As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from each team for 2018-19. Today, we look at Vancouver Canucks players, listed in order of rank in NHL.com's top 250. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.
[Canucks 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers | NHL.com/Fantasy]
Brock Boeser, RW (64; INJ.)** -- The 21-year-old finished second among NHL rookies in points per game (0.89) and goals (29). His 55 points were tied for the Canucks lead with forward Daniel Sedin, impressive considering Boeser missed 20 games with a back injury. The Calder Trophy finalist also excelled on the power play with 10 goals (most among NHL rookies), a total that should be even higher this season if he remains healthy. Though Boeser currently is ranked outside the top 50 by NHL.com, he likely will finish there over an 82-game season.
Video: NYR@VAN: Boeser, Horvat combine for nifty goal
Bo Horvat, C (174) -- Vancouver's No. 1 center had an NHL career-high 22 goals in 64 games last season. The 23-year-old finished with 44 points but missed 18 games with a leg injury. Horvat likely will play on the top line and first power-play unit with Boeser, with the potential to form an underrated duo this season. Horvat could be one of the few No. 1 centers available in the last rounds of 12-team standard league fantasy drafts.
Elias Pettersson, C (191) -- The rookie set a Swedish Hockey League record for scoring by an under-20 player with 56 points (24 goals, 32 assists) in 44 regular-season games with Vaxjo and had 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 13 SHL playoff games. The 19-year-old could help offset the loss of Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, who each retired at the end of last season. Without the Sedins, there will be spots to fill in Vancouver's top six, where Pettersson likely will begin the season. The No. 5 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft is worth a late-round flier and has Calder Trophy potential.
Sven Baertschi, LW (239; INJ.) -- The 25-year-old was hampered by injury for the third straight season; he had 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 53 games, which translates to 44 points over a full season. Despite health concerns, Baertschi is an intriguing waiver wire add this season because he's expected to play on Vancouver's top line with Horvat and Boeser. Baertschi should be viewed as a deep sleeper who could emerge on the fantasy landscape over an 82-game season. He signed a three-year, $10.1 million contract with the Canucks on July 1 and likely will be a key cog in their offense for the foreseeable future.
Video: VAN@VGK: Baertschi finishes Gagner's pretty pass
Alexander Edler, D (N/R)* -- With Quintin Hughes, the No. 7 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, returning to the University of Michigan, Edler should keep his Vancouver-leading 24:17 of ice time per game intact. The 32-year-old had 34 points (six goals, 28 assists) in 70 games last season, but his minus-18 rating hurt fantasy owners in season-long leagues. Still, his 15 power-play points last season were his most since he had 22 in 2011-12, and he could produce similar numbers this season if Boeser and Horvat remain healthy.
Other players with fantasy upside in late rounds or off waiver wire: Loui Eriksson, LW; Adam Gaudette, C; Thatcher Demko, G**; Olli Juolevi, D
*Potential 2019 unrestricted free agent
**Potential 2019 restricted free agent
INJ. - Injury concern entering 2018-19