Yesterday we covered the Anaheim to Montreal, today to kick off the NHL season we will wrap it up with Nashville to Winnipeg! Enjoy the NHL season and be prepared for many more fantasy hockey articles this season!
Nashville Predators: Ryan Johansen, after missing the Stanley Cup finals it was obvious the Predators missed their #1 center a ton, and with a healthy Johansen centering Arvidsson and Forsberg, scoring should not be a problem for that line. Johansen is one the top centerman in the league that plays a gritty, playmaking role with great size. Now for your fantasy team, he is a guaranteed 50 plus assists next season, he may not score a ton of goals but Johansen will be a consistent player on the scoresheet on a nightly basis. Next season look for Johansen to have 50 apples, 15 goals, and 25 power play points.
New Jersey Devils: Taylor Hall, I don’t know who else I would choose here, besides maybe Nico Hirschier or Corey Schneider but last season Schneider disappointed many and Nico is still young. Hall came onto this team to be the #1 option and he has shown signs of life in New Jersey but did not blow any doors off the handle last year. Hall will be on the first line, power play and the center of attention on this offense. Look for Hall to have a bit more productive season(if healthy) and score 25G, 30A and 250 plus shots on goal.
New York Islanders: John Tavares, through and through, but Josh Ho-Sang could come of value for the position you may be able to draft him. But Tavares is the face of this organization and going into a contract year, he wants to earn a big payout, therefore he may just have the best season of his career. As contract talks have stalled Tavares will be looking to bounce this Islanders team back on the radar and into the playoffs, after a 28 goal and 66 point year, Tavares can do more. Look for Tavares to score 30G, 39A and 20 power play points.
New York Rangers: Mika Zibanejad, honestly it could have been any one of the top six forwards or Henrik Lundqvist, but Mika will see an expanded role this season. Playing in late game situations, power play, and a scoring/playmaking center role. Mika was out for 26 games but in 56 games played he had 37 points and 23 assists. In that first line center role with Kreider and Buchnevich, Mika will be doing a lot, I could see his production increase if healthy. Mika will tally 22G, 35A and 15 power play points next season.
Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson, this is an easy one but we could have also said Turris and Hoffman since they are Ottawa’s top two guys. But Karlsson is an MVP/Norris candidate year after year. Even with missing a few games Karlsson will still be a top-five fantasy defenseman. In 77 games last season he tallied 71 points, as it looks he will probably miss around 10-15 games this season, it is possible to see the same thing again from Karlsson. Karlsson plays all major minutes, defensive one pairings and power play, therefore without this guy this team is not too scary. Look for Karlsson to score 14G, 57 assists, and 25 power play points.
Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov, defensive one pairing, powerplay two and paired with Andrew McDonald, this guy has his work cut out for him this season. Without Provorov this defense looks uneasy to the eyes and after a nice segway into the season last year with a 30 point year and full 82 game appearance, Provorov will topple those numbers next season. Look for Provorov to be tally 30A, 8G, and 10 power play points. Overlook the plus/minus and you’re golden.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray, goalies do also collect a lot of value in fantasy, and with Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Guentzel, Sheary any one of those guys have fantasy value, but Murray I like the most this season. Murray will be the regular starter in Pittsburgh no splitting time, nothing. He’ll see 60 plus starts and if Pittsburgh continues its dominance he’ll be a 40 game winner and a top-five fantasy goalie with ease. Murray will be put to the test to see his real value in fantasy this season, don’t worry two Stanley Cups in two years, Murray is ready. Look for Murray to win 40 games, a 2.50 GAA, .920 save percentage.
San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture, yeah I like Burns but this offense has its own problems let alone the defense. Burns will be a high fantasy player but Couture will be looked upon to propel that second line offense to new heights. Couture has shown signs of fantasy value and can be a top center in the league, paired with the right linemates Couture is an easy bargain at the center position. After missing nine games last season, Couture still managed to score 52 points and 25 goals in 73 games. If San Jose can manage to stay healthy, Couture will be of value, he’ll see some more success on the power play though. Look for Couture to score 28G, 25A and 20 power play points.
St. Louis Blues, a duh. The future Rocket winner, Vladimir Tarasenko. Not but really Tarasenko could easily slot 40 plus goals this year, over the last three years he’s scored 37,40,39 and being the focal point of this offense, there is no reason why Tarasenko should not see a majority of the offensive production. Tarasenko is the MVP of this team and the only reason this team looks like a playoff team right now. He’s obviously a top ten fantasy player and will easily contend with the league’s best yet again this year. Look for Tarasenko to score 42G, 35A and 23 power play points.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos, without this guy in the lineup as we saw last season this Tampa team struggles. When healthy Stamkos is a 40 goal scorer and Art Ross contender. With Kucherov paired with him as well, Stammer will see a major boost in production this season. The power play, center one minutes, and just his past performances show his fantasy value. Give Stamkos a full 82- games and he’ll score 40G, 35A, and 20 power play points.
Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews or Frederick Anderson they both have a ton fantasy value but after that 40-goal year fans are expecting a 70 plus point season from Matthews. Matthews will have all the eyes on him in Toronto. He’s propelled himself in the top ten fantasy players in just one season and has shown his pure goal scoring and playmaking ability. Matthews is an easy nightly production player and paired with Nylander and Hyman, the same will happen next season. Look for Matthews to score 38G, 30A and 22 power play points.
Vancouver Canucks, Bo Horvat, the 22-year-old superstar out of Vancouver finally broke out for a 50 point year last season and with his contract extension, he’ll be doing the same for many years. Paired with rookie phenomenon Brock Boeser the two should fare well together, Horvat’s two-way game and Boeser scoring ability will be a good pair for fantasy owners. Horvat is the “guy” in Vancouver and on that first line plus some power play minutes he’ll be a top fantasy option. Look for Horvat to score 25G, 33A and 15 power play points.
Vegas Golden Knights: Marc Andre Fleury, he will see a ton of time and see the majority of starts, he was brought in to be the face of the organization and help them somewhat be competitive, Fleury will see at least 50 starts, he may not have a great GAA or save percentage but if you want to gamble on a fantasy goalie, Fleury is not a bad option. Fleury will be win 31 games, 2.65 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov, a lot of speculations are circulating around if Ovechkin can still bury 40 goals and being that Kuzy will be paired with Ovechkin on the first line this is are a great chance for Kuznetsov to feed Ovi the puck and rack up assists. With his 40 assists season last year, the Capitals offense will be asking more from Kuznetsov and if Ovi wants to score 40 again look for Kuznetsov to be a big part of that. Look for Kuzy to score 18G, 50A and 18 power play points.
Winnipeg Jets: This is a tough one, Scheifele, Wheeler, Laine, Ehlers are all fine options. Okay, I’ll say this either of the four is a great option, going with either or will give your roster a consistent point per game player, an easy 60 plus points and between Wheeler and Ehlers more so assists production but Laine and Scheifele if you want 35 plus goals. I’m content with any of these players if they find their way onto my roster, grab one and you’re good don’t worry!