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Fantasy impact: Kevin Shattenkirk trade

Capitals land power-play specialist; Colton Parayko set for next step with Blues

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Senior Fantasy Editor

The Washington Capitals, a perennial power-play juggernaut, got even stronger in that area with the addition of high-scoring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

The Capitals, who rank third in goals per game (3.31) and sixth in power-play percentage (21.8), acquired Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues on Monday. Shattenkirk (95 percent owned in Yahoo) is tied for fourth among defenseman in points (42) and tied for third in goals (11) and power-play points (20) at the position. He ranks 91st overall and 13th among defensemen based on standard-category performance.

Video: Elliotte Friedman on the Shattenkirk trade

Shattenkirk can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, so this may be just a short-term move by the Capitals in pursuit of the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. They already had three fantasy-relevant defensemen in John Carlson (94 percent owned; 170th in Yahoo), Matt Niskanen (73 percent; 134th) and Dmitry Orlov (41 percent; 145th), but Shattenkirk's ceiling is the highest of the bunch the rest of the way.


Since 2013-14, Shattenkirk has the second-most PPP (97 in 270 games) among defensemen, behind Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators (107 in 307 games). Joining the Capitals' first power-play unit with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and former Blues teammate T.J. Oshie (currently day to day with an upper-body injury) gives Shattenkirk a chance to expand his already-elite power-play pedigree.

Playing for a deep offense with a strong defense and elite goalie in Braden Holtby is also bound to turn around Shattenkirk's poor rating (combined minus-25 in past two seasons). He will likely be tasked with second- or third-pair duties at even strength. The Capitals led the NHL in goal differential last season (plus-59) and are a League-best plus-70 in 2016-17. They have been in the top five on the power play in each of the past four seasons.

But with so much hype surrounding Shattenkirk prior to his Capitals debut at the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET: SN1, SNO, SNP, TVA Sports, MSG, CSN-DC+, NHL.TV), the volume of fantasy trade offers and asking prices for Shattenkirk will go through the roof. That means fantasy owners may need to get creative to benefit from Shattenkirk's move to the Capitals and departure from the Blues.

Similar to how the Ben Bishop trade to the Los Angeles Kings has helped the long-term fantasy value of young Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (70 percent owned) is now a must-own player in a keeper league. The 23-year-old has already set an NHL career high in PPP (nine) and is closing in on his rookie totals in points (33) and shots on goal (165). It's worth noting Parayko had seven points, 28 SOG and was plus-4 in the 10 games Shattenkirk missed last season because of injury.

Video: TOR@STL: Parayko pots scorching wrister for PPG

The trade should also increase the Blues' offensive dependency on veteran Alex Pietrangelo (82 percent owned). Even with Shattenkirk getting prime power-play usage all season, Pietrangelo has 30 points, 11 on the power play, in 61 games. A fantasy trade for Pietrangelo or Parayko would cost significantly less than Shattenkirk.

Shattenkirk was averaging 3:07 per game on the power play this season, so there will be plenty of extra playing time in those situations for Pietrangelo (2:11) and Parayko (1:44) after the trade.

If the Capitals' first power-play unit keeps its four-forward look with Shattenkirk replacing Carlson, Marcus Johansson (LW/RW, 51 percent owned) could be a valuable add in a 10-team league. Johansson has 40 points, 11 PPP and is plus-16 in 61 games, but could be available because he's scoreless in his past five.

Carlson is a buy-low fantasy trade target in the hope that the Capitals go with the two-defenseman look on the first unit. If that happens, Johansson would slide down to the second unit with Niskanen and Evgeny Kuznetsov, which could boost Brett Connolly (LW/RW, 3 percent) in the absence of injured Andre Burakovsky.

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