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Colorado Avalanche 2018-19 Fantasy Outlook

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Who should Avalanche fans invest in this season?

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who reads my DobberProspects work knows I’m a fantasy-hockey nut, and what better way to delay my hockey withdrawal than to dive into 2018-19 projections?! For you diehard Colorado Avalanche fans (and hopefully some hockey pool participants) - here is a quick low-down on the fantasy-relevant Avalanche players worth thinking about on draft day, and what you can expect out of them this year:

Nathan MacKinnon

2017-18: 39G, 58A, 32PPP, 13.7 S%

2018-19 expected: 35G, 50A, 27PPP

The eye test tells us that MacKinnon can do anything he wants on the ice. The numbers say his shooting percentage is higher than his usual range (but not outrageous for an elite player), and he also upped his shot volume which is a sustainable stat. His powerplay point numbers went way way up last year as well, and his linemates saw unsustainable shooting percentages. It was a perfect storm of improvement - he has definitely reached a new level personally, but there may not be room for more as a line.

Mikko Rantanen

2017-18: 29G, 55A, 35 PPP, 16.3 S%

2018-19 expected: 27G, 45A, 30PPP

He will still play with MacKinnon, and he will still have good shot volume (he even has room for more). The shooting percentage regression will knock a few goals off his total, and fingers crossed the team PP conversion rate stays good, but there’s no reason to expect serious regression from the star youngster. He might even be playing for a new contract, which always motivates.

Gabe Landeskog

2017-18: 25G, 35A, 17 PPP, 13.7 S%

2018-19 expected: 25G, 45A, 20PPP

Now that he’s being used as an offensive weapon rather than a defensive necessity, Landy has the perfect opportunity to show us what he can do. He’ll be flying shotgun with the best linemates he’s ever had, and given every chance to be a top contributor without having to take on as many defensive zone draws, PK time, and the like.

Tyson Barrie

2017-18: 14G, 43A, 30 PPP, 7.9 S%

2018-19 expected: 12G, 40A, 25PPP

Another year, another 50-point season. The powerplay was a bigger factor than usual, but don’t overthink things - he’s money in the bank for points and powerplay points, but also a minus-rating if that affects your league.

Sam Girard

2017-18: 3G, 17A, 12PPP, 3.9 S%

2018-19 expected: 6G, 30A, 15PPP

Anyone who watched Girard last year saw him get more confident week after week. He will only improve from here, but also temper expectations because Barrie is still the de-facto PP1 d-man. Even if his development takes big strides it doesn’t necessarily reflect in fantasy production. His value will grow, but perhaps not “breakout” drastically in 2018-19.

Alex Kerfoot

2017-18: 19G, 24A, 17PPP, 23.5 S%

2018-19 expected: 13G, 32A, 15PPP

It’s not rocket science to see a 23% shooting percentage is not sustainable. But also consider than Kerfoot doesn’t shoot enough to begin with, isn’t on PP1, and spent serious time with 5 different line combos right up until the year’s end. He is a prime candidate for a sophomore slump. That being said, there are times Kerfoot is downright dominant with the puck on his stick, combined with his vision to makes plays means he isn’t going to regress too hard no matter what.

Tyson Jost

2017-18: 12G, 10A, 8 PPP, 10.6 S%

2018-19 expected: 17G, 20A, 10PPP

Some outlets are predicting a breakout year for Jost, but I’m anticipating baby steps for now. He can (and will be asked to) do it all, which often means slowly and surely rounding out one’s game until it all clicks into place. Expect growth in both real life and fantasy in 2018-19, but don’t bet on him shooting the lights out just yet.

Bonus - Sleeper:

Vladislav Kamenev

2017-18: N/A

2018-19 expected: 9G, 25A, 8PPP

Betting on AHLers to make the jump is always risky, but Kamenev has a roster spot waiting for him, outstanding AHL numbers, and was traded for with the intention of being an NHLer. Output will be highly dependant on whether he ends up as 2nd line winger or 4th line center so take notes in the pre-season. If he does start as bottom-six, he will get his chances with the big boys when injuries hit.

Bonus - Multi-cat leagues:

Nikita Zadorov

2017-18: 20 points, 103 PIM, 278 hits, 106 blocks

2018-19 expected: 25 points, 100 PIM, 260 hits, 100 blocks

He’s no longer flying under the radar for most fantasy players, but playing in Colorado does provide a bit of anonymity. The hitting machine is a multi-cat beast that is absolutely worth picking up in leagues that count categories other than points. A healthier blue-line means his total TOI will go down however, and his utilization indicates he’s being led into more and more of a defensive role, so don’t expect too much more from him offensively.