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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Youngsters on the rise for fantasy hockey this year

Thursday, 01.10.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

With the impending start of the NHL season, fantasy hockey drafts are going to come fast and furious so it's time to get reacquainted with some names that should be all over your radar. Here's a look at some of the important young players that will be available and what they did during the lockout in North American leagues ahead of the upcoming NHL fantasy season.

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Players who stayed active worth targeting in drafts

Wednesday, 01.09.2013 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

When the puck drops on the 2012-13 NHL season, stars that had been competing internationally during the lockout will make their NHL season debuts. With that, a truly unprecedented fantasy hockey season finally will be underway.

Many players who competed overseas already were considered reliable or even elite fantasy assets. For example, reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin (23 G, 42 A, plus-23, 58 PIM in 37 games for Magnitogorsk) and fellow Russian forwards Pavel Datsyuk (11 G, 25 A, plus-14 in 31 games for CSKA) and Alex Ovechkin (19 G, 21 A, plus-13 in 31 games for Dynamo Moscow) simply reaffirmed their status as clear-cut, first-round fantasy assets by their stellar performance in KHL action.

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Updated Top-175 Overall Fantasy Hockey Rankings

Tuesday, 01.08.2013 / 12:45 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

Below is a list of NHL.com's updated top-175 overall fantasy hockey player rankings for the 2012-13 season, as determined by fantasy experts Matt Cubeta (@NHLQubes), Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen), Sergei Feldman (@NHLFeldman) and Chris Foster (@NHLFoster).

Past statistics, potential linemates, injuries and much more are taken into account in producing these selections, but these rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the most valuable players in the League from a fantasy standpoint.

These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6x4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against-average, save percentage and shutouts.

So, whether you're searching for a goal-scorer, distributor, power-play anchor, PIM producer or a top-tier netminder, our latest edition of the top-175 rankings will give you an edge in your fantasy hockey draft. 
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Sleeper projections: Tarasenko tops Jensen's list

Tuesday, 09.11.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

With very few exceptions, the vast majority of top-tier players are established and well-known to the common fantasy owner. While these players are integral components of a championship team, under-the-radar options with high potential -- better known as sleepers -- can pay huge dividends in fantasy leagues as well.

Whether drafted or added off waivers, these players typically are undervalued on draft day but ultimately can become major fantasy commodities by season's end. Sleepers are extremely unpredictable every season, but the bottom line is these players end up outperforming everyone’s expectations, regardless of their age, team or position.

This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Sergei Feldman, Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta (Wednesday, Sept. 12) take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. Each expert will provide 10 sleeper picks with corresponding stat projections (in order of preference), along with five additional candidates for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.

PETE JENSEN'S FANTASY HOCKEY SLEEPERS

1. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko could be a fantasy difference-maker in his first NHL campaign with the St. Louis Blues. (Photo: Getty Images)

This 20-year-old Russian phenom was drafted in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft but the 2012-13 season will be his first in North America after playing the last four seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He has point-production savvy beyond his years (47 points in 54 KHL games last season), making him an immediate threat to score 20-plus goals as a rookie. What's more, the opportunity to develop in coach Ken Hitchcock's system makes his situation even more promising. He's a projected third-liner heading into his first NHL season, but will be further utilized if injuries affect the Blues' talented group of forwards again.

Projection: 24 G, 23 A, plus-10, 25 PIM, 12 PPP, 175 SOG

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Sleeper projections: Hejduk tops Feldman's crop

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

With very few exceptions, the vast majority of top-tier players are established and well-known to the common fantasy owner. But while these players are integral components of a championship team, under-the-radar options with high potential -- better known as sleepers -- can pay huge dividends in fantasy leagues as well.

Whether drafted or added off waivers, these players are typically undervalued on draft day but can ultimately become fantasy commodities by season's end. Sleepers are extremely unpredictable every year, but the bottom line is, these players end up outperforming everyone’s expectations, regardless of their age, team or position.

