Evaluating fantasy impact of Erik Karlsson’s trade to San Jose

Over the past four seasons combined, the San Jose Sharks boasted the No. 2 overall defenseman for scoring. Now they have the top two.

Since the 2014-15 season, Brent Burns’ 278 points have only been topped by Erik Karlsson’s 281. The next closest defenseman is Victor Hedman with 220.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

In that same span, Burns and Karlsson are the only two defensemen with more than 100 power-play points (Burns with 106, and Karlsson with 101). The Sharks’ power play just became the scariest in the NHL with that duo on the back end. Between Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture and Evander Kane, the team has at least three top-end forwards to stack on the man advantage even if injury should befall one of them (cough, cough, 39-year-old Thornton).2

Having two defensemen from the same team top 50 points is unusual, but not too rare. With the uptick in overall league scoring, a couple of teams managed it last season (Toronto, Nashville). But there are previous examples before the scoring bump, including Roman Josi and Shea Weber in 2015-16 and P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov the previous season.

Fifty points is actually a low target for these two defensemen — they averaged 70 points per season for the past four years running. You have to go back to 2005-06, when scoring was up over 6.0 goals per game, to find an example of two defensemen from the same team even topping 60 points: Brian McCabe and Tomas Kaberle for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But that’s a fantastic example to use, as the duo managed the feat by running the second-best power play in the league that season.

Not only will the addition of Karlsson boost the power play, but all boats should be lifted by adding his presence at even strength. Think about it: Most of the time the key offensive players for the Sharks will have at least one of Burns or Karlsson on the ice. The way they join the rush, it’s like having a power play all the time.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Karlsson remains my first defenseman off the board for fantasy this season (yes, I was OK with it even if he stayed in Ottawa). I had Burns a bit lower, but will move him back into my top three for fantasy, somewhere inside the top 30 picks.