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.
Corey Perry had a two-year reign atop NHL.com's preseason fantasy right wing rankings, but the resurgence of two dynamic forwards alters the landscape at the position entering 2013-14.
Alex Ovechkin, who led the NHL in goals, power-play goals and shots on goal during the shortened 2012-13 season, is a no-brainer for the top fantasy right wing spot. His smooth transition from the left side to the right together with his category coverage immediately gives the position representation among the top-five overall assets.
Ovechkin put up his best season in years, but Patrick Kane isn't far behind at No. 2 among right wings. The 24-year-old reeled off points on the second-most consistent basis in the League among players with 47-plus games played (at least one point in 35 games), and touched on five of the six standard-league fantasy categories. He was the team's anchor in the offensive zone, and his explosiveness during the Stanley Cup Playoffs spoke for itself.
Perry, ranked third at the position, was a six-tool fantasy player yet again for his loyal owners in 2012-13, and benefited largely from the return to form of linemate Ryan Getzlaf. Along with Ovechkin and Kane, Perry remains a top-20 overall fantasy option entering the new season.
Rounding out the top five right wings are Phil Kessel, who averaged more than a point per game with stellar power-play and shot production, and Martin St. Louis, who plays with fantasy superstar Steven Stamkos and at age 37 became the oldest player in NHL history to win the scoring title.
Right wing is the second-deepest fantasy forward position (behind centers) based on NHL.com's top 200 overall rankings, and the large group of new faces in new places who can make an impact (i.e. Bobby Ryan, Loui Eriksson, Jarome Iginla, David Clarkson, Jaromir Jagr, Daniel Alfredsson) is a huge reason why.
Additions to the preseason top 15 right wing ranks include Alexander Semin, Jakub Voracek, Pascal Dupuis and PA Parenteau, each of whom emerged as a premier fantasy option with help from an elite-level linemate. These right wing ranks also have their share of compelling sleeper picks, such as Beau Bennett and Filip Forsberg, along with breakout candidates in Vladimir Tarasenko and dual-eligible Brent Burns (D/RW).
Some question marks certainly loom for players dealing with injuries (i.e. Ryan Callahan, Nathan Horton) and those who remain unrestricted free agents (i.e. Damien Brunner), but overall, the right wing position took a major step forward from a fantasy standpoint this past year.
FANTASY FACEOFF -- RIGHT WING: Alex Ovechkin vs. Patrick Kane
NOTE: Positional rankings do not necessarily reflect the order of NHL.com's top 200 rankings, which are compiled based on the individual rankings of the four insiders whose opinions were taken into account.
|5.||MARTIN ST. LOUIS|
|17.||BRENT BURNS (RW/D)|
|28.||RYAN CALLAHAN (INJ.)|