Hey guys, Sven here and we are shipping up to Boston for the third instalment of 31 in 31!
Over the next month, I will be taking a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
Brad Marchand – 68GP 34-51-85. Whether you love this guy or hate him, there is no question that he is one of the more talented players in the league. Whether it’s the suffocating even strength play from the top line, or him dominating over-time periods, Brad Marchand is set for another great season. There are two keys to success for him: stay out of trouble, and stay healthy. If he is able to mostly achieve these things, I truly believe Marchand will be in contention for the Art Ross Trophy again.
David Pastrnak – 82GP 35-45-80. The Bruins had to be very patient with Pastrnak. However, he is proving to be one of the steals of the 2014 draft at 24th overall over the past two seasons. There seems to be no urge for Coach Cassidy to split up his top line, so expect Pasta to go somewhere in rounds 3-6 in your draft.
Patrice Bergeron – 64GP 30-33-63. The 33-year-old centre has shown no signs of slowing down, reaching the 60-point mark for the third time in the past five seasons. Provided he stays healthy (knowing him, he may even play through his injuries), Bergeron will be a solid pick mid-draft.
Jake DeBrusk – 70GP 16-27-43. DeBrusk has come a long way since failing the Bruins fitness test fresh off being taken in the first round. He had a strong showing in the second-half of the season, becoming a staple on the Bruins second line with David Krejci and Rick Nash, where he tallied eight points in 12 playoff games. I will always stress to be aware of the possibility of a Sophomore Slump, however I am convinced that DeBrusk is the real deal. Definitely a potential sleeper target.
David Krejci – 64GP 17-27-44. A slew of injuries has made Krejci’s point totals regress from his career high 73 points in 2009, however with the current supporting cast the Bruins have, the veteran playmaker may have a resurgence this season. Expect him to be a lock at #2C, and probably be a staple on the Bruins #2PP. I see Krejci being a solid depth pick in deep leagues.
Danton Heinen – 77GP 16-31-47. Heinen proved his ability to score in bunches in his first full season with the Bruins. Given his role will likely be third line, I can’t see him putting up any more than 50 points. However, keep your eye out for his hot streaks.
Anders Bjork – 30GP 4-8-12. Just when Bjork had started to find his scoring touch within the Bruins’ bottom-six, shoulder surgery sidelined him for six months. Bjork will look to get back to his Notre Dame caliber where he tallied 52 points in 39 games, as he will likely end up on Boston’s third line and may see some power play time. Unfortunately for fantasy leagues that require a rookie, Bjork already has 30 NHL games under his belt. I suggest a similar fate to Danton Heinen for Bjork.
Torey Krug – 76GP 14-45-59. Krug posted a new career-high in 2017-18, and I believe that is just the beginning for him. Provided he stays healthy; Krug has the potential to lead all defencemen in scoring. After Karlsson/Hedman/Doughty/Subban, I would certainly take Krug in rounds 4-6.
Charlie McAvoy – 63GP 7-25-32. Playing top-pair minutes with Big Z and receiving lots of power play time, I don’t think there is any chance of a Sophomore Slump for McAvoy. I expect that he goes mid-draft, and his point total improves by around ten points from last season.
Tuukka Rask – 54GP 2.36GAA 917SV%. Given the team playing in front of him, I expect Rask to have no issues putting together another solid season. He has shown inconsistency in the past, but having Jaroslav Halak as a backup may serve as motivation for Rask to be lights out this season.
Ryan Donato – 12GP 5-4-9. Donato got off to a great start with the Bruins, but with a good showing comes a lot of pressure to perform. We have an incredibly small sample size of Donato thus far, however there is no doubt that he has a scoring touch. Donato comes in as one of my top picks as far as rookies go, and might be worth a look in deeper leagues.
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – AHL: 58GP 15-17-32. Slated to centre Boston’s third line according to DailyFaceoff, Forsbacka Karlsson is known as a smooth player with great passing, but a lack of consistency. Perhaps some Boston University chemistry with both McAvoy and Grzelcyk will make the rookie forward feel more comfortable in the black and gold. Keep your eye out for him mid-season for hot streaks.
Trent Frederic – AHL: 13GP 5-3-8. Frederic was a PPG player at Wisconsin (65 in 66GP) and is a big-bodied centre that will start the year in Providence. From the small amount of footage I have seen, he certainly seems to be able to throw his weight around, and does a good job both passing to soft spots and finding soft spots to shoot from. Frederic may see some time with the big club if they need a centreman (perhaps the Forsbacka Karlsson project won’t pan out).