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Fantasy sleeper for each team in 2019-20

Morrissey, Olofsson bring valuable exposure; Labanc, Palat could skate on first power plays

by Fantasy Hockey Staff @NHLFantasy

NHL.com identifies a fantasy hockey sleeper candidate from each team for the 2019-20 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Top 250 rankings | Mock draft | Cheat sheet

STAT PROJECTIONS: Forward points | Defensemen | Goalie/team wins

 

NOTES: Sleepers are players taken in the late rounds who can vastly outperform their average draft position (ADP). … The following factors were taken into consideration when selecting each skater: potential linemates, past production and power-play exposure; for goalies: expected start volume, wins and save percentage.

Video: Who headlines this season's fantasy sleeper list?

Anaheim Ducks: Max Comtois (ADP: N/A) -- The Ducks rookie left wing had seven points (two goals, five assists) in 10 NHL games last season and could capture a top-six role with potential exposure to valuable center Ryan Getzlaf. -- Rob Reese

Arizona Coyotes: Darcy Kuemper (ADP: 144.2) -- The Coyotes goalie was tied with Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning) for the NHL lead in save percentage (.925) among those to play at least 50 games and is more of a draft bargain than teammate Antti Raanta (ADP: 108.2). -- Rob Reese

Boston Bruins: Jake DeBrusk (ADP: 167.4) -- The Bruins wing can build on his NHL career-high 27 goals in 68 games last season on a line with center David Krejci and the first power play with elite skaters Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug. -- Rob Reese

Buffalo Sabres: Victor Olofsson (ADP: N/A) -- The Sabres rookie wing has a chance to earn a top-six role after a productive NHL trial last season (four points in six games) and has sneaky upside if he plays with elite center Jack Eichel at even strength and/or on the first power play. -- Pete Jensen

Calgary Flames: Cam Talbot (ADP: 165.5) -- The goalie had at least 31 wins in consecutive seasons (2016-17, 2017-18) for the Edmonton Oilers prior to last season and has bounce-back appeal with the Flames in a potential timeshare competition with the younger David Rittich. -- Pete Jensen

Carolina Hurricanes: Alex Nedeljkovic (ADP: N/A) -- The Hurricanes rookie goalie has won his only NHL start (24 saves on 26 shots faced last season) and could feasibly compete with Petr Mrazek and/or James Reimer with a ceiling of being the biggest rookie goalie steal in fantasy. -- Pete Jensen

Chicago Blackhawks: Dylan Strome (ADP: 155.6) -- The center remains undervalued after his breakout performance with the Blackhawks (51 points in 58 games) last season and has 70-point potential with elite wings Alex DeBrincat and/or Patrick Kane over a full season. -- Pete Jensen

Colorado Avalanche: Sam Girard (ADP: 173.4) -- The Avalanche defenseman has an outside chance to gain first power-play exposure to elite forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog after the Tyson Barrie trade and is attainable much later than top-ranked rookie Cale Makar (ADP: 112.4). -- Pete Jensen

Columbus Blue Jackets: Elvis Merzlikins (ADP: 176.4) -- The Blue Jackets rookie goalie has excelled in Switzerland's top league over the past four seasons and is worth taking in one of the final rounds of a standard draft with a chance to emerge as the starter over Joonas Korpisalo by season's end. -- Pete Jensen

Dallas Stars: Roope Hintz (ADP: 172.3) -- The Stars forward is likely to play with at least one elite forward in Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov and/or new addition Joe Pavelski at even strength and build off his strong postseason (eight points in 13 games). -- Pete Jensen

Detroit Red Wings: Filip Hronek (ADP: 184.1) -- He led defensemen in points at the 2019 IIHF World Championship for the Czech Republic (11 in 10 games) and could build off his late-season success with Detroit (seven points in final six games), especially if he earns a first power-play role with valuable center Dylan Larkin. -- Pete Jensen

Edmonton Oilers: Evan Bouchard (ADP: N/A) -- The rookie has an outside chance to emerge as the top Oilers defenseman considering he was better than a point per game (140 in 112 games) over the past two seasons with London of the Ontario Hockey League. -- Pete Jensen

Florida Panthers: Owen Tippett (ADP: N/A) -- The rookie right wing has a chance to not only make the Panthers roster but also earn a top-six role after scoring better than a point per game over the past three regular seasons and playoffs combined in the Ontario Hockey League. -- Pete Jensen

Los Angeles Kings: Jack Campbell (ADP: N/A) -- The Kings backup goalie could compete with veteran Jonathan Quick for playing time after having a .928 save percentage in 31 games last season and is worth handcuffing as a fourth fantasy goalie if you draft Quick in late rounds. -- Pete Jensen