This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Sergei Feldman, Pete Jensen and Matt Cubeta take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. Each expert will provide 10 sleeper picks with corresponding stat projections (in order of preference), along with five additional candidates for fantasy owners to keep an eye on.

SERGEI FELDMAN'S FANTASY HOCKEY SLEEPERS:

Milan Hejduk
Right Wing - COL
GOALS: 14 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 37
SOG: 170 | +/-: -12
1. Milan Hejduk, RW, Colorado Avalanche

What do you get when you take into account a one-time 50-goal scorer, a five-time 30-plus goal-scorer and an impressive crop of forwards to play alongside with? Hejduk, who figures to be a consistent contributor for fantasy owners given the new wave of talent in the Mile High City.

Projection: 22 G, 38 A, plus-5, 25 PIM, 25 PPP, 210 SOG

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EA's NHL '13 offers chance to create Ultimate Team

Wednesday, 09.05.2012 / 2:12 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Kalan - NHL.com Staff Writer

In 1979, the WHA's All-Stars played a three-game series against HC Moscow Dynamo in an event noteworthy because hockey legend Gordie Howe played on a line with his son Mark and a burgeoning young star named Wayne Gretzky.

In the first game of an eventual sweep for the WHA, the line combined for seven points.

Such a collaboration of historic talent in one place has rarely been echoed, though Gretzky and Mario Lemieux playing on the same line at the 1987 Canada Cup and Canada's roster at the 2010 Winter Olympics come to mind. Still, the fact remains that fans will never get to see all of the greats playing together in their prime. Sidney Crosby will never share ice with Jari Kurri and Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr will never pair on the blue line with Erik Karlsson and likewise, the two of them will never play in front of Patrick Roy.

For those wondering just how that dream team lineup might look, however, EA SPORTS could have the solution.

All-Star games and fantasy hockey have given us a glimpse of how the greats would play together for years so long as they're contemporaries, but when EA releases NHL '13 this month, fans will get the chance to see how any legend from any era would have played with anyone else. With the Hockey Ultimate Team mode in EA SPORTS NHL '13, gamers will be able to build rosters from a pool that includes over 4,000 current and past players from the NHL and other leagues around the world. Ultimate Team mode gives gamers the opportunity to build their ideal all-time fantasy team.

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Perry, Seguin lead cast of fantasy right wingers

Top-40 Fantasy Hockey Right Wing Rankings

Wednesday, 08.29.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

The star power at the right wing position is often deemed inferior to the center and left wing footprints from a fantasy standpoint. A prime example was Yahoo's final 2011-12 overall rankings, which slotted only Marian Gaborik and Corey Perry among the top 15 and not a single right wing in the top 10.

Corey Perry
Right Wing - ANA
GOALS: 37 | ASST: 23 | PTS: 60
SOG: 277 | +/-: -7
However, overlooking the position's wealth of budding stars and well-rounded assets could cost fantasy owners dearly. While snagging a top-tier center is always an important piece to the puzzle, choosing your fantasy right wingers carefully could ultimately make or break your team's championship hopes.

Anchoring the right wing rankings for the second straight year is Perry, whose 2010-11 masterpiece (50 G, 48 A, plus-9, 104 PIM, 31 PPP, 290 SOG) still resonates throughout the fantasy landscape. His 38-point drop last season put his standing in serious jeopardy, but his ability to post 37 goals (T-6th in NHL) and finish as the League's only RW with 60-plus points and 120-plus PIM during his team's forgettable season solidified his No. 1 ranking.

Helping Perry's cause in reclaiming the top spot is the uncertainty surrounding last season's most prolific right wingers, Gaborik and Marian Hossa. Both remain ranked in the top six at the position entering the new season based on their past performance and potent linemates, but their projected fantasy values could dip if their recoveries from late-season injuries carry over into 2012-13.

