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Fantasy stock rising from 2019 World Championship

Nylander thrives for Sweden after down season with Maple Leafs; Red Wings skaters Mantha, Hronek gain value from tournament

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com identifies five players who had standout performances for their countries at the 2019 World Championship and how it impacts their fantasy stock for 2019-20.

William Nylander, C/RW, TOR -- The Toronto Maple Leafs forward led the tournament with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in eight games for Sweden. After falling shy of fantasy expectations during the regular season (27 points in 54 games), Nylander has renewed upside from his success at the World Championship. One of the keys for Nylander next season could be his potential lineup placement with elite center Auston Matthews, who is ranked among the 10 best fantasy players according to NHL.com. Nylander had consecutive 61-point seasons skating on a line with Matthews but spent the majority of this season on the third line with center Nazem Kadri. Nylander, 23, could return significant value if he falls in fantasy drafts.

Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI -- The Philadelphia Flyers right wing finished tied for second with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 10 games for Czech Republic. Voracek's performance is encouraging for fantasy owners after he had 66 points (20 goals, 46 assists) and was minus-16 this season. Voracek also has bounce-back appeal under new coach Alain Vigneault, who was hired April 15. Voracek was one of five Flyers to have at least 20 goals this season, and their offense could improve next season if defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere (37 points) and Ivan Provorov (26 points) regain their scoring touch.

Anthony Mantha, RW, and Filip Hronek, D, DET -- The Detroit Red Wings right wing finished tied for second with seven goals in nine games for Canada. Despite missing 15 games with a hand injury this season, Mantha tied an NHL career high in points (48) from 2017-18. If healthy, fantasy owners can expect a breakout season from the 24-year-old, who mostly skates with elite center Dylan Larkin on the top line. Hronek led the position with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in eight games with Czech Republic at the World Championship and could be a fixture on Detroit's top power play next season. With Mantha, Hronek, Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Taro Hirose, Mike Green and Jimmy Howard all ranked in NHL.com's top 250, the Red Wings have sneaky fantasy appeal next season.

Nico Hischier, C, NJD -- The New Jersey Devils center had nine points (four goals, five assists) in eight games for Switzerland. Hischier was on pace to break his rookie season point total (52) but sustained multiple injuries and finished with 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games. Hischier's season was commendable considering elite left wing Taylor Hall missed 49 games with a knee injury after having 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) and winning the Hart Trophy last season. With a strong performance at the World Championship and the expected addition of either Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Hischier has a bright fantasy outlook for next season.

Nikita Gusev, LW, VGK -- The Vegas Golden Knights left wing finished tied for second in the tournament with 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 10 games for Russia. Gusev led the Kontinental Hockey League with 82 points (17 goals, 65 assists) in 62 games this season and could contribute offensively for the Golden Knights next season. With forwards Mark Stone, Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith and William Karlsson all fixtures in Vegas' top six, Gusev may start the season on the third line with Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch.

Honorable mention: Kaapo Kakko, RW, Finland -- The likely No. 1 or No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft had six goals in 10 games for Finland, which won the gold medal. Kakko's performance at the World Championship was encouraging for fantasy owners next season, who can expect him to be in contention for the Calder Trophy whether he's drafted by the Devils or New York Rangers.

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