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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

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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The best 16-man fantasy hockey roster of all time

Thursday, 08.02.2012 / 10:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

If you could assemble a team where the stars of both yesterday and today could fill your 16-man fantasy hockey roster, which players would make the cut?

Would you take Brian Leetch's 80-assist season in 1991-92 or Denis Potvin's 98-point, 100-PIM showing in 1975-1976 to round out your blue line? Would you spend your last bench spot on Jonathan Quick's brilliant 2011-12 season or elect for Gordie Howe's well-rounded 1968-69 campaign?

NHL.com's all-time fantasy roster is equipped with legends like Gretzky and Orr, as well as new kids on the block like Quick. (Photos: Getty Images)

NHL.com now turns back the clock to create a roster strategically stacked with the best statistical seasons -- by each position -- since the expansion era began in 1967.

Keep in mind, this roster does not argue the top players in NHL history, but rather recognizes players with the highest fantasy hockey value based on their best individual seasons.

PLEASE NOTE: This roster was constructed under the generic Yahoo! Sports fantasy hockey roster format (2 C, 2 LW, 2 RW, 4 D, 2 G, 4 BN), taking the following statistics into account: G, A, PIM, plus-minus, PPG, SOG for skaters; W, G.A.A., SV%, SO for goalies.

CENTER

1. Wayne Gretzky (1981-82 season, Edmonton Oilers)

80 games, 92 G, 120 A, 26 PIM, plus-81, 18 PPG, 369 SOG

"The Great One" is the most dominant point-producer the NHL has ever seen, and never was it more evident than in '81-82. Gretzky's 92-goal showing set a League record that stands to this day, and his shot total was a personal best by 11. His point total (212) and plus/minus rating were the second-best of his career. It's probable that a level of Gretzky-like statistical prowess will never be reached again.

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Potential fantasy value of top 2012 NHL Draft picks

Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 11:10 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

Each year, the NHL Draft -- as it pertains to Fantasy Hockey -- comes with its share of uncertainties. For instance, the list of Calder Trophy finalists from each of the past four seasons indicates a common trend of at least one top-10 pick being recognized, but also proves that under-the-radar prospects are just as likely to burst onto the scene and display a seamless transition to the NHL level.

Whether a standout first-year player is a top-five pick from the most recent draft, a top-five pick from a past season's NHL Draft or a mid-to-late round pick, it remains unpredictable to detect when a given player will make his first mark in the League. Even last season, the list of first round draft picks to make a fantasy impact was limited to Nugent-Hopkins, Landeskog, Adam Larsson, Sean Couturier and Sven Baertschi.

NHL.com fantasy insiders Pete Jensen and Sergei Feldman now take a look at the top three picks in the 2012 NHL Draft and weigh their potential in terms of fantasy value. Each analyst will also provide a sleeper pick to keep an eye on over the course of the 2012-13 NHL season. Keep in mind, while it's possible some of these prospects could return to their junior teams or only compete in the AHL this season, each player's fantasy projection is being made under the assumption that the given player will spend some time at the NHL level.

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Playoff perception vs. reality: Eastern Conference

Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 11:28 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

While the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs mark the end of the fantasy hockey season each year, individual postseason performances often have a lasting impact from a fantasy standpoint heading into the following season.

In some cases, notable playoff performances -- such as those of Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby this spring -- come from top-tier regular season fantasy producers, boosting their already strong fantasy profiles heading into next season. But, when digging deeper into the playoffs in hindsight, it's impossible to ignore all the memorable showings that were much less expected -- for better or worse.

After breaking down two of the most compelling names from each 2012 Western Conference playoff team earlier this week, NHL.com now takes a look at the Eastern Conference. We'll evaluate each player's postseason and determine whether or not the perception of their performances is reality -- in terms of fantasy value.


Chris Kreider
2012 PLAYOFFS - Left Wing - NYR
Goals: 5 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 7
Shots: 29 | +/-: -4
NEW YORK RANGERS

Chris Kreider, F

Playoff Impression: Positive

Verdict: Reality

Has never played a regular season NHL game, yet this 21-year-old will be on the fantasy map after his breakout postseason (5 G, 2 A, minus-4, 29 SOG in 18 games). Marian Gaborik is likely to miss start of season, so look for Kreider to use his quickness and sizable frame to create chances as a top-six forward for New York.

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Playoff perception vs. reality: Western Conference

Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

While the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs marks the end of the fantasy hockey season each year, individual postseason performances often have lasting impacts from a fantasy standpoint heading into the following season.

In some cases, notable playoff showings -- such as those by Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby this spring -- come from top-tier regular season fantasy producers, boosting their already strong fantasy profiles heading into next season. But, when digging deeper into the playoffs in hindsight, it's impossible to ignore the memorable performances that were less expected -- for better or worse.

