Beginning their 2017-18 NHL seasons ice cold, these highly touted superstars have disappointed fans and fantasy owners alike with their slow starts. All these players were high draft picks and were expected to be significant contributors to your fantasy roster. After the first two weeks of the season, these players have done little to nothing to help your fantasy team. Here are the biggest fantasy disappointments to start the NHL season.
Brent Burns, D, San Jose Sharks
In the majority of fantasy hockey leagues last season, Brent Burns was the top defenseman overall. Burns led all defenseman last season with 29 goals, the most by a defenseman since Mike Green netted 31 in 2009. Burns this season is letting down fantasy owners, who likely used a first or second round pick on him. Burns has yet to score a goal this season and has just two assists in five games. His -5 +/- rating is not helping much either. Burns is doing this poorly while averaging a career-high 26:05 average time on the ice. Fantasy owners should not panic too much. Burns is averaging four shots per game, same as last season, meaning he should eventually start scoring.
Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens
The last three seasons, both Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens got off to hot starts. This season has not been the same. Price is struggling in the early goings of the season, leading the NHL in loses with four. His save percentage of .885 and his GAA of 3.56 are both well off his career averages. Some of the problems facing Price are beyond his control. The Montreal Canadiens have scored the fewest goals per game in the NHL this season, putting extra pressure on Carey Price to be great every night. Price should improve his save percentage and his GAA as he plays more games. However, if the Canadiens inability to score goals continues, he could see his wins total shrink from a year ago.
It’s hard to believe that as we enter Friday, the Canadiens are the worst team in the Eastern Conference. They have somehow managed to earn just three points in seven games. Price is one of the main reasons why and if he can’t turn it around, this team is in big trouble.
Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens
At the start of the season, Max Pacioretty was a sleeper pick to lead the NHL in goals scored, but after seven games, Pacioretty is an absolute dud. Pacioretty is averaging a career-high in ice-time, yet the forward has just one goal and no assists. The entire Montreal Canadiens roster is struggling to start the season, but Pacioretty is by far their most disappointing forward. The pressure is high in Montreal this season, and the slow start by Pacioretty is sure to frustrate fans and fantasy owners. Pacioretty has scored over 30 goals five of the last six season, with the exception being the lockout-shortened year back in 2012-13. With his slow start, he may find it difficult to top 30 goals this season.
Joe Pavelski, C/RW, San Jose Sharks
Another San Jose Sharks’ player makes an appearance on the list, this time it being the Sharks top forward Joe Pavelski. Although Joe Pavelski recently had his best game of the season, he has overall been a letdown in the early parts of the season. The most concerning part of Pavelski’s season thus far is the decline in his ice-time. Pavelski is averaging under 18 minutes of playing time for the first time since his second season, back in 2007-08. Pavelski has been highly consistent over his last four seasons, finishing with an average 74.8 points. He should see his numbers improve, but the slow start is concerning due to the fact the Sharks played the first five games of their season at home.
The Sharks have just four points through five games. The good news for them is that they’ve only played five games. There are teams who have played six, seven and eight games already, so the Sharks have a little bit of leeway to get back on track.
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