Well, it’s that time of the year. Hockey is back, and millions of Canadians will be rushing to their computer to fire up some fantasy hockey.
That means we here at Triple Coverage will be launching our fantasy hockey coverage, starting with the Top-10 lists. Today I bring you the top fantasy forwards heading into this season. Callum will be compiling the top D-men, while Sho, will cover the men between the pipes.
1.) Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane led the NHL in points last year cruising to both the Art Ross and Hart Trophy as the Blackhawks had another strong year offensively. Kane looks poised to have a big year once again playing on a line with last years Calder winner, Artemi Panarin, and Artem Anisimov. The Hawks have lost some talent up front, but this line, and Kane’s power play wizardry, will lead to a lot of points and should propel Kane near the top of the NHL’s scoring leaders.
2.) Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
“Ovie” once again led the league in goals last year with 50. The Russian winger is as dominant a goal scorer the league has seen during his career and he will probably post at least another 40 goals this season. The assists may not be there all the time, but those goals are hard to pass up. Ovechkin narrowly edges out rival Sidney Crosby for number two on the list.
3.) Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Sid “the Kid” is fresh off winning another Stanley Cup but had a “down year” offensively according to some. Crosby still put up 85 points and really came on strong post-all star break. Look, Crosby is a excellent player and is one of the greatest talents the league has ever seen. There is an injury fear, but if he stays healthy, Crosby could easily lead the league in points this year.
4.) Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas Stars
Benn has been an incredibly consistent point producer the past few seasons firmly establishing himself as one of the top players in the NHL. Benn led the league in scoring two seasons ago with 87 points, then followed that up with 89, finishing second last year. Benn also has the luxury of playing on a Stars team that scores a ton of goals, so expect the big winger to find himself safely inside the top- 10 of NHL scoring.
5.) Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers
Ahhhh the Oilers. The long-time laughing stock of the NHL. After years of toiling in the basement, landing first pick after first pick, it appears they may finally be figuring it out. A lot of that has to do with all-world youngster Connor McDavid. McDavid may be entering his second year but he is as good as they get and it would not surprise this writer at all to see him make some serious noise in season two. Remember, Panarin may have won the Calder, but McDavid put up 48 points in only 45 games, and he can do things like this… so I would say he is pretty good.
6.) Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars
A second Stars forward lands in the top-10. Seguin is another one of the leagues top young talents playing along side Jamie Benn down in Texas. Seguin is a playmaker who can score goals and set up his teammates, who happen to be pretty good themselves. All this leads me to believe that Seguin, if he is healthy, should be on track for a huge year, potentially topping his career high of 84 points.
7.) John Tavares, C, New York Islanders
Tavares is a forgotten talent playing on New York’s second favourite team, but don’t let his lack of exposure fool you. The guy can flat out play. “Johnny T” put up 70 points last year and is about as steady a point producer there is. He has a chance to put up more points if new-comer Andrew Ladd can adequately replace Kyle Okposo.
8.) Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks
Pavelski, like Tavares, is another steady point producer who is good for 70-80 points any given year. Pavelski is not as naturally skilled as Tavares is, but he does play for the better offensive team, which helps boost the American’s value. Too be honest, these two can be flip flopped when it gets closer to draft day, but for now I like Tavares more.
9.) Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, St. Louis Blues
Tarasenko is essentially Ovechkin, light. The Blues player has a very similar skill set to the Capitals star in that they both can skate like the wind and love scoring goals. Tarasenko buried 40 goals last season and is a threat to score 50 this year. With Ovechkin getting older it could only be a matter of time before the Blues star takes over the mantle of the leagues best Russian goal scorer.
10.) Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames
“Johnny Hockey” is in the middle of a contract dispute with the Calgary Flames but you can’t deny that the pint-sized American winger has all the talent in the world when he is on the ice. Gaudreau had 78 points last year and, if/when he gets paid by the Flames he will make them a far more dynamic offence. Earlier we compared Tarasenko to Ovechkin, well Gaudreau is basically a copy of Patrick Kane, as they are smaller, shifty wingers who can make plays all over the ice, scoring and setting up their teammates.
Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning; Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia Flyers; Evgeny Kuznetsov, RW, Washington Captials; Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning; Corey Perry, RW, Anaheim Ducks