Power Rankings: 2021 Fantasy Disappointments

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Joey Alfieri
·12 min read
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The 2021 fantasy hockey season is winding down and you may or may not be in the running for your league title. If you drafted one of the players on this list, you've probably been left pretty frustrated by what they've given you this season.

Today, I'm breaking down the biggest fantasy disappointments of the season by team. The list will start with the biggest disappointment and the level of disappointment will dip after that.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBC Sports EDGE's Player News, and follow @NBCSEdgeHK and @JoeyAlfieri on Twitter.

1 - Erik Karlsson – D – San Jose Sharks:

It seems like major injuries have finally caught up to Karlsson. The 30-year-old has just 18 points in 43 games this season and he just hasn’t looked like his old self. It’s tough to lose a trade when you acquire a superstar, but San Jose got absolutely fleeced by Ottawa in this deal. Karlsson has a full no-move clause and six years remaining on a contract that comes with an $11.5 million cap hit.

2 - Evgeny Kuznetsov – F – Washington Capitals:

Most NHL players would see 28 points in 38 games as a good season, but Kuznetsov is capable of more. It’s tough to blame the 28-year-old forward because he had to deal with Covid-19 early in the season. Still, fantasy general managers can’t be happy about the way this year has gone for him. Expect him to bounce back in 2021-22.

3 - Matt Duchene – F – Nashville Predators:

Duchene’s first two years in Nashville haven’t gone too well. Not only is he not living up to his $8 million cap hit, he also hasn’t been able to stay healthy this year. Duchene has played in just 27 games this year and he’s picked up a disappointing four goals and five assists in 2021. If GM David Poile can find a trade partner for Duchene’s services, he may want to pull the trigger on a deal this off-season.

4 - Jeff Skinner – F – Buffalo Sabres:

Life in Buffalo has been tough for Skinner lately. Not only are the Sabres brutal, their $9 million man has been a disaster. Skinner, who has a full no-move clause by the way, has six years remaining on his contract. The 28-year-old has just six goals and five assists in 46 outings this season. The Sabres will have to hope that he can only go up from here.

5 - Max Domi – F – Columbus Blue Jackets:

The Blue Jackets acquired Domi from Montreal for Josh Anderson, who is one of the rare power forwards in the NHL. Anderson has had a great year for the Habs, while Domi has struggled mightily with his new team. He seems like a shell of the player that picked up 72 points two seasons ago. The 26-year-old has 21 points in 48 games this season and his lack of discipline has been equally disappointing.

6 - Vladimir Tarasenko – F – St. Louis Blues:

This isn’t really Tarasenko’s fault. He’s coming off off-season shoulder surgery and he didn’t make his 2021 debut until Mar. 6. Getting up to game speed has been an issue for the Russian winger. He has three goals and 12 points in 21 games. Once he’s fully comfortable again, he should be able to fill the net.

7 - Pierre-Luc Dubois – F – Winnipeg Jets:

There’s no denying Dubois’ talent. He’s a big, strong center that can produce offensively. The 22-year-old was acquired from Columbus early on in the season and he’s picked up points, but not as many as most people though. He was a point-per-game player in the bubble last year and he’s talented enough to do that in the regular season too. Don’t be surprised if he explodes offensively next season.

8 - Frederik Andersen – G – Toronto Maple Leafs:

Andersen went relatively early in fantasy drafts because he was supposed to be a starting goaltender on a really good team. Not only has Andersen had his struggles on the ice, he’s also missed an extended period of time with a mysterious lower-body injury. The pending UFA may have played his last game as a Maple Leaf.

9 - Carter Hart – G – Philadelphia Flyers:

Hart’s third NHL season was supposed to be a good one, but it’s turned out to be a disaster. He has a 9-11-5 record with a 3.67 goals-against-average and a .877 save percentage in 2021. There’s no denying Hart’s upside. He’s shown that he has the ability to be a number one goaltender in the league. The 22-year-old will have a lot to prove starting next year.

10 - Sean Monahan – F – Calgary Flames:

Monahan is fourth on his team in scoring, but he’s capable of picking up more than 29 points in 45 games. Since coming into the NHL, he’s never scored fewer than 22 goals (twice). His 10 goals in 45 games would put him on pace to score 18 over an 82-game season. Monahan should be a lot more productive than he’s been this year.

11 - Jason Zucker – F – Pittsburgh Penguins:

The 29-year-old missed a good chunk of the season with a lower-body injury, but that doesn’t mean he gets a pass for his lack of offense in 2021. He has seven goals and just 13 points in 31 games this season, which clearly isn’t enough for the fourth-highest paid forward on the roster. Zucker has two years remaining on his contract at $5.5 million.

12 - Alexis Lafreniere – F – New York Rangers:

Whether it was fair or not, there were high expectations placed on last year’s first overall pick. The jump from the junior ranks to the NHL is a big one and Lafreniere has found that out the hard way. The rookie has nine goals and 17 points in 49 games this season. Don’t get me wrong, his ceiling is still sky-high, but it may take him a little longer to become an impact player than many people realized.

13 - Jonathan Drouin – F – Montreal Canadiens:

Drouin has a respectable 23 points in 44 games this season, but he’s found the back of the net just twice since the start of the year. The 26-year-old has missed back-to-back games with an illness, but he hasn’t scored a goal in each of his last 26 games. He has all the talent in the world, but he just can’t seem to put it all together.

14 - Dylan Strome – F – Chicago Blackhawks:

Strome had 51 points in 58 games with Chicago in 2018-19 and he followed that up by scoring 38 points in 58 games last season. This year, he just hasn’t looked as comfortable on the ice. He missed an extended period of time with a concussion, which could be the cause for this “down” year. The 24-year-old has eight goals and five assists in 34 contests.

