Ranking the top 250 players for fantasy hockey in 2016-17 – NHL

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    This offseason has been fantastic for fans of fantasy hockey who tend to thrive on change and how to assess the value of such change. just a few of the starters are enough to tempt: a top-five defenseman switching teams, a former no. 1 pick with new house, various nos. 1 goalkeepers and the return of a star winger from Russia.

    • the fantasy hockey draft dilemma: mathews or laine?

      In addition to the impact of the NHL draft, which is covered more fully in our look at Auston Matthews versus Patrik Laine, we have to consider trades, free agency, and the residual effects of the Stanley Cup playoffs.


      There’s always too much to highlight it all, but stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as fall approaches and the 2016-17 fantasy hockey draft season approaches.

      forward up and down

      Logan Couture, C, San Jose Sharks(Moved up 45 spots to #41): We had Couture in our top 40 forwards before the 2015-16 season for good reason. he had just finished a season with 27 goals, 67 points and a career-high in shots on goal at the age of 25. the company of the nhl’s elite midfielders. But Couture broke his leg just a couple of games into the season, missing a couple of months, and found himself on the back row for much of the rest of the regular season.

      through 52 regular season games, couture managed just 15 goals and 36 points. only 21 of those points came with equal force. then came the playoffs. In line with Patrick Marleau and Joonas Donskoi, Couture helped propel the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final with 10 goals and 30 points in just 24 games. her match-strength 19 points in the playoffs almost matched his efforts during the regular season. we definitely saw haute couture which has become a non-fantasy. 2 centerman and should once again see him as such in 2016-17.

      Taylor Hall, LW, New Jersey Devils(Move up 14 spots to #56): Three seasons together as linemates at the OHL and on the Canadian Junior World Championship team are separated by six years for corridor and adam henrique. But I bet the magic these two worked together en route to two Memorial Cup championships with the Windsor Spitfires still has some spark. During their three seasons together at Windsor, Hall and Henrique combined for 211 goals and 253 assists in 359 games played during the regular season, and a further 80 goals and 77 assists in 108 games played in the playoffs and Memorial Cup tournaments. that’s a lot of celebrations on ice for this duo. six years cannot erase the memory of nearly 300 goals scored.

      hall, meanwhile, turned in a disappointing point total in his first full 82-game nhl campaign at the age of 24 last season. But he was playing in a situation with many cooks in the kitchen, one of whom was Connor McDavid. In New Jersey, Hall will be the unquestioned focal point of an offense that finished last in the NHL for scoring last season. If he defines the sky as 30 goals and 80 points, then the sky is the limit for the hallway this season.

      Loui Eriksson, LW, Vancouver Canucks(Moves up 21 spots to #104): There’s little doubt that Eriksson’s plan will be to try and build on the connection he’s had in the past with the sedin twins of the Swedish national team. The trio last played together closing out a gold medal at the 2013 world championships, combining for 22 points in the last four games as the Swedes captured the gold medal. Largely playing a back-six role for the Boston Bruins during his three-year tenure with the club, the Canucks will be looking to see if Eriksson, 31, can return to his front-row scoring form from his time with the Dallas Stars from 2008-09 to 2012-13. increasing his ice time back to 20 minutes per game with some time on the power play would help a lot; Eriksson had a few fantasy-irrelevant seasons with the Bruins while he played minimal minutes. when the team used him a little more in attack last season, he was back on the 30-goal threshold, with 10 power-play goals. Playing with sedans, even out of his prime, should help push Eriksson over that threshold again.

