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Fantasy hockey rookie tracker for 2018-19

Pettersson most valuable; Hart, Binnington can keep starting jobs; Dahlin, Heiskanen have high ceilings in keeper leagues

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com tracks all rookies that have earned a roster spot and could be fantasy-relevant this season or are worth stashing in keeper and dynasty leagues. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Fantasy all-stars for each team | News tracker

 

NOTE: The rookies have been ranked in order of their rest-of-season fantasy value in standard leagues.

 

1. Elias Pettersson, C, VAN -- The Vancouver Canucks center has been the top fantasy rookie by far this season with 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 40 games. His 13 power-play points lead all rookies, and his seven game-winning goals are tied for second in the NHL with Jeff Skinner (Buffalo Sabres), Artemi Panarin (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers). Despite missing time for multiple injuries, Pettersson is ranked 73rd overall in Yahoo and should be viewed as a top 50 fantasy asset for the remainder of the season. Vancouver already has a strong young core, and defenseman prospect Quinn Hughes could potentially join the Canucks later in the season, making Pettersson one of the top two under-21 skaters for keeper leagues with Dahlin.

Video: DET@VAN: Pettersson scores in return from injury

2. Rasmus Dahlin, D, BUF -- The Buffalo Sabres defenseman is quietly tied with center Colin White of the Ottawa Senators for second in rookie scoring with 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) in 48 games. Dahlin continues to climb NHL.com's top 50 defenseman rankings, ranks second among rookies in assists (21) and is tied for first in power-play assists (seven) with Pettersson. Dahlin is a top 20 defenseman in one-year leagues and a top five option in keeper formats.

3. Brady Tkachuk, LW, OTT -- Despite missing time with multiple injuries, the Senators left wing is tied with Jesperi Kotkaniemi of the Montreal Canadiens for third among rookie forwards with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 39 games. Mostly skating in a top-six role, Tkachuk is third among rookie forwards in average ice time (15:30) behind Pettersson (18:00) and teammate Colin White (15:37). Tkachuk is also tied with White and Casey Mittelstadt (Sabres) for second among rookie forwards with five PPP. Tkachuk could finish strong on a line with valuable right wing Mark Stone, especially once his center White returns from injury.

4. Carter Hart, G, PHI -- The Philadelphia Flyers goalie is 6-5-1 with a .918 save percentage in 12 games this season. After injuries to goalies Brian Elliott and Michael Neuvirth, the Flyers have relied on Hart to be their No. 1 option. Hart's peripherals have been impressive considering the Flyers have allowed the third-most goals in the NHL on the season (169) and he's earned consideration for the starting job even once Elliott and Neuvirth (potential 2019 unrestricted free agents) return.

Video: BOS@PHI: Hart uses glove to deny Donato on the break

5. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, CAR -- The Carolina Hurricanes right wing is tied for second among rookies in goals (12) with Mathieu Joseph of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Fantasy owners may have been expecting more production from Svechnikov, but he leads all first-year skaters with 125 shots on goal, indicating his goal-scoring ceiling is high for the rest of the season. After Carolina acquired wing Nino Niederreiter, Svechnikov may be less likely to see exposure to forwards Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen but remains valuable in keeper leagues.

6. Miro Heiskanen, D, DAL -- The Dallas Stars defenseman is tied for sixth at the position with nine goals and ranks second among rookies in SOG (111) behind Svechnikov. Heiskanen leads all rookie defensmen in average ice time (23:06), meaning fantasy owners should be hesitant to drop him during any offensive struggles. Outside of the top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov, the Stars lack depth scoring, hurting Heiskanen's short-term value, but he should still be viewed as top 10 keeper asset at the position.

7. Jordan Binnington, G, STL -- The St. Louis Blues goalie is 5-1-1, including one shutout, with a .924 SV% in nine games this season. Binnington (42 percent owned in Yahoo) could keep the starting job after All-Star Weekend given Jake Allen's struggles (15-15-4; .897 SV%) this season. Binnington, 25, is not nearly as appealing as Hart, 20, in keeper leagues based on age but is still worthy of a flier with clear potential to be the Blues' No. 1 goalie.

Video: STL@DAL: Binnington makes clutch pad save

8. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, MTL -- The Montreal Canadiens center is second among rookies behind Pettersson in assists per 60 minutes (1.43) and third behind Dalhin and Pettersson with 17 assists in 51 games. Kotkaniemi, the youngest player in the NHL, is currently skating on the third line at even strength but brings exposure to elite defenseman Shea Weber on the top power-play unit. With the Canadiens' lack of center depth and Kotkaniemi's power-play role, he's worth streaming as a value play in DFS contests and carries keeper league upside.

9. Colin White, C, OTT -- The Senators center has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury but is tied for third in rookie scoring with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 44 games. White has been skating in a top-six role when healthy this season on a line with Tkachuk and Stone. This line has formed chemistry and could be kept together in the future if Stone, a potential 2019 UFA, re-signs with the Senators.

10. Andreas Johnsson, LW, TOR -- The Toronto Maple Leafs left wing is tied with Svechnikov for sixth in rookie points (22 in 43 games). Johnsson has mostly maintained top-six usage even after forward William Nylander returned to the lineup Dec. 6. Exposure to either elite center Auston Matthews or John Tavares makes Johnsson an intriguing value play in DFS contests and worth streaming in season-long leagues. It's worth noting Johnsson (concussion) did not play against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Other rookies to consider: Thatcher Demko, G, VAN; Linus Ullmark, G, BUF; Collin Delia, G, CHI; Casey Mittelstadt, C, BUF; Anthony Cirelli, C, and Mathieu Joseph, LW/RW, TBL; Alex Nedeljkovic, G, CAR

 

Read: Preseason fantasy rookie tracker

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