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Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

New York Islanders fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: John Tavares

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are the top two fantasy assets in the game, but Tavares is a candidate to go right behind them in drafts. He missed the NHL scoring lead by one point, but was the only player League-wide with at least 35 goals (38), 35 assists (48), 30 power-play points (31) and 250 shots on goal (278). He had a positive rating (plus-5) for the first time in his career, and has yet to hit his ceiling. Although the New York Islanders could regress in a competitive Metropolitan Division that saw offseason reinforcements (Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets, T.J. Oshie to the Washington Capitals), Tavares gives the Islanders hope of competing for a Stanley Cup and fantasy owners a chance to reap the benefits of his elite coverage.

Minnesota Wild fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.20.2015 / 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Zach Parise

Parise totaled 33 goals and 62 points with outstanding secondary stats in 74 regular-season games for the Wild, then had 10 points in 10 postseason games. He finished last season as the 21th-best player in Yahoo leagues, and I have him at No. 25 overall in my offseason rankings. If you can land Parise in the third round of your draft, you'll be completely satisfied with his consistent category coverage. Since joining the Wild in 2012-13, Parise's 0.42 goals-per-game is 11th-best, his 0.83 points-per-game ranks 25th and his 3.63 shots-per-game is sixth in the NHL. His 32 power-play goals are fourth in the League and his plus-32 rating is 21st. Parise should also get you about 40 penalty minutes per season. He really is a complete fantasy player.

Detroit Red Wings fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg

Datsyuk missed 19 games last season because of injuries, but he finished as one of eight NHL players to average a point per game or better. Neither came as a surprise to fantasy owners, who drafted Datsyuk knowing what they were getting into based on recent seasons. He's the most valuable fantasy asset on the Detroit Red Wings and a top-20 fantasy player when healthy for 75-80 games, but he turned 37 on July 20 and already has another injury concern after offseason ankle surgery. The best strategy with Datsyuk is to see if he slips to the fourth, fifth or even sixth round depending on your league. If your league has injured reserve, buy low and hope Datsyuk can be efficient scoring-wise upon his return. Slotting him on IR for the first few weeks allows you to take a stab at a potential sleeper off the waiver wire and eventually incorporate an elite-level reinforcement.

Ottawa Senators 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Erik Karlsson

My top ranked fantasy defenseman comes in at No. 13 among all players in my offseason rankings, 10 spots ahead of the next defenseman (P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens). Karlsson was one of two defensemen to lead his team in scoring last season (Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes) and it marked the second straight season he did so on the Senators. His 21 goals and 292 shots on goal last season were career-highs. Since his breakout season in 2011-12 (19 goals and 78 points), Karlsson leads all defensemen with 232 points, 166 assists and 889 shots on goal, and his 66 goals are tied for first with Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. More remarkable is that Karlsson accomplished all of this despite missing 31 games in 2012-13 because of injury. Simply put, there is no better defenseman in fantasy hockey than Karlsson, and it's not even close. A return to the 70-point mark seems likely for the 25-year-old.

Winnipeg Jets fantasy hockey outlook

Pete Jensen - 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd

The Winnipeg Jets were one of seven teams with three skaters among Yahoo's top 50 players last season. Wheeler, Ladd and Byfuglien cover many bases and also are assets in hits leagues. Wheeler, a top-10 fantasy right wing, proved again that he's a game-changer whether playing alongside Bryan Little and Ladd or Mark Scheifele and Drew Stafford. He saw an eight-point dip, but made up for it with a plus-26 (T-9th) to go along with career-highs in penalty minutes (73) and shots on goal (244).

Pittsburgh Penguins 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin

Crosby is the No. 2 fantasy player in my offseason rankings behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. The difference between Crosby and Ovechkin in fantasy is simple. Ovechkin has stayed healthy over his career and he's a shooter and a scorer, and that carries more value in fantasy leagues. The Russian sniper finished as the top player in Yahoo leagues last season while Crosby finished fifth. Sure, Crosby had three more points than Ovechkin, but Ovechkin had 25 more goals and 158 more shots. Ovechkin is also a wing, which helps his fantasy value even more considering the immense depth at the center position.

