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Need a comprehensive cheat sheet for your upcoming fantasy hockey draft? THN has you covered with player rankings for the 2016-17 season.
Oct. 11 update: This is my final draft of the 2016-17 rankings. The changes are minor. Thankfully, we've seen several big-name restricted free agents sign 11th-hour deals. Unfortunately, we've lost the world's best player to a concussion. Give these ranks one final look and enjoy your fantasy hockey season, folks. Make sure you scroll to the bottom for some new sleeper picks.
This list blends goalies and skaters into a master breakdown tailored for anyone drafting in leagues with multiple stat categories. The rankings below are based on a standard Yahoo head-to-head format with the following categories: goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power play points, wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
As I say every year, these are fantasy rankings, not real-life rankings. I do not believe Artemi Panarin is better than Jonathan Toews at hockey, but I do believe Panarin will deliver more points for your pool.
Note the conspicuous absence of goalies in this draft of the top 200. I count only 17 guaranteed what I call a "true starter's workload" of 50 games or more. The timeshare situation creates a nightmare for fantasy GMs. If you don't get one of the elite starters, you can wait until late in your draft to take a stopper.
With that, let's begin. Share any disagreements and point out any glaring omissions in the comment section. Thanks!
1. Patrick Kane, RW: Even if 2015-16 goes down as his career year, I'm not convinced he regresses to the 80-point range. Has always been an elite talent. Count on 90-plus.
2. Jamie Benn, LW: Human battering ram somehow improved on his Art Ross 2014-15 after surgery on both hips, jumping from 87 to 89 points. In his prime at 27. A fantasy pool behemoth. Missed World Cup but expected to be ready for start of regular season.
3. Connor McDavid, C: Believe it. Only Kane and Benn bested McDavid's 1.07 points per game last season. McDavid has a real shot to win the scoring title as a sophomore, just as Crosby did.
4. Alex Ovechkin, LW: As I say every year, bump Ovie to first overall if your league counts shots, hits or both. In that type of scoring system, owning him is like owning two players at once.
5. John Tavares, C: Disappointed last regular season but proved in playoffs he's still elite. Count on a return to the 85-point range.
6. Braden Holtby, G: Holtby is the far safer choice than Price and a damn talented one. Wins may be overrated in real life, but they're a crucial counting stat in fantasy, and Holtby racks them up.
7. Erik Karlsson, D: Hockey's equivalent of Rob Gronkowski in fantasy football. Karlsson is such a difference maker at his position that he warrants a first-round selection, though the gap his closing at 'D' with guys like Brent Burns ascending.
8. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW: Goals have jumped from eight to 21 to 37 to 40 in his first four seasons. Still rising at 24. One of these years, Ovie will pass the Rocket Richard Trophy to Tarasenko.
9. Carey Price, G: World Cup gave Price a chance to show how healthy he is. News that the Habs plan to keep Price in the 60-start range keeps him out of the No. 1 goalie rank, though. Holtby has averaged 69 starts over the past two years.
10. Sidney Crosby, C: I've dropped him eight spots with news he's out indefinitely due to a concussion sustained in practice. Since Sid is already skating, he's still probably worth a risk late in your first round, but it is indeed a major risk. Concussions are unpredictable, especially for someone who has endured many.
11. Joe Pavelski, RW: Only Ovechkin has more goals over the past three seasons. It's time we gave Pavelski superstar treatment in fantasy pools.
12. Johnny Gaudreau, LW: Big leap from 64 to 78 points in his second full season. Is it possible 'Johnny Hockey' has another gear? Left wing eligibility makes him that much more valuable.
13. Tyler Seguin, C: Better than a point per game three straight years, but has missed 21 games over past two. A shame, because he's talented enough to vie for the scoring crown. Already dealing with a fracture in his heel to start season.
14. Steven Stamkos, C: A testament to his skill that he can be labelled "not the same player since he broke his leg" – and still be one of just eight guys to top 35 goals in 2015-16. Now the free agency distraction is behind him, too.
15. Brent Burns, D: Tough to imagine him going bananas for 75 points again, but even at 60, which is his floor, he'd remain an elite fantasy blueliner.
16. Evgeni Malkin, C: One of the few locks to average a point per game or better every year. If he wasn't also a lock to miss bushels of games with injuries, he'd rank 10 spots higher.
17. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C: Had zero goals and 11 points over his final 18 games…and still finished as a top-10 scorer. He's only getting started. The goal rate will normalize.
18. Ben Bishop, G: Consistency means the world in head-to-head fantasy leagues. Bishop led plenty of teams to titles and should again this year. Even if Lightning trade him, it will likely be to another contender.
19. Claude Giroux, C: Doesn't look like he'll ever duplicate the brilliance of his 93-point effort in 2011-12. Regardless, he's still one of the game's most prolific point-getters.
20. Anze Kopitar, C: Better to draft for floor than ceiling with your first couple picks, and Kopitar is a rock-solid bet for 65 to 70 points annually.
21. Nikita Kucherov, RW: The fantasy world doesn't yet realize how good this guy is. If you're lucky he'll slide to you in the second round. He could be a consensus first-rounder for 2017-18.
22. Blake Wheeler, RW: Where's the love for Wheeler? Set career high with 78 points last year. Has a chance to stay at this level as his young Winnipeg linemates improve. His floor is nice and high.
