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Fantasy team power rankings for 2018-19

Mittelstadt secondary beneficiary of Skinner trade for Sabres; Seguin's extra motivation in contract year gives Stars higher ceiling

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com has updated its fantasy team power rankings based on the latest top 250, with added emphasis put on players in the top 75. Other factors taken into account include rank of goalie(s), number of players selected in most recent mock draft, offseason moves, projected lineups and overall upside in standard fantasy leagues. Any ties have been broken by other trends at the writer's discretion.

Fantasy owners should use these rankings as a basis for team evaluation, keeper decisions and offseason draft research. These rankings have been updated after the 2018 NHL Draft, free agency and include the most recent trades, injury and prospects news. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 
OFFSEASON TRENDS:

-- The Buffalo Sabres continued their busy offseason by acquiring left wing Jeff Skinner from the Carolina Hurricanes on Aug. 2. Skinner improves Buffalo's wing depth and boosts its power play, which finished 20th in the NHL last season (19.1 percent; led League at 24.5 percent in 2016-17). Other than the obvious impact on Eichel, the boost from Skinner should carry over throughout the entire top six, including forward Sam Reinhart and rookie center Casey Mittelstadt.

Reinhart had an NHL career-high 50 points (25 goals, 25 assists) last season, mostly playing on the top line. He's a likely breakout candidate if he holds his spot on the top line and first power-play unit with Eichel. With the departure of second line center Ryan O'Reilly, Mittelstadt will have an expanded role. While it's unlikely he'll be on a line or power-play unit with Skinner, Mittelstadt should benefit from Buffalo's other offseason additions (Rasmus Dahlin, Carter Hutton) and could find himself in the Calder Trophy race among the NHL's top rookies. Buffalo now has multiple serviceable wings to potentially play with Mittelstadt, including Kyle Okposo, Jason Pominville (potential 2019 unrestricted free agent), Conor Sheary, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson.

 

-- The Dallas Stars have made several key improvements this summer, including hiring coach Jim Montgomery and adding wing Valeri Nichushkin. Montgomery will be tasked with balancing the Stars' top-heavy forward group of Tyler Seguin (NHL career-high 40 goals; 78 points), Jamie Benn (79 points) and Alexander Radulov (career-high 72 points). The return of Nichushkin, who spent the past two seasons playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, should help this effort. There was a significant drop in production from the top line of Benn, Seguin and Radulov to their depth forwards Mattias Janmark (35 points), Radek Faksa (33 points) and Devon Shore (32 points). If Nichushkin can produce in a range (40-50 points) between the two groups, the Stars should be a top 10 fantasy team.

Another overlooked storyline for the Stars is the extra motivation Seguin should have in his contract year. The 26-year-old can potentially become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019 and could realistically have over 80 points for the second time in his NHL career (84 in 2013-14). He ranks among the top 10 in the NHL in points (384), power-play points (132) and shots on goal (1,488) since joining the Stars in 2013-14, with at least 72 points, 24 PPP and 278 SOG in each of those five seasons. In terms of being consistently among the fantasy elite, Seguin is in the same conversation as forwards Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane.

 

TEAM FANTASY POWER RANKINGS

NOTE: The below trends reflect changes based on NHL.com's latest top 250 rankings, compared to the previous update, which was based solely on mock draft results.

1. Winnipeg Jets (SAME)

2. Nashville Predators (SAME)

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (SAME)

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (SAME)

5. Washington Capitals (SAME)

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (SAME)

7. Boston Bruins (SAME)

8. San Jose Sharks (SAME)

9. Los Angeles Kings (SAME)

10. Florida Panthers (SAME)

11. Dallas Stars (+1)

12. Philadelphia Flyers (-1)

13. Columbus Blue Jackets (SAME)

14. St. Louis Blues (SAME)

15. Calgary Flames (SAME)

16. Anaheim Ducks (+2)

17. Vegas Golden Knights (-1)

18. Colorado Avalanche (-1)

19. Minnesota Wild (SAME)

20. Buffalo Sabres (+3)

21. Edmonton Oilers (SAME)

22. Chicago Blackhawks (SAME)

23. Carolina Hurricanes (-3)

24. Arizona Coyotes (SAME)

25. New Jersey Devils (SAME)

26. New York Islanders (SAME)

27. New York Rangers (+1)

28. Vancouver Canucks (-1)

29. Detroit Red Wings (SAME)

30. Ottawa Senators (SAME)

31. Montreal Canadiens (SAME)

 

READ: Fantasy team power rankings for July

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