN: 67 | NHL: 68 | CBS: 81
Let’s get this out of the way: Max Pacioretty went berserk in the playoffs, scoring five goals in seven games, and he dominated when playing with Mark Stone and Paul Stastny. That as much as anything is fueling the hope that Pacioretty will become a 30-goal scorer again. Turning 31 in November, Pacioretty hasn’t surpassed 22 goals and has missed 34 games in the last two seasons. He’s no longer a threat to record lofty shot totals, making his floor lower than other players in his range.-Sportsnet
The next Golden Knight to skip in your fantasy draft according to SI, could be considered VGK’s most reliable player.
Marc-Andre Fleury (Golden Knights) ESPN: 68 | NHL: 24 | CBS: 22
How many more good years can Vegas get out of Marc-Andre Fleury, who is turning 35 this year, while also expecting him to carry the lionshare of the workload? While the departure of defenseman Colin Miller isn’t a death blow to Vegas’s defense, it also doesn’t do Flower any favors. His career has been revitalized since joining the Golden Knights (64 wins, 2.40 goals against average, .919 save percentage) and his potential “bust” label is based more on his longevity than his ability. Avoid reaching for Fleury in early rounds when his value should be much safer as a second-tier goalie.-Sportsnet
Albeit a soft critique from Sports Illustrated, but beyond his age, I doubt Golden Knights fans agree with their reasoning. Las Vegas loved watching Colin Miller rip shots on net, but let’s be honest, his departure won’t hurt Fleury. It’s fair to be concerned with the 34-year-old goalie’s workload but I’m assuming the coaching staff has a preservation plan in place for 2019-2020.
SI also has low expectations for Patrice Bergeron, Mark Giordano, and Pekka Rinne. The common theme with all of these players is age, and it makes sense in a young man’s league. As we’re watching this summer, RFA’s are taking over.
As for us, we’re expecting big years out of Mark Stone, Jonathan Marchessault, and Shea Theodore. Ken decided to embarrass himself and give point predictions a go for VGK’s top five forwards and three defensemen.
Ken’s Point Predictions
Mark Stone – 73 points (31 G, 42 A)
Jonathan Marchessault – 68 points (35 G, 33A)
William Karlsson – 67 points (23 G, 44 A)
Max Pacioretty – 52 points (23 G, 29 A)
Paul Stastny – 51 points (11 G, 40 A)
Shea Theodore – 42 points (14 G, 28 A)
Nate Schmidt – 40 points (11 G, 29 A)
Jimmy Schuldt – 21 points (3 G, 18 A)