23. Nicklas Backstrom, C: Even if he's Washington's No. 2 center now and doesn't always play with Ovie, Backstrom is great in his own right, will have good linemates regardless and will still get major power play time.
24. Ryan Getzlaf, C: He's 30 now and has declined from 87 to 70 to 63 points over past three seasons, playing 77 games in each. Exiting his prime? Or will he recapture former glory with his old coach Randy Carlyle?
25. Kris Letang, D: He's the Malkin of defensemen. Bank on Letang missing at least a dozen games, pray it doesn't happen to be during your league playoffs, and enjoy the otherworldly production whenever he's in the lineup.
26. Henrik Lundqvist, G: Rangers aren't the powerhouse they were even two seasons ago, so 'The King's' wins could sag a bit, but he'll play a lot – and he'll play well. He showed at World Cup he has lots of good hockey left even as he exits his peak years.
27. Taylor Hall, LW: Good enough to thrive despite a decline in linemate quality in New Jersey. At the same time, for all the hype, Hall's career high is 27 goals. Best to treat him as a 25-40-65 guy in drafts this year.
28. P.K. Subban, D: Career year alert! Should have green light to freelance offensively under Peter Laviolette in Nashville. P.K. is 27 and has a lot to prove.
29. Aleksander Barkov, C: Sorry, Nathan MacKinnon, but 'Sasha' has emerged as the gem of the 2013 draft class. He's a legit No. 1 center, ready to bust out for 70 points if he can stay healthy for a full season. Good enough to produce despite Jonathan Huberdeau injury.
30. Filip Forsberg, LW: Tied the Preds' franchise record with 33 goals last year. Expect him to break it this time around.
31. Cory Schneider, G: So good that, even on a bad team, he carves out top-10 value at his position. As underrated as any player in hockey.
32. Artemi Panarin, LW: Can't deny how effective he was in his 77-point, Calder Trophy season. Also can't deny how much he depends on Kane to be fantasy relevant. That makes me mildly nervous.
33. Joe Thornton, C: Finished fourth in points and fifth in MVP voting. Had his best season in five years at age 36. I'm not paying for that production again. Jumbo remains a great all-round player in real life, though.
34. Corey Crawford, G: Now that bellcow goalies are rarer than ever, maybe we'll start appreciating Crawford like we should. He's a borderline top-five guy at his position in fantasy.
35. Corey Perry, RW: No longer a first-round pool commodity, but he'll chip in 30 goals and 65 penalty minutes. Still very useful.
36. Mark Scheifele, C: My favorite breakout pick. Once he took over for injured Bryan Little last February, Scheifele scored at the rate of a top-three fantasy player.
37. Matt Duchene, C: Has underachieved two straight seasons and drew the ire of coach Patrick Roy late last season, but maybe a new coach will light a fire under Duchene.
38. Logan Couture, C: Scored like a superstar in the playoffs. In the regular season? Has never topped 32 goals or 67 points as part of San Jose's deep attack.
39. Jonathan Toews, C: Could he score 80 points if he wanted to? Sure. But Toews sacrifices some offense to play his 200-foot game. That makes him indispensable in real life – but perennially overrated in fantasy, albeit with a pretty high floor.
40. Nathan MacKinnon, RW: I'm tired of paying for the 80-point breakout. It may still come, as MacKinnon is only 21 (!!!), but he costs a pretty penny in drafts for someone who averages 22 goals and 58 points per 82 games in his career. Hard to blame anyone for reaching, though. His skills are so tantalizing, as he showed with that overtime winner at the World Cup.
41. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D: 21 goals, 55 points and 96 PIM from a D-man? Gorgeous. Now that the Coyotes are adding legit offensive talents to the lineup, OEL's numbers are skyrocketing.
42. Milan Lucic, LW: This is the year to rank and target Lucic aggressively. If the big fella can stick on a line with McDavid, 35-35-70 is within reach.
43. Roman Josi, D: Will arrival of Subban help or hinder Josi's production? Both guys like to carry the puck. Whatever happens, Josi is a stud who will cost less than other top-end blueliners.
44. John Klingberg, D: The Stars score like crazy, and that won't change anytime soon. Klingberg should be a 50-point man for years to come.
45. Jack Eichel, C: McDavid love overshadows the fact Eichel had 24 goals and 56 points at 19. He's a phenom, too. A major jump in production isn't guaranteed, but it also wouldn't surprise.
46. John Carlson, D: High floor as the net-filling Capitals' primary D-man. Missed 26 games last year but didn't miss one in the previous five seasons, so give him a mulligan.
47. Dustin Byfuglien, D: Big offensive totals and big PIM year in, year out. Love Big Buff in fantasy pools.
48. Max Pacioretty, LW: Between 30 and 39 goals, between 60 and 67 points in each of his past four full campaigns. That's a sexy floor.
49. Jakub Voracek, RW: I'm hoping his horrible 2015-16 makes him fall a couple rounds. Had just 11 goals last year, but shot a career-low 5.2 percent. His lifetime average? 9.5. Buy.
50. Victor Hedman, D: Floor is around 10 goals and 40 points, and he's still young enough to ascend one more level offensively. Maybe he gets 60 points one of these years.
51. Brad Marchand, LW: Bruins increased Marchand's ice time, including on the power play, and he rewarded them with career-best 37 goals. No reason to change his deployment going forward. That said, I'm worried his dynamite World Cup effort artificially inflates his ADP. He'll retain Patrice Bergeron as a linemate but not Sidney Crosby.
