In the other article Fantasy hockey forwards flying under the radar heading into the 2018-19 season: PART 1 we spoke about players flying under the radar, while this article has the same meaning, we will cover some forwards who may not fly under the radar as much but if found, could have a major upside. Think of these players as that one bet you throw in on a Friday night at 9:30 p.m. that you end up waking up the next morning just so happen to cash out big time. Small risk, high reward! We are all about the gamble here!
- Josh Ho-Sang: Now, we all know Ho-Sang’s situation in New York has not been the best, a lot of that is due to Jack Capuano not really “agreeing” with the forwards style of play which led to Doug Weight not playing the shifty winger as much either. Luckily the Islanders have a new head coach and a smart one that is. One of the most winningest (that a word?) coaches in NHL history will surely enjoy Ho-Sang’s style of play. Ho-Sang is much like Andre Burakovsky and Jakub Vrana of the Capitals and those two seemed to excel under Trotz. Therefore with a clean slate Ho-Sang could potentially be a big buy for fantasy owners. Plus with a lot of attention on Matt Barzal, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, Ho-Sang will fly under the radar on that third line to start. Being paired with a veteran in the middle and another young forward Anthony Beauviller who was successful last season could pay dividends into his game and overall confidence. Ho-Sang has played in a 21-22 games both years he was called up and down. In the 43 games he has played he has tallied 22 points, the young forward has shown the NHL ability to play consistently, it’s just a matter of if he stays consistent and Trotz likes him.
- Jordan Weal: Similar to Ho-Sang in a sense, but not so much. Weal is going to be the third line center for Philadelphia, now if Nolan Patrick ends up getting injured Weal is an immediate fantasy asset and a top six forward, but for now a top nine forward potentially centering Wayne Simmonds and Oskar Lindblom. The Flyers now have three working lines and Weal thrown into this mix of fire power upfront can be huge for not only his confidence but his fantasy value. Weal last season played in 69 games recording 21 points, if all stays healthy with this Flyers line up and Weal remains the #3 center, it is fair to say we can expect Weal to record upwards of 30 points next season.
- Joonas Donskoi: The Sharks have a solid situation going on right now as they have a lot of young talent ready to prove themselves and 3-4 solid, established forwards.
Donskoi falls under young forwards looking to prove himself. Last season Donskoi tallied 32 points, 14 goals in 66 games, he has been in the league 3 years now and took a major dip in points his second year(2016-17). The reason Donskoi has to prove himself still is because he has Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc right on his tail ready to take his spot. As of now Donskoi is paired with Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, two very solid forwards. Being paired with a 30 goal scorer in Couture and an up and coming forward in Hertl, Donskoi has a lot of weapons around him to get the job done. Many may over look Donskoi due to the other names around him but he has potential for a 40 plus point season.
- Zach Hyman: A player whose name we do not hear much in Toronto. With Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander there this young forward does not get the same attention as his counterparts. Well now with the addition of John Tavares, and the departure of some veteran forwards it has left a huge opportunity for Hyman to make some noise next year. As of now Hyman is slotted on the second line with Tavares and Marner. Tavares is an MVP caliber player, capable of 90 points and Marner is a great, shifty forward with potential for a 70 plus point season. Which, when you pair a player who can play the game well, do his job and cash in on the chances his line mates are giving him, Hyman is bound for his best year in Toronto. As we know two solid line mates usually leads to the third line mate stepping up and doing his job as well. Hyman recorded his best season in Toronto last year with 15 goals and 25 assists, pair him with Marner and Tavares we are looking at a potential 45 plus point year out of Hyman.
- Sven Baertschi: Sure he may be on the Canucks and missed basically a chunk of time during the 2017-18 season but when Baertschi is healthy he is a solid fantasy asset. Last season when he did play he tallied 29 points in 53 games. For the sheer fact he will be playing alongside Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser should be enough of a reason to draft Baertschi, plus he will be seeing power play one minutes as well. For the amount of minutes he will be seeing and coming into the year healthy as well, he is a solid player who deserves a look come later in the draft. Baertschi best year came in 2016-17 when he tallied 35 points in 68 games. Say this guy can string together a full year alongside Horvat and Boeser he has potential to be a 45 plus point player. Injuries are definitely concerning for him, therefore have Jonathan Dahlen or Markus Granlund on the back burner.