30-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Rangers
Marc Staal Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $34.2 million contract extension with the Rangers in January of 2015.
Staal has a no-move clause, which is why he's on the Rangers' protected list ahead of Wednesday's expansion draft, the New York Daily News reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Like fellow Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, Staal has the fortune of having been signed to an absurdly expensive and long-term contract by Glen Sather, which is why heís making $5 million in 2016-17 after notching just 15 points last season. That albatross of a contract will keep him in New York for years to come, and it appears likely that much of that time will be spent on the third pairing. After all, Staalís coming off his lowest ice-time average since his rookie season, and he took only 65 shots on goal in 77 games. That leaves him essentially worthless in the vast majority of fantasy formats.
Despite Staal's uncharacteristic minus-8 through just 19 playoffs games this past spring, the 2014-15 campaign was generally considered a return to prominence for the 28-year-old. In addition to playing all but two regular-season games, the stay-at-home defenseman posted the best plus/minus rating (plus-18) of his career and surpassed 20 points for just the third time in his career. While the bounce-back effort was enough to earn Staal a six-year contract extension in January, his modest scoring numbers aren't nearly enough to warrant including the defenseman into your draft plans in shallower formats with standard categories.
What a difference a year made for Staal. While the veteran blueliner has never been considered a top offensive producer from the blue line, at this time last year, we were questioning whether his vision and balance issues stemming from an eye injury two seasons ago would derail his career entirely. Since then, the 27-year-old defenseman has cemented himself back into the team's mid-term future. All things considered, Staal only offers a meager left-handed shot from the point, and even if he can climb back up to 25-point-per-season production, he's not much use to any owners in 12-team leagues or less.
For the first time since being drafted 12th overall in 2005, Staal's impact on the season is unknown. Not long after starting last season on fire (11 points in first 20 games), the 6'4 defenseman took a puck to the eye on March 5 against the Flyers, requiring surgery to repair the damage. Despite successfully returning to the lineup in a 4-3 win over Washington in game 3 of the opening round in the playoffs, the Rangers' leader on the blue line was clearly still fighting bouts with vision and balance. Staal was not a factor (minus-1, 17 TOI) and did not feel comfortable to dress for the remainder of the playoffs. While there's good reason to question his value heading into the new season, it will be important to monitor training camp reports on him, before penciling him into your draft plan.
Staal spent much of last season with the dreaded "concussion" label next to his name, but he was finally able to return, doing so in the Winter Classic. He posted two goals and three assists in 46 games upon his return, shaking off the rust. As Staal enters his sixth year in the league, the 25-year-old will look to return to his 2009-2011 scoring level, where he averaged 28 points over two seasons. With a full offseason under his belt, and no lasting effects from his concussion, the former first-round pick could be a late-round steal in deeper leagues as many owners will avoid him due to the bad taste in their mouth from last year's campaign.
Staal, arguably the Rangers' best defensemen, has combined with Dan Girardi the last two years to sport one of the most formidable defensive pairings in the NHL. Strictly a defensive defensemen his first three year in the league, the coaches challenged Staal to push his offensive game to new limits. By season's end, Staal was noticeably more involved offensively. With the lack of a clear power-play quarterback, Staal should get regular ice time on the man advantage. However, he's only been a fringe fantasy defensemen so far in his career. There is fantasy potential here, but he's not worth more than a late-round draft pick and could even be a free-agent pickup during the fantasy season.
Staal is still working on negotiating a contract extension, but all signs point to the 23-year-old defenseman returning to the Rangers. Staal, known to be a stay-at-home, defense-first defenseman, put up career highs in every offensive category last season. After scoring just three goals and 15 points in 2008-09, the Ontario native tallied eight goals and 27 points to go along with a plus-11 rating last season. While it is likely that he wonít reach the 10-goal plateau, there is a chance Staal could build on his overall points total this upcoming season. It wonít come easy though, considering the fact that Staal is hardly used on the power play and he has never had more than 100 shots on goal in a season (only 78 last year). Staal is a terrific blueliner in the NHL and he led the Rangers with 23:08 of ice time per game, but he is best served as a depth defenseman in most fantasy leagues.
Staal didn't do much to win over fantasy owners last season, but the New York staff loves what he brings to the table, a combination of skill and toughness. He's only 22 years old and is only going to improve over the next couple of years, and is a candidate to breakout at any time.
Finally started to come into his own late last season and had three points in the playoffs. Has deep sleeper written all over him and could be a solid second pairing for the Rangers.
After Staal didn't make the Rangers out of training camp, he admitted he was very disappointed and his play suffered upon his return to Sudbury of the OHL. In early January, Staal helped lead Team Canada to a third straight gold medal at the World Junior Championship, and the last four months his play is back where the Rangers expected it to be all season. If Staal doesn't make the Rangers out of camp this season, he will play with Hartford of the AHL. He may not start the season in New York, but he should make his NHL debut at some point this year. Don't expect tons of points like both of his brothers put up, but Staal should be a reliable defenseman for many years to come.
The brother of Eric (Hurricanes) and Jordan Staal (Penguins), Marc was the 12th pick in the 2005 NHL draft. He has a world of talent and the Rangers are extremely high on his progression in the past year. While the blue line looks crowded this upcoming season, Marc would have to make the roster as a sixth or seventh defenseman. However, donít be surprised if Staal sees another year at the AHL level. The Rangers are taking a cautious approach with this prized prospect.
The 12th overall selection in the 2005 draft, the Rangers have an interesting prospect with Staal, who's brother Eric, is already a star with the HUrricanes. Marc is a well rounded defenseman, who is a little rough around the edges, but with some conditioning and time in the minors, will become a steady fixure for the future. Staal is expected to remain with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League this 2005-06 season.
Younger brother to Eric, Marc is a great leader with moderate offensive talent. Scouts disagree about his ultimate role in the NHL but suffice to say he's about a safe a pick as they come. He may play on a top-two pairing some day but he might be your average number four man on the blue line. Time will tell.