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Vancouver Canucks fantasy hockey outlook

by Pete Jensen / NHL.com

As part of NHL.com's offseason 30 in 30 package, fantasy hockey insiders Matt Cubeta and Pete Jensen will break down each team's fantasy landscape. They will look at the players at the top of the ranks, an undervalued player, an overvalued player, a deep sleeper (players likely ranked outside the top 200 overall players) and the goalie outlook for each NHL team.

Leading the way: Daniel Sedin

Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin formed the best point pair in 2014-15, marking the seventh time in the past nine seasons they've led the NHL (alone in first six times, tied for first once). Although the twins had nearly identical outputs in five of the six standard Yahoo categories (goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points) in the same number of games (82), the discrepancy in shots on goal (Daniel: 226; Henrik: 101) made Daniel significantly more valuable.

CANUCKS' FANTASY-RELEVANT PLAYERS

Below is a list of the fantasy-relevant players in the Vancouver Canucks organization. These players have been arranged by NHL.com's fantasy staff based on projected value and by position. These players range from top-tier assets to deep sleepers and should be on your radar in standard Yahoo leagues.

FORWARDS

Daniel Sedin
Radim Vrbata
Henrik Sedin
Alex Burrows
Bo Horvat

DEFENSEMEN

Alexander Edler
Yannick Weber

GOALIES

Ryan Miller
Jacob Markstrom

Henrik had a much higher shooting percentage (17.8, fourth among players with 100-plus SOG) and 18 goals; Daniel's was much lower (8.8), but he scored 20. If Daniel converts at his career average (11.6 percent) with the same SOG volume next season, he'll score 26. Anything higher likely would mean a 30-goal season, something he's done four times and Henrik has never done. Daniel plays a more scarce fantasy position (left wing) and was one of five players with 75-plus points, 25-plus PPP and 225-plus SOG last season (others: Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Tyler Seguin). Daniel is an ideal fifth-round pick, and it's possible he could fall that far based on his Yahoo preseason rank (65th).

Undervalued: Radim Vrbata

Vrbata‘s preseason Yahoo rank (119th) indicates many fantasy owners may underestimate him again despite his top-30 finish last season. The Canucks may have him play on a line separate from the Sedins to balance their scoring, like they did late in 2014-15, but Vrbata is still one of seven players with 50-plus goals (51), 50-plus assists (63) and 530-plus SOG (530) over the past two seasons. He was among the top 10 in power-play goals and SOG after being drafted on average with the 154th pick last season, so scoop him up if he's still available in the seventh or eighth round.

Overvalued: Henrik Sedin

Henrik is a selective shooter but has historically seen a major drop-off in seasons following a high percentage. Even if Henrik converts at his career rate (13.3) next season, he would score 13 goals if he has another low SOG total. It's worth noting that 15 players had 30-plus goals last season, but 105 players had 30-plus assists, proving goals are much harder to come by. The Sedins continue to prove their worth as a top-tier duo, but it's always better to wait a few extra rounds for Henrik. When looking at Henrik's numbers and Yahoo rank compared to veteran center Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Thornton is clearly undervalued and Henrik is overvalued. Why waste a pick in the sixth or seventh round on Henrik when you can get Thornton in the ninth or 10th?

Deep sleepers: Bo Horvat and Yannick Weber

The Canucks acquired Brandon Sutter in the trade that sent Nick Bonino to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Sutter has never had 20 assists in a single season. Among potential No. 2 centers for the Canucks, there's no question Horvat has a higher fantasy ceiling than Sutter. Bonino contributed offensively, but the trade gives the Canucks a chance to elevate Horvat, 20, and slide Sutter into a more appropriate third-line role. Horvat barely saw any power-play time as a rookie but had 13 goals, 12 assists and 93 SOG in 68 games. He's a work in progress after weak possession numbers last season, but if he ends up with Vrbata, his assist output would spike and give him late-round value.

Weber had the seventh-highest shooting percentage (9.4) among defensemen with 100-plus SOG and had 11 goals, including five on the power play in 1:27 of man-advantage ice time per game. He played 17:11 per night, so a bigger role could be in store for him after the Canucks traded Kevin Bieksa. Weber played 65 games last season but averaged 1.8 SOG per game -- an 82-game pace of nearly 150. Alexander Edler and Dan Hamhuis finished ahead of him in D scoring for Vancouver, but Weber is younger than them and should intrigue fantasy owners. He likely won't be drafted but has a chance to take the next step if he sees a heightened role and finally plays a full season.

Goalie outlook: Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom

It's understandable if you avoid Miller come draft day. His win total (29 in 45 games) last season was strong thanks to a 15-4-0 start in the first two months, but he's a middle-tier starter at best and there's a chance the Canucks will regress this season and miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- especially with the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings two threats to get back in. Miller's goals-against average (2.53, 27th) and save percentage (.911, 32nd) ranks are far from a ringing endorsement, and the 35-year-old's best fantasy days are likely behind him.

Markstrom was a highly regarded prospect but has never gotten a true shot at a starting job from his days with the Florida Panthers to his current situation in Vancouver. But the Canucks traded Eddie Lack, their stretch-run goalie in 2014-15, to the Carolina Hurricanes this offseason, opening the door for Markstrom as a dark horse. He's not worth drafting unless you're in a deep format, but he has a legitimate chance of making 25-30 starts. Add him to your watch list in case Miller goes down with injury again.

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