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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Moves can help new teammates' fantasy value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The trading, signing and drafting frenzy has brought some top-tier fantasy players to new homes, but how it affects their new teammates can't be lost on fantasy owners. Here are some of the beneficiaries of some of the biggest moves made in the offseason:

Jason Spezza - Ottawa Senators:

The Senators lost captain Daniel Alfredsson left, but gained Bobby Ryan in a multi-player deal with the Anaheim Ducks. The person that stands to benefit the most from those moves is Spezza, Ottawa's top-line center. The 30-year-old already was on the radar as a perfect candidate for a bounce-back season after back surgery limited him to five regular-season games, but he did return for three Stanley Cup Playoff games. And put a healthy Spezza on a line with four-time 30-goal scorer Ryan and Spezza rises to serious contention to be the sixth-best center option for fantasy players. Spezza has 30-plus assists in eight of his 10 NHL seasons, with four of them being 50-plus assist campaigns. Look for him to reach those numbers easily if paired with Ryan.

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Recent signings could see mixed fantasy results

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The 2013 NHL offseason has been nothing short of spectacular so far. Since free agency opened on July 5, we've seen 87 players sign NHL contracts and eight NHL trades take place. This excludes the Tyler Seguin-Loui Eriksson swap that took place on July 4.

Nearly every team has experienced change in the early parts of this summer and that means fantasy owners will need to adjust accordingly heading into the 2013-14 season.

NHL.com fantasy insider Pete Jensen broke down this summer's two biggest trades -- Bobby Ryan heading to the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins-Dallas Stars blockbuster -- but I'm here to discuss the biggest player signings and how their fantasy value may change with their new team.

Jarome Iginla - Boston Bruins

While Iginla's production seems to be on a steady decline (43 goals and 86 points in 2010-11; 32 goals and 67 points in 2011-12; 14 goals and 33 points in 44 games -- projected to be 26 goals and 62 points for an 82-game season), the 36-year-old veteran could actually see a boost in value with the Bruins. I expect him to play on the team's second line with playmaker Patrice Bergeron and sparkplug Brad Marchand. If that's the case, there's reason to believe Iginla can eclipse the 60-point plateau for the 13th time in his career.

Let's also not forget that Iginla posted five goals and 11 points in 13 games playing for an elite Pittsburgh Penguins squad after being dealt at the Trade Deadline. The fact that he's not in Calgary anymore should help his plus/minus rating; he was a minus-7 with the Flames and a plus-2 with the Penguins. Add in his willingness to put the puck on goal and his penalty minute production, and you're starring at a third- or fourth-round draft pick in fantasy pools this coming season.

2013-14 projections: 29 G, 39 A, plus-7, 42 PIMs, 21 PPP, 249 SOG.

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2012-13 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Awards

Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 9:30 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

With the 2012-13 regular season now in our rearview mirror, it's time for our team of NHL.com Fantasy Hockey insiders to reflect on the players that have defined the fantasy landscape -- for better or worse -- during this 48-game campaign.

Our fantasy experts -- Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Chris Foster, Matt Sitkoff, Sergei Feldman, Brian Metzer and Justin Goldman -- have cast their votes, outlining the best fantasy players at each position based on eligibility in Yahoo! leagues.

The list of year-end awards is also complete with the biggest underachievers and most notable fantasy rookies, as well as sleeper and bounceback candidates to keep an eye on for next season.

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In the Cage: A look back at the top fantasy goalies

Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 1:10 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

No matter how many games get played in a season, there's never a shortage of drama in the crease. This season was certainly no different, as a plague of injuries shut the door for some goaltenders, but opened the door for many others.

Viktor Fasth
Goalie - ANA
RECORD: 15-5-2
GAA: 2.10 | SVP: 0.924
With so many variables to consider -- a condensed schedule, numerous back-to-backs and a total of 18 teams using at least three goalies, decisions made at the draft table seemed quite futile. Whatever tandem you started with on Day 1 was most likely not who you relied upon down the stretch.

Coincidentally, the main storyline this season was the influx of first-year goalies that showcased their skills in impressive fashion. From Viktor Fasth's awesome 8-0 start for the Anaheim Ducks to Jake Allen's solid five-game winning streak in March with the St. Louis Blues, to the arrival of Jacob Markstrom with the Florida Panthers, this season's first-year class proved that the future of NHL goaltending is in great hands.

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On the 'D'-fence: Remembering the season that was

Wednesday, 04.24.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Where did the time go?

It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that we were talking about the end of the lockout, training camps opening and preparing for hastily-planned fantasy drafts -- apparently what happens when you cram 48 games into a 99-day window.

The season has been a wild one in terms of defensemen.

We saw last year's Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson, suffer a horrific injury back on Feb. 13 when his Achilles tendon was severed by the skate blade of Matt Cooke. The situation might have been even more devastating to fantasy owners who invested a top draft pick in the young Swede than for the Ottawa Senators, as there wasn't a quick fix on the waiver wire to replace his otherworldly production.

