As a companion to my Top 200, this post is going to cover the big preseason news from the last few weeks, along with the players that I’m targeting at the end of drafts in standard 12 man leagues.  In 12’ers, the waiver wire isn’t a complete wasteland, so my goal is to shoot for the moon and hope that our late picks break out in a big way.  Last season, my favorite target was Elias Lindholm and we all know how that worked out.  We’re barely over a week away from the season starting so it’s time to buckle down and adjust our board wherever necessary.  Let’s break down what I’ve been looking at:

Dustin Byfuglien leaving the team for personal reasons wasn’t much of a concern.  When it came out that he was debating retiring, it became a concern.  The team suspending him doesn’t really make a difference, it’s only to create cap space, but obviously we have to decide what to do with Big Buff.  I decided to put him down at 154th in my current rankings, which would make him a late mid-round pick.  At this point, that still may be too early, but since Byfuglien has massive upside, even if he plays 60 games, he’d be a huge value.  The shallower your league, the more comfortable I am gambling on it.  I’m hoping this situation is settled sooner than later, but my guess is that it lingers into the beginning of the season.  The big impact is that I moved Josh Morrissey all the way up to 126th overall.  I want Morrissey in all leagues regardless, but we could be looking at a guy who plays 27 minutes and finally gets PP1 time.  The minutes should help fix his shooting woes.  While I ranked him this high, you should be able to wait longer than this as his consensus ranking is 174.  Maybe Sami Niku, Neal Pionk, or Nathan Beaulieu get some value for deep leagues, but I’m taking a wait and see approach.

Brayden Point signing today will hopefully get the ball rolling on other RFA’s signing like Mikko RantanenPatrik LaineKyle Connor, etc.  For now, I’m not panicking much.  My biggest concern of the group is Laine, and that’s factored in a bit into his 44th overall ranking.  I’m expecting Rantanen to get a deal done sooner than later since the Avalanche have a boatload of cap space.  Matthew Tkachuk is also worrisome, so I may have to move him down about 10 spots.  I wouldn’t be doing anything drastic like crossing these guys off your boards because they aren’t signed, but if you don’t want to risk a holdout, I understand it. UPDATE: Point is out until the end of October.  I’m dropping him to around 50th overall since he’ll lose about 10 games.

Defensemen as a whole really drops off quickly, as mentioned in my Top 40 defensemen post.  That’s a big factor for why I have 18 of them in my top 100 and, 14 in the top 80, and 11 in the top 70.  I can definitely see myself getting 3 of the top 18 on my team, but I want 2 at the very least because of how steep the drop off is.

Apparently I’m going to end up with Philipp Grubauer in the 4th or 5th round in every league, and that is perfectly fine with me.  Timo Meier‘s consensus ranking is 74 so apparently I’ll be getting him everywhere as well.

LATE ROUND TARGETS

Victor Olofsson – Olofsson has been getting time with Jack Eichel in the preseason.  His shot is truly elite which should give him a spot on the top power play unit.  Olofsson scored 30+33 in 66 AHL games last season, and in 6 NHL games he had 2+2 in 21 games.  There’s a chance he gets 250+ SOG this season with 25 goals and you can get that with the last pick in your draft.  Obviously there’s a chance that you cut him a couple weeks into the season, but there could be some real value.

Thatcher Demko – I’m much higher than him than consensus.  I expect him to be a #2 goalie this season, but he’s ranked outside of the top 300.  He’s an elite prospect and played well at the end of last season, so I’d rather gamble on him than some of the retreads that people are ranking ahead of him.

Alexandre Texier – The highly touted prospect is slated to get first crack at playing with Dubois and Atkinson on the first line.  He’s not Panarin, but Texier could turn into a hold sooner than later.

Devon Toews – Toews received a huge workload in the playoffs and was great on the power play, a unit that struggled mightily in the regular season.  He was just over two shots per game in the playoffs, a rate he’ll need bare minimum to be a hold because he doesn’t commit penalties.  That said, if someone going very late is going to get 45+ points on the blue line, my money would be on Toews or the next guy…

Filip Hronek – It’s either Hronek or the oft-injured Mike Green QB’ing the first power play in Detroit, and my money is on the team going young with Hronek.  We could see a big breakout here for fantasy as Hronek played at a 40 point pace last season and tallied 30 PIM in 41 games.  He was also over 50% Corsi on a bad possession team.  Digging the potential.