52. Jordan Eberle, RW: Always lands in a great situation on paper and always gives us good-but-not-great production. A monster year makes sense if he plays with McDavid, but we've said that kind of thing before about Eberle.
53. Jonathan Quick, G: Not as overrated as he used to be in fantasy, simply because goalies with his workload are harder to find nowadays.
54. Sean Monahan, C: The fact his production stayed the same when Gaudreau's climbed suggests Monahan is near his ceiling.
55. Wayne Simmonds, RW: At least 28 goals in each of past four full seasons, and 100-plus PIM in three of those years. Simmonds is Lucic minus the McDavid factor.
56. Patrice Bergeron, C: Career pattern suggests he'll dip slightly below last season's 32 goals and 68 points, but 30-30-60 is more than fine for your No. 2 fantasy center.
57. Martin Jones, G: Nice fat workload of 65 games in first full year as a starter. With no experienced NHL backup in San Jose now, Jones has a chance to lead all goalies in appearances.
58. Alex Galchenyuk, C: There's the breakout. We knew it was coming. Since he's still just 22, the question now is.…how much more can he improve on last year's line of 30-26-56?
59. Mark Stone, RW: Had 64 and 61 points in his past two seasons. Combine his post-all-star-break stats in those two years, though, and you get 66 points in 63 games. If Stone ever puts it together for an entire campaign, look out. But his concussion spooks me a bit.
60. Tyler Johnson, C: A tough player to forecast. Will we look back on 2014-15's 72 points as his career outlier? Or Last year's 38-point flop? Best to expect something in between. The opportunity for a recovery is there given Johnson remains entrenched in Tampa's top six.
61. Kevin Shattenkirk, D: Don't worry if Blues trade him. Shattenkirk's puck-moving skill will play wherever he goes, and he'll always be the power play quarterback.
62. Phil Kessel, RW: Settled into HBK Line and scored like a star in the playoffs. Does that mean he'll improve on 26-goal, 59-point regular season? I'll pay to find out.
63. Ryan O'Reilly, C: I never think of him as a big scorer, but he gets 55 to 65 points in his sleep every year.
64. David Krejci, C: Scores about as much as Bergeron but carries a bigger injury risk nowadays. Still a desirable second center on most fantasy squads.
65. Max Domi, LW: A fun pick. Established a nice floor already with a 52-point rookie season and has enough ability to improve on it significantly.
66. Mark Giordano, D: Very encouraging to see Giordano play 82 games. Belongs in the first tier of fantasy D-men, albeit with more risks than most. Turns 33 in October.
67. Brayden Schenn, LW: A hidden fantasy star? Full-season total of 59 was pedestrian, but Schenn had 37 points in final 38 games on a dynamite line with Giroux and Simmonds.
68. Jason Spezza, C: I keep expecting a decline, but Spezza keeps churning out points, especially on the power play. His 33 goals last season were one off his career best.
69. Ryan Johansen, C: Didn't score as much as he should have after trade to Nashville, but maybe he improves with a full off-season to prepare.
70. Tuukka Rask, G: Encouraging that Rask posts above-average stats in pools even during Boston's down years and with a subpar defense corps in front of him.
71. Jake Allen, G: Similar situation and pedigree to John Gibson. Allen has handled slightly larger workloads to date, but Gibson's results have been slightly better. A coin flip between the two in fantasy. Here's more on why I lean slightly toward Allen right now.
72. Duncan Keith, D: A reliable point producer but rarely wows in the goals or PIM category. Ideal for your No. 2 defenseman. He's expected to be healthy by mid-October, but he's becoming creakier at 33.
73. Shayne Gostisbehere, D: Highest points per game by a rookie D-man in 23 years. Will get enough power play time to prevent a sophomore slump.
74. John Gibson, G: Ducks were right to hand the reins to their prized young stopper. Gibson isn't an absolute slam-dunk to break out, but he's been outstanding in smaller samples. Call him this year's Jones.
75. Zach Parise, LW: On one hand, it's exciting to see what Parise might do with a more offense-minded coach. On the other: Parise's health has become a major concern. He's an old 32.
76. Tyson Barrie, D: The Avs may not appreciate him, but fantasy GMs do. A consistent scorer on defense.
77. Mike Hoffman, LW: Has scored 46 of his 56 goals over past two seasons at even strength. Time for Sens to give him first-unit power play duty more often.
78. Shea Weber, D: What does trade to Montreal do to his value? Better offensive players around him, but his aging may offset that, so I'd expect status quo.
79. Tyler Toffoli, RW: No surprise to see such a talented goal scorer reach 30 last season. Can he do much more than that in a Darryl Sutter system? I'm skeptical.
80. Kyle Okposo, RW: Before we get crazy imagining his chemistry with Jack Eichel, let's remember Okposo played with John Tavares. I don't see Okposo's value changing much. Dealing with a minor knee injury now, too.
81. Dylan Larkin, C: Played 80 games as a rookie. Never played more than 35 games in NCAA Div. I. No wonder Larkin hit the wall. He should be more consistent in 2016-17.
82. Drew Doughty, D: I've harped on him for years as a guy whose fantasy production never matches his draft-day cost. He's beginning to buck that trend and score more, however. He's off my avoid list.
