NHL 2021 Season Divisional Breakdown!
Hello everyone and welcome back to the NHL overview for the 2021 season! The puck drops on January 13, 2021! We at DFS Army are very excited to get this season underway and I’m going to do a simple overview of the new divisions for this year, along with key transactions from the teams! Sign up for DFS Army using the promo code “MDELL” to save 20% off your membership for LIFE. Get in before the new year because prices may be going up! Before we get into it, go on over to my Twitter account and give me a follow @mdellagnese14.
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Now, let’s get to the North Division!
We will start by keying on the big transactions that the teams have acquired and I will list the Draft Picks the teams have acquired via trade this offseason along with some key losses from each team!
Ottawa Senators (25-34-12) (+17500 to win Cup)
Draft Picks acquired: 5th round pick (2021)
Matt Murray: Murray played in 36 games for the Penguins last season going 20-11-5 with a .287 GAA and .899 save%, including 1 shutout. Murray was moved to the back up for most of the season with Tristan Jarry taking most of the starts at the end of the season. Murray has the chance to pick up his career on a young team. The Senators acquired Murray on October 7th for Jonathan Gruden and a second-round pick.
Erik Gudbranson: Played in 51 games last season for the Ducks, averaging 19:11 TOI with 78 SOG and 9 points (4 G, 5 A). He’s a 9-year veteran who can bring a veteran presence to this young defense.
Evgenii Dadonov: Free agent signing who played 69 games last season for the Florida Panthers. He was a great player for them and now has the chance to really shine with the Senators’ young, rebuilding team. He had 25 goals and 22 assists last year with 167 SOG. Also was great on the power play with 11 PPG for Florida last year.
Alex Galchenyuk: Played 59 games for the Wild/Penguins last season where he had 8 goals, 16 assists, and 86 SOG. He wasn’t too effective with the Wild in 14 games but still was able to get 7 points in 14 games. He was getting more ice time though and should figure to get a good amount of time on ice with the Senators.
Craig Anderson: Not really a key loss, but I wanted to mention how much the Senators have improved in goal with adding Matt Murray. Anderson was never consistent, but some team will still sign him.
Anthony Duclair: This is a bigger blow to the Senators. He signed with the Panthers after the Senators did not extend him an offer. He came through big in December and January last year but fell off and was injured parts of the year later on.
Montreal Canadiens (31-31-9) (+3500 to win Cup)
Josh Anderson: Acquired from the Blue Jackets for Max Domi and a 3rd round pick. Anderson was really good when healthy and on the ice. He only played 26 games last year, but in 2018-19 he scored 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists) with 3 PPG. He should add some nice offense to the Habs front lines and he plays very hard.
Tyler Toffoli: Toffoli played 68 games last year with the Kings/Canucks and played very well, scoring 24 goals and had 20 assists with 203 SOG. He was a bright spot for the Canucks in the playoffs and ended up scoring 10 points (6 G, 4 A) in just 10 games while shooting the puck 38 times.
Joel Edmundson: They got him from the Hurricanes this offseason and he wasn’t a bad defender for them. In 68 games, he had 20 points with a 7 +/- with 97 shots and 118 hits.
Max Domi: Got traded for Josh Anderson which I think is a good trade here. He did have 44 points in 71 games last season, but Anderson proved to be the better player last season. Still a key loss for a top 6 center for the Habs.
Keith Kinkaid: Didn’t get a ton of playing time, but did show that he can still be a backup somewhere in the league as he was decent with the Devils before coming to Montreal.
Toronto Maple Leafs (36-25-9) (+1600 to win Cup)
Joe Thornton: Savvy veteran is now coming up to Canada to play with the Leafs after 15 seasons with the Sharks. He hasn’t been that effective as he’s got older, but he still brings that veteran presence to the team and still plays hard. Only had 31 points in 70 games last year with 7 goals and 24 assists. He did add 3 PPG and averaged 15:30 TOI. Thornton will be a great mentor for the Leafs and still has some juice left in the tank.
Aaron Dell: Dell comes over the Toronto, but likely won’t see much playing time for the Leafs as they have 3 other goalies. He played 31 games for the sharks last year going 12-15-3 with a 3.01 GAA and .907 save %. He hasn’t gotten much playing time in his 4 seasons with San Jose, but when given the opportunity, he can shut the door and play well.
Michael Hutchinson: Played most of the year with TOR last season, then was traded to COL to appear in one game in the regular season and 4 in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs sign him back this year too and they have some good depth at the goalie position. Went 5-9-1 with a .888 sv% and 3.47 GAA. It will be hard for him to see some playing time, but if injuries occur he could.
Wayne Simmonds: Signed from Buffalo/New Jersey last year. He played in 68 games, tallying 8 goals and 17 assists. He wasn’t very effective, with a -17 +/- ratio. Didn’t get much going on last year but did show with the Flyers that he can be effective.
T.J. Brodie: Appeared in 64 games for the Flames last year, scoring 4 goals and adding 15 assists. He was a good depth defense guy for the Flames though and has 10 years of experience. He added 87 blocks.
Jimmy Vesey: Nice young winger with tons of speed. Played in 64 games last year for the Sabres after playing his first 3 years with the Rangers. He showed that he can be effective though and has tallied 110 points in 304 career games. He had 20 points last season with 93 SOG and he showed with his time in New York, that if given the ice time, he will shoot more as he racked up 154 shots in 2018-19.
Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, Kyle Clifford, Frederik Gauthier
Johnsson and Kapanen are going to be two big losses for this team this year. They both played vital roles for the Leafs last year and had good chemistry with their respective lines. Luckily for the Leafs, they did sign Joe Thornton who has a veteran presence, Wayne Simmonds who showed upside in his earlier years with the Flyers, Jimmy Vesey who is a young guy with tons of speed.
