With the 2013-14 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on projected lineups, potential Yahoo! position eligibility, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinions, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.
When Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates moved Alex Ovechkin to right wing last season, the top fantasy left wing spot went up for grabs. So with Ovechkin now deemed a fantasy right wing by NHL.com, Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers sits atop the left wing rankings entering 2013-14.
The No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft finally stayed healthy and finished ninth overall in scoring with 50 points -- and with the ongoing development of the young Oilers expect big things from the 21-year-old on the left side. Hall has been a force on the power play (25 career power-play goals) since entering the League, has proven to be a clutch player (25 game-winning goals) and posted a career-best 34 assists last season. Hall also fills the shots category as he has 547 shots on goal in 171 career games.
The top 10 has familiar faces, as consistent performers should continue to produce. Only four players have more points over the last three seasons than Daniel Sedin (211 points in 201 games), which is why he ranks right behind Hall. Joffrey Lupul always raises injury concerns, but had 18 points in 16 games last season and has a career 0.64 points per game. If he stays healthy, he won't end up the 333rd ranked player like he was last season by Yahoo.
Youth is served among the top 40 left wings with 23-year-old Mikkel Boedker, 20-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, 19-year-old Alex Galchenyuk, and 18-year-old Jonathan Drouin. These players are all ready to take the next step, or the first step in Drouin's case, toward being impact fantasy players.
Some good bounce-back candidates within these rankings are Patrick Sharp, Milan Lucic, Milan Michalek, Scott Hartnell and Colin Wilson. Each had injury concerns last season, but owners can expect them to be back producing at their normal paces in a full, 82-game season.
FANTASY FACEOFF -- LEFT WING: Taylor Hall vs. Daniel Sedin
NOTE: Positional rankings do not necessarily reflect the order of NHL.com's top 200 overall rankings, which are compiled based on the individual rankings of the four NHL.com insiders whose opinions were taken into account.
|14.||James Van Riemsdyk|