By: Matthew Shenocker
*This article was written with stats as of December 26th*
Teams have played over a third of their season so far and with that said it is time to evaluate some under performers this season. There are many players that could be on this list but I will highlight a few here.
Ryan Getzlaf | Anaheim Ducks
Could probably just throw the whole Anaheim Ducks on this article but I am signaling out Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks have been beyond disappointing this season. There were many “experts” picking this team to be top Stanley Cup contenders. Instead, they are the worst team in the Western Conference. Getzlaf in particular has been very bad. On the season he only has 1 goal. Yes, that is right 1 goal!!! That is terrible for a player coming off a combined 56 goals over the last two season. He also only has 19 assists for a combined 20 points on the season. To put this in perspective, he had 157 points combined over the last two years. It is just a mess in Anaheim, with the GM calling out the team and rumors swirling that Bruce Boudreau is going to be fired. From being one game away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, to what is going on this season, is just a complete mess. For Fantasy Hockey owners all you can do is hope that something happens fast. Otherwise, take the best offer you can get and move on from him.
Phil Kessel | Pittsburgh Penguins
This so far has been a very disappointing season for Phil Kessel. Penguins fans had high expectations not only for Kessel, but for the entire team. In addition, for Fantasy Hockey purposes, Kessel was being drafted in the late first, early second round. The Penguins are currently in 11th place in the East and 5 points out of a playoff spot. When the Penguins traded for Kessel this offseason they believed he was going to be a top goal scorer this season and help to get them back in contention for a Stanley Cup. This has not happened so far. Kessel, has 11 goals and 9 assists for 20 points in 34 games. Not the numbers you want to see out of someone making $8 million a year. What is also alarming is Kessel has seen his numbers decline over the last few years. In the 2012-2013 season his points per game was 1.08, in 2013-2014 .98, in 2014-2015 .74, and now this season .59. Kessel is only 28 but playing in his 10th NHL season. Definitely not ready to say he is a declining player, but the trend in his points per game is scary. He is playing with very talented players in Pittsburgh so hopefully he can figure it out (especially with that $8 million price tag).
Jonathan Toews | Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews is arguably the best Captain in all of the NHL (in my opinion he is) however, his overall numbers are not good this season. The Blackhawks are once again near the top of the Western Conference, currently in 4th place. Patrick Kane has really been the focal point this season with his 26 game point streak that took the NHL by storm. Toews so far, has 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points in 36 games, with only 3 power play points. Like Kessel above, Toews has seen his numbers decline over the last few seasons. His point per game totals over the last few seasons: 1.02 (2012-2013), .89 (2013-2014), .81 (2014-2015), and .58 (this season). Clearly Toews does a lot of things that do not show up in the stat sheet, so I really do hate to put him on this list. With that said one cannot deny his decline in scoring over the last few seasons and his low output so far this season. Fantasy Hockey owners were drafting Toews in the 2nd round and he has not lived up to those expectations yet. Toews has played many games over the years, including deep deep playoff runs. His new norm could be a player with total points in the high 50s low 60s. Definitely not terrible numbers, but lower than most people would expect.
Tyler Johnson | Tampa Bay Lightning
Yes, he is on injured reserve right now, but Tyler Johnson is having a pretty bad 2015-2016 season. Johnson, coming off a 29 goal 43 assist season was riding high entering this season especially with his playoff performance helping the Tampa Bay Lightning reach the Stanley Cup. On the season Johnson has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 23 games. He also only has 5 power play points and has a shooting percentage of 7.8%. The Lightning are right now on the outside of the playoff picture but will be a team in the thick of things fighting for a playoff spot by the end of the season. Johnson will need to be a big part of this team if the Lightning are going to make another run at the Cup. It is very hard to make back to back Stanley Cups. Only time will tell where this journey will end for Johnson and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jordan Eberle | Edmonton Oilers
This has been a bad season for Eberle. He has 8 goals and 3 assists for 11 points in 23 games. He also only has 2 power play points and is a terrible -14 (I hate this stat but that is just really bad). Eberle has had very good seasons since coming into the league in the 2010-2011 season. There are still high hopes for Eberle this season and the whole Edmonton Oilers team could use a boost when Connor McDavid makes his return. Simply put the Oilers are not a good hockey team and will be in the running for a top 10 draft pick again come the summer. Fantasy Hockey owners were drafting Eberle anywhere from rounds 4-6. He has not come close to meet those expectations.
Jiri Hudler | Calgary Flames
Jiri Hudler is not a house hold name and someone that could get overlooked on a top 100 list, but Hudler has been a very good player over the last few years. He has had over 50 points the last 3 out of 4 seasons, with the lone exception in the 2012-2013 season where he had 27 points in only 42 games. For Fantasy Hockey purposes, Hudler was being drafted in rounds 8-10. So far he has not lived up to some decently high expectations. Coming off a 76 point season last year, Hudler only has 5 goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 31 games. He also has 4 power play points and is a -8. The Flames are in 11th place in the Western Conference right now and are really going to struggle to make it back to the playoffs. Since his name recognition is not extremely high, fantasy owners are going to have a hard time getting good value for him.
There are many players that I could highlight, having under performing seasons including Ryan Kesler, Pavel Datsyuk, Chris Kreider, and Chris Kunitz but I just wanted to go in depth on the names above.
Leave a comment below on who you think is the most disappointing player this season. Fantasy Hockey owners let me know who is your biggest regret. Also, follow me on Twitter @Advice1Sports. Love interacting with NHL and Fantasy Hockey fans. Easily the best fans in the world.
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