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Fantasy spin: Jagr can remain relevant with Flames

Veteran wing fits into Calgary's top-nine, power-play equation; worth adding off waiver wire

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

No one should be surprised to see veteran right wing Jaromir Jagr back in the NHL for another season. No one should be surprised if he remains fantasy-relevant either.


[RELATED: Jagr makes perfect sense for Flames | What to expect from Jagr with Flames in 2017-18]


The 45-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, giving them a viable right wing to incorporate into their top-nine forward group. Jagr, the No. 2 scorer in NHL history (1,914 points in 1,711 games) behind Wayne Gretzky (2,857 points), finished 113th overall in Yahoo last season and 56th in 2015-16, proving he's still a valuable category coverage asset in the twilight of his NHL career.

Jagr (RW, 22 percent owned in Yahoo) had played mostly on the top line and first power-play unit with center Aleksander Barkov and left wing Jonathan Huberdeau since being traded to the Panthers on Feb. 26, 2015, totaling 130 points (49 goals, 81 assists), a plus-32 rating, 28 power-play points (15 goals, 13 assists) and 374 shots on goal in 181 games. A best-case scenario in Calgary would land Jagr as the right wing alongside high-end fantasy options left wing Johnny Gaudreau and center Sean Monahan, who are ranked 37th and 55th by 

Video: FLA@ANA: Jagr steals puck and scores after nice dekes

That coveted spot has been a revolving door for the Flames ever since veteran forward Jiri Hudler broke out for 76 points (31 goals, 45 assists) in 78 games playing mostly with Gaudreau and Monahan in 2014-15. Forwards Micheal Ferland (25 points in 76 games last season) and Alex Chiasson (24 points in 81 games) split time on the line with Gaudreau and Monahan last season, but neither was much of a fantasy contributor.

At this stage of Jagr's storied career, it's clear he would be most effective if used in a first-line role with some power-play time and limited defensive responsibility. Calgary's second line of Mikael Backlund at center with wings Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik is likely to remain intact given its success last season (combined 145 points). That said, Jagr could feasibly remain fantasy-relevant if he plays on the third line with center Sam Bennett and left wing Kris Versteeg, and on the first power-play unit with Gaudreau and Monahan. Time will tell where Jagr will fit into coach Glen Gulutzan's system.

But we know this for sure: Jagr brings size, scoring pedigree and added depth to the Flames, who should remain a Stanley Cup Playoff team in the Pacific Division (likely weakest of the four) after trading for goaltender Mike Smith and defenseman Travis Hamonic this offseason. Jagr's efficiency from a possession standpoint also cannot be questioned; he ranked eighth in the NHL last season in shot attempts relative percentage (6.4) among those who played at least 80 games.

Late-round fantasy picks are traditionally reserved for younger, higher-upside selections, but fantasy owners who haven't drafted yet should make the exception here. Jagr, with proper usage in Calgary, could easily return value if taken in the final rounds of a standard, 12- or 14-team format.

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