Carl Gunnarsson
Carl Gunnarsson
33-Year-Old DefensemanD
St. Louis Blues
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gunnarsson underwent ACL surgery last offseason and was cleared before the 2018-19 campaign, but he ended up enduring three more injuries and missing 42 games as a result. Still, Gunnarsson made a major impact on the Blues in the postseason, including scoring the game-winning goal in Game 4 of overtime during the Stanley Cup final. The 32-year-old signed on for another two years with the Blues at $1.75 million annually, and his chemistry with Alex Pietrangelo will continue to earn him a consistent spot in the lineup. Still, the 32-year-old carries major injury risk and doesn't possess much fantasy value other than the occasional. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Blues in June of 2019.
Helpers in consecutive outings
DSt. Louis Blues
February 18, 2020
Gunnarsson registered an assist, three shots on goal and three blocked shots in Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Devils.
ANALYSIS
Gunnarsson set up Ivan Barbashev's opening tally at 9:21 of the second period. The Swedish blueliner has helpers in consecutive games for the first time this season, and seven points in 27 contests overall. That matches his production from last year -- he hasn't reached double-digits since 2014-15, his first year with the Blues when he had 12 points in 61 outings. Gunnarsson has added 36 blocks, 26 hits and a plus-5 rating in 2019-20.
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NHL Stats
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2019–20 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    15:38
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:01
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:58
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2017–18
16:10
0:02
1:17
2018–19
0:00
0:00
0:00
2018–19
15:56
0:01
1:42
2019–20
15:38
0:01
1:58
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Carl Gunnarsson
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April 2, 2018
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April 10, 2017
Jan Levine previews the Stanley Cup playoffs, picking each round, as Alex Ovechkin looks to put the Capitals on his back en route to a title.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2017
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2009
A torn ACL suffered in March may keep Gunnarsson from being active for the season opener. The Swede maintained his identity last season, posting a career-high five goals and four assists, while blocking 102 shots with 16:02 TOI. Gunnarsson's offensive abilities will remain with a low ceiling, as he started 58.2 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone but managed a plus-15 rating, so the real-life value is certainly clear. However, fantasy owners shouldn't have the 31-year-old defenseman, who hasn't produced double-digit points in the last three years, on their draft boards.
Gunnarsson gets the job done defensively, but he doesn't add much more. The 30-year-old blueliner is in danger of losing his job to young talents and the free-agent addition of Nate Prosser, but he wasn't much of a fantasy threat anyways with just six assists in 56 games last season.
The Maple Leafs’ lack of responsible defenders tasked Gunnarsson with playing far too many minutes against top-flight competition last season, a role he wasn’t equipped to fulfill. Those defensive issues were further exacerbated by the team’s poor puck retention, which helped Gunnarsson pile up hits and blocks on his own end of the ice, but limited his offensive impact. Acquired by the Blues in a draft day trade, Gunnarsson will likely be ticketed for duty on the team’s bottom pairing, with the lower quality of competition he’ll face likely more befitting of his true talent level. Even though Gunnarsson will no longer be overmatched as frequently, the expected drop-off in ice time will result in diminished fantasy production across the board.
How good is Gunnarsson? Well, when the Kings couldn't pry Jake Gardiner out of the Leafs in the Jonathan Bernier deal, they set their sights on Gunnar. The Leafs refused to budge on him and for good reason -- he's a low-maintenance, top-four defender who generally plays mistake-free minutes, shuts down the opposition's best skaters, blocks shots and lays hits. He's not really an offensive type, but he was on a career pace last season (17 points in 37 games). He might some day deliver 30 points, but not this year. Still, 25 points, 125 hits and 180 blocked shots make him valuable in specialty formats.
Gunnarsson is Mr. Steady on the Leafs' blue line. He's a safe, mistake-free defender who is a fluid skater with good mobility in all directions. He has a solid outlet pass and has shown an ability to join the rush, as well. But, on the Leafs, Gunnarsson won't see power-play time, limiting his fantasy value. He'll have a good plus-minus, though, to go along with 20-25 points. Does that fit your format?
Gunnarsson is a guy you don't really notice for long stretches ... but that's a good thing. He plays a solid, somewhat conservative game so he doesn't get caught out of position defensively. He skates well, has a good outlet pass and the good judgement to know when he should and should not join the rush. He'd be a solid 3/4 defender on another team, but the Leafs are deep on the back end. He should scoot ahead of the lead-footed Mike Komisarek to secure a spot on the bottom pairing and will likely see time on the second power-play unit. He may be a 40-point defender some day but that day won't come this season. Expect a decent increase on last season but anything above 30 points will be pure gravy.
Gunnarsson is the epitome of a sleeper. By the end of last March, he had quietly risen in ice time and responsibility and in fact, was seeing more ice than offensive teammate Tomas Kaberle. Gunnar can hold his own in all situations and plays an intelligent game, and he has the respect of coach Ron Wilson. Expect a significant output, perhaps in the 30-35 point range, for this emerging defender. Keeper leaguers should get on board early.
Gunnar is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound blueliner who performed admirably for his country (Sweden) at the recent World Championships. His future is a long way off and it may be nothing more than as a depth defender; don't bother with him right now.
More Fantasy News
Notches sixth point
DSt. Louis Blues
February 17, 2020
Gunnarsson posted an assist, two shots on net and a hit in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Predators.
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Scores second goal of year
DSt. Louis Blues
February 6, 2020
Gunnarsson scored a goal on his lone shot and registered a pair of hits in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Winnipeg.
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Slots back in Tuesday
DSt. Louis Blues
February 5, 2020
Gunnarsson logged 16:14 and dished out a hit in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Hurricanes.
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Lifted from IR
DSt. Louis Blues
January 14, 2020
Gunnarsson (arm) was activated from injured reserve Tuesday.
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Healthy, but not playing
DSt. Louis Blues
Arm
January 13, 2020
Coach Craig Berube said Gunnarsson (arm) is healthy but won't play in Monday's game versus the Ducks, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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