P.K. Subban exploded onto the scene, taking over the top spot in our rankings with a mixture of power-play prowess, goal-scoring ability and all-round category coverage not often found in the defensive ranks.

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The Front Line: Season-ending forward rankings

Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

We've made it. It's been a fast few months, but the end is finally here for fantasy hockey owners. In all likelihood, you're either already done with fantasy hockey, battling it out in the championship round of your head-to-head league or hanging on for dear life at the top of your rotisserie league. Either way, it's probably been a treacherous season, as all fantasy hockey seasons seem to be, and through good and bad decisions, tough ones and easy ones, you've made it to the end. While fantasy hockey is just about over, there's never a bad time to reflect on the year that was and start looking ahead to the future.
Patrick Kane scored the NHL season's first goal and never looked back. He completed an outstanding fantasy season with 21 G, 30 A, plus-9, 8 PIMs, 17 PPP and 128 SOG. (Photo: Getty Images)

From Patrick Kane scoring the NHL season's first goal, to Sidney Crosby proving that he's still the most dominant player in the NHL when healthy, to P.K. Subban taking the fantasy world by storm as the new top defenseman, to Alex Ovechkin rediscovering his elite form, this season has been filled with storylines galore. NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff has discussed these storylines and highlights on a daily basis and hopefully we provided you with enough good advice to help you in your leagues.

Today, the advice ends. Instead, I will send you off with a look at my season-ending top-100 fantasy forward rankings and I'll discuss some player values for next season.

Many things will change between now and September (when most fantasy hockey drafts begin to take place), but as of April 23, 2013, this is where I believe the world of fantasy hockey forwards stands.

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Fantasy All-Access: Keepers to keep an eye on

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

We have hit the final week of the regular season and some of our readers are preparing for their league's championship. For the others, don't worry, we will look at some of top prospects' keeper value going into next season, because how someone finishes can help you decide if they are worth building your team around.

For those fighting for bragging rights with your friends all summer and that engraving of your name on the league trophy, here are some schedule facts that you need to know when setting your lineup this week. Teams with four games scheduled this week are the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes and Ottawa Senators. Don't forget the Senators have that make-up game with the Boston Bruins on Sunday, making owning one of their players extra important.

The Columbus Blue Jackets only have two games scheduled this week.

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In the Cage: Candidates for fantasy goalie MVP

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 3:20 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Overall workload always plays a key role in which goaltenders earn consideration for the Vezina Trophy, but due to the 48-game schedule, determining three finalists will be a tricky endeavor for the National Hockey League.

With so many injuries suffered by the goalie union this season, a solid argument could be made for nearly eight or nine goalies. And while you can point to save percentages and win totals to validate those arguments, it ultimately comes down to the individual votes of 30 general managers.

Sergei Bobrovsky
Goalie - CBJ
RECORD: 18-10-6
GAA: 2.03 | SVP: 0.931
We've held our own internal discussions here at NHL Fantasy, and with 10 days left in the regular season, we feel the Vezina Trophy is still up for grabs. So with that in mind, we've gone ahead and presented our case for three goalies we feel are the most-deserving -- with a fantasy slant, of course!

Sergei Bobrovsky -- Blue Jackets: With only eight goals against during a current five-game winning streak, Bobrovsky continues to be one of the best goaltending stories of the season. Boasting a brilliant 2.03 goals-against average and .931 save percentage (second only to Craig Anderson's .949 save percentage), he's the driving force behind Columbus' push for the playoffs. His .938 even-strength save percentage is better than anyone who has played 20 or more games, and his .731 save percentage in shootouts is fifth-best for goalies facing more than 10 attempts. Widely considered the most improved goaltender this season, if Columbus punches a ticket to the post-season, there's no denying Bobrovsky has strong odds to win the Vezina.

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Fantasy experts set for final Google+ hangout

Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 10:40 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

We're less than two weeks away from the conclusion of the 2012-13 NHL season, so your fantasy hockey team is either battling for a championship or reflecting on the year that was.

As always, our team of fantasy insiders has you covered.

NHL.com fantasy experts get together Thursday, Apr. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET for the final Google+ hangout of the season to answer all your questions and dish out their picks for positional fantasy awards, including overall MVP.

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On the 'D'-fence: Fantasy owners Green with envy

Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Washington Capitals went 2-8-1 in their first 11 games of the season.

Mike Green
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 19
SOG: 77 | +/-: -2
That start left them reeling and written off by many pundits. Instead, the Capitals would go on to become one of the streakiest teams in the League and as March came to an end they were still trying to get back to the .500 mark.

Then everything changed. A switch was flipped as the calendar flipped to April.

The team, led by its stars, has run off eight consecutive wins, taking them from looking for a lottery pick in the NHL Draft to leading the Southeast Division and third place in the Eastern Conference.

Alex Ovechkin has been a big reason for the turnaround, but the contributions of Mike Green cannot be overlooked.

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