With the NHL season inching closer, you’re beginning to see projections for the upcoming season on how individual players are going to do, mostly for fantasy hockey drafts. ESPN released their point projections around the league on Tuesday, and they’re…interesting, to say the least.
With the Colorado Avalanche, Jonathan Drouin spoke at his annual charity golf even about the Avalanche, as well as Nathan MacKinnon driving him to school.
All that and more in this Wednesday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
We took questions for another mailbag, including…should you care about PTO’s? Did the Avalanche overpay Ross Colton? And a handful more.
Jonathan Drouin sounds excited to join the Avalanche, and perhaps just as importantly, get away from the media chaos in Montreal. He still found a way to give back to his old community, though.
ESPN’s NHL Point Projections
ESPN released their point projections for players around the league, and some of them are…whacky. Here’s what they project for some Avalanche players…
ESPN Point Projections for the Avalanche…
MacKinnon: 69 GP, 41-65-106
Rantanen: 77 GP, 46-53-99
Makar: 75 GP, 25-60-85
Byram: 71 GP, 16-33-49
Lehkonen: 70 GP, 20-32-52
Nichushkin: 63 GP, 16-25-41
Johansen: 61 GP, 12-18-30
Colton: 60 GP, 10-9-19 👀
Toews: 73 GP, 7-39-46
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) August 29, 2023
The first thing you’ll notice is that they expect the injury bug to hit again. Honestly, probably a smart thing to project for that, given how the last few years have gone. There’s a few you’d be really happy to see, including 71 games from Bowen Byram, but if that’s the production the Avalanche get from both Colton and Ryan Johansen, they’re in trouble. The Colton one is bizarre, because they’re projecting his worst season, despite him staring down a bigger role in Colorado. They also are clearly NOT believers in Valeri Nichushkin.
The whacky projections didn’t just stop in Colorado.
Some notable ESPN player projections for this season:
– Brad Marchand: 46 points
– Wyatt Johnston: 25 points
– Connor Bedard: 90 points (more than Crosby and Panarin)
– Bo Horvat: 71 points
– Quinn Hughes: 67 points
– Elias Pettersson: 116 points
Do better, ESPN pic.twitter.com/oEg7ljVZTa
— Lafreniere For MVP (@Laf4MVP) August 29, 2023
Brad Marchand has never had less than 61 points in a season since 2015, so a 46 point year would be a massive drop off. Bo Horvat fell off after the trade to the Islanders, and I don’t expect him to have the same shooting luck he did to start the year in Vancouver. And I love Elias Pettersson, but 116 points? That’s wild.
All I know is I wouldn’t use these projections for my fantasy draft, but hopefully someone else in your league is…
National Hockey Now
It’s PTO season in the NHL, and the Pittsburgh Penguins signed two more.
The Boston Bruins are worth some future NHL bets.
Brian Boucher is making the move to TNT, replacing Keith Jones.
The most and least common trade partners for the Montreal Canadiens.
Connor Bedard won’t be the only Blackhawks rookie at the showcase event.
The Carolina Hurricanes got in on the PTO fun as well.