33-Year-Old Center – San Jose Sharks
Joe Pavelski Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $30 million extension with the Sharks in July of 2013.
Pavelski racked up an even-strength goal, a power-play goal and a power-play assist in Tuesday's 7-0 Game 4 win over the Oilers.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Pavelski didn't quite replicate the nearly point-per-game pace of his breakout 2013-14 campaign last year, it's awfully hard to complain about 37 goals and 70 points, with 31 of those points coming on the power play for the second consecutive season. The advanced metrics love him too -- he finished sixth in team-adjusted Corsi, meaning that the Sharks tend to possess the puck a whole lot more when he's on the ice. He hasn't missed a game in the last four seasons, and only Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos have scored more goals in the last three. In short, you can hardly do better as far as a prime mover for your fantasy offense.
Can you say breakout? Pavelski's offensive explosion delivered him his first 40-goal season. His 41 goals ranked third in the NHL and his 79 points ranked eighth. Most impressively, his 16 power-play goals ranked second in the league. Little Joe became elite last season and he should stay that way. His advanced stats reveal a player who doesn't look like he's going to regress. He's on the ice for 60.7 percent of San Jose's power play time in games he's playing in, and his possession numbers are fantastic. It won't take long for fans to be saying, “Jumbo who?” He'll go early in every draft, and deservedly so.
Pavelski finished last season with 31 points in 48 games, a decent tally but a little under his historical scoring pace. But interestingly, Pavelski scored on 12.3 percent of his shots last year, which was his best shooting percentage since his rookie season. And he also tied his career-high for game-winning goals at five in this shortened season. It's clear the Sharks depend on his leadership and contributions, and he’ll continue to get significant time in important situations like the power play (he had 10 points on the PP last season) and in the last minute of play. Quite honestly, there are few players who are as good under pressure. We like Pavelski and would love to have him on our team.
Little Joe is the motor that runs the Sharks. He's a brilliant leader, a league leader in face-off efficiency, an irritating checker and a consistent 60-point scorer. He doesn't pound guys the way Dustin Brown or David Backes do, but he has a lot of similarities among the three when it comes intangibles. Last season, he co-led the Sharks in goals (31) with Logan Couture and he led the team in shots with 269, a number good enough for 16th in the entire league. He's near his ceiling, but that's okay -- 30 goals and 65 points, year in and year out, are perfectly fine with us. Particularly with the contributions that come in special teams points. You cannot go wrong with Little Joe on your team.
Nobody who donned a teal sweater sent more shots on goal than Pavelski (282) last season, though it did result in the worst shooting percentage of his five-year career. Still, he ended up with 20 goals and often created mismatches as Team Teal's superior depth allowed him to spend plenty of time on the third line, a spot typically reserved for checking specialists. Pavelski is a smart player capable of sparking different lines, though he's expected to re-join the top six with Devin Setoguchi now playing for Minnesota. After setting career highs in assists (46), points (66), and power-play goals (11), the Big Pavelski's fantasy value has never been higher.
Last season could very well prove to be a turning point in Pavelski's career - for the better. Not only did the shifty 5-foot-11 center register his second consecutive 25-goal season, but he posted three assists for Team USA and excelled on the world stage during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Also, in the summer of 2010, Pavelski hit pay dirt with a four-year, $16 million contract. The bottom line? If you're seeking a consistent forward who will go for 50-plus points, Pavelski is your guy.
The former Wisconsin Badger might posses the moniker, "Little Joe," but his consistent play results in large dividends for fantasy owners, especially those who nab him towards the later drafts rounds. While it's true that Pavelski generally finishes with more assists than goals, he offers plenty of production as both a playmaker and goal scorer. Remember, he's only 23 years old, and capable of exceeding his robust totals from 2008-09, which included 59 points (25G, 34A) in 80 games.
Consistency is the name of the game for Pavelski. He has decent speed, though few can match his wizardry in handling the puck, a skill that has become extremely beneficial during shootouts (7 shootout goals out of 11 chances). The American was also dominant in the '07-08 playoffs, sinking five goals and setting up four. It's reasonable to expect a significant rise in terms of his fantasy value, especially if the team improves as a whole and lends him a hand.
The kid knows two things: winning and scoring. In 2005-06 he led the Wisconsin Badgers in points with 56 (23 goals and 33 assists) in 43 games, on en route to a National Championship. Playing for the Worcester Sharks at the beginning of the 2006-07 he registered 26 points in 16 games. Upon his arrival in San Jose, Pavelski lit the lamp four times in his first five games, and ended the season with 28 points (14 goals and 14 assists) in 46 games played. Pavelski will get the chance to play on a line with either Marleau or Thornton, and is worthy of consideration for a middle-round draft pick.
After a stellar two years at the University of Wisconsin, Pavelski will likely spend a couple of years in the minors before making the jump to the NHL.