When Anthony Duclair’s ice time spiked, there was a feeling the trade winds were blowing. Duclair was traded on Wednesday evening to the Chicago Blackhawks. These were the particulars.
The gem piece of the deal is Duclair. He is a 22-year old forward who showed promise after a 20 goal rookie season. After that, struggles ensued both on and off the ice. Some in the Arizona organization even quipped that there were some “maturity” issues. Now, what is the fantasy impact? Let’s take a look.
What does Duclair mean to Chicago?
This is a great question and depends on who you ask. What Chicago now has is an impressive collection of forward depth. Ultimately, it means at least a forward will be expendable. Healthy competition is good, and Duclair is going to have that in Chicago.
The Chicago forward is low owned in fantasy leagues (anywhere from 2-6% on average across the major platforms). It is like acquiring a prospect for rock-bottom value.
Duclair’s daily fantasy price will be what is called a “value play” until his role is further defined. Duclair will be around $3200-3400 on DraftKings, which is a great price now that he is in Chicago. There is one important caveat to all of this.
Duclair has to hit the net to be effective. Even in his rookie campaign, that was an issue. He was averaging barely 1.3 shots per night, and his connect rate was just over 50%. That started to improve this year. He currently is near 2.1 shots a night with a connect rate of 59%.
What Are Potential Plans/Projections For Duclair?
Duclair was sheltered but did get power play time (average ice time 14:23). This may be a blueprint for Chicago to ultimately use. He may see time on the second line with Patrick Kane and perhaps see power play time with him on the second unit. The correlation would be vital in daily fantasy especially, but great for season-long also.
Any top-six playing time will boost his ownership at a faster rate. He is young, has speed, and has shown an ability to fire off a shot with a quick release. Defensively, there are some question marks, but Chicago’s top six is among the best in the league as far as possession metrics.
Duclair could easily play 15-16 minutes a night. However, he cannot be plagued by some of the defensive lapses seen in Arizona. Chicago and their coaching staff will not tolerate that. This is also Duclair’s third organization. Whether there is a reputation or not, the questions will be there until Duclair proves otherwise. He must play with consistent effort.
Projections will be tough but the winger has positive shot rates again when he shoots the puck (+7% on ice). Duclair will be set up often to shoot as well. He was on pace for a 20 goal season in Arizona again before the trade. Having goals in the last two games adds to that optimism. He also had three power play tallies in very limited time on the man advantage.
Duclair could wind up with the following numbers:
38 GP: 11-14-25 — along with 10 power play points, 80 shots on net and above 50% possession metrics. Expected ice time is 15:00. Fantasy ownership likely above 10-15% pretty quickly.