Lars Eller

Lars Eller

32-Year-Old CenterC
Washington Capitals
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Generally one of the NHL's more durable players, Eller missed more than a dozen games in 2020-21 with multiple ailments. He was his usual steady self when in the lineup, finishing with eight goals and 23 points in 44 games. You can set a clock by Eller's production. The Dane is almost always good for 12-15 goals in addition to 30-40 points over the course of a full campaign. Those aren't numbers that will help you win your fantasy league, but there's sneaky value here for deep leaguers when you toss in the fact Eller will chip in at least 150 shots and a handful of power-play points. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract extension with the Capitals in February of 2017.
Back at practice
CWashington Capitals
September 28, 2021
Eller (lower body) is slated to practice with the Capitals' second group Tuesday, NHL.com's Tom Gulitti reports.
ANALYSIS
Eller exited Monday's practice early with a lower-body issue, but whatever forced him from the ice clearly wasn't overly serious. The 32-year-old pivot should be good to go for Wednesday's preseason game versus New Jersey.
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2021–22 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    18:40
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:05
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:05
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2019–20
17:01
1:44
2:26
2020–21
16:21
0:53
2:00
2021–22
18:40
2:05
1:05
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Capitals Power Play Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Eller's locked into his role as the Capital's third-line center behind Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov. He scored at least 30 points for the third straight season in 2019-20, and if not for the pandemic, would've hit 40 points for the first time in his career. He's become indispensable for the Caps even though he's never scored more than 18 goals in a single season, and it's too bad his defensive value isn't reflected in the fantasy realm, where his low-upside offensive production and thankless checking role will leave him on the waiver wire outside of deep leagues.
Eller was a playoff hero during the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and continued to be a steady presence in Washington's bottom six once again in 2018-19, finishing with 36 points in 81 games and a career-best 16:32 of average ice time. The loss of Brett Connolly may hurt his offensive production, but with Carl Hagelin on his flank, the Danish center is expected to see heavy defensive deployment and should garner enough of a workload to notch another 30-plus-point season if he can stay healthy.
The Capitals were hoping for Eller to provide some stability down the middle when they acquired him in June of 2016. Suffice it to say, they got more than they dreamed. The 29-year-old center finished 2017-18 with a career high in goals (18) and points (38), but he took his game to a different level in the playoffs, tallying seven goals and 18 points in 24 games and shouldering a significant workload while Nicklas Backstrom was injured. The glorious postseason and Stanley Cup win makes the five-year, $18 million contract extension he signed in February look like highway robbery, but the Danish forward will play a valuable supporting role on the Capitals for years to come. Eller should finish between the 30-40 point range if he can stay healthy, giving him legitimate fantasy value as a bench stash in standard formats.
Eller moved over from Montreal to Washington before last season, but the results were mostly the same aside from a much-improved (and career-high) plus-15 rating -- a mid-20s point total accumulated mostly in a third-line role. After looking like he was breaking out with a 30-point effort over 46 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, Eller’s settled in between 25 and 27 points for four consecutive seasons. There’s little reason to expect anything more than that as the Dane again works on the third trio for the Caps in 2017-18.
The No. 13 overall pick in the 2007 draft, Eller spent six mostly stagnant seasons toiling away for the Canadiens, peculiarly posting his best performance (30 points) in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He’s landed with goal totals between 12 and 15 and point totals of 26 or 27 in each of the last three seasons, and it’s tough to expect much more even though he’s in a better offensive context now with Washington. The Caps peculiarly surrendered a pair of second-round picks for Eller – a high price to pay for a guy with such a poor track record – so he could center their third line, a role that should involve much more time on the penalty kill than the power play. Perhaps the big pivot’s change of scenery will help him post a positive rating for the first time in four years, but he won’t see any sort of ice-time bump, so his value will likely be restricted to very deep fantasy formats.
The Canadiens have been waiting for Eller to live up to the potential that made him a first-round pick in 2007, but year after year passes by without him developing into much more than a third-line center. Eller nearly duplicated his 2013-14 offensive output last year, increasing his point total by one, but played a much less physical game, cutting his hits by nearly half and his PIM by a third. That said, much of that soft play came early in the year, and Eller picked his hit rate up a bit as the season went on, so he could bounce back in that category. Although he improved his plus/minus by nine ticks from the year before, he still finished tied for the second-worst rating on the team at minus-6. All in all, he offers fairly minimal appeal on draft day outside of very deep formats.
