As part of NHL.com's preseason fantasy hockey draft coverage, NHL.com will preview each of the three positions this week, with Pete Jensen on forwards, Brian Metzer on defensemen and David Satriano on goalies. These positional outlooks will include the writer's individual standard-league rankings, offseason reaction and all the strategy and advice you'll need on draft day.
Alex Ovechkin, who turns 30 on Sept. 17, is in his prime and the most valuable fantasy player in the game. He led the NHL in goals, power-play goals and shots on goal by wide margins last season, and was second in power-play points and tied for fourth in points. Since 2012-13, no one has more goals, PPP or SOG. His peripherals (58 penalty minutes, 259 hits in '14-15) solidify his standing, and he went from a minus-35 in 2013-14 to a plus-10 last season, addressing his lone weakness.
The Washington Capitals got stronger by adding T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams, and one of them will play on Ovechkin's opposite wing. If you're worried about center Nicklas Backstrom's health as the season approaches, up-and-coming Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov is poised to play with Ovechkin in the worst-case scenario. Ovi also retains dual eligibility in Yahoo. Case closed.