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Fantasy Hockey Mid-Point Trends and Pretends 12.0

Trends. What to trust, what to watch out for. P.K. Subban's future

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What we learned from 2015:

1. Your point leader is not Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin or Jamie Benn but instead Patrick Kane who leads the league in points (50) behind a 26 game point streak.
2. Brent Burns leads Defensemen in Shots on Goal (2nd in the league at 154.)
A. He sits 8 points behind Erik Karlsson who leads Defensemen at 40 pts
3. Ryan O'Reilly leads the league with 517 Faceoffs won. He is winning 58.6% of his Faceoffs which is 2nd highest percentage among top 40 Faceoff winners.
A. Jonathan Toews is the only one higher at 59.5%
4.  Patrice Bergeron is 2nd in the league in Power Play Points behind a Bruins squad who is 2nd in Power Play Points despite having the 2nd FEWEST Power Play Opportunities.
5.  P.K. Subban scored 1 goal on 103 Shots on Goal. An abysmal .97% conversion rate. His career numbers ignoring this year are 57 goals over 906 a 6% conversion rate.
6. The Pittsburgh Penguins are 2nd to last in the league in goals scored per game.
7.  The New Jersey Devils lead the league in Snap Shots taken (338 snap shots 25 ahead of the next highest team)

What will happen in 2016:

1. 3 names to watch for a strong 2016 campaign: Alex Ovechkin (see point 7).  Taylor Hall. It's not fluke that he is 5th in the league in scoring with 40 points in 38 games.  Here is where is changes, he is taking more snap shots than anyone in the league and yet is actually down in scoring percentage on average. He will be a top 3 scorer in 2016.  Nathan MacKinnon is playing well and reading the ice on offense. He likes his wrist shot and will see top 6 scoring in 2016 (currently 13th).
2. Alex Pietrangelo is at 2.1% scoring in 2015. His shot totals are among his average, ice time is up and other metrics are showing he's being productive. Look for his 2 goals and 13 assists in 2015 to convert to more of a 5 goals 22 assist 2nd half.
3. At his torrid number of opportunities coupled with excellent win percentage, Ryan O'Reilly will continue to dominate Faceoffs and be in the top 2 at the end of the year.
4. The Bruins Power Play has been wildly successful but something has to give. EITHER they get more opportunities to keep up their pace OR they will see a downfall in Power Play Points in 2016.  (I see the latter happening).
5. P.K. Subban has scored at least 50 points each of the last 2 seasons and is on pace to continue that trend this year (1 goal, 25 assists for 26 points). What will change is the goal scoring. 10 goals in 2013 and 15 goals in 2014 - I see him scoring 9 goals as he scores 8 in 2016 to add to his assist totals bringing him around 60 points by year end. He has the most Slapshots in the league and they can be finicky shots. The 2nd most popular goal option this year (8% of the time) Slapshops accounted for 347 of the 2,818 goals this year. This might be a semi-buy low option for owners.
6. The Pittsburgh Penguins are tied for first in the league in Posts and Crossbars hit. An adjustment to Mike Sullivan's system means converted chances for the struggling Pens. People are heavily down on Sidney Crosby tossing out his name in trade offers but I would take him in Fantasy or real life in a second.
7. The Washington Capitals are converting at a pace less than half the average (5.79 vs. 11.65). This type of goal is 16% of the goals across the categories of Backhand, Deflection, Snap Shots, Tips, Wrist Shots and Wrap Arounds. This means there is a strong likely hood that we see the Capitals jump from the 2nd ranked offense into the most powerful offense...again. Washington obviously has the "notables" Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson but this means we could see an up tick in goals from Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera (all under 50% owned).
A. The Anaheim Ducks as a whole are converting at a paltry 6% on all shots. This is vindicitive of their bad year but it should rise to meet the mean a bit as they are a full half percentage point behind the next closest team. Look for a few Ducks players to see a better 2016 (deeper league options): Ryan Kesler, Shawn Horcoff, Cam Fowler and Rickard Rakell.