When it comes to fantasy hockey rankings inevitably you’re going to disappoint some folks. Figuring out the top 10 is pretty easy. You basically can’t go wrong slotting most of those guys in anywhere in those 10 slots, they’re so good that barring injury you’re going to be at least in the ballpark of correct. I have Tyler Seguin higher than most, but what do they know? No Geno, though? On noes! He’s the biggest question in the top 20 and I already had a few pings about why he wasn’t slotted in the top 10. See what I’m saying? I like Geno, I really do, but I don’t like those bum wheels of his and it gives me pause. That’s it? Really? Yes, that’s it. Corey Perry didn’t break my top 10 either but no one cares about that. Maybe that’s because Corey be throwin’ dem bows! Does anyone really like him outside of Cali? I doubt it. At any rate, lets keep at it. Here’s the rest of the top 20 for 2014-2015 Fantasy Hockey:

11) Jamie Benn – would have lead the Stars in goals, assists and points if it wasn’t for Tyler Seguin’s dominance. What’s more his numbers goals (34), assists (45) and points (79) were all career highs that I think he at least matches this season, with a slight uptick in assists but fewer goals. He should still break the 30 goal mark and easily keep a point per game pace all season. 2015 Projections:  30 G, 52 A, 82 PTS

12) Evgeni Malkin – finds himself knocked out of the top ten for one reason, injuries. After missing 17 games due to injury in 2012-13 he again went down last season missing the team’s final 22 regular season games. When he’s healthy he scores at a ridiculous pace, but he’s not getting younger and after two seasons of injury woes I’m feeling slightly tepid on Geno. The big issue here is these are lower body injuries and you can’t really play hockey without good legs. I mean Brad Richards makes a living that way but you don’t see him ranked up here, do you? Geno’s talent keeps his ranking this high and if he’s healthy he’ll likely end up a top 10 guy. 2015 Projections:  31 G, 47 A, 78 PTS in 65 GP

13) Corey Perry– finally rebounded last year posting 80 points in 81 games powered by 43 delicious goals after two straight bleh seasons, so what’s he going to do now? More of the same, I’d say. He’ll stay on a line with Ryan Getzlaf so those soft hands of his will keep feeding Perry and Perry will keep feeding them to the back of the net. I think he comes up just shy of the 40 goal marker this season, bust mostly because he’ll be too busy spearing and throwin’ bows to get there again. Still, I wouldn’t kick him off my team. 2015 Projections:  39 G, 41 A, 79 PTS

14) Henrik Lundqvist– had a brutal season last year, but it wasn’t brutal because his numbers were bad (33-24-5/2.36/.920/5). Probably the best goalie in the world, he came up just short of both an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup, and who could forget the look of pure pain on his face when Alec Martinez scored that 20T goal to secure the cup for the Kings. The first half of the season dragged his overall numbers down a bit, and down for Hank is up for just about everyone else. The Rangers D is about as strong as it was last season but the loss of Anton Stralman is a blow for sure. I never own Hank because you have to draft him in the first two rounds to get him, but if you do go this route in a goalie heavy league, you can’t go wrong. 2015 Projections:  62 GP, 38-19-5, 2.25 GAA, .921 SV%, 4 SHO

15) Phil Kessel– seems to belike the mail; always delivered, even on Sundays. With another stellar season under his belt despite his team being pretty terrible, you can expect him to do the same again this season. That being said, his numbers from last year can be a bit deceiving as he scored 31 of his 37 goals before the Olympic break. The Leafs went into a complete free fall after the break and Kessel only potted four goals in the final 20 games, blowing a shot at a 40-goal season and a playoff birth.He’s 27 now and while he’s still in his prime, goal scorers start to degrade a bit when they hit their late twenties, but if he’s going to score 40 goals this is the year. So get him while the getting’s good, because come 2016 he’s not likely to sniff at 40 goals again. He’ll spend most of his time paired with James Van Reimsdyk and Tyler Bozak again and that bodes well, but it’s going to be up to Bozak to step up and feed his two shoot first wingers. 2015 Projections:  40 G, 39 A, 79 PTS

16) Anze Kopitar– is as consistent as they come and notched his seventh consecutive team scoring title last year with 70 points in 80 games. The Kings are the top possession team in the league and start the season with a slightly better offensive unit than they did last year, especially for Anze who will likely be paired with sniper Marian Gaborik again. They put up a solid point per game pace last season and if they can keep that up (I doubt it) they’re both in for big seasons. Unlike the ultra durable Kopitar who has only missed 18 games in his entire career, however, Gabby misses 18 games for every 18 he plays, so it remains to be seen if the duo can even stay on the ice together very long. It took Anze 11 games to notch his first goal so his total came up just shy of 30, but that’s where he lives and I doubt he joins the 30-goal club this season either. Last season’s 29 goals can be attributed to a career high shooting percentage of 14.5%, almost five points higher than his three year average of 9.78%, so expect a dip there. Among the top 30 scorers in the league Anze spends the most time killing penalties, so if you’re after short-handed points he’s a guy to target.  2015 Projections:  23 G, 54 A, 77 PTS

