Although it’s looking more and more like there will be a lockout in the
coming days, our fantasy series continues on. Rather than doing profiles
for the remainder of the players whose fantasy impacts are at best limited,
let’s examine the rest of the Habs’ roster and look at the situations where
these players could become legitimate options for your pool teams.
F Colby Armstrong: Among the players who will be discussed here, he is
one of the few with sleeper upside. Surely he can’t struggle as much as he
did last year, he should easily surpass last seasons’ point total of 3. I
think he legitimately could find himself on the third line at times while seeing
some time on the penalty kill as well. Add that with his hitting abilities
and he could be a useful back-of-the-roster option in deep leagues, especially
those with hits as a scoring category.
D Francis Bouillon: Bouillon was added to improve the bottom level
depth on the blueline and log some decent 5-on-5 minutes. Although that
should make him useful to Michel Therrien, that will also make him pretty much
useless in fantasy leagues. Despite his small size, he does play a
physical game, which could make him a fringe option in head-to-head leagues with
deep rosters and hitting as a category but even then you’re likely better off
G Peter Budaj: It goes without saying that if Carey Price goes down,
he is worth picking up immediately as he would become the default starter.
It would seem logical to believe that he should see a few more starts than he
did last year in the hopes of keeping Price fresher but even with that, he still
is likely to see below average backup minutes. In a deep league, he is
worth selecting as a ‘handcuff’ to Price but beyond that you’re best suited to
let him sit on the waiver wire and try and grab him when he gets a start here
F Scott Gomez: For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume he is on
the opening night roster. Gomez could play in a few different roles, one
of which could be as a winger alongside Tomas Plekanec in the spot left open
temporarily by the injury to Rene Bourque. He could also see himself on
the fourth line which would hinder any sort of potential upside he might have or
even in the press box. If he makes the team, Gomez is a low risk, medium
reward type player who could give you decent value in the late rounds if he
rebounds to even the 30-40 point plateau, a total he should still be capable of.
Or, if he finds himself in fourth line purgatory, he will be completely useless
in any fantasy format.
F Petteri Nokelainen: I watch him on the ice and wonder to myself how
he was ever considered a first round talent. Even though he received a
one-way contract I don’t think he has a firm grip on a roster spot yet even if
one is his to lose. At best he is the fourth line centre who is mediocre
at best across the board. Look elsewhere come draft day, there will be
better options out there.
D Yannick Weber: What he can bring to the table (a booming shot and
flexibility to play defence or the wing) always makes him worth considering.
The fact that he sees significant powerplay time when he plays only adds to
that. However, with a deeper and healthier defence corps, his opportunity
for playing time has never been slimmer as he sits eighth on the current depth
chart. Like Nokelainen, I’m not convinced his spot on the roster is
guaranteed but injuries/trades could change things. If he’s still in
Montreal at the beginning of the year he likely isn’t worth drafting but if
injuries arise or he gets dealt, keep an eye on him.
F Ryan White: I think I speak for all fans when I say here’s hoping
he’s not in a top six role as he frequently found himself in last season.
He is likely to be primarily a fourth liner who sees sparing minutes on the
penalty kill. His willingness to drop the gloves and hit frequently is
where his niche fantasy value will be. I’d stay away from drafting him now
but he is worth considering as a free agent/waiver pickup in spot situations as
the year progresses.
Players who are potential call-up options (such as Louis Leblanc, Brendan
Gallagher, and Blake Geoffrion) will be covered in the final article of this
series later this week.