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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Florida Panthers re-signed forward Sam Bennett to a four-year, $17.6 million contract on Monday. The 25-year-old, acquired at the trade deadline from Calgary last season, was a few days from becoming a restricted free agent. Bennett is coming off an excellent 10-game debut in his new sweater last season - posting 15 points (six goals, nine assists), a plus-12 rating, 39 shots and 29 hits with Florida to close out the regular season. The Ontario native should be considered a very attractive mid-round selection in upcoming fantasy drafts as he provides value as a strong cross-category producer.
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson announced his retirement from the NHL on Sunday. The 34-year-old spent 14 seasons in the NHL, including 10 with the Chicago Blackhawks in which he won the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013, 2015). Hjalmarsson, one of the game's better defensive blueliners during his prime, collected 172 points (25 goals, 147 assists) and a plus-106 rating while averaging 20:11 of ice time in 821 career games. The Swedish native was taken in the fourth round (108th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday for veteran winger Jakub Voracek. Atkinson potted 15 goals and 19 assists in 56 regular-season contests for Columbus in 2021. He is second all-time in Blue Jackets history in goals (213), points (402), and games played (627), just behind retired forward Rick Nash. In addition, he is an elite penalty-killer. The 32-year-old should slot in on the Flyers second line. Cam Atkinson has the chance to be a decent pickup in fantasy hockey in this upcoming season, as the Flyers have been more of an offensive-minded team than Columbus in recent years.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday for winger Cam Atkinson. The Czech Republic born winger was once a Blue Jacket in 2011 before he was traded to the Flyers, where he spent ten seasons. At 31-years-old, Voracek is a still productive player netting nine goals and 34 helpers in 53 contests this past season. He could fit in on the club's second line and see power-play time on the Blue Jackets first power-play unit. If Voracek plays a significant role for Columbus, he could certainly be a viable pickup for fantasy gamers come this fall.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal signed a one-year contract to continue playing in Hockeytown. The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. Staal would have hit the unrestricted free agent market Wednesday if the two sides didn't reach a deal. Through 56 regular-season contests in 2021, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native produced three goals and seven assists. He skated on the team's third defenseman pairing last season. Despite having a solid NHL career, mostly with the Rangers, the 34-year-old will not play much of a factor in fantasy play come October.
The Colorado Avalanche locked up a core piece of the club on Saturday by signing young star Cale Makar to a six-year, $54 million contract. With a $9 million AAV, the 22-year-old defenseman is now the fifth-highest paid defender tied with P.K. Subban and behind Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, and Roman Josi. Last season during his sophomore season in the NHL, Makar scored eight goals and recorded 44 total points in 44 games. Half his points came on the power play and he averaged more than 24 minutes of playing time per game. He finished second in the Norris Trophy race in 2020-21. Makar will be one of the top defenders in standard format fantasy hockey again in 2021-22 especially with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen around him.
The Buffalo Sabres traded a center but it wasn't Jack Eichel. The club moved young forward Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a 2022 first-round draft pick and goaltending prospect Devon Levi. Interestingly, the return for Reinhart was lighter than the assets the club received for divisive defender Rasmus Ristolainen who was earlier flipped to the Flyers. The new Panther scored 25 goals and recorded 40 total points in 54 games with the hapless Sabres last season. He averaged more than 19 minutes per game, recorded 16 power-play points, and fired 130 shots. With his new team, Reinhart could be a strong fantasy option in 2021-22 with a solid supporting cast.
Veteran forward Taylor Hall is sticking around in Boston. The 29-year-old winger secured a four-year, $24 million extension with the Bruins on Friday. Hall takes a pay cut from his previous deal but he still carries a $6 million annual cap hit and is coming off a disappointing season that saw him score just 10 goals and record 33 total points in 53 games split between Buffalo and Boston. The former first overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft never lived up to the hype that comes with the selection but he has recorded 228 goals and 596 points in 680 games. Hall will have a strong supporting cast in Boston so he remains an intriguing bounce-back candidate in fantasy hockey after scoring eight goals and recording 14 points in 16 games after being traded to the Bruins.
The Columbus Blue Jackets flipped long-time defenseman Seth Jones to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. The eight-year NHL veteran has long been one of the better players in the league but he's coming off of a brutal season that saw him post a -18 +/- with ugly possession numbers and a habit of turning over the puck at the worst times. Still, Jones is just 26 years old and showed some offensive flair with five goals and 28 total points in 56 games. His best offensive season came in 2017-18 when he scored 16 goals with 57 points. Chicago certainly believes a rebound is coming. They're signing him to a new $76 million, eight-year contract that comes with a $9.5 million cap hit per year. In exchange for Jones, Columbus received defenseman Adam Boqvist and multiple picks.
The Arizona Coyotes freed themselves of a long-term contract anchor on Friday when they parted ways with veteran defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson along with young forward Conor Garland in exchange for three veteran players, as well as first-round, second-round and seventh-round draft picks. The veterans heading to Arizona are Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson. All three players will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2021-22 season and carry little to no fantasy value, even in the deepest leagues. The move frees up a lot of money moving forward for Arizona. They also now have a first-round and three second-round draft picks in this year's NHL draft, as well as one first-round and five second-round picks next year.