83. Aaron Ekblad, D: Goal totals are nice for the young phenom. Assists should rise as the young Panther forwards keep improving. His World Cup concussion was supposedly just whiplash, so he looks like he's all systems go.
84. Gabriel Landeskog, LW: Great in hits leagues, but goals, assists and points have declined two straight years. Another guy we might look to for improvement now that Roy is gone.
85. Rick Nash, LW: Because of his brand name, he's the type of player who will be gone long before I consider drafting him. Two of past three seasons were subpar and abbreviated by injury.
86. Daniel Sedin, LW: We know better than to completely write off the twins but, considering they turn 36 before the season starts, last year's dip in performance is a red flag.
87. Andrew Ladd, LW: A bit low for John Tavares' probable left winger? I'm wary of putting too much stock into line deployments. Ladd fresh off his worst season in half a decade, and he's on wrong side of 30. Still should be a good pool pick, but don't go bananas to get him.
88. Brandon Saad, LW: Another 30 goals? Sure. But can't expect more from the speedster until he has a legit No. 1 center passing to him. In a couple years that might be Pierre-Luc Dubois.
89. David Backes, C: Still a reliable beast in PIM and hits leagues. Offense dipped in 2015-16, however, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it stay in 45-point range with Bruins. A lot of mileage on his hulking, 32-year-old frame given his physical style.
90. Jeff Carter, C: Past three seasons: averaging 25 goals and 58 points. Solid, but ceiling has lowered considerably.
91. Auston Matthews, C: At the World Cup we saw him compete against world-class NHLers. And Matthews looked like a monster, fast, strong and deadly with the puck on his stick. He wasn't my Calder frontrunner before. He is now.
92. Henrik Sedin, C: Same concerns as Daniel, plus Henrik plays a less scarce position.
93. Loui Eriksson, RW: Fun to imagine what he might do with the Sedins. But it's not like Eriksson gets to play with them in their primes.
94. Patrik Laine, RW: Good enough to make a major fantasy impact at 18. Could give you 30 goals with a ton of hits. Ovie Lite. Quiet World Cup didn't faze me. He had his chances. They just didn't go in.
95. Derek Stepan, C: Not convinced Zibanejad slides into first-line role with Rangers. Brassard trade should elevate Stepan into that spot full time.
96. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C: McDavid has marginalized The Nuge's role. If you draft him, you're hoping for a trade to a team that wants him as a No. 1 center.
97. Justin Faulk, D: Casual fans don't know much about him, and that's great news for you. Faulk averages 15.5 goals from the blueline over past two seasons.
98. Roberto Luongo, G: Back from hip surgery ahead of schedule. Still be sure to handcuff with James Reimer if you draft BobbyLu.
99. Ondrej Palat, LW: Strong two-way winger in real life. In fantasy pools he's the third-best Triplet. More of a playmaker than a scorer.
100. Rasmus Ristolainen, D: Had 31 points in 50 games before fading in second half. I know the analytics crowd hates him, but his role is so big and so guaranteed that he's a near lock for nice volume stats.
101. Keith Yandle, D: Between 41 and 59 points in six straight full seasons. Arrives to a Florida team that will give him tons of minutes and power play time.
102. Torey Krug, D: Hopefully his four-goal 2015-16 was a fluke. Had 14 and 12 in the two seasons prior. Solid No. 2 fantasy blueliner either way.
103. Sami Vatanen, D: I expected a bit more from the pint-sized power play dynamo last year. Ducks had top PP in NHL, too, so maybe Vatanen stays at his current level.
104. Leon Draisaitl, C: Deserves more love. Had 51 points in 72 games, and he's just 20. Overshadowed by McDavid.
105. Derick Brassard, C: Should continue his B-level fantasy output in Ottawa. Linemate quality should be more or less the same as what he had in Manhattan.
106. Mats Zuccarello, RW: Amazingly posted career-best numbers a season after terrifying brain injury. Comes relatively cheap in drafts for a guy you can depend on for 50-plus points.
107. Vincent Trocheck, C: Was a powerhouse after all-star break with 26 points in 27 games. Would like to see him do it for a full year, and Nick Bjugstad looms behind him on depth chart, but Trocheck is a sneaky-good pick.
108. Ryan Suter, D: Career-best 51 points last year. Steady source of assists, with potential to match or exceed last year now that Bruce Boudreau coaches the Wild.
109. James Neal, RW: Doesn't wow like he did in Pittsburgh. That doesn't mean he isn't useful. Who couldn't use 25 to 30 goals?
110. Alexander Steen, LW: Will be interesting to see if he gets more looks at center with Backes gone in St. Louis.
111. Robby Fabbri, LW: A real gamer with great hands, like a young Danny Briere. Should crack 50-point plateau as a sophomore.
112. Devan Dubnyk, G: His 2015-16 was more than good enough to show the 2014-15 bust-out was for real. A good low-end starter or a high-end backup for your fantasy team.
113. Petr Mrazek, G: Has Vezina Trophy talent, but bouts of inconsistency and Jimmy Howard's presence drag Mrazek's value down slightly.
114: Jonathan Drouin, LW: This ranking might end up way too low, and I'm as bullish as anyone on Drouin, but keep in mind the sample size of his excellence remains small.
115. Jaden Schwartz, LW: Broken ankle abbreviated start of last season for him, and now he's out four weeks with an elbow injury. Damn.