Dante Fabbro – Considering how poorly the third pair in Nashville is along with how comfortable they were with moving Subban, the Predators clearly look highly on Fabbro and his potential.  He’s going to get a big workload right away with Ekholm on the second pair and he could get PP2 time.  He’ll probably need an injury to truly breakout, but he could be a bottom end hold this year and more down the line.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi – I wish he had the guarantee of a bigger role, but perhaps we see Kotkaniemi take a big jump in year two that forces Julien to jump him into the top six.

Ryan Dzingel – Dzingel goes into a great situation in Carolina.  He’ll be with one or two possession monsters that should make up for his defensive deficiencies and provide him even more goal scoring opportunities.  The potential drop in ice time should be offset by his possession increase, so getting close to or repeating last season’s 26+30 isn’t out of the question.

Nikita Gusev – I’m not sold on Gusev’s transition to the NHL, but he will play with Hughes or Hischier which could give him a chance to have an impact earlier.

Colin Miller – He already gives solid PIM and a good shot rate.  Now what happens if Miller gets 4-5 more minutes a game?  A Risto trade would make things easier, but either way I expect Miller to have numbers close to his 17-18: 40 points, 50 PIM, good shot rate for a defenseman.  That’s enough for a late pick.

That’s all for now guys.  Hopefully you found a few guys you like out of those 10 lottery tickets and at least one of them hit for you.  I’ll be back later in the week with something; I’m unsure what at this point and if you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments section.  Please post any questions or comments you have there as well.  Thanks for reading, take care!

  1. Chet says:
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    Nice! Thanks for the updates!

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Thanks, appreciate it!

  2. Euroalien says:
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    Hey Viz – any news on if we’ll have and RCL’s for hockey this season?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I’ve got such poor turnout over the last few seasons setting them up which is frustrating. I’m going to make a league or two for this coming weekend that I’ll include the link to in my Thursday post.

  3. Shitwolf says:
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    Thanks for all the effort homie

    do you have a favorite of this lot?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      No problem! I would say Olofsson or Texier

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        those 2 in particular are going earlier than most prospect lists in some deep dynasties. texier i just saw go 4th overall this year in 2 16 team slow drafts both still in the first round just now that i run.

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          The hype is definitely get real, especially in Texier’s case.

  4. toolshed says:
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    If you had to own to start 2 goalies and be within an 81.5 million salary cap which 2 would you target out of;
    Rask 6.5m, bobrovsky 11.5m, bishop 5.5m, grubauer 3.9m, hart 0.8m, Rinne 6m., kuemper 2.1m,

    Roster is size is 20 with a max bench of 6. Only stats for goalies are wins and shutouts. Goals and assists only stats for position players. H2h format. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Do you get to keep them forever or just for this season? What is the price based off of, their salary for this season? Only wondering because Bishop’s current price is lower than 5.5. My first though is Bishop and Grubauer as I have them both as top 5 goalies at good prices. However, Hart for two years at that price is certainly appealing. I think Bishop and Grubauer are at a level higher than Hart so I’d lean keeping those, but if you’re in a money pinch, sub in Hart. Let me know if you can keep the guys forever or not. Those are the only three guys I’d be considering.

      • toolshed says:
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        This is only for this season. The salary is based off of current salary for my league which is usually correct unless the player actual salaries have not been updated

        • Viz

          Viz says:
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          Gotcha, then I’d go Bishop and Grubauer unless you really need the savings, then Hart.

        • toolshed says:
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          Salaries are based off their salary for this season

  5. toolshed says:
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    Do you prefer grubauer or bishop as my first choice? Grubauer should play a lot more without Varlamov around, right?

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      I have Bishop ranked as the #2 goalie and Grubauer as 5th. I am much higher on Grubauer than consensus. Yes, he should get much more volume this season. It all depends on who you have for skaters, but I prefer to pay up instead of saving the money on Hart if possible. If you can’t, then I guess I’d pay the extra million to get Bishop (his salary is closer to 4.9 than 5.5, at least in real life).

