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30 in 30

Chicago Blackhawks fantasy outlook

Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin among elite; Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa should rebound

by Ben Zweiman @BZweimanNHL / Staff Writer

As part of's 30 in 30 series, our fantasy hockey staff is breaking down each team's fantasy landscape. From most valuable assets to underrated options, impact prospects and more, this guide should help fantasy owners prioritize players for drafts.

Starting at the top: Patrick Kane, RW, and Artemi Panarin, LW

Kane's Hart Trophy-winning season helped him finish No. 1 in Yahoo's performance-based rankings for the first time. A lot of credit for Kane's 106 points goes to Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy after scoring 30 goals with 77 points in 80 games. Kane and Panarin were one of four sets of teammates to each finish in Yahoo's top 20 last season. Not only did Kane lead the NHL in points, he was first in power-play points (37), setting an NHL career high, and was fourth among forwards with 287 shots on goal. It will be hard for Kane and Panarin to duplicate what they did last season, but there's nothing to suggest they can't. Each is worth selecting in the first three rounds of a 10-team draft, Kane in the top five and Panarin somewhere in the late second or early third.  

Blackhawks 30 in 30: Season outlook | Burning questions, reasons for optimism | Top prospects | Fantasy: Top 200

Undervalued: Brent Seabrook, D

Normally when you think of a Blackhawks defenseman to target, Duncan Keith is the first name that comes to mind. But last season showed that many owners overdrafted Keith and overlooked Seabrook, who finished 13th among defensemen in Yahoo, nine spots ahead of Keith (22nd). Seabrook had 14 goals and 49 points (25 PPP) in 81 games, finishing 84th overall after being drafted 121st on average. The Blackhawks power play ranked second (22.6 percent) in the NHL last season and essentially will return each unit intact, plus add Brian Campbell, who played for Chicago from 2008-11 and is T-14th among defensemen with 80 PPP combined over the past five seasons. Seabrook's 14 goals and 25 PPP were NHL career highs, so expect some regression in those categories, but that shouldn't affect his value based on where he'll be drafted (after the 10th round in a 10- or 12-team draft).

Video: STL@CHI, Gm3: Seabrook opens scoring with slap shot

Overvalued: Duncan Keith, D

As mentioned above, Keith did not live up to his average draft position (47.4) from last season. He had nine goals and 43 points (18 PPP), and his 130 SOG were his lowest total in a full NHL season since he had 122 in 2006-07. Keith finished 138th overall in Yahoo and outside of the top 20 at his position after failing to reach 50 points for a second consecutive season. The return of Campbell could be a boon for Keith, but it could eat into his time on the power play. Keith hasn't cracked 30 penalty minutes in three straight seasons, and despite being a point-producing defenseman, he doesn't cover enough categories to be considered a top 15 option at his position. There are added injury concerns with him deciding not to play for Team Canada in the World Cup of Hockey 2016. 

Sleeper: Brian Campbell, D

In continuing our trend of highlighting Blackhawks defensemen, we land on Campbell, who returns to Chicago after agreeing to a one-year contract on July 1. The 37-year-old showed last season with the Florida Panthers he remains fantasy relevant, finishing in the top 40 defensemen in Yahoo (38th) with 31 points and a plus-31 rating in 82 games. It was the fifth straight season Campbell didn't miss a game, so his age shouldn't be an issue outside of keeper formats. What could trigger a breakout for Campbell is going from the Panthers' 23rd-ranked power play (16.9 percent) to the Blackhawks' second-ranked unit. In eight NHL seasons when Campbell has played at least 79 games, he's averaged 20 PPP per season, so it's safe to expect close to that number this season. A jump in power-play production could help Campbell land among the top 30 defensemen, making him well worth a late-round draft pick.

Bounce-back: Jonathan Toews, C, and Marian Hossa, RW

Left wing on Toews and Hossa's line was a revolving door last season, not to mention Hossa missed 18 games and was having a down season anyway. Teuvo Teravainen, Andrew Shaw and Andrew Ladd spent time on the line with Toews and Hossa, and they are playing elsewhere in the NHL now. Last season, Toews fell short of 60 points for the first time in a full season since 2011-12, finishing with 28 goals and 58 points (62nd in Yahoo). His average draft position was 16.1 and likely cost owners who decided to select him that early. Hossa, 37, arguably had the worst season of his NHL career, scoring 13 goals with 33 points in 64 games (though he did have 191 SOG). The right wing is a goal away from 500 in the NHL, so that first one this season will be a relief. A steady linemate -- perhaps Richard Panik or prospect Nick Schmaltz -- would go a long way in helping Toews and Hossa rebound. Each should fly under the radar in a standard draft, particularly Toews, who could be a steal in the sixth or seventh round.

Video: 30 in 30: Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 season preview

Impact prospect: Nick Schmaltz, C

Schmaltz, the No. 20 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, helped the University of North Dakota win the NCAA championship last season. He had 11 goals and 46 points in 37 games and will be fighting to play for the Blackhawks this season. Schmaltz (6-foot, 177 pounds) has the most offensive talent of any Chicago prospect, so if he can make the roster, there's a chance he plays with Toews and Hossa on the first line. There will be plenty of competition at training camp, and Schmaltz may end up in a third-line role rather than in the top six. The 20-year-old is a player to monitor during training camp and would be worth a late-round flier if he's confirmed for Oct. 12.

Goalie outlook

Among goalies who played 50 or more games last season, Crawford finished in the top 10 in wins (35; T-4th), save percentage (.924; T-2nd) and goals-against average (2.37; 10th), and he led the League with seven shutouts, an NHL career high. It was the third straight season Crawford finished with a GAA below 2.40, and he's had a .924 save percentage in back-to-back seasons. In each of Crawford's five full NHL seasons, he's started more than 50 games with 30-plus wins, a testament to his health and the Blackhawks' success. The two-time Stanley Cup champion finished fifth among goalies in Yahoo last season and even outperformed his ADP (41.5) with a top 40 finish (35th). Crawford has been one of the more reliable fantasy goalies since 2012 and is worth targeting among the top eight at his position.

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