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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Paajarvi isn't a great fantasy option according to any category. Other than his first season with Edmonton back in 2010-11, he's never reached double-digits in either goals or assists. Last year was more of the same for the 27-year-old Swede who scored just eight goals between St. Louis and Ottawa. Given that he doesn't provide much of anything on a consistent basis, Paajarvi shouldn't be a part of your virtual squad.
The departure of former coach Ken Hitchcock from St. Louis last season was the best thing that ever happened to Paajarvi, as new bench boss Mike Yeo brought him up and made him a full-time NHL player starting in February. he'd appeared in just three games under Hitchcock in 2016-17, but Paajarvi performed admirably in a bottom-six role under Yeo, totaling 12 points and a plus-9 rating over 29 contests. Looking ahead to the new season, the 26-year-old winger will bolster a talented third line in St. Louis as he continues his quest to realize the potential that made him the No. 10 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Paajarvi won't lead your team to fantasy glory, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him rebound into the neighborhood of 30 points if he can maintain a steady role.
Big things were expected from Paajarvi after the Blues surrendered David Perron last off-season to acquire him, but the huge winger failed to cash in on a breakout season. Some of that was a by-product of Paajarvi being limited to checking line duties as a result of the club’s deep stable of wingers, but his six goals and six assists in 55 games still registered as a disappointment. Paajarvi is only 23-years-old and offers plenty of potential at both ends of the ice, so his long-term outlook remains sunny if the Blues can find ways to give him more playing time. Unless Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz or Dmitrij Jaskin misses significant action due to injury, it’s difficult to see how coach Ken Hitchcock might be able to accomplish that.
The Blues traded away David Perron to get the two-way Paajarvi in the offseason. The former 10th overall pick scored 15 goals in his rookie season in the NHL, but his production has fallen off in the last two seasons and he's seen time in the AHL. There is a chance the defensively-sound Paajarvi may have been lost in the shuffle of young offensive talent in Edmonton. So, a new start with a team full of veteran talent may be just what the 6-3, 208 lb winger needs to grow his offensive game. He could very easily have a breakout season and score 20-25 goals this season. Target him.
Paajarvi had to be one of the biggest disappointments for the Oilers last season. After convincing him to play in North America for the 2010-11 season and watching him score 15 goals and 19 assists, the team watched those numbers plummet to a mere two goals and six assists last year and sent him to the minors. He should be the Oil's third-line left winger this year which should see him improve his numbers, but perhaps only to the 30-point plateau. Push that up a little if they choose to use him on their second power-play unit.
Paajarvi had 15 goals and 34 points in 80 games in his first season with Edmonton last season - a good first step. Paajarvi will look to increase those totals in his sophomore season but that may be easier said than done as the Oilers should begin the season healthy, which may lessen Paajarvi's ice time and could even see him spending a majority of his time on the third line rather than as a top-six forward.
Paajarvi best talent is his skating ability. He can melt the ice as he is flying around. The Oilers convinced him to leave Sweden and play in North America this season. There were some rumors that they enticed him to do so by guaranteeing him a roster spot, that is untrue, and he will report to Springfield of the AHL if he doesn't make the team.
This guy is the best skater in the draft and the Oil have the best ice in the league. He's absolutely dazzling and will be a star, delivering goals and helpers with ease. Don't be scared off by his so-called "low" production in the Swedish Elite League. He was playing against men and most of this draft class played against their peers. He should be near the top of your 2009 keeper draft list.