Fantasy Hockey: 30 NHL teams in 30 Minutes
With the 2015-2016 National Hockey League (NHL) season set to get underway on Wednesday, October 7th 2015. It is high time we offer our daily fantasy sports (DFS) managers a brief look into what we are anticipating to see on the ice this year.
Will the New York Rangers repeat as President’s Trophy winners? Will the Edmonton Oilers end their post season drought? Will the Detroit Red Wings see their incredible 24 straight year playoff participation end? Will the Calgary Flames prove to be more than last season’s flash in the pan?
These are but a few of the riveting story-lines and sub-plots that fantasy hockey managers will have to weave through during this year’s cash draft contests. There are more storylines than there are teams this year, and as such the laymen will have a wondrous time watching it all play out. But the fantasy hockey manager has to look at it another way, the fantasy hockey manager has to be proactive, not knowing the fantasy sports landscape is the difference between winning, placing or being out of the money.
With that being said, here are 30 thoughts for the 30 hockey clubs in NHL:
New York Rangers:
The New York Rangers were the toast of the NHL last season… up until they came up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 113 regular season points allowed the Rangers to lay claim to the President’s trophy, but come the spring dance, that was not enough. We expect to see the Rangers take a small step back this season, we expect them to make the post season, but not with the fanfare they did in 2014-2015. We do expect to see Rick Nash pot somewhere in the vicinity of 30 goals and we expect to see Brassard lead the blue shirts in scoring.
To anyone paying attention to the NHL with more than a passing curiosity, it is clear that the Washington Capitals have experienced a paradigm shift. Another early playoff exit only seems to cement the focus that the Caps have. We expect to see Alex the great continue to score goals hand over fist. While fantasy managers may be wary of his price-tag, we are all but certain he will continue to pay dividends. We also expect to see Backstrom return to a top 10 position in the scoring race (provided he stays healthy).
New York Islanders:
The Islanders are christening a new arena this season and look to continue their accession in the NHL ranks. John Tavares is fast living up to his junior billing and the next great center-man and in so doing has taken the Islanders from substandard, to almost sure fire playoff participants. We expect to see the Islanders continue their methodical climb out of the NHL cellar and return once more to the post season. We also expect Tavares to command a hefty price tag in cash draft games, but we expect him to payoff big time, with a top 3 finish in the scoring race.
The Pens have been less than impressive recently. But this season, we expect to see the Penguins reclaim their dominance. We expect that the Penguins will provide fantasy hockey managers with points, points and more points! While a suspect defense may well hurt the pens, we foresee the arrival of Phil Kessel helping Sidney Crosby reclaim the NHL scoring title. While the Pens will give up goals (no doubt), we believe this season will see them be forced to score that much more, and they will. Kessel is a sure fire value pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets:
The Chicago Blackhawks loss is the Blue Jackets gain. Columbus has improved, but it was evident last season that they lacked some refined scoring. With the addition of Bradon Saad, the BJ’s hope to have addressed that. While their post season participation is still up for debate, we do believe that Saad will have a breakout year and Columbus’ offensive catalyst. Saad’s fantasy value will quickly become evident, we see the young left winger potting 30 goals and leading his club in points. A sure fire pick up in fantasy hockey.
Another year over and still no end in sight for the seeming eternal Flyer’s search for a #1 goal tender. While front end talents (Giroux and Voracek) will continue to deliver, we cannot envision the Flyers making the playoffs. Giroux had a slow start last season whi8le Voracek had a fast start, we believe that the if the price is right early in, Giroux will be a must pick up, but Voracek should be considered long and hard depending on the cost.
New Jersey Devils:
There is bad and then there is bad. We can’t see any redeeming facets to the upcoming New Jersey Devil’s season. We do expect that Corey Schneider will face (and stop) a great deal of shots. If in a bind and in need of picking up a goalie that can provide fantasy hockey points. We will prop up Schneider, aside from him… stay away.
On paper the Hurricane’s should not have been as bad as they were in 2014-15. But they were… bad. It bears mention that their team captain and arguably the face of their franchise, Eric Staal, will be playing in as contract year, perhaps his final NHL contract. We expect that the onetime 30 goal scorer will regain his one-time scoring touch. Whether the big center-man remains in Carolina or is traded to another club, we expect to see Staal provide fantasy hockey managers a great deal of value and points.
ST-Louis Blues: COMING SOON
Nashville Predators: COMING SOON
Chicago Blackhawks: COMING SOON
Minnesota Wild: COMING SOON
Winnipeg Jets: COMING SOON
Dallas Stars: COMING SOON
Colorado Avalanche: COMING SOON
Anaheim Ducks: COMING SOON
Vancouver Canucks: COMING SOON
Calgary Flames: COMING SOON
Los Angeles Kings: COMING SOON
San Jose Sharks: COMING SOON
Edmonton Oilers: COMING SOON
Arizona Coyotes: COMING SOON