116. Jeff Skinner, LW: Enters his seventh NHL year, and he's still just 24. His best season may still be ahead of him, believe it or not.
117. Tomas Tatar, LW: Did not expect a regression last season. His usage hurts. Only 14:21 a game? That's a double-take stat.
118. Sam Reinhart, RW: Becoming a fun post-hype sleeper. Nice chemistry with Eichel. Strong chance to improve on last year's 23 goals.
119. Zdeno Chara, D: Juuust clinging to relevance in non-PIM leagues. In PIM leagues, though? Chara remains darn handy with his blend of offense and grit.
120. Boone Jenner, C: Big, strong, good leader, scores 30 goals. He's a young David Backes and will probably rank ahead of him on this list next year.
121. Pekka Rinne, G: Rank him at least 20 spots higher if your league only uses counting stats, such as wins and shutouts. Rinne's rate stats, however, have been ordinary three of past four seasons. Has become overvalued.
122. Jaromir Jagr, RW: Keep drafting the legend until the bottom falls out. The bottom will fall out eventually, however, so just don't invest too high of a pick to get him.
123. Sam Bennett, C: Last year's four-goal game reminds us how good he can be. I expect improvement, but it won't be astronomical. He's still raw and behind Monahan on depth chart.
124. Mika Zibanejad, C: Has enviable size, speed and natural offensive ability. Numbers were on the incline in Ottawa. A breakout season with Rangers wouldn't surprise me.
125. Bobby Ryan, RW: Elite draft pedigree, and paid like an elite player, but Ryan hasn't topped 23 goals or 56 points as an Ottawa Senator.
126. Brendan Gallagher, RW: Was enjoying his best season ever before the injury bug bit him in 2015-16. Can he carry that production over in 2016-17?
127. T.J. Oshie, RW: He's 29 now. We know exactly what we are getting with him. A fine second or third winger in pools.
128. Kyle Turris, C: Fresh off a disastrous season, but we can blame his injuries and hope he returns to the 50-point level.
129. Brian Elliott, G: Will get a nice increase in volume stats as Calgary's starter. Rate stats should plummet, though, as he'll be peppered with higher-quality chances. That leaves overall value roughly unchanged.
130. Dougie Hamilton, D Solid offensive D-man who scores goals. Calgary has so many good scoring blueliners, though, that they rob a bit of fantasy value from each other.
131. James van Riemsdyk, LW: Potential steal. Maintained his scoring post-Kessel last season before injuries struck. Could JVR make magic with Matthews?
132. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW: Had 16 points in 23 games after all-star break. Massive leap possible, maybe even probable, if he sticks on Scheifele line.
133. Alex Pietrangelo, D: Such an important part of St. Louis' game plan that he'll always play a ton and get his points. Not elite in fantasy, but good enough for any team's lineup.
134. Kyle Palmieri, RW: Scored 30 out of nowhere! Well, not exactly out of nowhere. Palmieri was a first-round pick in 2009. It just took him longer than expected to realize his potential.
135. Henrik Zetterberg, LW: Feels strange ranking Zetterberg this low, but he's coming off a knee injury, his production is declining steadily and he'll be 36 when the season starts.
136. Alexander Radulov, RW: He won't be a bust coming from the KHL like Sergei Plotnikov, as Radulov has played in the NHL before, so we know what he can do. He also won't be a supernova like Panarin, as Radulov is 30.
137. T.J. Brodie, D: Awesome, underrated D-man in real life. He's no slouch in fantasy, either. Good source of assists. A poor man's Suter.
138. Anthony Duclair, RW: Great speed, great skill and should improve on his 20-goal, 44-point rookie year as he plays more minutes – and shoots more often.
139. Patric Hornqvist, RW: If he was going to set the world on fire as Crosby's linemate, it would've happened by now, but Hornqvist is a useful secondary or tertiary scorer nonetheless.
140. Andre Burakovsky, LW: Should spend balance of year on Washington's second line taking feeds from Backstrom or Kuznetsov. And Burakovsky has dazzling skill. Yes, please. Major sleeper.
141. Tomas Hertl, LW: Slowly clawing back to the fantasy value he established as a rookie. Decent scorer on San Jose's top line. Still feels like the famous four-goal game set unrealistic expectations for his career, though.
142. Morgan Rielly, D: Still just 22 and gets better every year. As Toronto's young forwards arrive and start scoring, Rielly's power play points should rise, turning him into a strong fantasy commodity. He looked like a player ready to break out at the World Cup with Team North America.
143. David Pastrnak, RW Hasn't yet met expectations, but he was NHL's youngest player during his rookie campaign two years ago. Lots of time left to blossom. I dropped him 31 spots because I realized I too often treat his breakout as money in the bank, when it's still not a sure thing.
144. Marc-Andre Fleury, G: Gets at least a temporary boost with Matt Murray's broken hand, sustained at the World Cup, knocking him out for the season's first month. Can Fleury wrest the No. 1 gig back?
145. Gustav Nyquist, RW: His amazing finish to 2013-14 is but a distant dream now. Wasn't even rosterable in shallow leagues by the end of last season.
146. Charlie Coyle, RW: Coyle enjoyed his first 20-goal season despite not scoring in his final 18 games. That's a good thing, right?