      Ranking the top 250 players for fantasy hockey in 2016-17 - NHL

      It’s not too late to play with friends and family. draft a league now and start over with a 0-0 record and a shorter schedule. new league weeks start every thursday with the start of tnf. start >>

      jonathan drouin, c, tampa bay lightning(up 102 positions to #110): Forget all the drama last season with drouin being demoted and demanding a trade . With Steven Stamkos out of the picture, this guy showed up in the playoffs when the Lightning needed him most. Playing primarily with Valtteri Filppula and Ondrej Palat, Drouin scored an impressive 14 points in 17 postseason games. With stamkos back on board and singing the praises of drouin, the great things we planned for drouin last season have carried over to the 2016-17 season.

      p.a. Parenteau, RW, New York Islanders (Moves up 58 spots to #127): Who are we to question Parenteau’s decision to return to the stage of his glory? After some pretty good seasons, and some pretty bad ones, away from the Islanders, Parenteau returns to the team where he scored 38 goals and 120 points in two years as a winger for John Tavares. That average is 19 goals and 60 points, which is pretty close to the 22 goals and 64 points Kyle Okposo scored as a Tavares winger last season. It’s not a huge leap to suggest that Parenteau will get every opportunity to play Tavares again, and if that’s the case, he’s in the mix to be a top 100 fantasy skater.

      alexander radulov, rw, montreal canadiens (enters at #128): say what you will about radulov and his polarizing journey in the nhl, to the khl, back to the nhl , then to the khl and now back to the nhl, but he’s still one of the best hockey players in the world. He has been the face of the KHL since his first start from the Nashville Predators in 2008, scoring more than a point per game throughout his career there. In his brief return to the Predators at the end of the 2011-12 season, he managed 13 points in 17 games coming out cold. When the world’s best hockey players last came together to compete in the 2014 Olympics, Radulov finished tied for fifth in scoring and played one game fewer than the four highest-scoring players. if you believe in maturing him from the off-ice issues that dogged him before, as the Canadians have, you’re left with a dynamic winger. On the other hand, he wouldn’t be the first player to say all the right things off the ice, but he has the same old attitude issues that hamper him on the ice. There will be a risk in selecting Radulov in your fantasy hockey drafts, but he will have a great reward. If an injury opens up another spot on the Russian team at the hockey world cup, we’d love to get a sneak preview of Radulov there. a good performance would allow him to quickly move up the draft boards.

      leon draisaitl, c, edmonton oilers (up 34 places to #140): If draisaitl can’t escape comparisons to a young anze kopitar, the oilers might as well take him. And there’s no better way to accept that than by hiring last season’s kopitar linemate. burly winger milan lucic will be joining the oilers and while lucic generates his own fantasy value in almost any situation, the key here is that he makes his linemates better with his tenacious control of the puck and the aggressive style of the. We’re spitting on putting him with draisaitl in a lane, considering this roster is so flexible with talent, but the matchup looks like a pair made in fantasy hockey heaven. The bottom line here is that Lucic will help make room for some of the young and talented greasers. draisaitl is our poster boy for now, but it could be anyone from connor mcdavid, ryan nugent-hopkins, jordan eberle, jesse puljujarvi, or even nail yakupov who gets the lucid hit.

      Frans Nielsen, C, Detroit Red Wings(up 54 spots to No. 159): Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar were fantasy disappointments last season after tempting in 2014-15 . no offense to riley sheahan’s big play, but the wingers are missing a real no. 2 midfielders Pavel Datsyuk missed a good part of the games and Henrik Zetterberg was out and on the wing. In fact, Luke Glendening led the Red Wings in matchups last season. nielsen has been the last no. 2 behind John Tavares for a couple of seasons, posting consistently respectable seasons as a secondary playmaker. Under the right circumstances, we like that Nielsen is a good fit with Nyquist and Tatar in the second row, and his experience on the power play could mean minutes in the Red Wings first unit.

      defenders going up and down

      p.k. subban, d, nashville predators (moved up five spots to #15): If two nhl teams want to swap franchise defenses and put the younger of the two with the younger, more dynamic defensive core, away from us to stop them. subban is subban. we all know he’s a top-five fantasy defenseman who loves to control the puck and is a no-brainer in the first two rounds of your draft. But we can’t help but like Subban a little more, as he swaps out the aging Andrei Markov as his defensive partner for Roman Josi, who has quietly been better than Shea Weber for two seasons.