Winnipeg Jets (37-28-6) (+3700 to win Stanley Cup)
Paul Stastny: The Jets picked up Stastny from the Vegas Golden Knights for Carl Dahlstrom and a conditional 2nd-round pick. Stastny was a key asset for the Knights 2nd/3rd lines pending on placement. He’s a good centreman with experience. He ended up racking up 17 goals and 21 assists over 71 games for the Knights last year and will be a good spark to the Jets offense, being able to rack up assists with their great wingers. He’s usually a cheaper DFS play too, so if the Jets are rolling he could grab you some points for good value.
Cole Perfetti: The Jets have drafted Perfetti to an entry-level deal and he could spark the Jets offense as a center. He was junior hockey’s best performer with an outstanding 37 goals and 74 assists in just 61 games! I’m assuming he will be very cheap for DFS when placed into the lineup and if he’s on the top 2 lines, he will be great value while he’s cheap.
Cody Eakin– Was traded to the Jets last year and didn’t resign with them. It’s a decent loss for them as he’s a physical player and was good on the second line for the Jets in a short time.
Edmonton Oilers (37-25-9) (+2500 to win the Cup)
Tyson Barrie: One of the bigger signings from the year so far. Barrie has been a force when he was with the Avalanche and fell off a bit when he signed with the Maple Leafs last season only tallying 5 goals and 34 assists over 70 games. He does shoot the puck a bunch though, racking up 169 and played almost 22 minutes a game. Don’t let last year fool you, while with the Avs over the last 2 seasons (2017-2019) he recorded 28 goals and 88 assists over 146 games. Good chances for assists with the offense power of the Oilers.
Dominik Kahun: Signed in Free Agency and played with the Penguins and Sabres last season, tallying 12 goals and 19 assists. A nice young player who should be able to thrive if he plays on a line with McDavid or Draisitl. He had some spark moments last year and was good DFS value at times. If paired with either of those guys, it raises his chances to score and grab some assists.
Kyle Turris: Normally a bottom 6 center, Turris adds some experience to this Oilers team and they will need his leadership. He did score 9 goals and had 22 assists over 62 games last year with the Predators and signed a 2 year deal with the Oilers. Plays a bunch of minutes for a center and can be effective if he gets any power playtime.
The Oilers didn’t lose much in Free Agency, but they made some questionable moves letting Andreas Athanasiou walk after trading for him and giving up 2 draft picks. They also did not improve in goal either and will have a hard time this year keeping pucks out of the net. They did have some nice signings though but will really need their goaltenders to step up this year if they want to contend.
Calgary Flames (36-27-7) (+2500 to win the Cup)
Chris Tanev: Signed via Free Agency, he adds a ton of block shot potential for the Flames on D. This is going to be huge in the DFS world as we look at block shot potential when picking D-men for our lineups. Spending his whole 10-year career with Vancouver, he adds veteran experience to the Flames. Last season he only had 20 points, so he won’t score much, but he had a crazy high 159 block shots in just 69 games.
Jacob Markstrom: HUGE upgrade in the goal for the Flames this year as they did not have good goaltending last year and still ended up with a good record. Markstrom was a monster for the Canucks. Signing a massive deal, he will be the Flames goalie for a few years. Last season he took strides as the top dog in Vancouver before the playoffs. He went 23-16-4 in 43 games last year.
Louis Domingue: Another solid backup for the Flames to sign. I’m assuming Markstrom will be starting to begin the season, but Domingue was able to back up Vasilevskiy for a couple of years in Tampa Bay and ended up playing a few games for the Devils last year. He didn’t have a good record though going 3-8-2 with a .882 sv%. Domingue will need to show he’s improved if he wants to see game action at a regular clip this year. He will be behind Markstrom and Rittich though, which will make it hard to see much playing time.
T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic
Some big losses on the blue line here for the Flames, but they did improve by signing Markstrom to a 6-year deal. They also added Chris Tanev to the defense.
Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6) (+3500 to win Cup)
Nate Schmidt: Adding a massive D man from the Knights in the offseason should help out the Canucks a ton back there. Schmidt was a good player in the playoffs for the Knights last season and should continue to help out the Canucks this year. Last year he had 31 points in 59 games and really turned it up after the season started back up again.
Braden Holtby: HUGE signing for the Canucks who is going to take over the starting goalie spot from Jacob Markstrom. He was 25-14-6 with the Caps last season with a .897 save % and 3.11 GAA. He struggled last year with the Capitals but has shown that he can win big games and even Stanley Cups. Over his 10 year career with the Capitals he went 282-122-46 with a 2.53 GAA and .916 save %. This is going to be a great guy for Demko to learn from as he has won a Cup before.
Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, Troy Stetcher.
The Canucks lost some key guys but followed that up with some great signings and trades. The addition of Schmidt is a big upgrade from Tanev and Holtby can mentor Demko in the net. They now have Schmidt, Quinn Hughes, Tyler Myers, and Alexander Edler on defense which could be hard to score on.
But wait there’s more! (Keep scrolling)
Little schedule note to end off. Teams will only play other teams in their division. The North division will play 9-10 times each against each other. It’ll be an exciting season! In my next article, I will be outlining the East Division! Be sure to check out dfsarmy.com and use the promo code MDELL to save 20% on your subscription.
I have added Stanley Cup Odds next to the team names, this is the perfect thing to look for when trying to bet futures. Our guys over at Sports Bet Army have been crushing it in all sports over the course of 2020! Why not start off your 2021 year much better than the 2020 year was? Sign up today and use the code MDELL to save 20% for life!
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