Eller has been teasing the Canadiens for a few years now. After a productive year during the lockout-shortened season in 2012-13, Eller entered last season as a breakout candidate. When he scored five goals in the first five games, it looked like Eller was going to fulfill that promise. However, he scored just seven in the final 72 games and finished with a minus-15 rating. How did that regular season earn him a four-year contract in the offseason? It didn't -- the Canadiens committed to Eller based on the promise he hinted at during the playoffs, when he scored 13 points in 17 games. Montreal hopes they're getting more consistency for their commitment, and that the two-way playoff performer shows up in the regular season. He'll line up as the third line center again.
Eller scored a career-high 30 points in 46 games in 2012-13, which is somewhat remarkable given that he played himself into a healthy scratch in January. An injury to Max Pacioretty got him back into the lineup after two games off and he never left. He skated mostly on the third line, but was moved around between wing and center and was a fill-in when a top-six forward was hurt. His postseason ended early with a concussion, so we'll need to keep an eye on that during training camp.
Eller experienced some growth in his game last season and finished with career highs in goals and assists. After moving him around the season before, he primarily centered the Habs' third line, which is what he'll be doing to start the upcoming season. There isn't enouigh firepower on the Canadiens roster to maintain three offensive lines, so temper any breakout expecations for Eller, but we should see him continue to play major minutes with an opportunity to increase his offense.
Eller had offseason shoulder surgery and his availability for the start of training camp is in jeopardy because of it. If Eller is healthy, he'll likely center the third line where he developed a bit of chemistry with Andrei Kostitsyn, though overall he had a desultory 2010-11 season. He's got decent size, good hockey sense and is at his best setting up others. A little more experience ought to bring out his skills. Eller could emerge as a two-way forward with top-six potential, but needs to earn more trust from coach Jacques Martin.
Eller was recently acquired by the Canadiens from the St. Louis Blues for goalie Jaroslav Halak. Eller is a young prospect that looks to be taking similar steps as Brent Burns when Burns was coming up with Minnesota. He is currently aleft wing but the Habs are talking about transitioning him to defense, which is what Burns did by moving from RW to defense in his early career with the Wild. There are a few open spots for competition going into training camp this year with the Habs, so if Eller impresses enough he could make the NHL roster to start the season.
After drafting Eller, 20, 13th overall in 2007 Entry Draft, the Blues have allowed him to mature physically before bringing him to North America. That figures to be with Peoria in the AHL as the Blues have 12 forwards working on one-way contracts. He's been coached by a former NHLer, Ulf Dahlen, and shows very good hockey sense at both ends of the ice. He's coming off April shoulder surgery, but participated in the Blues' Pro Orientation camp this summer.
With four left-wingers almost assured rosters spots, Eller will have to have an outstanding training camp to break camp with the Blues this season. It's not likely that he has any impact at the NHL level this year but the long-term expectations are high for the 13th overall pick in the 2007 Draft.
Eller will return to the Swedish league this year, but will miss the first two months of the season after undergoing surgery in July to repair a fractured left wrist. Eller is at least a year away from the NHL but he has loads of star potential. Poolies in keeper leagues, take note.
Eller could be the steal of the draft. Ranked way down the list of prospects because of his birth country (really, how many great NHLers have come from Denmark), Eller is a project who is honing his talents in Sweden. But he owns a highlight-reel toolbox and unlike most other young players, he actually knows which tool fits which job. Some scouts worry he'll have a hard time adjusting to North American play; others think he could actually be in the NHL in a couple seasons. Risk/reward -- really, what do you have to lose?
More Fantasy News
Exits practice early
CWashington Capitals
Undisclosed
September 27, 2021
Eller left Monday's practice session early with an undisclosed injury, Tom Gulitti of NHL.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Good to go Friday
CWashington Capitals
May 21, 2021
Eller (lower body) is in Friday's Game 4 lineup against the Bruins, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not playing Wednesday
CWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 19, 2021
Eller (lower body) is not in the lineup for Game 3 against Boston on Wednesday, Tom Gulitti of NHL.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Spotted at morning skate
CWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 19, 2021
Eller (lower body) took part in Wednesday's morning skate, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Injured in Game 2
CWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 17, 2021
Eller (lower body) left Game 2 on Monday against Boston and is doubtful to return.
ANALYSIS
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