We're one day from the start of the season with the Predators and Sharks facing off in Europe. It's time for my annual post with 10 bold predictions for this year. Among the correct predictions I made last season were Sam Reinhart scoring 30+ goals and being over a point per game and Cale Makar having 85+ points, being the first to do so in 28 years. Well, technically Josi got to 85 before Makar, but I'm still counting it! We won't talk about me predicting the Devils to make the playoffs... let's get to this year's 10!
In the last few rounds of my draft, the best strategy is to take players with high ceilings. Odds are, even if you take the "safe" guy, you end up cutting that player to stream somebody else at some point, so you might as well target somebody who could turn into a hold. Today, I'm going to tell you the ten guys that I like the most as dart throws at the end of your draft. Last season, among the notable late hits I highlighted were Rasmus Andersson and Noah Dobson, with Victor Olofsson's rookie breakout a big win from the past. I'm going to use players whose ADP is after 180, which is 15 rounds in a 12 man league. Let's get to it!
I know I still need to do one forward post, but I wanted to get this out for everyone doing drafts this weekend. This list is fluid and will be updated leading up to drafts. Please, blog, may I have some more?
We're cutting right to the chase today with forwards ranked 41-60 for this season. You can see the Top 40 here.
41) Patrick Kane - It feels wrong to rank Kane this low. Maybe it is. But Chicago is going to be a complete mess, and I don't see Kane being traded until closer to the deadline. Kane has already been bad at even strength and now he loses DeBrincat. -30 isn't out of the realm of possibility. Will the PP be good enough around Kane for him to repeat last season's 31 points? He doesn't take penalties or pile up hits, which already lowers his ceiling. The shots will be elite, and I'm sure he'll get plenty of points, but it could be harmful elsewhere. Kane is a guy I'm not looking to draft, but to target in a trade around New Year's if you're doing well to have him for the stretch run on a presumed new team.
Today, I move into the forwards section of my rankings. I'm going to go through the top 40 forwards overall, 18 of which were covered in my Top 10 and 20 posts (linked below). My plan for the rest of the week is to plow through 80 forwards before compiling a top 200 list to be out Friday for everyone's drafts over the next week. I'm sure this will be a long one so let's get to it!
We move through more defensemen today going through my Top 40. For those that didn't see my Top 20, you can check that out here. I have some good news before I get going with these rankings. JKJ is going to be back! He's going to shift his focus this season towards defensemen, similar to what he does on the baseball side of things with relief pitchers. Look for him to be writing again in the near future, with a rebuttal to my defenseman rankings the first thing coming. And now, let's get to it!
We're keeping it moving here at Razzball Hockey HQ today looking at the top 20 defensemen in my 2022-23 Fantasy Hockey Rankings. My goaltending rankings and top 20 overall are easily available on the Razzball Hockey home page. Unlike when I made a list of players that I considered for my Top 20 overall where I had 35 potential candidates, I only wrote down 22 names for Top 20 defenseman candidates. Defensemen remains an extremely top heavy positions, so differentiating the players in the 11-50 range will go a long way. Last year, I nailed Ekblad as an elite D ranking him 6th, and also had DeAngelo and McAvoy well above consensus in my Top 20. Andersson and Seider were my big wins lower down. For failures, Barrie and Petry lead the way, along with ranking Doughty too low. Let's hope for better this time around. Let's get to it!
Today, I'm going to complete my goaltending rankings with tiers 5-8. If you draft one of these guys as your #2 goalie, you're carrying a bit of risk that they could implode. There are guys in tiers 5-7 that have upside, whether it's needing an injury to the other goalie on the team, or being the #1 on a team with a lot of variance. Let's get to it!
Today, I move from overall rankings to goaltenders only. I'm going to cover my first four tiers today out of eight. This will take me through 16 goalies. These guys all have a realistic chance of finishing as a top 10 goalie this season to varying degrees. There are some guys in the lower tiers who have an outside chance, but a lot will have to go right for them. That post will not be as detailed as the previous three posts. It will be in part, but when we get to tiers that are beyond desperation, it will be more of a list. But enough about tomorrow's post, let's get to the top goalies!
We're moving along to the players ranked 11th-20th overall today. If you missed the Top 10, you can check that out here. I'm sure this is going to be another long post, so let's get to it!
11) Mitch Marner - As talked about in the last post, there's not much separating the players from the end of the top 10 through the top 20. At the end of the day, I'm going to continue to play it safe and go with high floors. Marner set a career high in points last season with 97 in only 72 games. He was above three shots per game for the first time, and we know the plus-minus will be quite good. He's a little light on the penalty minutes, but at some point, you have to accept that and take a player who is probably a favorite to score 100 points this season, just like Barkov before him.
It's time to take my annual journey through the NHL writing 20,000+ words ranking everyone throughout the NHL. I'm starting with the top 20 overall today, before doing two defensemen posts, at least one goaltending post, four forward posts, and another ranking list for the top 200 overall. These rankings go towards a scoring focus, meaning G, A, PPP, and SOG, while also acknowledging plus-minus and PIMs as categories that most people use. I do not look at hits and blocks, although I will mention where there is extra value in the hits department specifically. Let's get to it!
Today, I’m going to look at all of the impactful offseason moves in the Western Conference. If you didn’t catch my post on the Eastern Conference, you can do that here. Please, blog, may I have some more?