When veteran center Mike Ribeiro was traded to the Washington Capitals this off-season, he immediately became a large blip on many fantasy radars. While his 63 points last season with the Dallas Stars was solid, Ribeiro’s fantasy upside is much higher now that he’ll be playing in D.C.
Throughout his career, Ribeiro has been known as one of the game’s best playmakers. He is a clean, crisp passer who always manages to make those around him play better. The guy has only finished a season with fewer than 40 assists once since the 2006-07 campaign. Although this season will be a shortened one, expect assists to once again be Ribeiro’s area of expertise. Unfortunately, he won’t be joining superstar Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the Capitals’ first line, but you can guarantee he will be involved in the first power play unit. The mystery, of course, is the comrades that will be joining him on the second line. Regardless, Ribeiro is an elite passer who will manage to accumulate solid point totals.
An overlooked aspect of Ribeiro’s fantasy value lies within the man that will be coaching him. The Capitals’ new head coach is Adam Oates, also known as one of the greatest playmakers the NHL has ever seen. It may be a safe bet that Oates will work with Ribeiro on his game, ultimately reassuring fantasy owners even more about drafting him. If Ribeiro is available in the later rounds of your draft, go out and get him. He has a terrific hockey mind, great on-ice vision and playing with a guy like Ovechkin certainly can’t hurt.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football/hockey columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.