      keith yandle, d, florida panthers(up 49 spots to #80): The new york rangers never really tapped into yandle’s potential as one of the best offensive defenders in the league nhl. The Panthers and Yandle will hit the reset button in the final year and a half of their career. Yandle took only 160 shots last season with the Rangers, his lowest total per game since 2009-10. If they don’t have equal strength, the Panthers are sure to field Yandle with up-and-coming defenseman Aaron Ekblad on the power play. Look for Yandle to return to his 200-shot, 50-point ways of the past, which puts him squarely in the conversation as a low-end no. 1 fantasy defense.

      adam larsson, d, edmonton oilers (enters at 234th): He’s modest and probably wouldn’t deserve our attention on any other team, but there’s still potential for larsson’s returning offense. He has spent the five years of his NHL career perfecting his defensive game with the Devils, but Larsson has a break-up pass and the ability to control the puck with purpose on the offensive end. Put him on an oilers squad packed with some of the best 5-on-4 raw talent in the NHL and there’s a chance the power will play his way to fantasy relevance this season.

      goalkeepers going up and down

      martin jones, g, san jose sharks(up 12 spots to #36): His first regular season as a true no. 1 with the sharks was very good. Jones’ first playoff run as a starter was phenomenal. The 26-year-old finished inside the top 10 on ESPN’s player evaluator for goalkeepers, making him a true no. 1 fantasy goalkeeper. In the playoffs, he posted proportions just a hair shy of Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray in 24 games, and propelled the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final. his confidence should be at an all time high for a team of sharks that will come back a little wiser for at least one more run with their veterans.

      brian elliott, g, calgary flames(up 45 spots to #58): Consistently has one of the best goals-against-average and save percentages in the nhl despite being A part-time starter, Elliott will handle the crease alone for the up-and-coming Flames team. It’s fitting because the Flames allowed the most goals in the NHL last season. The offense is solidifying led by young stars like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, while the defense, even without Kris Russell, remains one of the best four groups in the NHL. Elliott has twice led the NHL in save percentage and has a great opportunity to show he can do it more than part-time.

      frederik andersen, g, toronto maple leafs (up 20 spots to #119): For what it’s worth, the teams managed by mike babcock, including the season’s maple leafs In the past, they have been in the top half of the league for the NHL %SAT stat (or CORSI for percentage) for the past six seasons. there’s a reason he was such a sought-after product as a head coach. Despite all their inexperience and their last spot, the Maple Leafs gave their goalkeepers a fighting chance most nights. andersen has established himself as a solid goalkeeper, despite consistently splitting time in the box throughout his career. The leaves are betting on Andersen, and he should have a workhorse workload next season. While we’re not expecting miracles for a team with zero 20-goal scorers, Andersen’s ratios should be passable as a No. 2 fantasy goalie, and consistent starts from him will be valuable.

      quick hits

      • Depending on where he lands on the shark depth chart, mikkel boedker is going to be a very intriguing sleeper going into next season. he has never scored 20 goals or 60 points, but he seems like a player who could do it in the right situation. he is a speedy winger on a team full of great centers.

        Kyle Okposo’s value is stable with a change to the buffalo sabers. While you won’t immediately find a talent like John Tavares to work with, Jack Eichel could be a reasonable facsimile by the end of the season. Ryan O’Reilly isn’t a terrible back-up plan, either.

        with patrice bergeron and david backes on the same team, it will be a miracle if opposing teams ever get a chance to score. Hyperbole aside, there’s a chance Backes will lose some fantasy value here because he’s now the second-best two-way center on his team, which could mean fewer minutes.

        the carolina hurricanes are racking up third-tier offensive assets and high-potential prospects. there’s a chance that the right combination will click a line that will be significantly more valuable to the fantasy than the sum of its parts. especially keep an eye on teuvo teravainen and lee stempniak. the former will get their first shot at prime minutes, and the latter tends to find the right niche for value.

        top 250 rankings for 2016-17

        note: sean allen’s top 250 players are ranked by their expected performance in espn standard leagues. ESPN’s standard statistics include goals, assists, power-play points, shots on goal, over/under, penalty minutes, and average ice time for skaters, and wins, goals-against-average, and save percentage for skaters. goalkeepers.

        top 250 rankings for 2016-17

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