The workloads should increase significantly for center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta after each was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. Whether either can come close to equaling his past fantasy value remains to be seen.
The Coyotes acquired Stepan and Raanta from the New York Rangers for defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the seventh pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Stepan and Raanta instantly become Arizona's No. 1 center and goaltender, respectively. Each was ranked among NHL.com's top 250 fantasy players.
Stepan, 27, has played all seven of his NHL seasons with New York, totaling at least 44 points and 10 power-play points in each. He has five seasons of at least 50 points, including four straight, and has averaged at least 18 minutes per game in five of the seven. Stepan has been a plus player every season of his career, totaling a plus-109 in 515 games.
[RELATED: Stepan, Raanta traded to Coyotes | 2017-18 Trade Tracker]
Raanta has a chance to maintain a decent save percentage (.922 this season; .917 in career) with a heavier shot volume, but will no longer have the safety net of Corey Crawford, from their time together with the Chicago Blackhawks, or Henrik Lundqvist. Raanta has won half of his career NHL games (47 wins in 94 games), but don't expect that ratio to carry over to his first season as Arizona's starter.
It will be extremely difficult for Stepan, who finished 60th overall in Yahoo, and Raanta, who finished 88th as one of the most valuable backup goalies, to remain among the top 100 fantasy players at the end of next season. The Coyotes fired coach Dave Tippett on Thursday, announced they will not offer longtime captain Shane Doan a new contract Monday and traded goaltender Mike Smith to the Calgary Flames on June 17.
Video: NYR@OTT, Gm2: Stepan goes top shelf for SHG
On the bright side, Arizona features a top 20 fantasy defenseman in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and a slew of young talent, including wings Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Christian Fischer, centers Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller, and defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Adding veterans like Stepan and Raanta in major positions of need could aid in the development of the aforementioned players and improve Arizona's chances of staying competitive during their rebuild.
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Stepan and Raanta are each bound for dips in multiple categories; Stepan in plus/minus, at the very least, and Raanta in wins, goals-against average and likely shutouts. The Coyotes allowed the second-most shots on goal per game this season (34.1) and third-most goals per game (3.15). That said, each could potentially remain relevant in certain formats.
Stepan remains a top 150 overall player who can produce 50-55 points, 15 or more PPP and 175-200 SOG, but likely will be overused at even strength and on the ice for a lot of goals allowed. He's more valuable in a points-only league where you don't have to worry about plus/minus hurting you. Raanta, who played a career-high 30 games this season (26 starts), should start 50-60 if healthy. That said, he will face an uphill battle in translating his quality numbers of the past to the quantity of starts ahead. Raanta should not be drafted inside the top 200 overall unless you are desperate for a starting goalie or in a league that counts saves.
Video: ARI@STL: DeAngelo beats Allen with one-time snipe
As for DeAngelo, he is a puck-moving defenseman with a strong offensive game and some defensive deficiencies. The 21-year-old scored 14 points (eight PPP) in 39 games, an 82-game pace of nearly 30 points. He joins two solid scoring defensemen on the Rangers in Ryan McDonagh (42 points this season) and Brady Skjei (39), each of whom is ranked among NHL.com's top 150 fantasy players.
DeAngelo's power-play time will be limited, but don't be surprised if he finishes in the 201-250 overall fantasy range with solid even-strength production and an improved plus/minus on a more competitive team. Consider him a sleeper option in a keeper league and a potential waiver-wire addition in a deep, standard format.