So how much should a player's strong or weak postseason numbers affect his impending fantasy value? When walking this fine line as a fantasy owner, it's important to consider the perception surrounding a player, but also take those assessments with a grain of salt.

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Fantasy Mailbag: 10 hottest storylines of 2011-12

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Thousands of fans from around the globe submitted questions to Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen this season for NHL.com's weekly Fantasy Mailbag. Whether fantasy owners were monitoring a player's injury status, contemplating a trade proposal or evaluating a potential addition off the waiver wire, these fan-submitted questions touched on a full range of topics.

Every twist and turn to the fantasy season ultimately defined the landscape in 2011-12. No matter if your team failed to qualify for the postseason, caught a bad break in the playoffs or brought home a league title, fantasy hockey proved to be as unpredictable as ever -- making it an enjoyable ride for all involved.

So with the NHL season in the books, it's only fitting to reflect on the most compelling storylines of the campaign in review. NHL.com and its fantasy hockey staff greatly appreciate all the fans who submitted questions for the Fantasy Mailbag this season.

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Malkin, Landeskog consensus fantasy award-winners

NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Staff

With the fantasy hockey season in the books, NHL.com's fantasy experts present their year-end fantasy hockey awards. As all of you know, it has been a roller-coaster ride of a season on so many fronts, but as the dust begins to settle, our aim is to recognize the players that have most defined the fantasy landscape in 2011-12.

Our regular fantasy contributors -- Matt Cubeta, Pete Jensen, Sergei Feldman, Justin Goldman and Brian Metzer -- have cast their votes, outlining the best fantasy players at each position along with honorable mentions based on eligibility in Yahoo! leagues.

PLEASE NOTE: If a player is listed at two positions in Yahoo! Leagues, then it was the writer's choice to put him where he wanted among the awards.

So, without further ado, NHL.com wraps up the fantasy hockey season in style...
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Right of Way: Gaborik bounces back, earns RW MVP

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Friday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy right wings in our weekly segment: "Right of Way." From updated right wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy right wing expert all season long.

Welcome to the world of right wings -- the position that provided the most elite group of players for fantasy owners during the 2011-12 season. While many players possess that multiple-position eligibility in Yahoo! Leagues, there were still more right wings among the top-25 overall fantasy players than any other position.

Eleven right wings currently find themselves within the top 25 in Yahoo! Leagues, just narrowly edging the center position, which had 10 players. The left wing position had six skaters, while four goalies (Jonathan Quick, Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Elliott and Mike Smith) and two defensemen (Erik Karlsson and Zdeno Chara) appeared in the top 25.

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Turn Left Here: Neal stands alone as left wing MVP

Thursday, 04.05.2012 / 1:22 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy left wings in our weekly segment: "Turn Left Here." From updated left wing rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy left wing expert all season long.

The left wing position has been as unpredictable as any in fantasy hockey this season. From the fall of Alex Ovechkin to the rise of James Neal, we've seen a number of different names atop our rankings each week.

While the elite players at this position aren't quite as deep as at center or right wing, the left wings have provided stable depth throughout the 2011-12 season. With players like Scott Hartnell and Milan Lucic, fantasy owners were able to get penalty minutes in addition to solid point production. Neal, Milan Michalek, Max Pacioretty and Evander Kane all emerged for their first 30-goal seasons, and under-the-radar players like Matt Moulson and Erik Cole also scored at least 30.

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Center Stage: Malkin, Seguin among award recipients

Wednesday, 04.04.2012 / 2:29 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey expert Matt Cubeta will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy centers in our weekly segment: "Center Stage." From updated center rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Cubeta will be your fantasy center expert all season long.

The most interesting thing about updating our forward rankings and breaking down each position throughout this season has been how to handle all of the players that possess multiple positions in fantasy hockey leagues. While it's a great benefit to fantasy owners, it's not easy determining which player is more valuable than the other.

Patrick Sharp has center, left wing and right wing eligibility in Yahoo! Fantasy leagues, which provides tons of flexibility to his owners, but does the fact that he has those three positions make him more valuable than a guy like Marian Gaborik, who has better overall stats but is only listed at right wing? That is the question that all of us have struggled to answer throughout the season. It is a great dilemma to have if you own a guy like Sharp, but in the end, the guy with the better overall stats is likely more valuable than the player with multiple position eligibility. 

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NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Watch: Cubeta's fantasy draft strategy
Top 275 rankings | Top 50 breakdown
Summer moves affect value of teammates
Specialists: Who helps in each category
Eriksson, Rinne lead injury bounce-backs
Staal, Nash lead bounce-back candidates
Positional rankings: C | LW | RW | D | G

TOP 275 OVERALL FANTASY RANKS

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

COMPLETE RANKINGS BY CUBETA, JENSEN & SITKOFF