Hey guys! Sven here and we’re headed to Leafs Country for 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.
Auston Matthews – 62GP 34-29-63. I’m not sure what will happen with Matthews this season, however he is a no-brainer second-round pick. A full 82 games will make for at least 40 goals and he should have plenty of opportunity to put up PPP!
John Tavares – 82GP 37-47-84. Tavares should be primed for a great first season as a Bud. For the foreseeable future, the Leafs have their first PP unit stacked which bodes well for everyone involved – which takes away some of the threat of Toronto’s scoring being too spread out. 70-80 points for Tavares is a no-brainer, however I’m not sure if I agree with his ESPN ranking.
Mitch Marner – 82GP 22-47-69. I’ve said it since the day Tavares signed with the Leafs: Marner will benefit the most from this signing as he will maintain his #2RW spot from last season, but will see a points boost with a world-class centre on his line (no disrespect to Kadri).
William Nylander – 82GP 20-41-61. If you’re a Leafs fan, you’ve likely been religiously watching Bob McKenzie’s Twitter to see if Nylander has re-signed yet. His camp seems to be holding out for more money and if I’m being honest, I’m surprised no other team has put in an offer sheet yet (my favourite is the Devils to do so). If he does re-sign, 65 even 70 points is not out of the question for the 22-year-old.
Nazem Kadri – 80GP 32-23-55. Despite being bumped down to #3C, Kadri still holds some deeper-league value as he currently has a spot on the #1PP. If that changes I’m not sure if his point totals are sustainable on the third line.
Patrick Marleau – 82GP 27-20-47. Much like Kadri but for different reasons, Patty Marleau still has some value in deeper leagues as the Leafs’ youth rejuvenates him. The 40-year-old grizzled vet has put up a consistent 46-or-so points over the past three seasons, and that total seems reasonable for this season.
Morgan Rielly – 76GP 6-46-52. For the time being, Rielly is QBing the #1PP which improves his stock a substantial amount, much like the rest of the players on that line. Ranked 131 by ESPN, Rielly is a potential sleeper if he is the hands-down top PP guy over Gardiner for the whole season. That being said, I would certainly take Rielly as a deep league #2D, but for sure #3.
Jake Gardiner – 82GP 5-47-52. Bumped off the loaded #1PP, Gardiner’s stock falls a little bit but I anticipate he will still make a statement in his contract year. He seems to be a consensus #4D guy, which is a low-risk pick given his top-four, #2PP time with potential for #1 if Rielly can’t figure it out.
Frederik Andersen – 66GP 2.81GAA 918SV%. Andersen is a controversial topic among my friend group, but let me say this: He will continue to get peppered with shots this season given the Leafs’ D corps, but he appears to be ready to step up to the occasion and put together a great season. The Leafs have the firepower to win games, and with a fantastic season from Andersen they will dominant.
Carl Grundstrom – SHL: 35GP 17-7-24. Grundstrom is a 2016 second-round pick that has been in Europe for the last two seasons, as there wasn’t exactly a place for him to play within the Leafs organization. Heading into his first North American season, the power winger will have the year to adjust and hopefully chip in nicely for the Marlies.
Timothy Liljegren – AHL: AHL 44GP 1-16-17. Since being selected in the first round of the 2017 draft, Liljegren has had an underwhelming performance thus far in the Leafs system. 17 in 44 in the AHL isn’t too bad, but I was kind of expecting him to make the team at this point. Maybe next year will be the year for the offensive defenceman.
Rasmus Sandin – OHL: 51GP 12-33-45. Sandin is coming off a very impressive season with Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) in major-junior and will start the season with the Marlies. Selected in the first round of the most recent draft by the Leafs, he is an offensively gifted defenceman that will hopefully have a solid year in the AHL. With many more defensive prospects on their roster and in the system, I anticipate the Leafs will be patient with them.
Adam Brooks – AHL: 57GP 8-11-19. Despite an electrifying WHL career, Brooks had a rough go in his first AHL season on the Calder Cup-winning Marlies. I expect a much better season from the the with a year under his belt.
Jeremy Bracco – AHL: 50GP 6-26-32. Bracco is a 2015 second-rounder that put together a respectable first campaign in the AHL. With the young depth the Leafs currently have I’m not sure if he will ever see a Buds jersey, but he is an attractive piece for opposing teams if the Leafs look to upgrade at the deadline. For now, we will see how Bracco’s sophomore season pans out.
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev – OHL: 68GP 12-39-51. I have no idea how to pronounce this kid’s name, but he is primed to tear it up with Peterborough (OHL) this year. The Leafs took the Russian centre in the third round of the 2018 draft, and will likely be patient with him despite signing him already.