28-Year-Old Left Wing – Minnesota Wild
Tyler Ennis Contract Information:
Agreed to a five-year, $23 million contract extension with the Sabres in July of 2014.
Ennis scored the game-winning goal Thursday against the Maple Leafs.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Ennis appeared in just 23 games over the course of an injury-riddled 2015-16 campaign. Looking to post his third straight 20-goal season and defend his title as the team’s leading scorer, especially after displaying promising chemistry with Jack Eichel, Ennis instead had a season to forget. He scored just three goals and 11 points, and his absence paved the way for others to leapfrog him on the depth chart. At 26 years old, Ennis should be entering his prime, but his recent injury history raises questions. If he can stay healthy, he provides the Sabres with a crafty playmaker who can help the team’s shooters and power forwards score goals, and he has the versatility to move around the lineup, but fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach.
This could be Ennis’ year to finally break out. He’s been the Sabres’ most dynamic offensive player since he arrived in the NHL, and he’s quietly scored goals, put up points, and actually driven possession, even on such a bad team. Now, he has a new center by the name of Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly is good in his own zone and will take some of the pressure off Ennis to let him to be more creative in the offensive zone. The two actually played together for Canada in the 2015 World Championships and displayed strong chemistry. As such, we’re expecting a jump in Ennis' output, including the potential for new career marks in goals and points. And he may be able to do it without time on the first power-play unit. He’s a smart under-the-radar player and fantasy pick.
The former Calder Trophy winner wrapped up arguably his worst season as a pro in 2013-14, producing 22 points in 62 games to accompany an atrocious minus-26 rating. Myers’ 6-foot-8 frame has always made him a valuable asset, but he has largely failed to live up to expectations since his rookie season. The Sabres have elected to be patient with the 24-year-old, but Myers’ name has been a staple in the rumor mill since last year. With a new crop of young defensemen coming up the pipeline, Myers’ days with the Sabres could be numbered if his play doesn’t improve. For now, he’ll continue to serve as one of Buffalo’s top defensemen, but that could change on short notice. The Sabres added a few veteran defensemen to lessen the pressure on Myers, which could unlock his potential.
Despite not getting the coveted role alongside Thomas Vanek last season (that went primarily to Cody Hodgson), Ennis still managed to post 31 points in 47 games. Those who draft him should continue to expect wild swings in production, so he can be a nice spot start in daily leagues when he’s hot. If regular line mate Drew Stafford is able to have a rebound year, Ennis should be a beneficiary, but in any case he’s likely to reach the 50-point mark for the first time in his career. The Sabres could struggle this season, so don’t expect Ennis to greatly improve on the minus-14 rating he posted last season, which should drive his value down in certain leagues.
Ennis' early-season injury troubles gave way to a torrid second half, in which he posted 29 points in 33 games following the All-Star break. The departure of Derek Roy means Ennis will have ample opportunity to take the reins down the middle, and will have some of Buffalo's top scorers on his wings. A crafty playmaker with a goal-scoring touch, look for Ennis to easily eclipse the 49 points he posted in his rookie campaign as he blossoms into a star in Buffalo.
Ennis had a 2010-11 that exceeded many expectations. The pint-sized wingers was one point shy of a 50-point season (20 G, 29 A) and big things are expected of Ennis entering 2011-12. A bump up to 25 goals and 35 assists is more than a reasonable expectation for Ennis, who will only be 22 when the season starts in October.
Ennis burst onto the scene in April and May of 2010, grabbing 13 points (4 G, 9 A) in the first 16 games of his NHL career, including six playoff games where he scored a goal and notched three assists. The under-sized center also hit the ground running with Portland of the AHL, winning the Rookie of the Year award with 65 points (23 G, 42 A) in 69 games. He should make the Buffalo roster for opening night, barring a bad training camp, and fill the void left by Tim Kennedy's departure. Ennis is definitely worth taking a late flier on, especially in deeper leagues.
This year Ennis signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Sabres. He is a quick skilled forward, but at just 5-9, he could use some time in the AHL to adjust to the higher level of physicality.
Ennis is a speedy, fearless, undersized center that Buffalo selected in the first round of the 2008 draft. He needs more seasoning and should spend 2008-09 in juniors.