30-Year-Old Left Wing – Chicago Blackhawks
Andrew Ladd Contract Information:
Re-signed to a five-year, $22 million contract by the Jets in July of 2011.
Ladd notched his first goal of the postseason and added an assist in Saturday's Game 6 win over the Blues.
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Andrew Ladd: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Ladd will return for his fifth season with the Winnipeg franchise as their team captain, despite still just being 28 years old. He’s already won Stanley Cups with the Hurricanes and Blackhawks, and is coming off one of his most productive seasons statistically. He finished 2013-14 with 23 goals and 31 assists in 78 games, and also chipped in 57 PIM. Perhaps his most impressive accomplishment, however, was finishing the season tied for third on the team with a plus-8 rating. The line of Ladd, Bryan Little and Michael Frolik often took on the toughest matchups night after night, so it’s encouraging that they were able to keep their heads above water in the NHL’s toughest division. Ladd missed the last four games of the season due to an elbow injury, but fantasy owners can be comfortable drafting him -- he’s had the entire offseason to recover and has only missed five total games over the last six seasons. His consistency and durability make him a solid piece for any fantasy roster.
Ladd managed an outstanding 18 goals, 28 assists and 46 points in the shortened 48-game 2012-13 season last year. Considering his career-high of 59 points took Ladd 82 games back in the 2010-11 season, there's no doubt fantasy owners were more than happy with the production they got from the Jets' captain last year. Playing on a line with Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little proved to help all three to the point where Ladd may very well flirt with 70 points and his first 30-goal season in 2013-14.
Having taken part in 163 of a possible 164 games over his past two seasons with Atlanta/Winnipeg, "the Captain" has been a steady source of goals with 57 over that span, also cracking 50 points the last two years. Don't expect 40 scores anytime soon, but so long as you can secure the veteran forward in a mid-to-late round, there is value to be had here.
Ladd had the best season of his career last year (29 goals, 30 assists for 59 points). His production earned him the honor of being named team captain to go along with a long-term contract extension. He surpassed Nik Antropov as the team's top forward and he's a good mid-round pick who will probably top 30 goals and 60 points this year, as long as the new contract he signed doesn't go to his head.
Just one of the many players the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks traded this summer, Ladd will fit in nicely as a contributor on an improving Thrashers squad. Although the former fourth overall pick (2004) probably won’t ever be the type of offensive player you’d normally expect from a top-five draft pick, he has proven to be an effective checker that can put the puck in the net once in a while. Depending on who his linemates are in Atlanta, Ladd could end up reaching the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career simply because of an opportunity for more ice time. If not, he’ll help create enough offensive chances on the fore-check to surpass 40 points.
Ladd had his best season in his short career with 15 goals and 34 assists and a plus 26 in the 2008-09 season. Worked well with Martin Havlat so will need to find another linemate to work with. Ladd like many of the Hawks will need to continue their development to the next level.
The Blackhawks acquired Ladd in a midseason deal with the Hurricanes last season. He had a career-high 30 points last season and is skating with the likes of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in training camp, so there is plenty of upside. If Ladd lands on one of the top two lines, he could easily put up career best numbers.
Just 21, Ladd offers a decent chance of a significant increase in his offensive numbers this season. He still has a ways to go in order to break into the very strong first two lines (Ray Whitney and Cory Stillman are ahead of him), but he has talent and youth on his side.
Ladd emphatically has a productive future with thia team. He won't turn 21 until December, but has shown that he can play at this level. He's among the likeliest Hurricanes to take a significant step forward in productivity this season, conceivably to the 55 point level, but more likely to about 40.
Ladd will be an excellent power forward that you'll be happy to have on your team. The only question is how long it will take him to develop to that level. Still just 19, he may be moved down to the minors to get him more ice time in anticipation of a later callup. This year he's probably worth only a late pick in draft-and-hold league, unless you're very risk tolerant.