Roman Polak
Roman Polak
33-Year-Old DefensemanD
Dallas Stars
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The veteran blueliner came over from Toronto last season and played 77 games for the Stars, giving the club an effective, physical complement to slick offensive stars like John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen. Even at 33, Polak still likes to dish out punishment, delivering 191 hits while also blocking a career-high 151 shots. He offers almost nothing on offense, but that's not his role. After re-signing with Dallas on a two-year deal, Polak will give the club a stay-at-home beast who allows the blue-line studs to do their thing. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract extension with the Stars in June of 2019.
Secures extension
DDallas Stars
June 6, 2019
Polak inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract extension with Dallas on Thursday.
Polak averaged 19:10 of ice time in his first season with the Stars, his most minutes since 2015-16 when he was with Toronto. In 77 appearances, the blueliner notched one goal, eight helpers and 77 shots. Given his offensive limitations, the 32-year-old won't offer much in terms of fantasy value outside of ancillary defensive stats (hits and blocks).
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Polak wasn't the free-agent defender Stars' fans hoped for this past summer. His feet are slow. His advanced stats are weak. He doesn't score. But Polak did average 2:30 shorthanded on the league's 11th-best penalty kill in 2017-18. The Stars inked him to just one year and $1.3 million. That's a smart deal if the burly right-handed shot can make the team as its 6/7 guy -- after all, it'll be an easy write-off if Polak misses the mark.
Polak is an absolute warrior on the blue line, but his immediate future is unclear. He underwent surgery in April after an ugly leg/ankle injury suffered in a collision with the Capitals’ Brooks Orpik in the playoffs. When healthy, Polak is best described as big and physical, but he heads into late summer without a contract. Teams will want to see how that injured leg/ankle has impacted the previously slow-footed defender before they commit to a contract. When, or if, he lands with a new team, Polak will be little more than a third-pairing defender who delivers fantasy owners nothing but PIM.
Polak isn’t much of an offensive contributor, nor are his advanced stats attractive. But the guy is tough and he pushes his mates to take responsibility for their poor play. Remember when he called out his teammates for not playing solid defensive hockey back in January? He said the Leafs didn’t play well “because it’s hard work” and the team didn’t like to do that. Harsh, but true. The average-skating defender leads on and off the ice, and will toil on the team’s second pairing. He’ll deliver hits, but nothing more for fantasy. Even that's contingent on him staying healthy -- after sitting out 10 games as a Blue the prior season, he missed 26 in his first campaign with the Leafs.
Polak is tough, we'll give him that. He can drop his gloves - see YouTube for evidence of that - lay hits and block shots, but he won't deliver much fantasy goodness for your squad. Odds are good he will spend the season as the defensive-minded partner of a more offensive-minded puck-moving defenseman like Franson, Gardiner or Reilly. Let a Leaf fan tie this anchor on their squad.
Coming off a year limited to 55 games by an early-season wrist injury, the Blues were pleased enough with Polak to reward him with a five-year contract extension. Though a minus-4, Polak continued to be a team leader in hits and blocked shots, willing to do the dirty work in all corners of the ice. He’s not going to be much of a fantasy player, but he’s the stay-at-home type that allows someone like Alex Pietrangelo to take chances offensively.
Polak impressively improved his plus/minus from minus-15 in 2008-09 to plus-7 last season. Still just 23, Polak has gained a ton of experience in St. Louis over the last two years, becoming one of the team's better stay-at-home defenders. He'll pair up with Barret Jackman, just like last year, and continue to be a top-six defender, skating 20 minutes a night.
Polak was given a bigger role than expected last year because of the injuries to Erik Johnson and Eric Brewer. He showed enough to earn himself a two-year deal in the offseason and should remain a high-minutes guy on defense. His spot is assured among the top six defenders.
Eric Brewer, Jay McKee and Barrett Jackman are the only healthy defensemen listed on the Blues' Official Site's Depth Chart. None of those three can be considered much of an offensive threat. So, we expect Polak to make the team out of camp but his performance will determine how long he stays there. His value is minimal right now but the 22-year-old Czech defender is worth keeping an eye on.
Polak will likely not see any serious minutes on the Blues' blue line this season, with names like Jay McKee, Eric Brewer, Christian Backman, Barret Jackman and Bryce Salvador a virtual lock to be the team's top five d-men. Pencil in the highly anticipated Erik Johnson as the number six guy, and there isn't much room left after that. Look for Polak to compete for a backup spot with the likes of Matt Walker and Jeff Woywitka.
More Fantasy News
Back in for season finale
DDallas Stars
April 6, 2019
Polak (rest) will play in Saturday's game versus the Wild, Sean Shapiro of The Athletic reports.
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Won't play Friday
DDallas Stars
April 4, 2019
Polak (rest) will not travel with the team for Friday's road game against Chicago, Sean Shapiro of The Athletic reports.
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Back in action
DDallas Stars
March 17, 2019
Polak (undisclosed) will join the lineup for Sunday's game against Vancouver, Sean Shapiro of The Athletic reports.
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Out with minor issues
DDallas Stars
March 15, 2019
Polak won't play Friday against the Golden Knights as he deals with some minor bumps and bruises, Sean Shapiro of The Athletic reports.
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Uses body versus Golden Knights
DDallas Stars
February 26, 2019
Polak racked up four hits and four blocked shots in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights.
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