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Fantasy right wing rankings for 2017-18

Line developments can impact elite options Kucherov, Kane, Tarasenko

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

With the 2017-18 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com is previewing each of the five positions (center, left wing, right wing, defenseman, goaltender). From top-tier players to underrated options at each position, these guides will prepare you for your upcoming draft. Remember to also keep NHL.com's fantasy cheat sheet handy for top 250 rankings, stat projections, team previews and more.

 

FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 250 | Top 100 'F' | C | LW | RW | Top 50 'D' | Top 25 'G'

DRAFT GUIDES: Standard mock draft 2.0 | Keeper / dynasty | Hits | Faceoff wins

2017-18 PROJECTIONS: Forward points | D-man points | Goalie wins | Team previews

LISTS: Forward bargains | D-man bargains | Breakouts | Sleepers | Deep sleepers | Rookies

 

STARTING AT THE TOP

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning led all wings in points per game last season (1.15), with Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks close behind (1.09). But each player has a line development for fantasy owners to ponder; Kucherov is likely to benefit from a healthy Steven Stamkos, and Kane lost Artemi Panarin, a top 10 point-producer in his two NHL seasons. Vladimir Tarasenko , who consistently covers goals, points, power-play points and shots on goal at a high level and thrived after the St. Louis Blues' coaching change, could benefit from the addition of center Brayden Schenn.

Then there's last season's rookie class, led by Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets), Mitchell Marner and William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs). Laine had an 82-game pace of 40 goals (scored 36 goals in 73 games), Marner led all rookies in assists (42), and Nylander led them in PPP (26). Each warrants consideration in the top 15 a keeper league. In a standard, 12-team format, Laine is worthy of a late first-round pick, and Marner and Nylander (dual eligible in Yahoo) are third- or fourth-round investments.

Another compelling storyline is whether breakout players from last season can maintain their production. Leon Draisaitl could be moved to center and away from Connor McDavid to give the Edmonton Oilers more scoring depth. David Pastrnak performed well whether centered by Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci, which bodes well for his sustainability with the Boston Bruins. And Mikael Granlund , who played mostly wing in his breakout season with the Minnesota Wild, could move to center and see his shooting percentage regress (14.7 last season; 9.9 in NHL career).

Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Pastrnak buries one-timer for a PPG

 

BARGAIN HUNTING

Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL (ADP: 87.8) -- The 31-year-old could benefit largely from exposure to the Dallas Stars' potent offense. He had 54 points (18 goals, 36 assists) and set an NHL career high in PPP (16) with the Montreal Canadiens last season, but the bar could be raised in all standard categories on a line and power-play unit with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and/or Jason Spezza. Ranked as a fringe top-50 asset by NHL.com, Radulov is a huge bargain if he falls outside the top 75.

Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI (103.0) -- John Tavares is in a contract year for the New York Islanders, and Eberle could help his new center regain his previous elite form. Eberle, who had 51 points, 14 PPP and 208 SOG in a secondary role with the Oilers last season, is a three-time 60-point and 20-PPP producer who should return to those ranges playing with Tavares and Anders Lee on the top line and first power-play unit.

Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK (132.3) -- Whether Toffoli plays on a line with Jeff Carter or Anze Kopitar, he has strong bounce-back candidacy for the Los Angeles Kings. His shooting percentage dipped by nearly five percent (14.6 to 9.7) last season, and he was limited to 63 games because of a knee injury. A new system, clean slate and full season on the first power-play unit should do wonders for Toffoli, who had NHL career highs of 31 goals, 58 points, plus-35, 11 PPP and 213 SOG two seasons ago.

Video: LAK@PIT: Toffoli beats Murray for game-winner in OT

 

POTENTIAL STEALS

Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA (151.2) -- Silfverberg ranks seventh in scoring the past three Stanley Cup Playoffs (37 points in 40 games) and is overdue to take the next step in a full regular season. He finished 115th in Yahoo last season but has yet to hit 50 points or 10 PPP in a single regular season. He did have a high shot volume (NHL career-high 227), but his full-fledged breakout is contingent on first power-play usage in addition to his usual even-strength role flanking Ryan Kesler.

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (164.7) -- Jack Eichel's per-game fantasy production was through the roof last season, so the future potential is high for his most-frequent linemate. Reinhart split time between center and right wing but played frequently with Eichel at even strength and on Buffalo's top-ranked power play, totaling NHL career highs in points (47), PPP (17) and SOG (178). Not many late-round fliers have an elite linemate, dual eligibility and a spot on a strong power-play unit, so Reinhart should be prioritized.

Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET (167.4) -- Mantha did not play on the Detroit Red Wings' first power-play unit last season but had 33 even-strength points in 60 games. That's an 82-game pace of 45 ES points, which would have been third among rookies behind Laine (50 in 73 games) and Auston Matthews (48 in 82 games). An expanded role on a line with Henrik Zetterberg in all situations could help Mantha jump into the 55-60 point range as early as this season.

Video: DET@CAR: Mantha strips puck, scores on breakaway

Other potential RW steals: Evgeny Dadonov (RW, FLA), Jesse Puljujarvi (RW, EDM), Ryan Strome (C/RW, EDM)

 

ROOKIES TO WATCH

Joshua Ho-Sang, RW, NYI (172.0) -- Islanders coach Doug Weight featured young players after taking over last season, and their second line could be anchored by Ho-Sang and rookie center Mathew Barzal to start. Ho-Sang is an explosive skater who can also be utilized on the first power-play unit with Tavares. A lot will depend on Ho-Sang's power-play role, but he could easily end up among the rookie point leaders (NHL.com's projection: 49 points).

Brock Boeser, RW, VAN (N/R) -- The Vancouver Canucks added experienced forwards Thomas Vanek and Sam Gagner this offseason, but Boeser should have a top-six role playing with either Bo Horvat or Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. Boeser had five points (four goals, one assist), two PPP and 25 SOG in nine NHL games last season, and could feasibly compete for first power-play usage and lead the Canucks in goals as a rookie. He's going undrafted on average in Yahoo.

Christian Fischer, RW, ARI (N/R) -- Along with centers Clayton Keller and Dylan Strome, Fischer is another Arizona Coyotes rookie with legitimate fantasy upside. He could easily surpass Anthony Duclair and Tobias Rieder on the depth chart and play next to Derek Stepan and Max Domi on the top line. Fischer scored three goals on 10 SOG in seven NHL games last season and had 47 points (20 goals, 27 assists) in 57 games for Tucson of the American Hockey League. He's a sneaky pick in the final rounds of a deep or keeper draft.

Video: NYI@BUF: Ho-Sang finishes break with outstanding move

Other notable rookie RWs: Daniel Sprong (RW, PIT), Spencer Foo (C/RW, CGY), Evgeny Svechnikov (RW, DET)

 

TOP 50 RIGHT WING RANKINGS

Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, PIMs, PPP and SOG for skaters. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, line combinations, power-play usage, team's offseason changes, injury history, age, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, anticipated regression, contract status, Yahoo ADP and overall upside for this season. ... Any players with injury concerns (INJ.) are noted. ... Right wing is the primary position of the dual-eligible forwards on this list.

1. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL
2. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
3. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL
4. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG
5. Leon Draisaitl, C/RW, EDM
6. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT
7. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS
8. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG
9. Mitchell Marner, C/RW, TOR
10. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS
11. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI
12. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR
13. Alexander Radulov, RW, DAL
14. Mikael Granlund, C/RW, MIN
15. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ
16. Sebastian Aho, LW/RW, CAR
17. Corey Perry, RW, ANA
18. Jakub Voracek, RW, PHI
19. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH
20. Jordan Eberle, RW, NYI
21. Mark Stone, RW, OTT
22. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK
23. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, NSH
24. Jakob Silfverberg, RW, ANA
25. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR
26. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF
27. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF
28. James Neal, LW/RW, VGK (INJ.)
29. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT (INJ.)
30. Conor Sheary, LW/RW, PIT
31. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, DET
32. Evgenii Dadonov, RW, FLA
33. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD
34. Ryan Strome, C/RW, EDM
35. Brock Boeser, RW, VAN
36. Rick Nash, LW/RW, NYR
37. Elias Lindholm, C/RW, CAR
38. Joshua Ho-Sang, RW, NYI
39. Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM
40. Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL
41. Alex DeBrincat, RW, CHI*
42. Patrick Eaves, RW, ANA (INJ.)
43. Charlie Coyle, C/RW, MIN
44. Mikko Rantanen, LW/RW, COL
45. Justin Williams, RW, CAR
46. Gustav Nyquist, LW/RW, DET
47. Dylan Larkin, C/RW, DET
48. Richard Panik, LW/RW, CHI
49. Jaromir Jagr, LW/RW, UFA
50. Jason Pominville, RW, BUF

*NOTE: DeBrincat has been assigned to Rockford of the American Hockey League, but could still be recalled before the start of the regular season.

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