2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Season Preview and Player Rankings

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Fantasy Sports is one of the fastest growing industries in the game. Between sites like Yahoo!, ESPN, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rotoworld, there is no shortage of “fantasy” vessels, commercials or “experts” out there to enable your fascination with “reality” TV sports.

With 29 goals and 76 points as a defenseman, Brent Burns (#88) of the San Jose Sharks is a valuable fantasy hockey addition to any roster. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Whether it’s season-long or daily fantasy sports, you too can play the part of pundit, field a team and make predictions. And depending on where your live, you can even make a wager, albeit at your own risk.  

While HockeyClan does not condone or endorse Fantasy Sports or gambling of any kind, Yahoo! Sports offers FREE Fantasy Hockey leagues open to the public. Here, fans can play in 12-team head-to-head or standard rotisserie leagues or set up custom leagues to play with friends.

Although ice hockey is a team sport, in Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey the goal is to field the best team of 16 players (two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, four defensemen and two goalies with four open bench spots) spanning the entire National Hockey League regardless of affiliation. While talented centerman Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche amassed 18 goals and 23 assists last season, his +/- rating of minus-34 was a Fantasy Hockey team killer. Conversely, fans who took a chance on an unproven Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the late rounds last season were rewarded with 40 goals and 69 points from the rookie. Matthews’ +/- rating of plus-2 did not help or hurt league owners but his 14 penalty minutes in 82 games played did little in leagues that include PIMs as a category.

With 40 goals as a rookie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews took the NHL and fantasy hockey leagues by storm. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

While categories vary, standard Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey is typically 6×4 and includes goals, assists, +/-, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal for all forwards and defensemen; and wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts for goaltenders. The great thing about Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey is its ability to tailor these categories to suit each league, however, with additional categories such as hits, blocks and face-offs won as options.

With the start of the NHL season set for October 4, hockey fans still have time to play. Still, after a wild free agency period, there are a lot of new faces are in new places. There’s also a new team in the league. Center is the deepest position. Left wing is the weakest position. Without further ado, here are HockeyClan’s player rankings by position for the 2017-18 season:

CENTER

  1. Connor McDavid, Oilers

    Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins are two of the top-ranked centers in the league. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
  2. Sidney Crosby, Penguins
  3. Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
  4. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins
  5. John Tavares, Islanders
  6. Niklas Backstrom, Capitals
  7. Steven Stamkos, Lightning
  8. Joe Pavelski, Sharks
  9. Tyler Seguin, Stars
  10. Mark Schiefele, Jets
  11. Jack Eichel, Sabres
  12. Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
  13. Evgeny Kutznetsov, Capitals
  14. Patrice Bergeron, Bruins
  15. Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks
  16. Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks
  17. Artemi Panarin, Blue Jackets
  18. Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs
  19. Logan Couture, Sharks
  20. Claude Giroux, Flyers
  21. Jeff Carter, Kings
  22. Anze Kopitar, Kings
  23. Sean Monahan, Flames
  24. Ryan Johansen, Blue Jackets
  25. Jake Guentzel, Penguins
  26. Rickard Rakell, Ducks
  27. Jason Spezza, Stars
  28. William Nylander, Maple Leafs
  29. Aleksander Barkov, Panthers
  30. Mikael Granlund, Wild
  31. Kyle Turris, Senators
  32. Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
  33. Nazem Kadri, Maple Leafs
  34. Ryan O’Reilly, Sabres
  35. Eric Staal, Wild

LEFT WING

  1. Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals
  2. Jamie Benn, Stars 

    After scoring 33 goals for the Washington Capitals last season, HockeyClan took Alexander Ovechkin with its first pick, 7th overall, in its mock draft. How did we do? Scroll down below to see the team we drafted. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
  3. Brad Marchand, Bruins
  4. Max Pacioretty, Canadiens
  5. Filip Forsberg, Predators
  6. Johnny Gaudreau, Flames
  7. Artemi Panarin, Blue Jackets
  8. Brandon Saad, Blackhawks
  9. Jake Guentzel, Penguins
  10. Rickard Rakell, Ducks
  11. Mike Hoffman, Senators
  12. James van Riemsdyk, Maple Leafs
  13. Nikolaj Ehlers, Jets
  14. Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes
  15. Evander Kane, Sabres
  16. Taylor Hall, Devils
  17. Viktor Arvidsson, Predators
  18. Jonathan Drouin, Canadiens
  19. Matthew Tkachuk, Flames
  20. James Neal, Golden Knights
  21. Brayden Schenn, Blues
  22. Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers
  23. Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
  24. Jaden Schwartz, Blues
  25. Milan Lucic, Oilers
  26. Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens
  27. Nick Foligno, Blue Jackets
  28. Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings
  29. Andre Burakovsky, Capitals
  30. Conor Sheary, Penguins
  31. Nino Niederreiter, Wild
  32. Daniel Sedin, Canucks
  33. Rick Nash, Rangers
  34. Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche
  35. Patrick Marleau, Maple Leafs

