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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Carolina Hurricanes fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.05.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvauled player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Eric Staal

For the second consecutive season, Staal was a bit of a disappointment to his fantasy owners. After scoring 61 points in 79 games in 2013-14, Staal regressed with 54 points in 77 games last season. He's 30 years old, so there's reason to believe he can revert back to his old form, but the issue that remains constant is the lack of offensive firepower surrounding him in Carolina. Either way, Staal is capable of being a solid contributor in all categories except plus/minus and should be targeted sometime after round six (he's ranked 75th in my offseason rankings).

Toronto Maple Leafs fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvauled player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: James van Riemsdyk

My top-rated Maple Leafs player comes in at No. 100 overall in my offseason rankings. Over the past three seasons van Riemsdyk has scored 75 goals, good for 16th most in the NHL during that time. He is a talented player and he can score. No one is denying that. The question is, now that Phil Kessel has been traded, who is he going to play on a line with this season? Van Riemsdyk is certainly capable of scoring 25-plus goals and having 250-plus shots for a third consecutive season even without Kessel, but I'm not sure he'll help fantasy owners in any other category. Look to grab him as rounds 8-9 approach, but use caution.

Undervalued: Morgan Rielly

Rielly delivered more than anyone could've expected entering his second NHL season as a 20-year-old. He finished with eight goals, 21 assists, nine power-play points and 148 shots on goal in 81 games. Now entering his third season, Rielly could make the jump to the next level for fantasy defenseman, granted the level is still that of a No. 5 type fantasy blueliner. Rielly is loaded with potential and he's already put together quite a highlight reel in his short NHL tenure, but like van Riemsdyk, there just isn't much talent on the roster to work with. Along with Dion Phaneuf, Rielly should be one of the Maple Leafs' top power-play threats from the blue line, and if all goes well he could eclipse 35 points.

Arizona Coyotes fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvauled player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Ekman-Larsson was one of two defensemen in the NHL to lead his team in scoring (Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators was the other). However, he was the only blueliner to lead his team in goals and points (23 and 43, respectively). His 23 goals led all NHL defensemen and his 38 goals over the past two seasons are tied for second most among blueliners (Karlsson has 41). Ekman-Larsson, 24, should continue to improve while Arizona begins to deploy its youth movement (see deep sleeper below) and if his plus/minus improves, he could end up turning into a top-10 fantasy defenseman.

Undervalued: Steve Downie

PIMs, PIMs and more PIMs. As long as your league counts penalty minutes as a category, Downie needs to be drafted with one of your final picks. In the past two seasons, only Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars has more PIMs (357) than Downie's 344. However, Downie accomplished that number in 27 fewer games. Downie is also capable of chipping in offensively after scoring 14 goals and 14 assists with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Buffalo Sabres fantasy hockey outlook

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvauled player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Evander Kane

Kane ranks as my highest Sabres player in my offseason fantasy rankings (No. 80 overall) and a change of scenery could do wonders for this talented power forward. Since joining the NHL in 2009, only three other active players have totaled at least 100 goals, 100 assists, 350 penalty minutes and 1,200 shots on goal (Corey Perry, James Neal and Eric Staal). Keep in mind Kane has appeared in at least 42 fewer games than any of the other three. If Kane can stay healthy, he could be in line for a big fantasy season.

Undervalued: Tyler Ennis

Despite finishing last season with a minus-19 rating, Ennis still managed to post 20-plus goals and 40-plus points for the second consecutive season. He also closed out the season on a positive note with 13 points and an even rating in his final 17 games. With an improved rating and the fact he should be on the top line alongside Kane and Ryan O'Reilly, Ennis could be a solid fantasy contributor.

Edmonton Oilers fantasy hockey preview

Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvauled player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Taylor Hall

Hall had arguably the least productive season of his five-year career in 2014-15 with 14 goals and 38 points in 53 games (.72 points/game). A shooting percentage of 8.9 percent could've had something to do with his low goal total, but health continues to be Hall's biggest question mark. If he can avoid injury, Hall has the potential to be one of the better fantasy performers of the future. With the possibility of playing on a line with rookie Connor McDavid and usual suspect Jordan Eberle, Hall should be in line for a big bounce-back season.

