30-Year-Old Center – Minnesota Wild
Martin Hanzal Contract Information:
Signed a five-year contract extension in October of 2011.
Hanzal (illness) surprisingly will play Saturday against the visiting Rangers, Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports.
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Martin Hanzal: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hanzal is coming off another season derailed by injury, as a back ailment that ultimately required surgery in January limited him to just 37 games. The big center has not played more than 65 games since 2009-10 -- his third NHL season. Now that Hanzal is 28 years old and perpetually banged up, it's unrealistic to expect a sudden offensive surge from him, as his rather modest total of 40 points in 2013-14 remains a career best. That said, Hanzal will likely see a lot of ice time due to the Coyotes' lack of existing pivot options, with a power-play role likely awaiting him as well. When healthy, Hanzal has at least shown that he's a capable power forward, combining big hit totals with some scoring that can add value in deeper leagues.
Hanzal set new career-highs in goals (15) and points (40) last season, but had difficulty staying healthy for the Coyotes. He missed more than a dozen games due to injury, which sabotaged a very hot start for the second year in a row, as he scored 34 points in his first 45 games. Quietly, Hanzal has become one the NHL's better power forwards, leveling more than 200 hits for the second time in his career. Among those players with more than 200 hits, only seven registered more points than Hanzal did. The 27-year-old also bested his previous top marks in shots, PIM and power-play points, all of which suggest a new echelon of production may still be in store. Hanzal will be a good option in leagues where his rough-and-tumble game fits with the depth fantasy players need at center or forward.
Hanzal got off to a hot start (10 points in his first 11 games) in 2012-13, but slowed significantly from that point on. He also struggled in the face-off circle, winning just 46.8 percent of his draws. Still, his final scoring pace (23 points in 39 games) was not too far from his 2011-12 mark of 34 points in 64 games. He plays an important role on the ice for the Coyotes and there's no reason to think he can't reach 15 goals and 40 points in 2013-14.
Hanzal recorded his best offensive output (34 points) since his rookie season (35 in 2007-08), yet he's hovered consistently around 30 points for much of his career. Hanzal is one of the Coyotes' most reliable producers and there's no reason to think his offensive output should drop off much despite the loss of Ray Whitney in free agency.
Hanzal, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Coyotes, only managed to play in 61 games last season, tallying 26 points (16 G, 10 A) to go along with a plus-4 rating and 54 PIMs. Despite playing in fewer games, it was the former first-round pick's best scoring season in his four-year career, though his assists dropped significantly. The 'Yotes are still looking to add some more pizazz to the center position, but it's not unreasonable to expect a 15-goal, 15-assist season with a few bonus sin bin minutes from Hanzal in 2011-12.
In 2009-10, Hanzal put up respectable, but not spectacular, numbers with 11 goals and 22 assists. Typically, he has been used as a defensive forward going up against the opponent's main stars. Any point from Hanzal is a bonus for a Coyotes' team that scores by committee. For 2010-11, expect more of the same.
The 2005 first-round pick showed flashes last season and finished with a respectable 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 74 games for the Coyotes. Hanzal's season was a microcosm of Phoenix's season though. The young Czech started off the season on fire, then struggled through long stretches without notching a single point. And just like the Coyotes, Hanzal finished the season strong, enjoying a four-game point streak at the end of March. As can be said for many on the Phoenix roster, Hanzal's name is one to file away for future use.
In comparison to his rookie counterpart Peter Mueller, Hanzal had a slower transition to the NHL. However, he was still able to crack the top five of Coyotes scorers in 2007-2008 with 35 points (8G 27A). He improved defensively as the season wore on and his offensive production should come back in time. The only question mark this season is his return to the ice after having back surgery to repair a herniated disc. If he does make a successful return and his timing comes back quickly, he may improve upon his numbers due to being in better health. He could be a player to watch out for as the season wears on.
Hanzal is an absolute monster at 6-5 and 205 pounds, and this past season he played like a monster for Red Deer of the WHL. In 60 games Hanzal registered 85 points. The 2006-07 season was Hanzal's first full in North America so he probably needs a bit more seasoning before he plays in Phoenix. There were questions about Hanzal's desire when he was drafted in the first round (17th overall) in 2005, but after such a solid season, all those worries should be gone.
Hanzal has no fantasy value for the upcoming season, but could be a very good scorer when he does make the leap to the NHL.
Look waaaay up and you'll find Handzal, who is listed at somewhere between 6'3" and 6'5" and only 189 lbs. This skilled Czech can score but he is perceived to be a bit soft, taking five or six too many dives for the liking of scouts. A prototypical risk-reward kind of guy.