  6. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey says:
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    16 team dynasty with 7 max prospect list. hits/blocks/PPP/SHP/faceoff wins/faceoff losses (so grabbing a guy who just gets faceoff attempts isn’t good in and of itself)/shot %. roto. real life sized rosters. have a bunch of guys i have to call up before i can make my 1.16 first round pick. i’m TB based and need at least 6 of those at all times.
    C: zibanejad, hintz (LW), druin (LW), c.white (RW), kempe, zacha
    LW: ferland (RW), gourde (RW), t.johnson (RW), t.meier (RW), comtois (could be put into prospect), palat
    RW: kucherov, stamkos (C), r.stome (C), zuccarello, fabbri (LW), heinen (RW)
    D: c.murphy, hedman, shattenkirk, sergachev, dumoulin, chabot, edler
    IR (infinite, anybody that can’t play for any reason here): marleau (C/LW)
    G: (as many as i want from one real life team and up to 1 other): vas, bishop
    prospect list: r.thomas (70 games, has to come up in not too long), gusev, kostin, clague, kaut, sorokin, tippett, probably gotta drop one of these to draft anybody too.

    so gotta drop 4 from the active, some are healthy in IR slots (which is fine for non adding, but here i’m about to add), possibly one from prospect.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Answered in other post

  7. toolshed says:
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    Hi viz, got another goalie question. I couldn’t get bishop so I took grubauer. We have to start 2. Wins and shutouts are all that we count for scoring h2h. 81.5m cap. Goalies left are price 15m, Gibson 6.4m, mrazek 3m, markstrom 4m. There are a few others who split more time too but who do you like best from above based on value and the stats we count. I assume volume is key. Thanks

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Answered in other post

  8. toolshed says:
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    Strategy question, if we start 4 def, would you try to pay up for a stud defenseman like burns who is at 10m when my cap is 81.5m and then try to piece together defenseman who are a little cheaper or pay the money for higher priced forwards after the elite guys are gone. I am just trying to figure out how to maximize value. I can find forwards at reasonable prices who will give me points but most defensmen are much higher. Where do you like spending the most money 8 forwards, 2 goalies and 4 defense.

  9. Gerald says:
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    Viz ! whats up bro. Its Gerald . Hope your offseason was well. Good to have hockey back and looking forward to reading the posts.

    Love how the devils have hughes and gusev now gonna be an exciting year.
    Do you think Hughes and gusev can crack the 70pt mark? if not how many do u think? and ig hughes more of goal scorer or passer?
    And what do you think the lines will be for the devils? i have a feeling they will move palmeiri to the second with hughes and bratt. and move gusev to the first.

    • Viz

      Viz says:
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      Hey Gerald! Hope all is well. Things are well here, no complaints. I do like what the Devils have done quite a bit, but I think your expectations are a bit high for both guys, especially on Gusev. If he got 70 points, I would be stunned. My guess is that Hughes’ general outcome ends up in the 60-65 point range, maybe he gets to 70 if things break right, could also go into the 50-55 range with some bad luck. Hughes should be more passer early. Something like 20-25 goals with 40 assists seems reasonable. I do think there is a chance for a slow start or a midseason slump as a small 18 year old, but I still think he’s going to be great long term.

      Gusev I’m more in the 50 point range, if things break right maybe 60? I’m not really looking to draft him in 12’ers but am good with streaming him early to see if that’s wrong. I don’t see PP1 time which will keep those numbers down quite a bit.

      It sure sounds like they’re starting with Hall-Nico-Palmieri to open the season. That means Gusev and Hughes together. Right now, it’s looking like Simmonds will be there which I absolutely hate, and I’m hoping sooner than later it goes to Bratt.

  10. Gerald says:
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    things are good my bro. IM just so excited for the devils this year i feel we have a good shot at the playoffs , the east is pretty tough tho. Gussev looks like a he’s got game, I’m curious how his game translates to the smaller nhl rink.

    Also was curious your thoughts on pulock and your boy ristolnanen? they weren’t in your top 40 and they were last year

    And if your in a league where there is 3 start minimum a week would you say 2 goalies is enough i have grubbier and greiss

  11. Jon says:
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    Help me make a few possible tweaks at the end of my roster?

    Would you want to add Krejci, Theodore, Konecny, DeAngelo, DeBrusk, Nyquist, Bertuzzi, Kapanen, Schwartz, Shattenkirk, Sergachev, Getzlaf, or Jeff Carter over Quinn Hughes, Parayko, Ristolainen, Perron, or Stepan? (Actually, due to being short at C I should probably only drop Stepan for another face off guy.)

    Categories are G A +/- PPP FOW SOG HIT DEF

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