Undervalued: Jordan Eberle

Including his breakout 34-goal, 76-point season in 2011-12, Eberle has 241 points in 287 games (.84 points/game). Those 241 points are tied for 17th most in the NHL during that stretch, and Eberle has proven to be extremely durable as well, missing seven games. Let's also not forget he had 32 points in his final 32 games last season after a tough start. Target Eberle between rounds five and six with hopes he exceeds that draft position by the end of the season.

Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings

NHL.com fantasy insider Matt Cubeta reveals most valuable players

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Whether it's Phil Kessel getting traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brandon Saad being shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets or T.J. Oshie being dealt to the Washington Capitals, we've seen some impactful trades this offseason that could change the fantasy landscape for the 2015-16 season.

We've also seen our share of players changing addresses in free agency. Players including Mike Green and Justin Williams have new homes and could see a spike in fantasy value.

With these changes, fantasy owners are likely salivating at the chance to start preparing for draft season in September. To help you prepare, it's time for my offseason top 200 fantasy hockey rankings.

These rankings have been built on what I have learned following several free agency signings and trades this summer. As training camps draw closer and more moves take place, these rankings will be updated, including position-by-position rankings and breakdowns.

These rankings should be viewed as my projections of the NHL's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations for this season. Factors taken into account include position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage and statistical performance from previous seasons.

Offseason moves catapult fantasy value of forwards

Wednesday, 07.08.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

The unrestricted free agent crop didn't include many marquee forwards, but the flurry of offseason trades certainly did.

Several big-name forwards around the NHL changed scenery in recent weeks, setting the table for a summer of speculation about line combinations and fantasy implications. We've seen summer trades pay sizable fantasy dividends in recent years, with no better example being the July 2013 trade that sent Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins to the Dallas Stars.

Seguin, a young role player with the Bruins at the time of the trade, played with Jamie Benn and scored 161 points in 151 games in the next two regular seasons with the Stars. Last season, Scott Hartnell (trade to Columbus Blue Jackets) and Radim Vrbata (signed by Vancouver Canucks) finished among the top 50 fantasy forwards after moving to new teams.

Trades, signings create uncertain goalie situations

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

Three weeks after the NHL season ended, trades and free agent signings have already made for some interesting goalie situations that are sure to affect fantasy hockey this season.

Fifteen goalies have changed teams so far (seven in trades, eight in free agency). Some will get a chance to be a No. 1; others may have to adjust to a time-share.

Though things may change in the months leading up to the 2015-16 season, here are five goalie situations worth monitoring:

Defensemen in new places could see fantasy spike

Eric Goodman - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

With the NHL free agency period in full swing, now is the time for fantasy owners to start analyzing which players to consider for the 2015-16 season. The pool of quality forwards is much larger than that of viable defensemen, so it's important to be selective on which blueliners to target.

Assembling a deep group of defensemen is key; getting good fantasy numbers from your third or fourth option can help bring home a championship.

The following players were recently traded or signed with new teams and could see a boost in fantasy value next season:

Top 2015 NHL Draft picks with fantasy value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Rookies can make a major impact on fantasy teams and can lead to long-term success in dynasty and keeper leagues. Seven players from the 2014 NHL Draft class played in at least one regular-season game in 2014-15. That group was made up of defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers)  and forwards David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Viktor Arvidsson (Nashville Predators), Samuel Bennett (Calgary Flames), and Kevin Fiala (Predators).

Ekblad won the Calder Trophy and his 39 points were two shy of the NHL record for a defenseman to start the season as an 18-year-old, set by Bobby Orr in 1966-67 (13-28-41). Ekblad was joined by forwards Johnny Gaudreau (2011 fourth-round pick) and Mark Stone (2010 sixth-round pick) as finalists for the Calder, showing rookie production doesn't just come from freshly drafted players. But with two generational talents at the top of its class, some members of the 2015 draft class should play a big role in fantasy sooner rather than later.

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Toronto Maple Leafs fantasy hockey outlook
Arizona Coyotes fantasy hockey outlook
Buffalo Sabres fantasy hockey outlook
Edmonton Oilers fantasy hockey outlook
30 in 30 fantasy schedule for August
Cubeta's offseason top 200 fantasy rankings
Offseason recaps: Forwards | D-men | Goalies