147. Mikael Granlund, LW: I'll kick the can one more time. If he can't finally become a big-time scorer with Boudreau in town, it'll never happen.
148. Jussi Jokinen, LW: A 60-point season? Very impressive. I can never shake the feeling Jokinen is always just keeping a top-six seat warm for a younger, more promising player, though.
149. Brent Seabrook, D: Tough to see him matching his career high 14 goals and 49 points again, but Seabrook is consistently above average in pools.
150. Paul Stastny, C: Should score a lot more for a forward who regularly tops 19 minutes a game.
151. Victor Rask, C: Wasn't Elias Lindholm supposed to be the next big thing in Carolina? Countryman Rask has leapfrogged him developmentally.
152. Frederik Andersen, G: Leafs aren't paying him $5 million for a timeshare role. Freddie should play 60 games at minimum.
153. Frans Nielsen, C: Strong two-way pivot should play a ton in Detroit considering he's getting $5.25 million annually. Poolies can target him as their No. 3 center.
154. Jesse Puljujarvi, RW: Kris Versteeg ended up a Flame, opening the door for Puljujarvi to start the year in the NHL. I'm still skeptical that he's ready, and keep in mind he's AHL eligible, but he's a fine flier given his talent.
155. Bryan Little, C: Scheifele was so good after Little got hurt that Little will open the year as Jets' No. 2 center. Value takes a hit.
156. Scott Hartnell, LW: Getting old, but still gives you 20 goals with lots of PIM and hits.
157. Ryan Kesler, C: Better in real life than fantasy at this stage of his career. Most rosters have a place for a 50-point center, though.
158. Bo Horvat, C: Confident in his continued ascension, especially if he can hold off a healthy Brandon Sutter for Canucks' second-line center gig.
159. Mikko Koivu, C: Hasn't bested 17 goals since 2009-10. A solid assist man, but will Eric Staal signing nudge Koivu down Minnesota's depth chart?
160. Teuvo Teravainen, LW: Carolina was the perfect landing spot for him. He has as much raw skill as any player on the roster, so he'll earn a major role.
161. Rickard Rakell, C: Outstanding athlete and deflection artist. Whether he bests his 20-23-43 sophomore totals depends a lot on which line he plays on with Ducks. Needs to sign first, though.
162. Reilly Smith, RW: A boring pick, but a safe bet for 45 to 50 points if that's what you need.
163. Nazem Kadri, C: Should open season as Leafs' No. 1 center. If he shoots as much as he did last season, he'll set a career high in goals, as his shooting percentage should regress to the mean.
164. William Nylander, C: An upside pick. If you believe he's ready for prime time, spend a late pick on him. If he flops, no biggie.
165. Brandon Dubinsky, C: Point production is OK, but his PIMs elevate him above waiver-wire status.
166. Marian Hossa, RW: I'm more bullish than I should be on a 37-year-old coming off a 33-point season. Hawks' depth chart is so thin that they have to keep playing Hossa on top line, right?
167. Andrei Markov, D: He's supposed to be old and creaky yet has missed one game in past four seasons. Still plays a ton and still gets 40 or more points.
168. Sean Couturier, C: Offense starting to catch up to his exemplary defensive game a little bit.
169. Mikko Rantanen, RW: My darkhorse to win the Calder Trophy. Big power forward destroyed the AHL last year. He's ready to score in the NHL for Avs. Unfortunately, he's battling an ankle injury which could hinder his chances of starting 2016-7 with the big club.
170. Elias Lindholm, C: Big-time talent, but only 28 goals combined in past two seasons. My enthusiasm has waned slightly.
171. Carl Soderberg, C: You can draft him for his 15 goals and 50 points…or you can pick a boom-bust guy like Rantanen, with far more upside, knowing Soderberg will be waiting on the wire if you need him.
172. Patrick Sharp, RW: Still a good stopgap as a secondary scorer but turns 35 in December. Suddenly has more downside than upside.
173. Seth Jones, D: Jackets will make him their horse on 'D.' The points will start to pile up. Only a matter of time for the prodigy.
174. Cam Talbot, G: Wasn't half bad after rocky start in Oilers crease. If you believe the team will start to rise, why not bet on its goalie, too?
175. Semyon Varlamov, G: Good goalie, bad team. Soft-tissue injuries starting to become a problem, and Avs have a strong second option in Calvin Pickard.
176. Jakob Silfverberg, RW: A perpetual tease. Scored at the pace of a 30-goal man after the break last season, so I'll probably take the plunge yet again. Sigh.
177. J.T. Miller, LW: Entered last season as a sleeper and delivered on his promise with a 22-goal outburst. I don't think his evolution is complete.
178. Jaroslav Halak, G: Goalies can compartmentalize the World Cup and claim it has no bearing on their NHL roles, but come on. Halak was amazing for Team Europe and started over Isles teammate Thomas Greiss. Halak more than likely gets to open 2016-17 as the starter. May miss opener, but he's just sick, not injured.
179. Sergei Bobrovsky, G: We know he's still good, but all the injuries are maddening. Maybe one of these years he stays healthy and becomes a huge draft-day bargain.
180. Justin Williams, RW: A handy fringe player in deeper leagues as long as he remains on Caps' top two lines.
181. Chris Kreider, LW: It appears the stats will never quite match the eye test for the big, speedy workout beast. Kreider is 25 now and hasn't eclipsed 21 goals in his career.