17) Erik Karlsson– lead defenseman in points last season putting to bed any concerns about his surgically repaired Achilles tendon, but the off season for Ottawa was so bad that Karlsson is likely to be a one man show in the Great White North in 2015. If you’re looking for shots on goal you’ve found the right defenseman as he poured 383 towards the net with 257 finding the mark and 20 of those making their way to the back of the net. That’s a Corsi wet dream, but honestly I never even attempt to draft him because I’d rather take a forward as early in drafts as he goes. There’s no question that Karlsson will likely remain the league’s best offensive defenseman and sport the numbers to back that up, but on a team with a defenseman driving the offense it’s going to be an bumpy ride for the Sens. 2015 Projections:  20 G, 48 A, 68 PTS

18) Jonathan Toews– has never scored 80 or more points in a single season. That’s kind of hard to believe when you consider he’s got two cups before his 26th birthday and centers the top line on one of the best and deepest offensive units in the league. His low point totals, low for the league elite anyway, are mostly a product of playing alongside so many high octane offensive guys like Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Dunca—ah you get the point. That won’t stop Toews from increasing his point total for a fourth consecutive season, however. His value is higher in leagues that count faceoff wins, he finished 5th in the league with a 57.2% mark. 2015 Projections:  26 G, 49 A, 75 PTS

19) Nathan MacKinnon– had a revelation of a rookie season last year with 24 G, 39 A for 63 PTS in 82 games and a rookie of the year award to boot. He finished 25th in the league with 241 SOG, second overall with a plus-20 rating and he did that at 18 years old. He’ll be 19 by season’s end. The sky is the limit for MacKinnon but you have to remember he’s going into his sophomore campaign and teams will have adjusted to MacKinnon’s game. He’s going to continue to improve, but he won’t become a point-per-game player for another year or so. 2015 Projections:  33 G, 40 A, 73 PTS

20) Jonathan Quick– ends up third on the goalie rankings behind Tuukka Rask and Henrik Lundqvist because come on, that Kings D is filthy. Despite posting a 2.07 GAA last season he did it with a .915 SV%, which is nothing to scoff at but when you compare it to Hank and RageMonster, he comes up short. Granted an injury and stellar play from Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones limited him to just 47 starts, so that can’t be forgotten. Like Tuukka and Hank there’s no reason to think Quick will do anything less than what’s expected of him, but offseason hamstring surgery makes me worry a bit about his ability to stay healthy this season. Expect the Kings to be careful with him if Jones can step up again and fill the gap. 2015 Projections:  55 GP, 30-15-7, 2.15 GAA, .918 SV%

  1. Big W says:

    Hey JD,

    Thanks for all your insight last season… I really enjoy your work here on Razzball!!

    Last season I went with the strategy to first fill up all my forwards, then my defensive players and then my goalies. It worked out pretty well and I was comfortably in first for the entire season. Should I keep my draft strategy the same or have times changed?

    I only asked because last season the football guys here were saying to load up on RB, then WR, then TE before going after a QB, K or DEF. I did this again this season and didn’t realize they were singing a different tune this year and placing more importance on WR and QB in the past because times have changed and it’s more of a passing league now…. I just don’t want to make the same mistake on the hockey side….

    • JD

      JD says:

      No problem and thanks for the kind words, mate!

      I agree with your strategy to load up on forwards first. I tend to use the first three rounds on forwards, grab an elite goalie, then another two or three rounds of forwards, then I start looking for defense and a second goalie. Thing is you’ll get more points from average forwards than you would from any defenseman outside of the top 5, and even then it’s close. To get one of those elite DMen you have to use an early round pick and it’s just not worth it. This all depends on the league, size and settings, but as a general guideline you’d have trouble going wrong.

      As for hockey v. football and position scarcity… Hockey is a fluid game, and while keeping to your zones and assignments is critical to success, there’s far more room for everyone on the ice to get in on the scoring action. Football is a set game, running set plays, and only specific positions are allowed to score in specific ways, so observing position scarcity is a critical aspect to drafting a successful fantasy football team. This year WR is getting more emphasis over the traditional RB push because RBBC (Running Back By Committee) has become far more popular amongst NFL teams and last year so many bombed or got hurt that WRs are seen as more reliable sources of points now. That sort of thing doesn’t really happen in fantasy hockey.

      • Big W says:

        @JD: Great answers, thanks JD!

  2. caleb ross says:

    I am 6th pick in my h2h league this year and I would like to know if there is any justifications taking Zettererg 6th overall? He is my favorite player, and with a healthy back I feel as though he can be high 80’s point player.

    • JD

      JD says:

      Sorry to say it, but no, there isn’t. It has less to do with Z than it does with who else would be available to you with the 6th pick. Zetterberg has top 10 talent but he does not and will not stay healthy, where many of the guys you could take with the sixth pick will. Drafting for your favorite players is always going to fail you unless those guys happen to be fantasy studs and this isn’t the case here. You’re much better off going after Hall, Ovi, Seguin, Getzlaf or Kane with the 6th pick. Pick up Zetterberg in the 3rd round, but after that, make sure you draft expecting him to miss time, because he will.

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