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Preseason: Fantasy top 100 forward rankings for 2017-18 lists most valuable standard-league assets for this season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / 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 14th and 61st.


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


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 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.

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

Others to consider: Mikko Koivu, C, MIN; David Krejci, C, BOS; Matt Duchene, C/RW, COL; Ryan Strome, C/RW, EDM; Brayden Point, C/RW, TBL; Nico Hischier, C, NJD; Clayton Keller, C/LW, ARI; Brock Boeser, RW, VAN; Rick Nash, LW/RW, NYR; Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL; Vadim Shipachyov, C/LW, VGK; Elias Lindholm, C/RW, CAR; J.T. Miller, LW/RW, NYR; Teuvo Teravainen, C/LW, CAR (INJ.); Joshua Ho-Sang, RW, NYI; Kailer Yamamoto, RW, EDM; Bo Horvat, C, VAN (INJ.); Derek Stepan, C, ARI; Patrick Sharp, LW/RW, CHI; Vincent Trocheck, C, FLA; Nolan Patrick, C, PHI; Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL; Alex DeBrincat, RW, CHI; Alexander Steen, C/LW, STL (INJ.); Patrick Eaves, RW, ANA (INJ.)


NOTES: Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, 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.


READ: April's Top 100 Forwards

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