182. David Perron, LW: Can play either wing, so he has a solid shot to toil on a scoring line in his second tour with Blues.
183. Leo Komarov, RW: Only a consideration in leagues counting hits. Quite a nice find in those leagues, though.
184. Artem Anisimov, C: Just 42 points last season despite playing with Kane and Panarin. So this is as good as it gets for Anisimov.
185. Matt Dumba, D: Has flashed good goal-scoring potential for a D-man. Look for that trend to continue.
186. Brock Nelson, LW: One of many young Isles forwards who failed to take a step forward last season, but at least he didn't take a step backward.
187. Eric Staal, C: I'm skeptical about a redemption but, hey, it's not like Staal is ancient. He's certainly not young at 31, either, but a bounce-back with Wild isn't the craziest idea in the world.
188. Adam Henrique, C: Whereas I buy Palmieri's 30 goals, I'm skeptical Henrique can duplicate his.
189. Patrick Marleau, LW: Marleau has gone from first-liner to second-liner and, with Mikkel Boedker in town, we might see Marleau as a third-liner some nights.
190. Jordan Staal, C: Had some decent stretches as Canes' No .1 pivot last season and should open 2016-17 in that role.
191. Jiri Hudler, RW: Just one season removed from 31 goals and 76 points. Valeri Nichushkin's departure all but solidifies Hudler's spot in Dallas' top six.
192. Alex Goligoski, D: I don't expect a major drop-off even though he left the NHL's top-scoring team. Arizona's scoring should climb this season, and Goligoski should get plenty of power play duty.
193. Mike Smith, G: Similar to Cam Talbot in Edmonton in that Smith is a decent pick if you believe his team is ready to climb. Coyotes like the backup Louis Domingue too, though.
194. Mike Cammalleri, LW: Wait for his first hot streak and trade him before the inevitable injury.
195. Mikkel Boedker, LW: Careful. Joins a better team, but that means he's not the top dog, especially on the power play.
196. Matt Murray, G: Hopefully you have room to stash him on your bench. Still has top-10 upside as his position, but has to outduel Fleury and now a hand injury, too.
197. Dylan Strome, C: Nothing left to prove in major junior. He's the Coyotes' long-term franchise center. Rookie sleeper.
198. Mitch Marner, RW: He's getting his shot with the Leafs. Could easily end up returned to junior after nine-game trial, but the offensive potential is sky high. Great late-round lottery ticket.
199. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW: Out three to four months with leg injury, but should be a first-liner again when he returns. Still worth drafting if your league has bench spots.
200. Jason Chimera, RW: After waiving P-A Parenteau, the Isles look like they'll move left winger Chimera into the right wing slot on the top line with Tavares and Ladd. I never like to chase line combinations, as they change so quickly, but if you can get Chimera with your very last pick, fill your boots.
On the bubble: Matt Barzal, Nail Yakupov, Anders Lee, Martin Hanzal, Nino Niederreiter, Thomas Greiss, Ryan Strome, Nick Bonino, Ryan McDonagh, Cam Atkinson, Nick Bjugstad, Tanner Pearson, Marcus Johansson, Nick Leddy, Jarome Iginla, Connor Hellebuyck, Tyler Ennis, Sebastian Aho, Craig Anderson, Jason Pominville, Troy Brouwer, Mike Green, Jake Muzzin, Ryan Miller, Tomas Plekanec, Colton Parayko, Hampus Lindholm, Ryan Spooner, Evander Kane, Steve Mason, Alexander Wennberg, Lee Stempniak, Cam Ward, Carl Hagelin, Robin Lehner, Pavel Zacha, Esa Lindell, Nick Schmaltz, Pavel Buchnevich, Kris Versteeg, Jonathan Marchessault
Matt Larkin is a writer and editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to thn.com. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin
Dale Weise could be hit with the second suspension of his career after delivering a shoulder to the head of Korbinian Holzer during Thursday’s game between the Flyers and Ducks.
Dale Weise was Philadelphia’s main off-season signing, but it appears the most memorable act of his first four games in a Flyers uniform is going to be a suspension for a hit dished out to Anaheim Ducks defenseman Korbinian Holzer.
Weise’s hit came during the second period of Thursday’s game between the Flyers and the Ducks as a Philadelphia power play ended. As Holzer attempted to move the puck up ice, he was met by Weise, who drilled the Ducks rearguard with a high hit that drove Holzer’s visor into his nose and bloodied him.
In real time, the hit didn’t look like much, but the replay of the blow shows Weise seemingly load up his legs and launch into the hit. Weise’s back skate comes off the ice before contact with Holzer is made, and the Flyers winger is airborne as the check is completed:
No penalty was called on the play at the time of the hit and, in fact, the Flyers were the team to get a power play as a result of Weise’s hit. Moments after he dropped Holzer, Ryan Getzlaf got his stick in Weise’s skates and was whistled for tripping.
Just because no call was made on Weise, though, doesn’t mean the Department of Player Safety wasn’t going to take a look, and the league announced Friday morning that Weise will have a hearing for an illegal check to the head on Holzer.
That Weise is set to have a hearing likely means a ban of at least one game is headed his way, especially with what can be seen when the play is slowed down. Weise’s launching into the hit is one thing and probably would have been let go had this been a shoulder to shoulder blow, but that Weise’s shoulder makes contact with nothing but Holzer’s head is likely what will make the hit a suspendable offense.
