Valtteri Filppula
Valtteri Filppula
35-Year-Old CenterC
Detroit Red Wings
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The 35-year-old will return to the Red Wings, who drafted Filppula in 2002, for the 2019-20 season. The Finnish forward turned in a pretty solid 2018-19 campaign, scoring 17 goals, which was his most since 2013-14, and 31 points while posting a plus-19 rating in 72 games with the Islanders. However, it's important to note that he did so behind a career-high 21.8 shooting percentage. Assuming he has the same number of shots on net this season and regresses to his normal career shooting percentage, Filppula will be fortunate to reach 10 goals. Furthermore, in Detroit, his plus-minus almost certainly won't be as good -- the Red Wings finished 27th in goals allowed last season. Filppula is projected to slot in as the Wings' third-line center behind Dylan Larkin and Frans Nielsen this year, and should probably go undrafted in the majority of fantasy formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Red Wings in July of 2019.
Salvages outing with late helper
CDetroit Red Wings
October 10, 2019
Filppula set up a Luke Glendening empty-net goal in Thursday's 4-2 road win over the Canadiens.
Filppula tried to control the puck in the defensive zone, only for Glendening to take possession and score from long range with less than a minute to go in the contest. Comfortably nested in a third-line role in his second go-around with the Wings, Filppula will have his moments offensively, especially since he's handling duties on the No. 2 power play.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The veteran center was simply a salary dump for the Lightning at the trade deadline in 2017, but he became a decent asset in his only full season with the Flyers. Filppula scored 11 goals and 33 points, winning 51.3 percent of his faceoffs in 2017-18. Signing with the Islanders this summer, Filppula will essentially replace John Tavares in the lineup at center. That's obviously a big dropoff in talent, but Filppula will probably receive minutes alongside youngsters Josh Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier on the third line. Perhaps youthful linemates is just what the 34-year-old needs.
Filppula looked like he was on the fast track to irrelevance, but he bounced back a bit in 2016-17, improving his point total from 31 to 42 and earning some value in deeper fantasy formats along the way. A third-liner in his new home with the Flyers, the Finnish veteran is set to enjoy a bigger role than most bottom-six players, as he'll see minutes on both the power play and the penalty kill, but that’s no reason to form great expectations for him. At 33 years old, Filppula is several years removed from his prime, and he's a low-volume shooter who won't have the benefit of playing with the Flyers' big guns on the power play; the second unit isn't nearly so impressive. Expect him to finish short of 40 points and you won't be disappointed.
Filppula is on the decline – he's posted point totals of 58, 48 and 31 in the past three seasons. And while he still has some offensive upside, Flip spends far more time playing dirty defensive minutes for Tampa Bay than getting scoring opportunities. He has two years left on a deal that pays him $5 million a season, and that's just too much for a third-line player. Best case, Filppula either gets traded or ends up as Steven Stamkos' permanent winger. But the latter is highly unlikely. Your league's depth will dictate whether you can afford to draft and carry an expensive, bottom-six pivot who might score 40 points with a bad plus-minus and minimal power-play time.
Filppula got lost in the crowd last season in Tampa Bay. He wasn’t bad, but he didn’t shine the way Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat did. His 48 points in the regular season were a disappointment and he gave up possession far too often for the analytics crowd. On a team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals, his rating was a stunning minus-14, but some of that had to be plain bad luck... right? Filppula’s now the Bolts’ third-line center and will see some second-unit power-play time, but his $5 million price tag is a bit steep for a third-line, 45-point producer. Watch for the Bolts to showcase him in a scoring role around the trade deadline, as his value might be higher in a different situation.
Filppula is now the Bolts' resident veteran-in-chief, and the team's only forward 30 years or older -- OK, that’s not entirely true, what with Brendan Morrow around. But he will be the only greybeard around when Morrow gets scratched (and he will). Filppula's first season in Tampa delivered 58 points, including a career-best 25 goals, and he should deliver mid-60s point production as the team's second-line center in 2014-15. Just be wary of him in leagues that also count SOG, PIM, hits and blocks – he doesn't deliver much of anything in those categories. Still, most of those categories are fantasy afterthoughts, so snap him up – this Bolts squad is going places in the East.
