Arizona Coyotes: Friday Fantasy Hockey

Nick Schmaltz makes a solid late-round fantasy pick. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)
Nick Schmaltz makes a solid late-round fantasy pick. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /

Happy Friday Arizona Coyotes fans! On Fridays we will look at Coyotes players from a fantasy hockey perspective in Friday Fantasy Hockey (cue the epic, cheesy music), and provide analysis and insights on where you should draft him in your league.

Fantasy hockey has a slightly more intricate scoring system compared to fantasy football and requires a larger time commitment. Having to set your lineup every day and multiple scoring categories is required.

Standard scoring leagues award points (+/-) for goals, assists, points, powerplay goals, powerplay assists, powerplay points, short handed points, goals against, saves, wins, loses, shutouts, and overtime loses.

There are modified stats/category leagues that in addition to the standard scoring system, award points (+/-) for advanced stats like shots, hits, blocked shots, faceoff wins, penalty minutes, and more (depending on the league commissioner).

The Arizona Coyotes feature players who fly under the radar but have fantasy value.

This Friday Fantasy Hockey we look at forward Nick Schmaltz

2021-22 Season Review

Entering the 2021-22 season, Schmaltz was off of the majority of fantasy radars in all league formats. Expected to score around 40-45 points, Schmaltz should have been rostered in only the deepest fantasy dynasty leagues. Injuries have always been a part of the package with Schmaltz, which explains his low predictions. Last season Schmaltz exceeded all expectations scoring 23 goals, 36 assists, and 59 points in just 63 games.

All career highs.

Those numbers are solid. He averaged 0.94 points per game, another career high. Fans need to remember that 11 of those points came in a 2-game stretch (7 of those points in one game, a Coyotes record). Is this a sign of things to come, or are his number simply inflated?

Schmaltz is only 26 years old, just now entering his prime. If he can stay healthy, he could be a steal in upcoming drafts.

When he is on the ice, he is an effective center. His career points per game is 0.66. Meaning when if he played an entire 82 game season he would average 54 points each season. Those are above average numbers by any standards. This past season he blew past that and should be a player on the rise.

Standard Scoring

His 23-36-59 stat line translated into 153.5 points in standard scoring leagues.  He finished the season as the #43 ranked center in fantasy leagues. Remember that players who are eligible at multiple positions are factored into those rankings (meaning if a player is eligible in a starting lineup as a center or left wing, they are considered in this ranking).

Not too shabby for a player whose average draft position was N/A. Meaning that they were not drafted. Schmaltz would not have been on draft boards in 10-team, 12-team, and 14-team leagues.

Next season, Schmaltz should be rostered in all 12 team or higher leagues. If he can stay healthy for an entire season, he should score around a point per game. If Schmaltz finished with 80-82 points, he would be comparable to Mika Zibanejad with 255 fantasy points. Zibanejad was the #18 ranked center/forward.

That would make him a must have in any league. I would suggest taking him in the no earlier than the 10th round 10 or 12-team leagues, and no higher than the 9th round in leagues with 14 or more teams. If he can stay healthy (and that is a huge IF), he could help you win your league.

The number of Coyotes fans in your league will ultimately determine if he is drafted earlier.

Modified Stats/Category

Looking at advanced stats, Schmaltz had 4 powerplay goals, 8 powerplay points, 28 blocked shots, 15 hits, and 123 shots on goal. In the Yahoo 14-team modified stats league that I am in Schmaltz finished the season with 318.5 points. He was not drafted in our league.

Players like Carolina’s Jordan Staal or Minnesota’s Joel Eriksson Ek are better options as they have more hits and blocked shots in the modified scoring leagues. Consider options like this above Schmaltz.

In most leagues Schmaltz is listed at a C/RW, meaning you can slot him into your lineup at either center or RW, as a forward, or utility player.

Nick Schmaltz is a great player on the Coyotes and if he can stay healthy, will be the best center that the team has had since Jeremy Roenick. His health is a major issue, but when he is on the ice he dominates. He and Clayton Keller are both on the rise, and playing together should increase both of their fantasy values.

Draft Schmaltz with the understanding that he could miss some time with an injury and spend a few weeks on your IR. Do not reach for him because you are a Coyotes fan, he should be available in rounds10 or later in all drafts. If he is still around in late rounds snag him up as he has an incredibly high fantasy ceiling.

Happy Howlin’!