Blake Wheeler
Blake Wheeler
33-Year-Old Right WingRW
Winnipeg Jets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There is perhaps no more underrated elite talent in the league right now than Wheeler. The dynamic winger has just one All-Star appearance and hasn't won any hardware, but is one of just four players to top the 90-point mark in each of the previous two seasons. In addition, the world-class veteran has hit the 20-goal threshold in six consecutive campaigns and has missed just one regular-season game in the past four years. It's a level of durability and productivity that is nearly unrivaled in the NHL right now. The emergence of Kyle Connor on the Jets' top line and Patrik Laine's growth with the man advantage will only serve to help keep the 32-year-old Wheeler at the top of his game. Fantasy owners shouldn't be surprised to see him pushing for 100 points in 2019-20. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract extension with the Jets in September of 2018.
Goal and assist in home opener
RWWinnipeg Jets
October 10, 2019
Wheeler finished Thursday's 5-2 win over the Wild with two points.
The Jets' captain picked up his second multi-point game Thursday night and now has five points in his first five games of the 2019-20 season. Wheeler is coming off consecutive 91-point campaigns and early signs suggest he's ready to chase a new career high for points in a season. Up next is a road game in Chicago on Saturday.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Heading into the 2018-19 campaign, Wheeler's profile figures to be top of mind for most fantasy owners after he posted a career best 91 points last season (ninth best in the league) -- including 40 with the man advantage, which was second only to Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel. The all-star winger has registered 20-plus goals and 60-plus points in five consecutive seasons and has only missed six games over the course of his seven years in Winnipeg. Having always paired well with center Mark Scheifele on the top line, the 31-year-old Wheeler clearly benefited from having the speedy Kyle Connor on the other wing to help draw defenders away from him, opening up more time and space for the veteran to operate. While he will certainly faces tough competition, Wheeler has the skills and talent to put himself into the mix for the Art Ross Trophy.
Wheeler has missed just three regular-season contests since the inception of his 2013-14 campaign with the Jets -- something that can't be overlooked when evaluating his fantasy prospects. Last year, the 30-year-old registered an impressive 26 goals and 48 helpers while leading the team in power-play points with 21. Many of the league’s top defenders had fits trying to contain 2017 Calder Cup finalist Patrik Laine, and he’s likely to free up Wheeler to an even greater extent in the upcoming season. Winnipeg is a team on the rise, so owners considering Wheeler should no longer expect him to fly under the radar. Recording a third straight 70-plus-point campaign is certainly on the table, and eclipsing 80 wouldn't be too much of a stretch for 2004’s No. 5 overall pick.
Wheeler has clearly established himself as the winger to own on the Jets – and a potentially in the top five across the league – after erupting for a career-best campaign in 2015-16. He racked up 26 goals, 52 assists and a plus-8 rating – big numbers that thrilled his fantasy owners, who got a first-tier star's numbers for a second-tier star's price. He attacks on the man advantage with brutality – three tallies and 14 helpers – while also sealing contests with five game-winning markers. The bruising winger has stayed healthy for three straight seasons and is locked into the top line on an improving squad in Winnipeg. It may be too much to ask for him to approach a point per game again, but his fifth straight (non-lockout-shortened) 60-point season should be in the offing.
Wheeler posted his second consecutive 60-point season last year, and if not for the lockout, he'd probably be at four in a row by now. It took him a long time to live up to the talent level that made him 2004's No. 5 overall pick, but Wheeler's established himself as one of the Jets' most important players and should be in line for another big year on the first line with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd, with his first 30-goal campaign a legitimate possibility. He's proven to be a durable, well-rounded fantasy contributor despite playing a fairly physical style, and there's no reason to think that won't continue throughout his late 20s.
Wheeler is fresh off his best statistical season as a pro and at age 27, he shouldn’t slow down anytime too soon. His 28 goals, 69 points and 63 PIM were all career-bests, and his plus-4 rating was also perfectly acceptable. He’s expected to line up next to Mark Scheifele and Evander Kane on the Jets' second line again this season, which should allow the trio once again benefit from the Jets’ top line assuming the toughest matchups night in and night out. Wheeler skated in all 82 games last season and all 48 the year before, so his durability shouldn’t be an issue when considering whether or not to draft him.
Wheeler managed an impressive 19 goals in just 48 games last year, two more than he managed in 80 games in the 2011-12 season. He's really come into his own as a leader and found some real chemistry with Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little on the team's top line, notching points in eight of the Jets' last nine games to finish the season, proving he could be counted on for a push to the playoffs. Though the team came up short of winning the Southeast Division, Wheeler should top 60+ points and set a new career-high in goals going into the 2013-14 season.
Winnipeg's leader in points last season with 64, Wheeler will be motivated to outdo himself in 2012-2013, the final year on his current contract. He led the team in assists with 47 and also chipped in a surprising 55 penalty minutes. Having missed only three games in his last seasons, consider "Wheels" among the most reliable sources of assists in most leagues after the premier set-up men have been snagged. He's shown great chemistry with Evander Kane and Bryan Little upon Winnipeg's top line.
Wheeler split last season between the Thrashers and Bruins and scored 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points. In his three NHL seasons, Wheeler has missed a grand total of two games. He has offensive talent and is just on the verge of entering his prime production years. He'll play on the Jets' top two lines after scoring 17 points in 23 games with the team last year. All signs point to Wheeler topping his career highs, so he'll make a solid fantasy pick once the top guns in the draft have been selected.
Wheeler has combined for 39 goals through his first two NHL seasons since making the leap straight from college, including 18 last season. He's a big body (6-5, 205) who possesses some decent finesse for a player his size, but at times he's been criticized for being a perimeter player. If he can incorporate some more grit and added thump to his game, then Wheeler could see an uptick in production, but for now he's one of the Bruins' secondary offensive threats.
While being a healthy scratch for the B's last three playoff games last season may have may been a short-term hit to his confidence, Wheeler has a nice blend of size and skill and should at least match his rookie numbers (21 goals, 45 points) this coming season, with the potential for more production as he gets used to the lengthy grind of the NHL schedule.
Defenseman Matt Lashoff may be more polished and first-rounder Joe Colborne may have more long-term upside, but there figures to be an opportunity for Wheeler (drafted No. 5 overall in 2004) to contribute as the season rolls along. He has a nice combo of size and good hands, which if harnessed, could turn him into a solid NHL power forward to add to the B's stable of talent up front.
Wheeler is not expected to play with the Coyotes this season. Keeper/Dynasty league owners will have to wait another year (or two) to see this giant forward in the NHL.
More Fantasy News
Notches assist
RWWinnipeg Jets
October 6, 2019
Wheeler registered an assist and three hits in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Islanders.
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Stellar effort wasted in opener
RWWinnipeg Jets
October 3, 2019
Wheeler scored twice on nine shots in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Rangers.
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Skipping Worlds
RWWinnipeg Jets
April 22, 2019
Wheeler won't attend the 2019 IIHF World Championship, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports.
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Helping hand in OT win
RWWinnipeg Jets
April 16, 2019
Wheeler dished out two assists in Tuesday's Game 4 win over the Blues.
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Adds helper in victory
RWWinnipeg Jets
April 14, 2019
Wheeler earned an assist and went plus-2 in Sunday's 6-3 win over the Blues in Game 3 of their first-round series.
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