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Past Fantasy Outlooks
With only one other lefty blueliner on the roster in Roman Josi, Nashville went out and acquired the 32-year-old Volchenkov as a free agent in July, signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract after he was bought out last season by the New Jersey Devils. Volchenkov’s career high in points came in 2006-07 when he scored 19 with the Senators. Since then, it’s been all downhill for the veteran defenseman, scoring just a single goal along with 12 assists in his last two seasons with the Devils. He will likely skate on the Preds’ third defensive pairing along with either Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis, and provide those youngsters with a stable veteran presence to support their development.
Volchenkov saw his minutes limited last season to just over 16:03 per contest and he notched a modest five points in 37 games. He appeared to be a liability on the blue line at times last season and he won't chip in much offensively. He's a defensive defender in the truest sense of the definition, albeit one who needs to reestablish himself after a subpar season.
A stay-at-home defender in the truest sense, Volchenkov posted 11 points in 72 games last season while posting gaudy hits and blocked shots totals, which gives him a bit of value in leagues that reward secondary statistics. He’s a minute-eater that regularly faces the opposition’s top lines.
Injuries limited the newly-signed Volchenkov to just 57 games during the Devils' dismal 2010-2011 campaign. The bruising blueliner posted just eight assists, but he wasn't brought to New Jersey for his offensive prowess. He's one of New Jersey's top defensive players, but someone who won't find his name on the scoresheet often enough to merit fantasy consideration.
Volchenkov will assume the role of New Jersey's shutdown defender, bringing some of the physicality the Devils have been lacking on the blueline. He likely won't put up more than 15 points but will see significant icetime.
Volchenkov will once again be called upon to be one of Ottawa's best shutdown defenseman and will lineup against the best offensive players in the league each and every game. He sacrifices his body to block shots and pound bodies, but he has very limited offensive skills. A-Train is one of the purest defensemen in the league today.
The A-Train will spend the year playing with Chris Phillips to make up Ottawa's number one defensive tandem. If healthy the entire season, Volchenkov should lead the NHL in blocked shots by season's end. A consummate warrior, Volchenkov's pain threshold is considered one of the highest in the game. He'll play against every team's top offensive line so don't expect many points.
Volchenkov established himself as one of the league's toughest defenseman to play against. He should once again be near the top of the league in blocked shots as well as having another strong plus-minus rating.
The A-Train is not an offensive threat by any means. He is known primarily for his huge, open-ice hits and his defense. Expect similar offensive production this year.
Volchenkov, currently fourth on the team's defensive depth chart, should form Ottawa's second defensive pairing with Wade Redden this season. He's likely a year away from being a fantasy factor but could get 25 points and 75 PIMs this year.