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Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2017-18

NHL.com lists most valuable standard-league assets for this season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

So many forwards have been affected by recent trades, free-agent signings and selections in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and 2017 NHL Draft. Not only have the players directly involved seen changes in fantasy value, but some new and old teammates should see their fortunes improve.

The Dallas Stars made the biggest splash at the forward position in free agency, signing right wing Alexander Radulov to a five-year contract. Left wing Jamie Benn enters the top five overall rankings with elite category coverage and renewed optimism on Dallas' first power-play unit with Radulov, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and defenseman John Klingberg. Radulov has joined the top 35 forwards, and Seguin and Spezza moved up to 15th and 65th at the position.

Benn passed Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, who has the most points in the NHL over the past two seasons (195 in 164 games) but could take at least a slight step back after his linemate Artemi Panarin was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Forwards Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp returned to Chicago and could reunite with Jonathan Toews, and Nick Schmaltz becomes a prime candidate to play on Kane's line. Alexander Wennberg of the Blue Jackets gets a nice bump with the chance to center Panarin this season. Calder Trophy winner Auston Matthews, who led the NHL in even-strength goals (32) as a rookie, also passes Kane after the Toronto Maple Leafs signed veteran left wing and power-play producer Patrick Marleau.

 

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Other teammates affected by recent trades include Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, who could benefit from their selection of center Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. The Devils also acquired forward Marcus Johansson from the Washington Capitals, who could help Hall's cause if they play together on the power play. From Washington's standpoint, left wing Andre Burakovsky can finally break out with either Nicklas Backstrom or Evgeny Kuznetsov at even strength and on the first power-play unit with Alex Ovechkin.

The New York Islanders' acquisition of Jordan Eberle could certainly lift the production of center John Tavares, who's in a contract year. Eberle and Tavares thrived on the same line in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, giving fantasy owners a chance to reap the benefits of selecting Tavares in the second round and Eberle in the seventh or eighth of a standard draft. The Islanders should also improve on the power play; they ranked 28th in the NHL last season at 14.9 percent.

The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens have made trades in recent weeks, but each have a void at center. Even after the Rangers signed David Desharnais on Wednesday, there is a huge opportunity for Mika Zibanejad to become New York's No. 1 center. The same goes for Alex Galchenyuk, who could finally take the next step if he remains with the Canadiens.

The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to the Arizona Coyotes, where he could bring some offensive stability to young left wing Max Domi and forwards Clayton Keller and Dylan Strome. Forward James Neal, who was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights from the Nashville Predators in the expansion draft, could regain his scoring touch alongside Russian center Vadim Shipachyov.

Based on all these implications and more, here is an updated look at the top 100 forward landscape for the 2017-18 season:

1. Connor McDavid, C, EDM 
2. Sidney Crosby, C, PIT 
3. Auston Matthews, C, TOR 
4. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL 
5. Jamie Benn, LW, DAL 
6. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI 
7. Alex Ovechkin, LW, WSH 
8. Evgeni Malkin, C, PIT 
9. Brad Marchand, LW, BOS 
10. Patrik Laine, LW/RW, WPG 
11. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL 
12. Jack Eichel, C, BUF 
13. Nicklas Backstrom, C, WSH 
14. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, DAL (INJ.
15. Mark Scheifele, C, WPG 
16. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM - RFA 
17. John Tavares, C, NYI 
18. Steven Stamkos, C, TBL (INJ.
19. Artemi Panarin, LW, CBJ 
20. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT 
21. Ryan Getzlaf, C, ANA 
22. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS 
23. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG 
24. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS - RFA 
25. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR 
26. Filip Forsberg, LW, NSH 
27. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI 
28. Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS 
29. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY 
30. Max Pacioretty, LW, MTL 
31. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, WSH 
32. Ryan Johansen, C, NSH - RFA (INJ.
33. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR 
34. Alexander Radulov, LW/RW, DAL 
35. Sean Monahan, C, CGY 
36. Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA 
37. Claude Giroux, C, PHI 
38. Mikael Granlund, C/LW/RW, MIN - RFA 
39. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ 
40. Mike Hoffman, LW/RW, OTT 
41. Corey Perry, RW, ANA 
42. Jeff Carter, C, LAK 
43. Jonathan Toews, C, CHI 
44. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, FLA 
45. Anze Kopitar, C, LAK 
46. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR 
47. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, WPG 
48. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI 
49. Jonathan Drouin, LW/RW, MTL 
50. Taylor Hall, LW, NJD 
51. Ryan Kesler, C, ANA 
52. James van Riemsdyk, LW, TOR 
53. Jeff Skinner, LW, CAR 
54. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH 
55. Eric Staal, C, MIN 
56. Brandon Saad, LW/RW, CHI 
57. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, STL 
58. Logan Couture, C, SJS 
59. Nathan MacKinnon, C/RW, COL 
60. Henrik Zetterberg, C/LW, DET 
61. Rickard Rakell, C/LW, ANA 
62. Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT 
63. Ryan O'Reilly, C/LW, BUF 
64. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI 
65. Jason Spezza, C/RW, DAL 
66. Nazem Kadri, C, TOR 
67. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH - RFA 
68. Mark Stone, RW, OTT 
69. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK 
70. Kyle Turris, C, OTT 
71. Anders Lee, LW, NYI 
72. Evander Kane, LW, BUF 
73. James Neal, RW, VGK 
74. Zach Parise, LW, MIN 
75. Mikko Koivu, C, MIN 
76. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT 
77. Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, WSH 
78. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR 
79. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF (INJ.) 
80. Milan Lucic, LW, EDM 
81. Jaden Schwartz, C/LW, STL 
82. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA 
83. Alex Galchenyuk, C, MTL
84. Mika Zibanejad, C/RW, NYR - RFA 
85. Marcus Johansson, LW/RW, NJD 
86. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT - RFA 
87. Nino Niederreiter, LW/RW, MIN - RFA 
88. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, CGY 
89. Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL - RFA 
90. Nick Foligno, LW/RW, CBJ 
91. Patrick Marleau, C/LW, TOR 
92. Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ - RFA 
93. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD 
94. Evgeny Dadonov, LW/RW, FLA 
95. Vadim Shipachyov, C, VGK 
96. Chris Kreider, LW, NYR 
97. Tyler Johnson, C, TBL - RFA 
98. Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI 
99. Nico Hischier, C, NJD 
100. Nolan Patrick, C, PHI (INJ.

 

Just missed: Derek Stepan (C, ARI), Matt Duchene (C/RW, COL), Vincent Trocheck (C, FLA), Patrick Maroon (LW, EDM), Alexander Steen (LW/RW, STL), Bryan Little (C, WPG), Max Domi (LW, ARI), Sam Reinhart (C/RW, BUF), Brendan Gallagher (RW, MTL), Rick Nash (LW/RW, NYR), David Krejci (C, BOS - INJ.), Joe Thornton (C, SJS - INJ.), Joshua Ho-Sang (C/RW, NYI), Anthony Mantha (LW/RW, DET), Jesse Puljujarvi (RW, EDM)

 

NOTES: Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, PPP and SOG for skaters. Value has been quantified based on factors including line combinations, power-play usage, team goalie situations, injury history, bounce-back or breakout potential, projected regression, age, and contract status (restricted free agents are noted).

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