37-Year-Old Right Wing – Ottawa Senators
Chris Neil Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.5 million extension with Ottawa in February of 2016.
Neil played in his 1,000th career NHL game Saturday and picked up a fighting major in the process.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Chris Neil: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chris Neil.
Neil turned 36 years of age this past June, and while there are many NHL players still performing at a high level this late in their career, the winger isn't one of them. Never a big scorer, Neil has fell almost entirely off the map on the offensive end for Ottawa in 2014-15, tallying only four goals and three assists in the 38 regular-season games. Neil still has his usefulness as a physical winger who can dig pucks out of corners and keep opponents out of the slot, but all indications are that the Sens want to continue to lean more heavily on young talent in their bottom-six ranks. That development could result in Neil taking multiple healthy scratches this season.
The good thing about drafting Neil is you know what you're going to get. The bad thing is that it's not much in terms of offensive production. He collected just eight goals and six assists in 76 games last year, but he's one of the team's leaders in the locker room and ended the season ranked second in the NHL with 211 PIM. He'll certainly continue to drop the gloves on a regular basis this season, so fantasy owners who need to boost their team's production in that category need look no further than Neil.
Neil was able to add four goals and eight assists to go along with his 144 PIMs last season while playing all 48 games for the Sens. He's an established veteran at 34 years old, and you know exactly what you're going to get if you draft him. Limited offensive production and a ton of penalty minutes (think 200+) seem to be his ceiling.
One of Ottawa's longest serving players, Neil had a standout season for the Sens in 2011-12, recording 13 goals and 15 assists while piling up 178 penalty minutes in 72 games. With the departure of Matt Carkner, Neil will need to drop the gloves a few more times than usual this season and could break 200 penalty minutes. He's a solid player in leagues that reward penalty minutes for what he brings to the table, but be advised that he was a minus-10 last season and he does not see much power-play time. Neil's value in leagues that do not count penalty minutes, obviously is a bit lower. Draft accordingly.
Neil enters the 2011-12 season as one of the leading veterans on what will be a much younger Ottawa squad than in years past. While he doesn't fight as often as he used to since players such as Matt Carkner and Zach Smith have taken on that role the last two years, Neil will drop the gloves when absolutely necessary. He also scores the occasional goal (he had six last year) and never takes a shift off. Neil will likely spend the majority of the year on the fourth line (likely with Zenon Konopka and Zach Smith) so don't expect huge fantasy numbers points-wise. He should be good for about five goals and 10-15 assists in 2011-12 with at least 150 penalty minutes.
Neil will likely begin the season playing on Ottawa's third line with Chris Kelly and Jarko Ruutu. This line provides defense and grittiness but not a lot of offense, so don't expect Neil to get much more than 20 points this season. That being said, he should get a decent amount of penalty minutes as he's averaged over 184 minutes a year in the box over his eight years of NHL service.
Newly re-signed to a four-year contract, Neil will continue to rack up the penalty minutes but that's about it as his overall play has regressed noticeably the past two years. While he adds much-needed grit and muscle to the Sens lineup, he'll continue to ply his trade on the fourth line with no time on the power play other than to shake things up if things aren't going well for the regulars. Also of note is the fact he's missed an average of 18 games per year the last two seasons.
Neil, who had a sub-par year in 2007-08, will look to rebound this season as he'll be a UFA next summer. He'll continue to rack up the penalty minutes, but he'll need to show some improved offense this year as his name has been mentioned in recent trade rumors.
Neil is one of Ottawa's most emotional and gritty players and as such he can make quite an impact during game situations. That shouldn't chance much this year as Neil will see plenty of time on the third line as well as some power play minutes on Ottawa's second unit. He should be able to get close to 15 goals and 30+ points this season.
Neil could conceivably net 20+ goals this year along with a similar number of assists. He will get some time on the powerplay but don't expect a huge increase over last year. Once again, his penalty minutes should be north of 150.
Neil will play RW on the checking line and get less PIMs than usual with Ottawa also planning to play major goon Brian McGrattan.