Minnesota Wild: Ryan Donato (ADP: 163.6) -- The Wild forward was productive after being acquired from the Boston Bruins (16 points in 22 games) last season and could play on the opposite wing of a valuable forward in either Zach Parise or Mats Zuccarello this season. -- Pete Jensen

Montreal Canadiens: Jesperi Kotkaniemi (ADP: N/A) -- The Canadiens center had 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 79 games with mostly bottom-six usage as a rookie last season and carries sleeper potential, especially if Max Domi moves from center back to left wing. -- Pete Jensen

Nashville Predators: Juuse Saros (ADP: 175.8) -- The Predators backup goalie has a .920 save percentage and seven shutouts in 79 NHL games and has gotten more playing time with each passing season, indicating he could eventually split starts with veteran Pekka Rinne. -- Pete Jensen

New Jersey Devils: Nikita Gusev (ADP: 170.1) -- The left wing has yet to play an NHL game but is the top fantasy deep sleeper candidate with a likely top-six role for the much-improved Devils and power-play exposure to elite skaters Taylor Hall and P.K. Subban. -- Pete Jensen

New York Islanders: Devon Toews (ADP: 168.4) -- The Islanders defenseman emerged on the first power-play during the playoffs (five points, four on power play, in eight games) and is an even more intriguing deep sleeper after the hiring of new power-play coach Jim Hiller. -- Pete Jensen

New York Rangers: Adam Fox (ADP: 177.3) -- The rookie defenseman, who led the NCAA in points per game (1.45; 48 points in 33 games) in his junior season at Harvard University, has a chance to capture the first power-play role over Jacob Trouba with the Rangers, bringing exposure to valuable forwards Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and rookie Kaapo Kakko. -- Rob Reese

Ottawa Senators: Drake Batherson (ADP: N/A) -- The Senators rookie forward had nine points (three goals, six assists) in his first 20 NHL games and should have a prominent role with potential exposure to breakout candidate Brady Tkachuk. -- Rob Reese

Philadelphia Flyers: Kevin Hayes (ADP: 154.0) -- The Flyers center is coming off an NHL career-high in points (55 in 71 games) and should bring value on the second line with potential exposure to wings James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek. -- Rob Reese

Pittsburgh Penguins: Alex Galchenyuk (ADP: 173.6) -- The Penguins forward is a potential 2020 unrestricted free agent and could return to 30-goal form on a line with elite center Evgeni Malkin, making Galchenyuk worth drafting in late rounds. -- Rob Reese

San Jose Sharks: Kevin Labanc (ADP: 169.5) -- The Sharks wing had 20 power-play points last season skating on the first unit and could be elevated to the top line with forwards Timo Meier and Logan Couture after the departure of Joe Pavelski. -- Rob Reese

St. Louis Blues: Vince Dunn (ADP: 177.8) -- The Blues defenseman made an impact with 35 points in 78 games last season and could compete for a top power-play spot over Alex Pietrangelo or Justin Faulk under new power-play coach Marc Savard. -- Rob Reese

Tampa Bay Lightning: Ondrej Palat (ADP: N/A) -- The Lightning left wing could skate on a line with center Steven Stamkos and should see time on the first power-play unit with Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman after the J.T. Miller trade. -- Rob Reese

Toronto Maple Leafs: Andreas Johnsson (ADP: 169.8) -- The Maple Leafs wing will likely keep his line placement next to elite center Auston Matthews and could compete for a top power-play spot after the departure of center Nazem Kadri. -- Rob Reese

Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Markstrom (ADP: 156.3) -- The Canucks goalie had 28 wins in 60 games last season and is obtainable in late rounds with a higher ceiling in his contract year (potential 2020 unrestricted free agent) after Vancouver's offseason improvements. -- Rob Reese

Vegas Golden Knights: Paul Stastny (ADP: 158.0) -- The Golden Knights center was productive when healthy last season (42 points in 50 regular-season games; eight in seven playoff games) and can be a late-round steal on a line with valuable wings Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. -- Rob Reese

Washington Capitals: Jakub Vrana (ADP: 170.8) -- The Capitals left wing quietly finished second among Capitals skaters with 23 even-strength goals behind Alex Ovechkin (33) last season and could score at least 30 this season on a line with center Nicklas Backstrom (potential 2020 unrestricted free agent). -- Rob Reese

Winnipeg Jets: Josh Morrissey (ADP: 170.2) -- The Jets defenseman had an NHL career-high 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 59 games last season and should see an increased workload after the departures of Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers, especially with veteran Dustin Byfuglien's future uncertain. -- Rob Reese

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