Filppula has some huge skates to fill. He's now the Bolts' second-line center, a job previously held down by fan favorite, Vinny Lecavalier. Filppula has great upside -- he had 66 points in 2011-12 -- but he's coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued 2012-13 where he tallied just 17 points in 41 games. He needs the right line mates to excel and the Bolts are hoping that Teddy Purcell and one of Ryan Malone, Alex Killorn or Tyler Johnson will fit the bill. If he clicks with good mates, Filppula could easily set a new career mark, especially in an expanded role in Tampa.
The breakout many were expecting in previous campaigns finally came from Filppula last season, as he really clicked after joining Henrik Zetterberg's line while posting career-high totals (23 G, 43 A, plus-18) across the board. One knock continues to be that Filppula does not shoot the puck as much as he should, and last season was no exception as he fired just 144 shots despite an impressive 16.0% success rate. Although he struggled in the opening-round playoff loss to Nashville, Filppula finished the season on a high note in March with 14 points (4 G, 10 A) in 14 games while putting more than two shots on goal per game. He'll open the season skating on the Zetterberg line again, making another 65-70 point season a good bet.
A sprained left knee cost Filppula most of February, while his role centering the team's third line did not translate to the breakout campaign many were expecting. He's still just 26 years old, and an regular opportunity to work on a scoring line isn't completely out of reach, especially if Pavel Datsyuk's wrist injury forces a move to the wing. There's reason to believe that Filppula could benefit from shooting the puck more, as he fired just 115 shots last season in 71 games after putting 114 shots on goal in 55 games during the 2009-10 campaign. As late-round darts go, Filppula offers plenty of upside if head coach Mike Babcock squeezes him into the mix as a top-six forward at any point this season.
Filppula was projected as a growth stock with an opportunity to move up to the Wings' second line last season, but a broken wrist suffered in late October limited him to 55 games and ultimately left fantasy owners disappointed. The good news here is that Filppula was scoring at a 50-point pace a year ago and he'll get a chance center a line with even more talent around him thanks to the return of Jiri Hudler from the KHL. Filppula had nine points in the team's 12 playoff contests after racking up 13 points during 15 games in March, so signs of growth were apparent later in the season. At 26, a breakout seems likely, and the 60-point mark is within reach. Keep an eye on who his linemates will be to start the year and be ready to invest now that he's seeing more time both at even strength and on the power play.
Filppula has emerged as a consistent third-line center for the Red Wings, potting 12 goals and picking up 28 assists for his first 40-point NHL season. At 25, his offensive game may still improve, and the opportunity to earn a role on the second power-play unit could be a very nice boost to his production. If Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are paired together on the same line this season, Filppula may see extra time centering the second line, where the opportunity to contribute more offense would improve even further. To open the season, he'll likely have countryman Ville Leino as one of his wingers, while Jason Williams looks to be a good bet for the second spot.
Filppula doubled his production during his second full season with the Red Wings (19 G, 17 A). He's set to center the team's third line this season, with Dan Clearly and Mikael Samuelsson skating as his two wingers. Detroit has been pleased with his development thus far and promptly locked him up with a five-year, $15 million contract in July. If the Wings are unable to ink Henrik Zetterberg to a long-term contract, Filppula may get a shot to center the second line down the road, so he's got more upside in keeper leagues than in one-year formats, as he'll likely fall in the 40-50 point range this season.
He's starting the year off the top two lines, and his upside even on a better spot looks like 40 or so points. An ordinary forward, no one to get excited about just yet.
Filppula spent four games with the Red Wings in 2005-06, notching one assist. Odds are he would have spent the beginning of the season in the AHL anyway, but a broken finger in the preseason solidified his fate.
Third-round pick from 2002 has looked good in training camp.
More Fantasy News
Headed back to Motor City
CDetroit Red Wings
July 1, 2019
Filppula signed a two-year contract with the Red Wings on Monday. According to Ansar Khan of, the forward will be paid $3 million annually.
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Sparks offense in Game 3 win
CNew York Islanders
April 14, 2019
Filppula notched two assists in Sunday's 4-1 win over the Penguins in Game 3.
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Racks up goals in win
CNew York Islanders
April 6, 2019
Filppula scored twice Saturday, including the game-winner, in a 3-0 win over Washington.
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Good to go
CNew York Islanders
April 6, 2019
Filppula (elbow) will play in the regular-season finale against the Capitals on Saturday.
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Skating with team
CNew York Islanders
April 4, 2019
Filppula (elbow) took part in an optional practice for the Islanders on Thursday, Andrew Gross of Newsday reports.
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