When it comes to suspension length, that Holzer was able to remain in the game and doesn’t appear to have suffered any injury beyond the facial laceration will work in Weise’s favor, but Weise’s history — albeit short — with the Department of Player Safety could see him sitting for a few games.
Weise was suspended for three preseason games ahead of the 2013-14 season while a member of the Vancouver Canucks. During an exhibition tilt between the Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, Weise delivered a shoulder to the head of Taylor Hall, and that hit resulted in the three-game ban.
UPDATE: Weise has been suspended three games for his hit on Holzer, a ban which will cost him $39,166.68, all of which will go the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. In the suspension video, Patrick Burke, the NHL's director of Player Safety, said that Holzer was eligible to be checked on the play, but it was the unnecessary extension up and into the head by Weise that made the hit worthy of a suspension.
"Rather than stay low and hitting squarely through his opponent's body, Weise extends his body unnecessarily upward and makes Holzer's head the main point of contact," Burke explained. "And while Holzer does attempt to slow down as Weise approaches, he does not materially change the position of his body or head immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit in a way that significantly contributed to the head contact."
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The Stars don't know exactly when they can expect Sharp’s return, which means yet another player has been added to Dallas’ growing injury list.
The Dallas Stars are going to be without Patrick Sharp, but they don’t know just how long the veteran winger will be on the shelf.
Sharp, 34, was forced to leave Thursday’s game against the Kings during the second period after being walloped along the boards by Los Angeles blueliner Brayden McNabb. Early in the frame, with Dallas on a power play, Sharp took a pass from Devin Shore and stepped over the blueline with Jeff Carter giving chase. In order to sidestep Carter, Sharp moved along the right wing boards where he was met with a solid jolt from McNabb.
No penalty was called on the play, and the replay shows that McNabb caught Sharp about as square on the shoulder as possible.
Regardless of how clean the hit may have been, though, Sharp immediately grabbed his head and was slow to get to his feet. He remained out on the power play for another 20 seconds before leaving the ice, but after heading to the bench, Sharp left the game. The Stars later announced he wouldn’t return due to “concussion-like symptoms,” and Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Sharp’s absence will go beyond Thursday’s game.
“Sharp will be out,” Ruff said, according to Mark Stepneski. “He missed the rest of the game on the hit but I don’t know what the time frame is.”
And even if Sharp is diagnosed with a concussion, that won’t make his timeframe for return any more clear. Unlike other injuries where it’s easier to gauge recovery times, a concussion can sideline a player for a few games or for months at a time.
The good news for Sharp, though, is that he doesn’t have a long history of serious head injures. In October 2010, Sharp, then with the Chicago Blackhawks, was forced out of the lineup with what was at the time called a “slight concussion,” but he returned after missing just one game and hasn’t missed any time with head injuries since.
The timing of the injury is brutal for Dallas, especially after an off-season in which seemingly none of their key top-six players could stay healthy. Already, the Stars are without Jiri Hudler (flu), Ales Hemsky (groin), Cody Eakin (knee), Mattias Janmark (knee) and Jason Dickinson (hip), so losing Sharp — and possibly Patrick Eaves, who also left the contest Thursday after a blocked shot — would be another serious blow to the dynamic Dallas offense.
Through four games this season, Sharp had mustered just one assist but had put 10 shots on goal.
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Ryan Murray has missed more than 80 games over the past three seasons, and it looks like he could be sidelined once again after suffering an upper-body injury Friday.
The Blue Jackets had high hopes for defenseman Ryan Murray when he was selected second overall in the 2012 draft, and Columbus still believes he can be an integral part of the organization. That’s why the Blue Jackets inked Murray to a two-year, $5.65-million extension in February.
The thing is, it’s hard for Murray to prove his worth when he’s injured. He was forced to miss the second game of the season with a lower-body injury, and now the oft-injured 23-year-old rearguard looks like he may be back on the shelf once again.
Murray was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks after he got tangled up with Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook behind the Chicago net. Murray headed to the Blue Jackets’ bench shortly after the collision, and he did not return to the contest with what the team was calling an upper-body injury.
Any injury that forces Murray to miss time — be it short-term or long-term — would be a seriously disappointing turn of events for the young blueliner, as he’s been forced to spend much of his short career on the shelf. The 2015-16 season saw Murray play all 82 games, but he wasn’t so lucky during the first two years of his career.
In 2014-15, Murray missed all but 12 games due to various lower-body injuries. It started with a knee injury in October, continued with an ankle injury in February and his season ended with yet another unspecified lower-body injury. And while the 2013-14 season wasn’t as bad, he still missed 16 games with lower-body ailments.
When Murray has been healthy, he has proven he can be every bit the offensive blueliner the team had hoped he would become when they selected him second overall. In 161 games, he has nine goals and 49 points and he posted a healthy four goals and 25 points while averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice time per game in 2015-16.
As for what Murray’s potential absence could do to the Blue Jackets, it could simply signal a bigger role for Zach Werenski earlier than coach John Tortorella had planned, and Cody Goloubef, who was sent down just recently, could already be heading back to the big club.
If there’s any positive spin, at least it isn’t another lower-body injury this time? Whichever way you slice it, though, the last thing the Blue Jackets wanted to deal with was another injury to a once promising prospect such as Murray.
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