Over the past several weeks, we’ve looked at the Habs and their likely fantasy impact for this season. While the rest of the team isn’t likely to have as much of an impact, many can still fill a role on your pool team. Here’s a look at the rest of Montreal’s projected roster and their potential fantasy impacts.
Please note that prospects with a legitimate chance of playing this season will be covered in the prospects article later this week.
Al Montoya: With his addition, the Habs once again now have a quality backup behind Carey Price. This should allow the Canadiens to confidently scale back Price’s workload a little bit and it wouldn’t be surprising for Montoya to get into 20-25 games. Given Price’s injury concerns, he’s an obvious handcuff option but in deeper leagues, he’s worth carrying as a third option since the potential for a full backup workload is there.
(If Mike Condon gets the job, most of this would still apply although the number of projected appearances would drop by a few.)
Mark Barberio: He was one of the few positive stories from last season as he turned a strong start with St. John’s to a near-regular NHL role. He may find himself in the #7 spot to start the season which should have him on the do not draft list at the beginning. If he gets into the lineup regularly, I could see him making a case for second unit power play time but beyond that, he won’t bring much to the table fantasy wise.
Alexei Emelin: With Lars Eller gone, Emelin is now the player who is most often tossed into trade speculation. At $4.1 million in a likely third pairing role, it’s understandable but at this point, it looks like he’s starting the year with Montreal. While he doesn’t bring anything to the table in terms of production, he’s still likely to be towards the top of the hits leaderboard while providing a fair amount of blocks as well, making him a decent end-of-roster option in leagues with those scoring categories.
Greg Pateryn: Right now he’s the projected #6 defender although it’s not crazy to think that he winds up as the 7th if Barberio plays on his off-side. Like Emelin, Pateryn brings nothing to the table offensively but quietly put up the second highest hits per game rate on the team last season (among those who were with the team all year). If he plays a regular role, he becomes a decent late week plug and play option in head-to-head leagues with hits as a scoring category.
Zach Redmond: While the team handed him a two year, one-way deal this offseason, it doesn’t really look like there’s a spot for him to start the season. If he makes the team, he’s in the press box and if he doesn’t, he’ll be on waivers. At either rate, he shouldn’t be on anyone’s fantasy radar.
Sven Andrighetto: Of all of the players in this column, Andrighetto’s situation is the most volatile. If he earns a top six spot in camp, he could conceivably be around a 30-35 point player. If he’s on the third line, he could still put up some points but probably not enough to roster him for an entire season in a pool. There’s also the possibility that he moves up and down the lineup as he did last year. In that instance, he’s more of a waiver wire guy who is worth picking up when he gets moved into a scoring role. Unless he has a major preseason, I’d be inclined to let someone else draft him; otherwise pluck him off the wire in the right situation.
Paul Byron: Byron is one of the few forwards that you can safely expect to see plenty of action shorthanded. His speed and aggression make him a nice fit for Montreal’s fourth line but not exactly a great fit for a fantasy team. Michel Therrien is comfortable moving him up the lineup so when that happens he may be worth a flyer as a short-term addition but if not, stay away.
Phillip Danault: While GM Marc Bergevin said Danault’s presence made it easier to deal Eller this offseason, it’s unlikely that the late season acquisition will be able to take on that third line role right away. He’s a defence-first player and has yet to demonstrate much offensive upside in the NHL so he’s not really worthy of fantasy consideration.
Jacob de la Rose: Since he now has played in too many games to be called a prospect, he’ll slide in here. If he makes the team (and given the year he had and the fact he’s waiver exempt, that’s a big if), he’ll likely continue to be a fourth liner that kills penalties. He’s not a fantasy option at all.
Bobby Farnham: Farnham’s skill set is basically limited to hitting people but in fantasy hockey, that actually carries a bit of value. He takes a lot of penalties for the limited ice time he gets (15 minors and six majors in 50 games while playing under ten minutes a night) and is around two hits per contest on average in his career. He’s not worth carrying regularly but for games he happens to be in, he can be a serviceable plug and play guy in head to head leagues if you need a boost in those two categories.
Brian Flynn: If he makes the roster, I could see him being used in a bit of a ‘Swiss Army’ role. He can win faceoffs (better than anyone else on the team), play centre and the wing, and evidently he’s not half bad in the shootout either as we saw late last year. Unfortunately, while a player like that is useful to a real life team, it’s not to a fantasy squad.
Stefan Matteau: His performance after being acquired last season was underwhelming to say the least but since the team had been angling to acquire him for the better part of a year, I don’t think they’ll give up on him yet. That said, even if he is around, he won’t bring anything to the table aside from physical play (he averaged over two hits per game last season). Even then, there should be better waiver wire options if you’re in need of hits late in a week.
Torrey Mitchell: He’s coming off a career year in goals which is either cause for optimism or a warning sign that he’s due to regress offensively. If he stays in a fourth line role all year, the latter is probably going to hold true. He’s decent on faceoffs, plays the penalty kill, and should score a few goals here and there but that’s not really enough to warrant a regular roster spot in a pool.