Jake Guentzel

NHL.com has fantasy hockey reaction to the biggest free agent signings for the 2024-25 season. For more coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

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MORE FANTASY COVERAGE:

Rankings: Top 200 for 2024-25

Forwards | Defensemen | Goalies

Fantasy spin: Free agent signings

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Season preview episode: Offseason moves

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Guentzel to Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Jake Guentzel after acquiring his rights, which should lessen the blow of losing Steven Stamkos to the Nashville Predators in free agency and the trade that sent defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to the Utah Hockey Club. Guentzel joins fellow elite talent in Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy as an upper-echelon fantasy option.

Guentzel had 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 17 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he was Sidney Crosby’s trusted linemate. Tampa Bay has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven straight seasons, winning Stanley Cup titles in 2020 and 2021, and Guentzel has 67 points (38 goals, 29 assists) in 69 career postseason games and won a championship with the Penguins in 2017.

Since 2018-19, Guentzel is tied for 14th in the NHL in goals (189) and has two 40-goal seasons in his career. Despite being limited to 67 games last season, Guentzel was tied for 20th in even-strength points (55), which should boost Tampa Bay, which was in the middle of the pack in 5-on-5 goals (172; tied for 14th).

Range to target Guentzel in fantasy drafts: Top 30-40 overall

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Stamkos, Marchessault, Skjei to Predators

The Nashville Predators have significantly boosted their fantasy stock and Stanley Cup futures appeal by signing forwards Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and defenseman Brady Skjei in free agency. Although Stamkos could lose some individual value upon leaving the Lightning, the move gives Nashville four players in the fantasy top 50 overall with Stamkos joining wing Filip Forsberg, defenseman Roman Josi and goalie Juuse Saros.

Stamkos is coming off a 40-goal season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, marking the seventh time of his NHL career that he’s eclipsed that difficult feat. He has been one of the most dynamic power-play producers in the NHL and should elevate the Predators, who ranked 16th with the man-advantage (21.6 percent) last season, in that area. Stamkos is second among active NHL players in power-play goals (214) behind Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (312) and also ranks fifth on that list in power-play points (422).

Marchessault had an NHL career-high 42 goals last season and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most-valuable player of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Marchessault has been a perennial top 75 overall fantasy player with strong category coverage of goals, points, shots on goal and hits regardless of his lineup placement with Vegas over the years and, if he plays on a line with Stamkos, gives the Predators another high-scoring unit to complement last year’s top trio of Forsberg, experienced center Ryan O'Reilly and wing Gustav Nyquist.

Skjei quietly ranks fifth among NHL defensemen in goals (31) over the past two seasons combined and is tied with new teammate Roman Josi for third at the position in even-strength goals (24) over that span behind only Erik Karlsson (29) and Cale Makar (25). Although Skjei is the clear No. 2 defenseman behind Josi, he is still worth targeting in late rounds as a potential fantasy bargain for a much-improved Nashville team.

Range to target Stamkos in fantasy drafts: Top 50 overall

Range to target Marchessault in fantasy drafts: Top 60-75 overall

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EDGE stats coverage of major offseason moves:

NSH signings | Sergachev to UTA

Markstrom to NJD | Ullmark to OTT

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Montour to Kraken

The Seattle Kraken have signed high-scoring defenseman Brandon Montour, boosting their defensive outlook, scoring offense and bounce-back appeal as a playoff contender. Montour joins Seattle, which qualified for the postseason two seasons ago and has another valuable fantasy defenseman in Vince Dunn; the two could either compete for first power-play usage or share the ice together in man-advantage situations.

Montour may lose some individual fantasy appeal with this move away from the defending Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers but still has a high ceiling considering he has two seasons of double-digit goals, highlighted by his 2022-23 season; he had NHL career highs in goals (16), assists (57), points (73), power-play points (33) and shots on goal (242) that year.

Range to target Montour in fantasy drafts: Top 101-125 overall (top 20 among defensemen)

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E. Lindholm to Bruins

The Boston Bruins signed Elias Lindholm, making him a potential bounce-back candidate if he becomes their No. 1 center on a line with elite wing David Pastrnak and/or Brad Marchand. Lindholm is coming off a down regular season with 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 75 games with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks but showcased his high fantasy ceiling in 2021-22, when he had 82 points (42 goals, 40 assists) skating mostly on a line with high-scoring wings Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau when they all played in Calgary.

Lindholm was productive in the postseason for the Canucks with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and 25 shots on goal in 13 games. Boston was tied for 13th in goals per game (3.21) last season and tied for the 11th-fewest shots on goal per game (29.3), both categories that Lindholm can help improve.

Range to target E. Lindholm in fantasy drafts: Top 101-125 overall

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Other players with fantasy upside on new teams: Jeff Skinner, F, EDM; Vladimir Tarasenko, F, DET; Jake DeBrusk, F, VAN; Viktor Arvidsson, F, EDM; Tyler Toffoli, F, SJS; Teuvo Teravainen, F, CHI; Ilya Samsonov, G, VGK; Tyler Bertuzzi, F, CHI; Anthony Duclair, F, NYI

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