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Fantasy impact of Hoffman trade on Panthers

Florida acquires skilled wing to improve top six, power play

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor examines how the Florida Panthers acquiring forward Mike Hoffman from the San Jose Sharks after an earlier trade with the Ottawa Senators impacts the his fantasy stock. See how he was utilized in 2017-18 and what to expect in 2018-19:


FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 after Hoffman trade | Team power rankings | Cheat sheet


The Florida Panthers further improved their top-six depth and power play by adding forward Mike Hoffman , who has scored at least 22 goals in each of his four full NHL seasons and at least 50 points in three straight. Hoffman led the Ottawa Senators with 104 goals in 313 games over the past four seasons, ranking 24th in the NHL over the span.

Hoffman's best season came in 2016-17, where he had an NHL career-high 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 74 regular-season games and 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 19 playoff games. Hoffman finished 14th overall in Yahoo and then helped lead the Senators to the Eastern Conference Final, where they lost in seven games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 28-year-old native of Kitchener, Ontario has been a key part of the Senators' top power-play unit, leading their forwards with 31 power-play goals over the past four seasons. Despite his strong category coverage, the one drawback of Hoffman from a fantasy perspective was his minus-20 in 2017-18. His struggles at even strength were more of a product of the Senators allowing the second-most goals in the NHL (284) behind the New York Islanders (293). He played most of the season on a line with center Matt Duchene, who had an up-and-down year after being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche, and was later moved to a line with forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Tom Pyatt down the stretch.

The change of scenery should benefit Hoffman and the Panthers, who needed help on the wing. Hoffman will strengthen Florida's top six, joining an already talented group of fantasy-relevant forwards in centers Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck and wings Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad. Hoffman gains fantasy value whether he plays on the top line with Barkov or the second line with Trocheck. The Panthers were already a strong even-strength team, finishing ninth in 5-on-5 goals (167), and it's worth noting Hoffman played with Huberdeau for Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2009-10.

The Panthers power play, which ranked 21st in the NHL, will gain a significant boost with the addition of Hoffman. The top unit in 2017-18 was mostly comprised of Barkov, Dadonov, Huberdeau, Trocheck and defenseman Keith Yandle. If Hoffman plays with the top unit, he will boost the stock of the players around him and propel the Panthers among the NHL's top power-play units. With skilled passers in Barkov and Trocheck, Hoffman's shooting percentage (8.6 in 2017-18) should revert closer to the combined rate over his first three full seasons (12.3).

This additional depth gives the Panthers multiple combinations at even strength and on the power play in the event of an injury and strengthens their chances of returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Panthers fantasy-relevant defensemen Yandle, who's already among's top 100 overall and Aaron Ekblad gain value in all fantasy formats, especially considering Florida's talented forwards could be spread out onto two power-play units.

The Hoffman trade also gives added priority to forward prospects Henrik Borgstrom and Owen Tippett, who will likely go undrafted in season-long leagues but could prove valuable by association to Florida's loaded forward group. The trade puts Hoffman in the same draft range as Dadonov, who played on the top line with Barkov and Huberdeau this season.

Projection: 82 games, 28 goals, 36* assists, 64* points, 23 PPP

Draft range in 12-team fantasy league: Rounds 8 or 9 (picks 85-108)

*Would be NHL career-highs

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