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The ABC's of Fantasy Hockey

Wednesday, 08.22.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's that time of year again. Welcome back, fantasy hockey fans!

Each year we hope that this is "the" year -- the year you take home that fantasy crown and own bragging rights for the offseason. Whether you're looking to bounce back from a devastating loss last season or looking to defend your title, there's nothing better than the start of the new fantasy season.

That year of years starts with the best strategies to build and develop your fantasy league's champion. From draft preparation all the way through in-season trades and the playoffs (for those of you in head-to-head leagues), NHL.com's panel of fantasy hockey experts will be here for you year-round.

It starts now.

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Fantasy: Projecting value of new faces in new places

Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Sergei J. Feldman - NHL.com Staff Writer

There's no place like home ...

And after an NHL offseason filled with signings and trades galore, many players -- superstars included -- will have to get acclimated to a new team, system and group of teammates, for they, too, are not in Kansas anymore.

As such, NHL.com fantasy insider Sergei Feldman examines the new fantasy hockey landscape and looks at some key new faces in new places that owners should be aware of as they prepare their strategies for upcoming drafts.

NOTE: The following players were reviewed in tiers (descending order).

TIER I:

RICK NASH (LW)

2012-13 Team: New York Rangers

Rick Nash
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 30 | ASST: 29 | PTS: 59
SOG: 306 | +/-: -19
One of the game's brightest stars has taken up residence under the bright shining lights of Broadway and fantasy owners will hope the streets make him feel brand new and the big lights inspire him.

Despite finishing 2011-12 with yet another 30-goal season (his seventh), the still-young and in-his-prime winger failed to meet lofty fantasy expectations. Nash amassed 59 points -- his lowest output in four years -- and a minus-19 rating in 82 games.

His former club and the Rangers' trade partner, Columbus, had the League's worst record and scored the fifth-fewest goals, so Nash certainly had little help. Sharing the same ice with the likes of Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards could elevate the former "Rocket" Richard Trophy co-winner to new heights.

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Fantasy: 15 assets who compile points, PIM

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

One of the greatest misconceptions surrounding fantasy hockey is the idea that goals and assists ultimately win leagues.

In most cases, having either an elite point-production threat (i.e. Evgeni Malkin, Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos, etc.) or a wealth of scoring depth usually translates to fantasy prowess. But while those may be recipes for success, there's no disputing that down-to-the-wire matchups are often decided by supplementary categories, such as shots on goal, power-play points, plus-minus and penalties in minutes.

90+ point, 90+ PIM seasons since '05-06

2010-11: Corey Perry (98 pts, 104 PIM)
2008-09: Ryan Getzlaf (91 pts, 121 PIM)
2006-07: Marc Savard (96 pts, 96 PIM)
2005-06: Sidney Crosby (102 pts, 110 PIM)
2005-06: Marc Savard (97 pts, 100 PIM)

While many potent offensive players excel in the first three aforementioned categories, PIM are often held at a greater premium than the others. Only four players in history (Kevin Stevens, Gary Roberts, Brendan Shanahan and Keith Tkachuk) have compiled 50-plus goals and 200-plus PIM in a single season, and recently, a game-breaking combination of points and PIMs has become even less frequent.

The last player to post 100 points and 100 PIM in the same season was Sidney Crosby in 2005-06. Last season, not a single skater posted 90-plus points and 90-plus PIM. But just because elite PIM/point campaigns don't come around as often doesn't mean you can't find a dual-threat difference-maker in your upcoming draft.

Here are 15 skaters who provided their fantasy owners with points and PIM at a notable rate last season. Eyeing these players in fantasy drafts -- assuming they stay healthy for a full season -- could give your team a multi-category lift that could result in championship hardware.

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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings
New teams alter outlook for these 10
Spin: Hartnell can hit 'refresh' with CBJ
Elliott-Allen duo | Halak's value with Isles 
Biggest steals based on draft position
2013-14 NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Awards

OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS