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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After one relatively disappointing season in Calgary, Elliott signed a two-year deal with Philadelphia and will look to compete for the No. 1 role on a team that struggled at the position last season. Moose’s .910 save percentage and 2.55 GAA last season left much to be desired, but it’s worth noting that the Flames accumulated the most penalty minutes in the league last season, leaving the veteran goalie to face loads of power-play opportunities. It’s no guarantee that Elliott will beat out incumbent Michal Neuvirth for starting duties, but if he does, it wouldn't be surprising to see him bounce back on a revitalized Flyers squad.
Elliott actually led the NHL in save percentage (.930) and finished just short of the top spot in GAA (2.07) last year, but those things happened a bit under the radar because he only played 42 games. That’s thanks in large part to the emergence of Jake Allen, who seized a majority role in the Blues’ net despite the veteran actually putting up better ratios. Nonetheless, the Flames clearly were impressed with what they saw, as they picked Elliott up for a draft pick (or, conditionally, two) to address last season’s catastrophe between the pipes. The Flames owned the NHL's worst goaltending last season, and bringing in last year’s top netminder is a pretty good way to fix that. There is, however, one big caveat: He’s never started more than 51 games in a season, and that was way back in 2011-12. That means Elliott will certainly cede 25 or so starts to backup Chad Johnson, which does limit his fantasy impact to some degree, but owners shouldn’t be afraid that he’ll take a big ratio hit in Calgary.
After the Blues elected to keep him over Ryan Miller the previous offseason, Elliott looked to finally have taken the title of NHL starting goaltender. Elliott was playing the best hockey of his career in the first half of last season, posting a 1.86 GAA and .930 save percentage prior to the All-Star break, before a deep slump and the subsequent hot play of backup Jake Allen resulted in a changing of the guard. By season's end, Elliott found himself No. 2 on the depth chart, ceding the net entirely to Allen during the Blues' first-round playoff loss to Minnesota. Though Elliott's final statistics stacked up well with most of the league's goaltenders, his late fade was enough for him to enter training camp on shaky ground. Though Allen figures to retain the starting title to open 2015-16, look for the Blues to once again deploy a platoon arrangement similar to last season, with Elliott getting the lesser portion of the timeshare. Even in a diminished role, the overall strength of the Blues' roster should enable Elliott to come away with a winning record to go along with useful ratios.
EElliott reprised his role as the high-performing understudy to Jaroslav Halak to open last season, once again earning more nods than the typical backup due to his stellar numbers when called upon. His usage trended downward when the Blues shipped Halak to the Sabres in exchange for a more highly-regarded netminder in Ryan Miller, but Elliott continued to play well even amidst the spottier playing time, finishing the season with a 18-6-2 record, 1.96 GAA and .922 save percentage in 31 outings. Miller’s late-season collapse and lavish contract request in free agency led the Blues to cast their lot with Elliott, who was re-signed to a modest three-year, $7.5-million contract shortly after the team was eliminated from the playoffs. With steady job security for the first time during his tenure in St. Louis, Elliott’s fantasy value is probably as high as it’s even been entering a campaign, and for good reason. Though his magnificent ratios will likely depreciate a bit as his game totals rise, Elliott stands to benefit from one of the more fertile environments for goalie success in the NHL. Riding the coattails of a lockdown defense, Blues goalies saw the league’s second-fewest save chances last season, a development that should greatly aid Elliott’s chances of replicating a GAA in the low 2.00s and ranking among the league leaders in shutouts and winning percentage. The presence of reigning AHL Goalie of the Year Jake Allen behind him on the depth chart does provide some pressure to perform well and may not allow him to rack up the same amount of starts as other nominal No. 1 netminders, but Elliott’s expected contributions in all major categories except total saves should outweigh those concerns. Give Elliott an upgrade in leagues that allow for daily lineup moves, where the ability to stream goalies would enable his strong per-game numbers to shine brighter.
Elliott had an interesting lockout-shortened season. At one point, he was sent down to the minors to get his game in order. He then went on 10-2 hot streak to close out the season by posting a 1.28 GAA and a .948 save percentage. The goaltender situation in St. Louis is very fluid and coach Ken Hitchcock is not afraid to play the hot hand. It is a good bet that the oft-injured Jaroslav Halak will be named top dog, but picking Elliott in the late middle rounds would be an excellent hand-cuff.
Elliott surprised the hockey world with his stellar goaltending in 2011-12, leading the NHL in save percentage and goals-against per game. And he held the Blues in place early on while Jaroslav Halak struggled during the month October. His efforts prompted the Blues to offer him a two-year contract extension -- something the journeyman netminder jumped at to sign. Elliott and Halak essentially shared the job, with Elliott getting 36 starts in the regular season and then taking over full time when Halak injured his ankle in the first-round playoff series against the Sharks. Elliott's Cinderella season finally ended when his regular-season performance didn't show up in the second round as the Blues were swept out by eventual Cup champion Los Angeles. While the series sweep was by no means his fault alone -- St. Louis managed just six goals in the four games -- Elliott played above his head for most of the season. Halak's offseason rehab has gone well and he is slated to be the team's No. 1 goalie entering the 2012-13 season. Elliott will be the trusted backup, but he'll need Halak to struggle in order to come close to the 40-start mark.
Elliott started last season with Ottawa, ended it with the Avalanche, and now enters the 2011-12 campaign as a twine tender for the Blues. The Canadian backstop has experience as a starter, but he will assume a backup role behind Jaroslav Halak, provided he beat out Ben Bishop for the job. Elliott will have to work hard to improve upon the unsightly 3.51 goals-against average that he had just one season ago.
Elliott had an up-and-down season in 2009-10, which ended on a low note. He was pulled in Game 4 of Ottawa's first-round playoff series against the Penguins and never saw the ice again. He looked slow and completely out of his element in the four games he played, which isn't a good sign going into the 2010-11 season. Elliott will need to have a tremendous training camp and preseason if he hopes to regain the No. 1 spot in Ottawa over Pascal Leclaire. That being said, Leclaire's injury history suggests that Elliott might reclaim the No. 1 spot by default. At this stage in his career, Elliott makes a good No. 2 or No. 3 goalie on a fantasy squad, but nothing more. He's still young and has a lot to learn at the NHL level, which is what he has going for him right now.
Elliott will begin the year as Ottawa's backup behind Pascal Leclaire. Due to Leclaire's injury history, Elliott could find himself playing a lot of minutes this year. All that aside, he should get at least 20-25 games.
Elliott, barring an Ottawa trade for an elite NHL netminder, is the goalie of the future in Ottawa. The 23-year-old spent last year as Binghamton's No. 1, finishing with an 18-19-1 record, with a 2.81 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Elliott saw one game as an Ottawa Senator early in the season due to an injury to former Ottawa goalie Ray Emery. Elliott ended up beating Atlanta 3-1 in that game, but didn't see any other time with the big club for the rest of the year. He possesses excellent technical skills and good rebound control. Should an injury befall either Martin Gerber or Alex Auld this year, Elliott will get the call. Look for him to breakthrough with Ottawa in 2009-10 as either the starter or the backup.