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31 in 31

Florida Panthers fantasy preview for 2019-20

Yandle, Hoffman among elite power-play producers; Ekblad can break out under new coach Quenneville

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

As part of NHL.com's 31 in 31 series, the fantasy hockey staff identifies relevant players from the Florida Panthers. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

[Panthers 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers]

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Mock draft | Top 250 | Team previews | Cheat sheet

 

Aleksander Barkov, C (NHL.com rank: 17) -- The elite center finished 10th in the NHL with 96 points (35 goals, 61 assists) last season on a line with mostly wings Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov. Barkov also ranked 15th in power-play points (31) and was tied for 10th in power-play goals (13). His fantasy ceiling could be even higher under coach Joel Quenneville, who was hired April 8 and could help the Panthers qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: Aleksander Barkov cracks the top five on the list

 

Sergei Bobrovsky, G (20) -- The workhorse goalie, who signed with the Panthers on July 1, is No. 3 at the position in NHL.com's preseason rankings behind Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bobrovsky ranked second in wins (37) behind Vasilevskiy (39) and led the NHL in shutouts (nine) with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. Bobrovsky is likely to start at least 60 games again and could feasibly crack the 40-win mark for the first time since 2016-17 (41).

Video: 31 in 31: Florida Panthers 2019-20 season preview

 

Jonathan Huberdeau, LW (59) -- The left wing finished tied for 12th in NHL scoring (92 points) and eighth in PPP (34) with frequent exposure to Barkov. It's unknown whether Quenneville will keep this potent duo intact for the entire season, but Huberdeau remains a top 15 fantasy left wing and should return value in the middle rounds of a standard draft.

Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: Huberdeau

 

Keith Yandle, D (84) -- He led NHL defensemen with 39 power-play points and ranked fifth at the position with 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) last season. Yandle, who hasn't missed a game since 2008-09, is likely to keep his top pair and power-play role under Quenneville, making him a top 15 fantasy defenseman option with exposure to Barkov and Huberdeau.

Video: LAK@FLA: Yandle buries wrister from point for PPG

 

Evgenii Dadonov, LW/RW (92) -- The wing had an NHL career-high 70 points (28 goals, 42 assists) last season despite inconsistent lineup placement. He also had his best PPG (eight), PPP (17) and SOG (195) totals and thrived on a line with Barkov and Huberdeau in the second half. The potential 2020 unrestricted free agent is worth targeting among the top 100 overall.

 

Mike Hoffman, LW/RW (119) -- The valuable wing was tied for fourth in the NHL with 17 PPG and sixth with 35 PPP last season. Hoffman helped Florida finish second in power-play percentage (26.8) behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (28.2) in his first season with the Panthers. He skated on the third line at times but could have an even higher ceiling in his contract year (potential 2020 UFA) if valuable center Vincent Trocheck stays healthy.

Video: NJD@FLA: Hoffman ties game with 300th NHL point

 

Aaron Ekblad, D (128) -- The defenseman had his fifth straight season with double-digit goals (13 last season). He has yet to reach 40 points in a season but is a breakout candidate under Quenneville and should be targeted anytime after the first 10 rounds of a standard draft.

Video: FLA@ANA: Huberdeau sets up Ekblad on the doorstep

 

Vincent Trocheck, C (150) -- He's a glaring injury bounce-back candidate after being limited to 55 games last season (34 points). Trocheck centers Florida's second line when healthy, brings valuable coverage of hits (1.9 per game in NHL career) and could return to the 70-point range (75 in 2017-18) if he plays on the loaded first power-play unit.

 

Other players to consider in late rounds or off waiver wire: Brett Connolly, LW/RW ; Frank Vatrano, LW/RW; Mike Matheson, D; Henrik Borgstrom, C; Owen Tippett, RW

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