The Panthers are due for a bounce back season. With last season’s injury to Huberdeau and a lackluster scoring season all around, the Panthers young talent is poised to rebound. Young players such as Barkov, Huberdeau Trocheck and Ekblad are all dynamic players with a bright future in the NHL.
This off season, the Panthers signed forward Evgeny Dadonov, 28, from the Kontinental Hockey League. A third-round pick of the Panthers (No. 71) in the 2007 NHL Draft, Dadonov had 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 55 games over three seasons with Florida but blossomed after returning to Russia; he had 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists) in 53 games for SKA St. Petersburg last season.
He played on the same team in the KHL as Vadim Shipachyov, another player joining the NHL frey. Notably this is also the team Pavel Datsyuk joined after his departure from the NHL.
Florida originally selected Dadonov in the third round (71st overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. Dadonov played in 55 NHL games, all with the Panthers, recording 20 points (10-10-20). Dadonov represented the Panthers at the 2011 NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, has played 311 KHL games recording 240 points (112-128-240) for Chelyabinsk Traktor (2008-09), Donbass HC (2012-14) and St. Petersburg (2014-17). Dadonov won the Gagarin Cup twice (2015, 2017) and was selected for the 2013 KHL All-Star Game.
On the international stage, Dadonov recently represented Russia at the 2017 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, winning a bronze medal. At the World Championship, Dadonov posted eight points (3-5-8) in 10 games. Throughout his international career he has earned a World Championship gold medal (2014), silver medal (2015) and two bronze medals (2016, 2017).
In terms of fantasy value, he has a high celling. He likely will get a chance to play on the top line with Barkov as his center, who also looks to grow on his 52 point 16-17 campaign. Huberdeau would be the corresponding winger on that line. It has also been suggested he would play RW on the top power play. This would put him with Ekblad, as well as Vrbata on with a man advantage. Both opportunities should provide for an interesting opportunity for the Russian, who is currently listed as multi-positional at left wing and right wing.
Some notable names he is ranked above on NHL.Com
- Vincent Trocheck,
- Matt Duchene
- Alex Steen
- Max Domi
NHL.Com ranks him 144th in the league for fantasy projections. There is also minimal name recognition and the average draft position to throw off his value. He is the 94th ranked forward on their projections (for standard leagues)
As yesterdays article stated, there is an exchange rate between KHL talent and NHL production. Usually players have a drop-off of about 25% of their PPG production, when transitioning from the Kontinental league and the NHL. He recorded 1.2 PPG last season, which theoretically puts him (after a significant decrease in production) around 60 points.
Don’t expect a 70-point season from the winger, but don’t be shocked when he cracks 50 points, and maybe even reaches 60.
Like I stated before, he should go late in the draft, and will be underrated in most standard leagues. Look for him in the late rounds, and you are guaranteed value in the winger.