Regardless, Crosby still remains one of fantasy hockey's best players and has the highest ceiling for point production of any player in the game. He's the only player since 2006 with five seasons of at least 100 points and his career 1.36 points-per-game are far and away the best in the League. Meanwhile, Malkin ranks eighth in my offseason rankings but has the potential to be the top fantasy player if he can avoid injury. His 1.20 points-per-game in his career are second to Crosby. Malkin has the ability to help fantasy owners in all categories and is a surefire first-round draft pick in all fantasy leagues. Taking him as high as third isn't out of the question, but there is some risk that early because of his constant injury problems.

Calgary Flames fantasy hockey outlook

Saturday, 08.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau

When healthy, Giordano belongs among the top five fantasy defensemen. During the past two seasons, Giordano has missed 39 games but also has posted .76 points per game, second among defensemen behind Erik Karlsson (.85). He's a possession force who covers rating, penalty minutes and shots on goal. Giordano is coming off a season-ending biceps injury and will share offensive responsibilities with Dougie Hamilton, but Giordano is entering a contract year and is an elite-level starting point for your blue line in the fourth or fifth round.

Boston Bruins 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Tuukka Rask

Rask had a bit of a disappointing season last year after winning the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14. His win total fell from 36 to 34 despite starting nine more games. His goals against average went from 2.04 to 2.30, his save percentage decreased from .930 to .922, and his shutout total dipped from seven to three. Despite the decreases in each category, Rask was still the 11th best fantasy goalie in Yahoo leagues last season and was the 74th best player overall. Since the 2012-13 season when Rask became Boston's full-time starting goalie, he has the best save percentage (.926), second best goals against average (2.14), fourth most shutouts (15) and fourth most wins (89) among goalies who have appeared in at least 100 games. Despite the Bruins trading defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Milan Lucic this offseason, Rask remains a Vezina Trophy candidate in 2015-16.

Los Angeles Kings fantasy hockey outlook

Thursday, 08.13.2015 / 3:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty

Kopitar was a fantasy disappointment last season, but was still among leaders in assists (48, T-9th) and power-play points (24, T-23rd). His shots on goal per game (1.7) dropped off compared to his 2013-14 (2.4) and career averages (2.6). The Los Angeles Kings were hurt by injuries and off-ice issues last season, but Kopitar has produced close to a point per game before and could bounce back with Milan Lucic on his left side. Expect a return to 70-plus points for Kopitar and a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Los Angeles. Target Kopitar in the third or fourth round as the second center on your fantasy roster.

Dallas Stars fantasy hockey outlook

Wednesday, 08.12.2015 / 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 overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin

Not only did Benn lead the NHL in scoring last season with 87 points, he ended up as the sixth-best fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Seguin finished 13th among all players but easily would have been higher had he not missed 11 games with injury. Going into this season, I have Benn ranked fourth among all players and Seguin at No. 7. Each is an elite player. The only reason I give Benn the edge is because of his ability to chip in with penalty minutes (he's averaged 62 PIMs per 82-game season during his career). Benn is arguably the most complete player in fantasy hockey, capable of posting 30-40 goals and 80 points with strong peripheral stats. If his plus-1 rating from last season improved a little bit, he could be the No. 1 fantasy player.

Seguin was well on his way to being one of the top-ranked fantasy players last season before his injury, but even with the missed time he still finished tied for fifth in the NHL with 37 goals and was seventh in points with 77. As we all know, goals are hard to come by, and Seguin is as good as a bet as anyone to score 40-50 times in 2015-16. With the addition of Patrick Sharp and the return of Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars' offense should be primed for a monster season, with Benn and Seguin at the center of things. Make sure both players are selected in the first round of your draft.

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