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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Andersen was the busiest twinetender in the NHL last season. He faced 2,211 shots and finished fourth in the NHL in wins (38). But for all those wins, Andersen's counting stats didn't improve like we'd hoped. His GAA (2.81) and save percentage (.918) weren't exactly studly. That GAA was actually outside the top-30 for goalies with at least 20 starts, and his save percentage was 18th for guys with the same number of starts. Andersen is capable of topping 40 wins this season, but he'll still face a lot of pucks. He'll be drafted as a top-10 goalie, though the counting stats need to improve for Andersen to deliver on that draft position. It's certainly possible. If he can pull his save rate (and maybe even his GAA) into the top 10, Andersen could hear his name mentioned for a Vezina Trophy this year or next.
A queasy start to Andersen's Toronto career had loyal fans feeling nauseous in the first couple weeks of the 2016-17 season, but it didn't take long for the Dane to become a beloved mainstay for this storied franchise. Andersen was one of the busiest netminders in the NHL last season -- only Edmonton's Cam Talbot faced more shots. He only finished top-10 in one category (wins), but his .918 save percentage tied him with Corey Crawford and Pekka Rinne for 15th overall. All of Andersen's counting stats should improve as the Leafs improve defensively and gain experience (remember, they were the NHL's second youngest team last year), and that should solidify him as a top-10 fantasy goalie for years to come.
Andersen is a big (6-foot-4), athletic twinetender who arrived in Toronto in a pre-draft trade this past June and was promptly inked to a long-term contract extension (five years and $25 million). The deal was a bit of a gamble – sure, Andersen has played No. 1 minutes, but in just one of his three seasons in the NHL. And he struggled, relatively speaking, in that year compared to his other two. Now, the Great Dane did start 37 games with the Ducks last season (and played in 43), going 22-9-7 with a .919 save percentage. And he absolutely sizzled in five postseason starts (.947 save percentage). Andersen is an upgrade from Jonathan Bernier and he will have 25 million reasons to develop alongside an improving roster. But short term, he'll face more pucks than is ideal and his D won't be nearly as stable as it was in Quackerland. Expect league-average production in 2016-17 with better results in the future.
Andersen benefits greatly from playing on a stacked Ducks team. His 2.38 GAA in 2014-15 was solid but nothing special, yet he still finished eighth in the NHL with 35 wins despite a modest workload that saw him appear in only 54 games. Anaheim should be very good once again, but Andersen’s outlook is a bit unclear heading into this season. The Danish netminder still sits atop the depth chart at the moment, but talented 22-year-old John Gibson will be looking for an expanded role after seeing action in 23 games last season, and the team also brought in veteran Anton Khudobin in an offseason trade with the Hurricanes. If Andersen can hold those two off and start about two-thirds of Anaheim’s games, he should approach the top 10 in wins once again, but there’s a strong chance he finds himself locked in a frustrating timeshare.
This past season saw Andersen go from third-string goalie to the starter for the Ducks. Now with both Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth gone, Andersen will start the season in a timeshare with uber-prospect John Gibson that could extend through most of the season. Ultimately, Gibson may win the job as the top dog, but that probably won’t come until 2015-16. Handcuff the two goalies together in daily leagues, but let someone else take the bait in weekly formats. Goalie platoons can destroy your categories in that situation, particularly if you make the wrong activation at the wrong time.