And we're back!  The NHL season starts in just over a month so it's time to start my rankings.  I will end up ranking the top 20 players overall, goalies, 100 forwards, 40 D, and then making a top 200 list before the season starts.  For now, I'll be doing the top 10 overall in this post.  As an aside, if you have any interest in writing fantasy hockey posts for Razzball, please let me know in the comments section below.  Let's get to it! 1) Connor McDavid - Don't overthink it.  McDavid played at a 154 point pace last season and is so far above the rest of the field.  If you're lucky enough to pick first, congrats on the big head start.
While he's not getting the attention that he received in Vegas' inaugural season, Jonathan Marchessault has quietly had a terrific campaign.  His best game came on Wednesday, where Marchessault had two goals, two assists, and five shots leading Vegas to a 5-2 victory over the Sharks.  This let Vegas become the first team to clinch the playoffs this season, something that has been a formality for months already.  Marchessault now had 13 goals and 22 assists in 46 games, along with a +12 rating, 37 PIM, and 147 shots.  In other words, he's a plus across the board with elite PIM and a strong shot rate.  At 30 years old, Marchessault has shown no signs of slowing down.  He's getting easier matchups now which is helping him thrive on the second line.  He looks every bit of a top 100 player going forward, with the upside of being top 50 if he has some shooting luck in a season like he did in his one season in Florida.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
"Joonas Donskoi is pushing towards being an elite streamer.  Donskoi has eleven points in the past nine games while he received some shifts on the top PP unit on Monday as well."  And that's me quoting me from two days ago!  Well, Donskoi is certainly at that level now.  Donskoi had a hat trick in the first period on Wednesday, adding an assist and six shots in the 9(!)-3 win over the Coyotes.  Donskoi's third goal was on the PP with the top unit which does wonders for his value.  While he's this hot, Donskoi is worth holding.  I don't necessarily expect it to last, but he could easily stay an elite streamer for the rest of the season.  The way the Avalanche are playing right now, I want as much to do with their offense as possible.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Injuries have robbed us of an amazing Cale Makar season.  The good news is that he's back now and dominating games on a consistent basis.  Makar had three assists with four shots in Colorado's 5-2 win over the Ducks on Monday.  That brings Makar up to a point per game on the season with a +12 rating in 22 games that isn't a fluke at all.  We've seen a slight uptick in his shot rate this season, but a big jump there is what it will take for Makar to move into being a top five defenseman instead of being a middling to bottom end #1.  With how well he plays in his age 22 season, I have no doubt that it's coming.  For dynasties, I think he has to be the top defenseman.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
As far as feel good stories go, Troy Grosenick is near the top of the list for the season.  Grosenick, a 31 year old with only two previous NHL games in 2014, was forced into action for the Kings on Wednesday following Cal Petersen going on the COVID list.  To say Grosenick rose to the moment would be an understatement.  He saved 33 of 34 shots that he faced in the 5-1 win over the Ducks.  You have to love a journeyman coming in and having success.  All of a sudden, Grosenick could get some starts in the near term.  If you're in a deep league and desperate for starts, you can roll the dice on him.  With LA's next six games against Colorado, St. Louis, and Vegas, it's definitely a gamble, but the Kings have been a massive surprise so maybe Grosenick will be the next guy to keep them afloat.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights:
Nothing helps getting your season back on track like playing against the Buffalo Sabres.  Carter Hart has had a really rough go of it in the opening month of the season, but on Sunday, he looked to turn it around in Buffalo.  You'd think that after the Sabres were shutout 3-0 on Saturday that they would come out firing on Sunday.  Nope.  Hart stopped all 28 shots he faced, most of the routine variety, to beat the Sabres 3-0.  Brian Elliott only needed to make 23 saves on Saturday as the Sabres are in complete disarray.  As I always say, goalies are voodoo, but I'd be stunned if Hart doesn't make a jump towards being a #1 fantasy goalie again.  If you can buy low on Hart, I would try to do so.  The fact that the Flyers are 11-4-3 despite Hart's horrible start shows you what kind of upside the team has.  Elliott should be streamed every time he starts as his save percentage is over .930 in his eight games.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Nino Niederreiter's first season in Carolina couldn't have gone any better with 14+16 in 36 games.  Last season really couldn't have gone worse with 11+18 in 67 games.  Well, this year has certainly been closer to 2018-19 and we can be thankful for that in fantasy.  Niederreiter scored two goals and an assist with three shots on Friday before dishing an assist on Saturday, adding six shots.  That brings Nino to 9+3 in 16 games with over three shots per game, 13 PIM, and a great +11 rating.  The second line in Carolina has been incredible, sparked by Niederreiter and Trocheck's revival.  He's an easy hold in all formats for the time being.  I wish that the minutes were a bit higher, but considering what Nino is doing with what he's getting, there can be some growth with additional minutes, namely in the assist department.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
Now is the time to get excited if you own Blues players.  Sure, the top guys have been plenty good, but after their seven game battle with the Coyotes, the Blues played their next 11 games against the California trio.  It took a dramatic finish on Thursday, but they started off on the right foot.  With the goalie pulled, the Blues tied the game before winning it in overtime on a David Perron goal.  Perron scored a goal and added two assists with four shots in the victory.  That brings him over a point per game on the season with a quality plus-minus, solid shot rate, and good PIM.  He's a true stud across the board that tends to get a bit overlooked.  The top players on the Blues could be in line for a big month with Perron leading the way.  I can't rule out a top 50 season when we reach the end of this truncated year.  Let's take a look at what else happened on Thursday night:
The first draft pick in the franchise history of the Golden Knights, Cody Glass is starting to come into his own.  On Friday, Glass scored a goal on four shots before falling it up with an assist and two shots on Sunday.  With Pietrangelo out for the time being, Glass has been on the point of the first power play unit and looked extremely comfortable.  He has a point in four of his five games and while I'm not looking to hold him, Glass is up to being a solid streamer.  Long term, there's tremendous upside but with how loaded Vegas is right now, Glass' ceiling is a bit capped.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the weekend:
To say I've been bullish on Filip Forsberg for half a decade now would be an understatement.  To say I've been over-bullish is probably fair.  Call it stubbornness, call it belief in the player, whatever you want, but I was the high man on Forsberg this year and I think we're finally getting that massive season we've all been waiting for.  Forsberg was incredible on Thursday night, a back-and-forth affair between the Panthers and Predators.  Forsberg totaled five points, two goals and three assists, with eight shots in the victory.  For the season, that puts Forsberg at 6+5 in 10 games with exactly four shots per game.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good.  He hasn't even played Detroit yet!  If he keeps shooting four shots on per game, he'll be a slam dunk top 50 player with upside from there.  Forsberg is at 15% shooting right now which isn't far off his norm.  The minutes are starting to go up a bit which is the main thing which held him back under Laviolette.  Thirty goals and over a point per game isn't out of the question.  Let's take a look at what else happened over the last two nights: