Updates on Kochetkov, McKay, Koivunen, Stromgren, Rizzo

Victor Nuno

2022-12-13

Pyotr Kochetkov

2nd round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019 has had an expanded role this season with the injury to Frederik Andersen and inconsistent play of Antti Raanta. We saw Kochetkov last season a little bit and expected we’d see him more this season because of the band-aid boys in front of him. So far this season, Kochetkov has been by far the best Carolina goalie in similarly small sample sizes by all, 11 games for Kochetkov, nine for Raanta, and eight for Andersen.

Pyotr Kochetkov, Frederik Andersen, and Antti Raanta via Evolving Hockey at all strengths.

According to Evolving Hockey, Kochetkov has the best goals saved above expected (GSAx) and delta Fenwick save percentage (dFSv%) at all strength. The dFSv% is the difference between his actual save percentage and his expected save percentage. A goalie who can outperform both his expected goals and save percentage is generally very good. It should be noted that at even strength only, Andersen is much closer to Kochetkov, but still below. This might all change with larger sample sizes as well.

Pyotr Kochetkov and Sergei Bobrovsky courtesy of Hockey Prospecting

Comparing Kochetkov to other goalies around the NHL, he is 16th in the NHL in dFSv% and 20th in the NHL in GSAx amongst goalies with at least 500 minutes played. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about whether or not he is for real and based on his pedigree and body of evidence thus far, I think you have to conclude that he is. He may not keep up these levels of play long term, but most goalies don’t. He is very good and should challenge for playing time the rest of this season and could be the starter going into next season when both Raanta and Andersen will be unrestricted free agents.

 

Dryden McKay

McKay was never drafted, likely because of his size at 6’0” tall. Despite this, he stared at Minnesota State and won the Hobey Baker as top collegiate athlete after the 2021-22 season. After his fantastic college career, McKay signed and AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies. This nuance has created some rostership issues in leagues where you are limited to a player pool that is under NHL contract, these are many of the ones where I am commissioner. In these leagues, he is not eligible to be rostered. If he is eligible in your league, just go add him now before reading on.

Dryden McKay versus Ryan Miller courtesy of Hockey Prospecting

While his equivalency may not look that strong, it’s important to remember that even very good fantasy goalies didn’t look so good in this model. McKay’s professional transition hasn’t gone so swimmingly. His best accolade is that he was the ECHL player of the week in late October. That’s right, he’s played primarily in the ECHL this season. The Marlies have use five goalies this season and McKay has played the fewest games so far with two. Joseph Woll and Erik Kallgren have played three games, Dylan Ferguson has played, and Keith Petruzzelli has been the workhorse playing 12 games. 

In his two games, McKay has an expected goals per goal conceded (xGPGc) below one, which means he’s saving fewer goals than expected. Petruzzelli’s xGPCc is 1.26, which is very strong and more meaningful based on the sample size. In his eight games with the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL, he has a xGPGc of 1.55, despite what looks like a terrible save percentage of .892 and goals against average of 3.28. Based on all this, I would say McKay is definitely worth rostering and if anyone has lost faith, you should definitely go grab him.

 

Ville Koivunen

Koivunen was a 2021 2nd round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes. He was really young in his draft year as a June 13th birthday. He played in the U20 SM-sarja in his draft season and in the Liiga the last two seasons. During his draft plus one season, he was just over half point per game with 29 points in 53 games in the Liiga for top team Karpat. This season, for Karpat, he has 13 points in 29 games played. These point totals might be a bit disappointing after he captained Finland and had six points in five games in the rescheduled August 2022 under 20 world junior championship (U20WJC).

Ville Koivunen courtesy of Hockey Prospecting

Koivunen does not project to be a fantasy asset, neither by NHL equivalency via Hockey Prospecting or pNHLe via NHL Rank King. He looks more like a sub-40 point producers, similar to Boone Jenner or Ryan Dzingel. Koivunen is driving play well in the Liiga, but his peripherals are not strong and he is trending more like replacement level producer than anyone worth rostering on your fantasy team.I would not be trying to acquire Koivunen and if you picked him up after his stellare U20WJC, I would let him go or try to sell him and take what you can.

 

William Strömgren 

Strömgren was a 2nd round pick in 2021 of the Calgary Flames. Similar to Koivunen, he has a late birthday or June 7th. His initial star potential of 15% via Hockey Prospecting was based on his HockeyAllsvenskan equivalency from his draft season. He played in the J20 Nationell in his draft plus one season with good success, but that’s a lower equivalency league.

William Stromgren courtesy of Hockey Prospecting

So far this season, he has just five points in 26 SHL games for Brynas IF. Luckily, we should get to see him at the U20WJC for Sweden this December to get a better idea how he is developing. So far this season in the SHL, his Corsi% is at 51, pretty good, but his peripheral contributions are poor. This makes me wonder if he will ever be a rosterable fantasy asset. I’m leaning toward no, but because of his age, there is still a chance.

 

Massimo Rizzo

Another Carolina Hurricanes pick is Rizzo, who was taken at the end of the 2019 draft in the 7th round, just one pick away from Mr. Irrelevant at 216 out of 217. Rizzo is another young player with a June 13th birthday. He was drafted out of the BCHL and played two more seasons there after being drafted before attending the University of Denver in 2021-22.

Massimo Rizzo courtesy of Hockey Prospecting

For the NCAA champions, Rizzo had 36 points in 39 games and this season for the defending champions, he has 23 points in 18 games for the Pioneers. By his Hockey Prospecting NHL equivalency, he is looking like a replacement level producer. On the other hand, his pNHLe according to NHL Rank King approaches that of a first-liner with 60+ point upside. With this kind of discrepancy, it is worth it to take a flier on the player, but also if he struggles when transitioning to the professional ranks in the AHL, you can be less hesitant to drop him.

 

For more on these prospects and other insights, tune into the latest Fantasy Hockey Life podcast, part of the Dobber Hockey podcast network.

 

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @victornuno12 for fantasy hockey goodness.

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