Why Jonathan Toews Is The Best Hockey Player In The World; But I Don't Want Him On My Fantasy Team

By: The Godfather, Senior Hockey Analyst for Hockey-Stock.com August 28, 2014.

Many of you are probably thinking that it is blasphemous for anyone to utter those words about Jonathan Toews; but please hear me out.

I want to start off by saying that Jonathan Toews is one of my favourite hockey players in the NHL. I respect his game immensely. I believe that his balance of offensive skill, leadership, defensive prowess and clutch performance makes him the best hockey player in the world today. Any GM would be crazy not to want him on their hockey team. But this is fantasy hockey. And numbers rule the day.

Before I start bashing Toews and telling you why I don't want him on my fantasy team, let me tell you the unique quality Jonathan Toews has that sets him apart from 99% of the NHL players out there. "The bigger the stage, the better his performance." If you look up "Clutch" in the hockey dictionary, Toews' name would be right up there. We first noticed how clutch he can be on the National stage in the 2007 World Junior semi-final game between Canada and U.S.A. The game went into a shootout and Team Canada's coach, Craig Hartsburg entrusted Toews to take 3 shootout attempts, including 2 sudden death attempts. Toews ended up scoring on all 3 attempts, including the game winner, and Canada advanced to the finals against the Russians. In the final, Toews ended up scoring what turned out to be the eventual game winner in a 4-2 victory, capturing Gold for Canada.

4 months later, Toews also helped Canada capture Gold in the 2007 World Championships, becoming the first Canadian to win double Gold in the same year; and that was even before he played his first NHL game.

In the 2010 Olympic hockey final against the United States, Toews scored the opening goal of the game, where Canada eventually won the Gold, and Toews was awarded Best Forward of the Olympic Tournament. A few months later, Toews was hoisting his first Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs.

Another Stanley Cup win in 2013 and another Olympic Gold in 2014 only cemented his legacy as being a winner everywhere he plays. All these accomplishments and he hasn't even reached his peak at only 26 years of age.

With all these accolades, why is it that I don't want Jonathan Toews on my fantasy team? The answer is quite simple. And this logic should be applied when dealing with any asset. "I do not want Jonathan Toews on my fantasy team because he is generally perceived to have a higher value to a fantasy team than the numbers will show."

Although he's been close to a point a game throughout his career, Toews has only averaged more than a point a game once, and that's in the lockout year of 2012-2013 when he had 48 points in 47 games. He wasn't even in the top 10 in points per game for Centers last year, and never has he been in the top 5 in points per game for Centers in any given season.

Can you believe that David Krecji had a better statistical year than Toews last year? And even Toews' teammates, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp had better statistical seasons as well; all three even having scored more points on the powerplay than Toews.

For the people who are in a keeper league, If you do not have Jonathan Toews on your team, then do not try to acquire him. But if you do own Toews, it is best to trade him to get something else of value back in return. Another GM might bite because of my theory that Toews has a higher perceived value.

So if you are looking for a value asset in the Center position, who would I recommend? Lets start with Kyle Turris. With Jason Spezza no longer an Ottawa Senator, Turris is now by default the First Line Center, and will reap the benefits of having more time on the powerplay. Look for his points to increase this upcoming season. Paul Stastny is in a similar situation where he signed big money with the Blues this offseason, and looks to overtake David Backes as the First Line Center. A Center that looks to have a bounce back year is Nicklas Backstrom. I project him to have a monster season playing alongside Ovechkin in Washington and being a Top 10 scorer in the league.

Well I hope I wasn't too harsh on Toews in my assessment. But my loyalties lie with the numbers. Look for periodic articles from me as the season progresses, as well as my Analyst Opinions in the Player Pages for Hockey-Stock.com. The Godfather has spoketh!!!

The Godfather Predicts: Jonathan Toews - 70 points
The Godfather Would Draft: Jonathan Toews - 37th overall

2013-2014 Regular Season Stats:

PLAYER TEAM GP G A PTS +/- PTS/G SOG PPG PPA
Nicklas Backstrom, C WSH 82 18 61 79 -20 0.96 196 6 38
Patrick Sharp, LW CHI 82 34 44 78 13 0.95 313 10 15
Patrick Kane, RW CHI 69 29 40 69 7 1.00 227 10 15
David Krejci, C BOS 80 19 50 69 39 0.86 169 3 16
Jonathan Toews, C CHI 76 28 40 68 26 0.89 193 5 10
Paul Stastny, C COL 71 25 35 60 9 0.85 150 4 11
Kyle Turris, C OTT 82 26 32 58 22 0.71 215 6 8