Darcy Kuemper
Darcy Kuemper
31-Year-Old GoalieG
Arizona Coyotes
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Kuemper emerged as one of the NHL's best goalies last season despite playing in only 29 games. He posted a 16-11-2 record with a 2.22 GAA, a .928 save percentage and two shutouts. He also lost over two months to a lower-body injury. Injuries are just part of the equation for both Kuemper and his teammate Antti Raanta, which makes both goalies high-risk, high-reward options for fantasy managers. Drafting both Kuemper and Raanta will be an interesting prospect for virtual managers willing to roll the dice a bit, but it'll likely be Kuemper who has the inside edge for the majority of starts in 2020-21. When healthy, he can deliver 50 games, 30 wins and a GAA under 2.30, which will make him a popular pick on draft day. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $9 million contract extension with the Coyotes in October of 2019.
Snaps losing skid
GArizona Coyotes
May 7, 2021
Kuemper turned aside 26 of 28 shots in Friday's 5-2 win over the Sharks.
ANALYSIS
The Sharks scored the first two goals of the game, but Kuemper silenced them for the last 36:30 of the contest. The 31-year-old got plenty of help from his Coyotes teammates in the comeback win. Kuemper snapped a 0-2-1 skid and improved to 10-11-3 with a 2.48 GAA and a .910 save percentage through 27 contests overall. It wouldn't be surprising to see him sit out Saturday's rematch with the Sharks -- despite their win Friday, the Coyotes were eliminated from playoff contention due to the Blues' overtime loss in Vegas. Adin Hill would be likely to start Saturday if Kuemper doesn't get the nod.
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    57:17
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Kuemper entered 2018-19 as the backup to Antti Raanta but was pressed into starting duty when Raanta appeared in only 12 games. Kuemper filled the role admirably, going 27-20-8 with five shutouts, a 2.33 GAA and .925 save percentage over 55 outings. He started 22 consecutive games as the Coyotes made a push for the playoffs, raking in 13 wins with a 1.78 GAA and .943 save percentage over that span. The 29-year-old's performance at the end of the season has set up quite the training-camp battle for the starting gig as Raanta is expected to be healthy. With no clear favorite for the job, fantasy owners will likely want to handcuff the Coyotes' goalies on draft day, as both have shown the ability to go on hot runs and may split the crease to start the year.
Antti Raanta's backup played 10 games for the Coyotes following his trade from the Kings last February. In that span, Kuemper underwhelmed by posting a 2-6-2 record, 3.22 GAA and .899 save percentage. While those were predictable numbers for a goaltender on a bottom-feeding team, his relative down year was exacerbated by the impressive run that Raanta had in a breakout campaign -- one that featured a .930 save rate. Everything considered, Kuemper appears to be Arizona's clear-cut backup in 2018-19.
Kuemper had a tough final season with the Wild in 2016-17, posting a career-worst .902 save percentage and ugly 3.13 GAA in 18 appearances as Devan Dubnyk’s backup. That was enough to write his ticket out of town, but the 27-year-old promptly caught on in Los Angeles to serve the in same role behind Jonathan Quick. Perhaps the change of scenery can get Kuemper back on track; he should appear in at least 20 games for the Kings if he returns to form, and perhaps more if Quick’s groin continues to bother him. The Kings were able to turn mediocre veteran Peter Budaj into a fantasy-relevant player for a while when Quick was injured last year, so there’s some hope they could do the same for Kuemper if that situation arises again.
With Devan Dubnyk having seized control of the Minnesota net, Kuemper settled comfortably into a backup role last year, posting ratios that correspond closely to his career averages. Still only 26 years old, Kuemper is on a one-year deal, positioning him for free agency next year and a potential payday from a goalie-needy team if he can elevate his game this season. He’s likely going to have to make the most of limited opportunities, though, as Dubnyk’s a workhorse who started 66 games last year.
Kuemper saw the lion’s share of starts for the Wild at the beginning of last season before Devan Dubnyk came out of nowhere to become a Vezina Trophy candidate. After Dubnyk's acquisiton, Kuemper rarely saw the ice at all, resulting in him turning in a mostly unspectacular 2014-15 that included a 2.60 GAA and a .905 save percentage over 31 games. At just 25 years old, Kuemper could still improve, but with Dubnyk above him on the depth chart and with the stretch of consecutive starts he went on last season, playing time will come at a real premium. Barring an injury or a run of poor form by Dubnyk, Kuemper shouldn't be recommended as much more than a streaming option versus weaker opponents.
Kuemper is in a strange spot in Minnesota. In one sense, he's the third-string goaltender behind Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding, who are both on one-way contracts. In another, he's the heir apparent behind two guys who miss time because of injury or illness, and he'll likely to see a significant number of games this season. General manager Chuck Fletcher has already stated that he's OK carrying three goaltenders on the team this season, and after an impressive performance from Kuemper in limited time last year, it seems a foregone conclusion that he'll be the man in Minnesota sooner rather than later. But in reality, nothing is guaranteed. Backstrom is a capable starting goaltender and Harding was outstanding last season, leading the league in both save percentage and goals against average prior to missing the last half of the season following a change to his treatment for multiple sclerosis. He's a must-own as a handcuff to the other Wild goalies, but he's not really a starter yet. By the time it's clear that he's the starter in Minnesota -- when that time comes -- it's probably going to be too late to grab him off waivers.
Kuemper is the heir-apparent to the back-up role in Minny now that Matt Hackett is out of the picture. And given the uncertainty of Josh Harding's multiple sclerosis, this giraffe-like (6-5, 210) twinetender with quick reflexes and three NHL starts under his belt could find himself suddenly thrust into ice time with the Wild. Remember his name and be prepared to scoop him off the wire when he is inevitably called up from the AHL. Keeper leaguers with deep rosters should already have him stashed away.
Kuemper really surprised last season. What started as a starting gig in the East Coast league soon turned into a two-month timeshare with starter Matt Hackett in the AHL. He cooled off in February and March, and then went down with a season-ending injury in early March. But we saw enough to walk away thoroughly impressed. Kuemper is 6-4 and athletic, and he should have the backup's job in the AHL all to himself in 2012-13. He could be NHL-bound in a three or four years.
Kuemper is an outstanding goalie prospect who, in 2010-11, racked up 45 wins and 13 shutouts complemented by a .933 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average as a member of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. All totals were league highs, and it led to the Wild signing him to a three-year, entry level contract with the Wild last May. Kuemper, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, could prove to be a nice value pick for the Wild if he can replicate the success in the minor leagues.
More Fantasy News
Starting in San Jose
GArizona Coyotes
May 7, 2021
Kuemper will guard the road goal during Friday's matchup with the Sharks, Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan reports.
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Struggles persist versus Kings
GArizona Coyotes
May 3, 2021
Kuemper allowed three goals on 26 shots in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Kings.
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Starting pivotal matchup versus LA
GArizona Coyotes
May 3, 2021
Kuemper will patrol the home crease Monday against the Kings, Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan reports.
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Tastes defeat in overtime
GArizona Coyotes
May 1, 2021
Kuemper gave up three goals on 34 shots in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Golden Knights.
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Starting versus Vegas
GArizona Coyotes
May 1, 2021
Kuemper will guard the home cage during Saturday's matchup with the Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan reports.
ANALYSIS
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