The term “bust” can seem extreme. I think another way of thinking of it is, what follows are five players I believe will underperform for the 2021-2022 season—especially in relation to their current draft position. If they slip down the board, they could become a good pick. But at their current ADP, I will be avoiding them.
1.) Sidney Crosby (C, PIT Yahoo ADP 18.1)
My issue with Sidney is how he will start the season. You would be hard pressed to deny he will go down among the all-time greats in NHL history, but he is likely to sit out at least 10 games to start the season. After that you have to hold your breath that he is 100% healed and ready for the season out of the gate. I thought we would see a larger discount in consideration of this, put him in the third round in late 20’s, early 30s and I’m all over it, but in the teens I am passing.
2.) Tyler Toffoli (RW, MON ADP 149)
Tyler had an unbelievable stretch last year where he was among league leaders in scoring. That said, consider me out on any Montreal player not name Cole Caufield. They had a Cinderella run, and typically in sports that means they are in for a rough year ahead in light of unreal expectations sitting on their shoulders. I think you will see a premium on most of them that could be damaging to your year.
3.) Ondrej Palat (LW, TB ADP 75.1)
Ondrej is off a two-time Stanley Cup winning team and just had a career year with .84ppg last year. My concern is he’s also 30, coming off about as many games as any player has played over the last 18 months, and it’s rare to see a career year duplicated after age 30. I see regression coming, albeit on a dominant team—I would discount him approximately 2 rounds from where he is now.
4.) Miro Heiskanen (D, Dal, ADP 80.3)
When you dig into Miro you notice this bouncing between offensive play and defensive. His rookie year, he somewhat abandoned positional defense in pursuit of points, which produced at a 6.6 scoring percentage. Sophomore year you see that decrease and his plus minus spike, while his productivity numbers went down. Last year it flipped back to his rookie year where he pushed his offense and scored again at close to 7% shooting. I think we see a slight swing BACK to stay at home play, and perhaps a decrease of 5-10 points correspondingly.
5.) Robin Lehner (G, LVG Yahoo ADP 19.3)
My issue with Robin isn’t his capability, it’s his availability. He is elite in net, he’s had three consecutive seasons of a SV% above .910 and a GAA below 3.02. My big issue is you are spending a second round pick on someone who has started a COMBINED 55 games across the last two seasons (about 116 games so he’s played 47% of the time). It was equally hit across both seasons and digging back further, it was normal for him to play less than half of the games. Many of the counterparts around him (Andrei Vasilevskiy, Connor Hellebuyck, Marc-Andre Fleury etc..) have a history of playing more like 60% of games.