15 - Jonathan Quick – G – Los Angeles Kings:

Quick has had a brilliant career, but it looks like Cal Petersen has become the man between the pipes for the Kings in 2021. Petersen has played in 27 games while Quick has played 19. Yes, Quick missed four games with a lower-body injury, but it looks like the transition is finally happening.

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16 - Alex Pietrangelo – D – Vegas Golden Knights

Picking up a point every other game isn’t terrible for a defenseman and that’s where Pietrangelo is right now. The Disappointment comes from the fact that he’s missed 15 games in 2021. He had a three-game stint on the Covid-19 list and he also missed an extended period of time with a hand injury. If he’s healthy come playoff time, the Golden Knights could go all the way.

17 - Denis Gurianov – F – Dallas Stars:

Gurianov is a victim of his playoff success in 2020. He played really well for the Stars during their run to the Stanley Cup Final in the bubble, as he picked up nine goals and eight assists in 27 games (that’s nearly a 30-goal pace over 82 games). He has 10 goals and 26 points in 47 games this season. Given his salary ($2.55 million), those numbers aren’t too disappointing. But the former 12th overall pick can take his game to another level.

18 - Jake DeBrusk – F – Boston Bruins:

It’s been a tough year for DeBrusk. In his first three season in the NHL, he scored 16, 27 and 19 goals. This year, he’s found the back of the net just four times in 34 games. There were rumblings that he might be on the move and that could still happen during the off-season. DeBrusk should be flirting with the 20-goal mark every year.

19 - Jake Virtanen – F – Vancouver Canucks:

Instead of re-signing potential unrestricted free agent Tyler Toffoli, the Canucks opted to extend Virtanen. Well, that decision doesn’t look too good now. Toffoli might score 30 for Montreal this year, while Virtanen is stuck on four goals and no assists in 35 games. The former sixth overall pick hasn’t lived up to expectations.

20 - Zach Parise – W – Minnesota Wild:

Parise is an easy target because of his age (36), his contract and his lack of production. He has just seven goals and 18 points in 39 games this year, which is disappointing given the fact that he scored 25 times last year. Parise “only” has four years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $7.538 million.

21 - Jakob Silfverberg – F – Anaheim Ducks:

The Ducks don’t score very much and they’re in the middle of a rebuild. That’s not a good combo for some of their offensive contributors like Silfverberg. The 30-year-old scored 24 (73 games) and 21 (66 games) goals in his last two seasons. He’s found the back of the net just eight times in 47 games in 2021. Over 82 games, that’s almost a 14-goal season.

22 - Tyler Johnson – F – Tampa Bay Lightning:

This wasn’t a totally unexpected disappointment. The Lightning tried to find a taker for Johnson’s contract during the off-season, but no other team was willing to bite. The 30-year-old has 19 points in 47 games this season and he has three more years on his contract at $5 million per year.

23 - Jake Gardiner – D – Carolina Hurricanes:

The Gardiner contract in Carolina hasn’t worked out at all. He has 24 points in 68 games during his first year with the Canes last season and that production has dipped to eight assists in 23 games in 2021. The 30-year-old has even served as a healthy scratch at times this year.

24 - Andreas Johnsson – F – New Jersey Devils:

The Devils made a smart trade when they acquired Johnsson from the Maple Leafs, but he hasn’t created much offense in his first year with New Jersey. Johnsson had 20 goals and 43 points in 73 games in 2018-19, but he’s down to four goals and six assists in 48 contests in 2021.

25 - Anthony Beauvillier – F – New York Islanders:

Beauvillier has a respectable 10 goals and 10 assists in 39 games this season, but I expected him to take a big step this year. He managed to score an impressive nine goals in 22 games in the bubble last year, but that success hasn’t followed him into 2021. He’s still just 23 years old and he’s talented enough to up his production soon.

26 - Colin White – C – Ottawa Senators:

White is two years removed from a 41-point season (71 games). I expected him to step up and close in on a 50-point season, but that hasn’t happened. He had 23 points in 61 games last year and he has just 15 in 38 outings in 2021.

27 - Dylan Larkin – F – Detroit Red Wings:

Look, Larkin leads the Red Wings in scoring but he has 23 points in 44 games. The Wings clearly aren’t good and this rebuild will take a few more years. The 24-year-old would be on pace for 43 points over an 82-game season. Those numbers are disappointing, but the offense can’t just fall on one guy’s shoulders.

28 - James Neal – F – Edmonton Oilers:

Neal scored 19 goals in 55 games during the 2019-20 season, but his offensive production has dipped significantly this year. The 33-year-old has just three goals and three assists in 19 games in 2021 and he’s been a healthy scratch a few times too. Like a few other players on the list, Neal spent some time on the Covid-19 list.

29 - Tyson Jost – F – Colorado Avalanche:

There aren’t too many disappointments on the Avalanche roster this year, but it’s too bad Jost hasn’t lived up to the hype of being a 10th overall draft pick. He has three goals and 10 assists in 43 games this year. His production has remained pretty steady since he entered the NHL full-time in 2017-18. He might need a change of scenery sometime soon.

30 - Noel Acciari – F – Florida Panthers:

Acciari hasn’t really been a huge disappointment, but picking up four goals in 36 games after scoring 20 in 66 contests last season is a bit underwhelming. The 29-year-old is a depth piece on a quality Panthers team.

31 - Antti Raanta – G - Arizona Coyotes:

Raanta has run into more injury trouble again in 2021, as he’s been limited to just 12 games. He has a 5-5-2 record with a 3.36 goals-against-average and a .905 save percentage. He was always going to play second-fiddle to Darcy Kuemper, but the team definitely expected more from him in 2021.

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