Over the past month, we’ve taken a look at the Habs and their likely fantasy
roles over a full season. Several players that weren’t covered in the
individual player profiles can still not only fill useful roles for the
Canadiens but for your pool team as well. Here’s a look at the rest of
Montreal’s projected roster and their potential fantasy impacts.
Peter Budaj: Even though he was sat down in favour of Tokarski in the
playoffs, I think the odds are fairly strong that Budaj enters camp as the
likely favourite for the backup job to Carey Price. Unfortunately, we saw
last year that once he plays more than a couple of games in a row, he falters.
That means that if Price were to get hurt, it’s likely that whoever was brought
up to replace him (whether that’s Tokarski or someone else) would get some
playing time. This means that Budaj’s value at best is as a handcuff to
Price where you can slide the Slovak in on Price’s off nights.
Dustin Tokarski: Because there are only at most a handful of teams
that could still be looking for a goalie, I wouldn’t be surprised to see
Tokarski hit the waiver wire in the hopes that he can make it back to Hamilton.
That would make his fantasy value nothing so let’s suppose he does land the
backup role. It’s likely that he could handle a bit more of a workload
than Budaj which means not only would Tokarski be a good handcuff for Price
owners but he also could be worthy of a late round flyer in deep leagues.
Davis Drewiske: I suspect the Habs may want to have a veteran #7 at
times and with Francis Bouillon not yet re-signed, that veteran role would fall
to Drewiske by default so I’ll mention him quickly here. Avoid him in your
fantasy pools at all costs. Moving on…
Mike Weaver: Upon being acquired, Weaver’s offensive production
spiked, picking up a decent seven points in 17 regular season games. I
can’t see that happening again once this season starts. Weaver will
probably only barely put up a double digit point total (quite possibly all
assists) but he can still help you in hits and blocked shots. During the
season with Montreal, Weaver averaged two blocks per game. That jumped to
three per night in the playoffs. In any league that has blocked shots as a
category (especially head-to-head leagues), Weaver is a player you’ll likely
want to turn to at some point when you need a boost there.
Michael Bournival: Bournival put up quite a few points early (nine
points in the first 15 games) but picked up just seven more the rest of the way
which killed his value. If he gets a crack at the potentially vacant third
line spot, he may produce enough to warrant a bench spot in a deep league but
he’s not going to help you out in any other categories. He’s a ‘watch
list’ guy at best to start the year.
Drayson Bowman: He’s only on a tryout now so there’s no guarantee
he’ll be around when the season starts. He likely has been told that he’ll
compete for a vacant spot (otherwise he wouldn’t be at camp) so he’s worth a
mention in this column. He’s a decent enough offensive player in the
minors but that hasn’t translated to NHL success. That has been the case
for the last three seasons and even on a new team, that probably wouldn’t change
if he were to crack the opening night roster with Montreal.
Manny Malhotra: It has been a long time since the Habs have had a
faceoff specialist and if your league counts faceoff percentage as a stat,
you’re going to want Malhotra who routinely is among the NHL’s best in that
category. Given Montreal’s penchant for shot blocking, expecting a small
boost in that stat from last season is also realistic; a block a game shouldn’t
be out of the question so Malhotra could provide a tiny bit of value there.
That’s it though, he won’t bring much in the way of offensive production to the
Travis Moen: Getting benched in the postseason when healthy doesn’t
bode well for his chances of having an impact at the start of the year if the
rest of the team is healthy. When he’s in there, Moen can provide above
average production in hits and blocks but that’s about it as his days of
producing much offence appear to be gone. Even expecting PIMS from him
could be a stretch given his concussion concerns. He’s a plug-and-play guy
late in the week in head-to-head leagues where hits and blocks are counted but
he’s not worth rostering beyond that.
Brandon Prust: There appear to be three certainties with Prust: He’ll
provide hits, PIMS, and get saddled with multiple shoulder woes along the way.
Without George Parros and Douglas Murray on the team, it’s not unrealistic to
think that Prust will be asked to handle more of the pugilistic duties. If
you’re looking to carry an enforcer on your team, you could do worse than Prust
in terms of value. Just make sure you keep an open IR spot for him, he’ll
need it before too long.
Dale Weise: After being acquired, he played at a 20 point pace for the
rest of the regular season. That jumped to a 36 point pace in the playoffs
which has many hoping Weise can be a major ‘X-Factor’ for the Habs this year.
Personally, I don’t see that happening although I think he should surpass his
point total from last year (16). Weise also provides some value in the hit
department. If you believe he’s a sleeper, don’t pick him until the last
round (if someone wants to take him earlier, let them) but I’d wait for him to
show that he can be more than a sporadic point producer when the season starts
before picking him up.