I'm posting to discuss predictions on Mike Richards' fantasy hockey production, specifically in the Goals, Assists, and Special Teams Goals categories.
Obviously there are several factors that go into predicting a player's production on a new team. Just to name a few:
- Past statistics
- Difference in past and present team's playing styles
- Chemistry with new linemates
- Depth of past team vs depth of present team, player ice time, player situations (ie: powerplay, penalty kill, even strength)
So let's break these down. During 2008 season and 2009 seasons, Richards had 2 years in a row of point per game. STGs ranged from 13-15. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons Richards averaged about 64 points per season and had a slight decline in STGs (as well as Power play assists). Another important note to make here is that during 2010 and 2011 Philly's began spreading out their offensive forwards among many lines to add depth. This included several points in time when Richards would be centering a checking line even strength, while still maintaining a role on the powerplay and penalty kill units.
Philly's playing style differs greatly from LA. I believe that Richards as a player will fit in great, but Philly was very offensive, and LA is slightly more defensive. One big question to ask, what is Richards' role going to be on LA? I'm thinking number 2 Center with key role on power play unit as well as special teams unit. That role sounds like it fits him well, but it doesn't sound like he'll be scoring point per game with that role. Opinions??
Chemistry is very important. I can see him having solid chemistry while scoring some points, but I can also see him having solid chemistry while not scoring very often. LA has not been a high scoring team over the past few years, but this could certain change over the next year or two. My basis for LA being low scoring is that, they often win low scoring games, and the simple fact that they scored 219 goals last year (that's tied for the second lowest goals scored amount playoff teams last year). I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying that's a factor in predicting Mike Richards' fantasy production this coming year.
Richards is a skilled, power forward, two way center, ect. He'll fill a big role in LA. When comparing depth between Philly and LA... I'd say Philly had more depth on forward (last year) and LA had more depth on defense (last year). Richards coming to LA helps balance the depth for LA. That may work in Richards' statistical favor in a sense that LA will have a strong balance of offensive depth and defensive depth this year.
Though I would love to see his numbers higher, I'm putting Mike Richards in the ball park of 50-58 points with 8-12 STGs.
Any opinions or predictions out there?