RIGHT WING

  1. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
  2. Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues 

    Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are two common denominators both on the ice and in fantasy hockey leagues. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
  3. Joe Pavelski, Sharks
  4. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning
  5. Phil Kessel, Penguins
  6. Tyler Seguin, Stars
  7. Patrik Laine, Jets
  8. Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
  9. Blake Wheeler, Jets
  10. Wayne Simmonds, Flyers
  11. David Pastrnak, Bruins
  12. Mike Hoffman, Senators
  13. Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs
  14. Cam Atkinson, Blue Jackets
  15. Corey Perry, Ducks
  16. T.J. Oshie, Capitals
  17. Jason Spezza, Stars
  18. William Nylander, Maple Leafs
  19. Mikael Granlund, Wild
  20. Viktor Arvidsson, Predators
  21. Jonathan Drouin, Canadiens
  22. Mark Stone, Senators
  23. James Neal, Golden Knights
  24. Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
  25. Jakub Voracek, Flyers
  26. Alexander Radulov, Stars
  27. Jordan Eberle, Islanders
  28. Nick Foligno, Blue Jackets
  29. Patric Hornqvist, Penguins
  30. Andre Burakovsky, Capitals
  31. Conor Sheary, Penguins
  32. Kyle Palmieri, Devils
  33. Jakob Silfverberg, Ducks
  34. Nino Niederreiter, Wild
  35. Dylan Larkin, Red Wings

DEFENSE

  1. Brent Burns, Sharks
  2. Erik Karlsson, Senators 

    With 117 penalty minutes last season, Dustin Byfuglien brings an added dimension to fantasy hockey lineups. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
  3. Dustin Byfuglien, Jets
  4. Victor Hedman, Lightning
  5. Shea Weber, Canadiens
  6. Roman Josi, Predators
  7. Kris Letang, Penguins
  8. Duncan Keith, Blackhawks
  9. P.K. Subban, Predators
  10. Drew Doughty, Kings
  11. Kevin Shattenkirk, Rangers
  12. Alex Pietrangelo, Blues
  13. Zack Werenski, Blue Jackets
  14. Dougie Hamilton, Flames
  15. Rasmus Ristolainen, Sabres
  16. Torey Krug, Bruins
  17. Mark Giordano, Flames
  18. Ryan Suter, Wild
  19. Justin Schultz, Penguins
  20. Justin Faulk, Hurricanes
  21. John Klingberg, Stars
  22. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes
  23. Cam Fowler, Ducks
  24. Matt Niskanen, Capitals
  25. Brent Seabrook, Blackhawks
  26. Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
  27. Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers
  28. John Carlson, Capitals
  29. Jeff Gardiner, Maple Leafs
  30. Oscar Klefblom, Oilers
  31. Jacob Trouba, Jets
  32. Keith Yandle, Panthers
  33. Colton Parayako, Blues
  34. Ryan McDonagh, Rangers
  35. Seth Jones, Blue Jackets
  36. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Sharks
  37. Ryan Ellis, Predators
  38. Jared Spurgeon, Wild
  39. Alex Goligoski, Coyotes
  40. Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
  41. Nick Leddy, Islanders
  42. Tyson Barrie, Avalanche
  43. Dion Phaneuf, Senators
  44. Sami Vatanen, Ducks
  45. Alec Martinez, Kings
  46. Matt Dumba, Wild
  47. Mike Green, Red Wings
  48. Mark Streit, Canadiens
  49. Andrej Sekera, Oilers
  50. David Savard, Blue Jackets
  51. Jake Muzzin, Kings
  52. T.J. Brodie, Flames
  53. Noah Hanifin, Hurricanes
  54. Nikita Zaitsev, Maple Leafs
  55. Ben Hutton, Canucks
  56. Anthony DeAngelo, Rangers
  57. Shea Theodore, Golden Knights
  58. Dmitry Orlov, Capitals
  59. Morgan Rielly, Maple Leafs
  60. Zdeno Chara, Bruins

GOALTENDERS

  1. Braden Holtby, Capitals
  2. Carey Price, Canadiens 

    When healthy, Carey Price is among the league leaders in Wins, GAA and Save %. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
  3. Matt Murray, Penguins
  4. Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets
  5. Devan Dubnyk, Wild
  6. John Gibson, Ducks
  7. Pekka Rinne, Predators
  8. Corey Crawford, Blackhawks
  9. Cam Talbot, Oilers
  10. Jake Allen, Blues
  11. Martin Jones, Sharks
  12. Tuukka Rask, Bruins
  13. Jonathan Quick, Kings
  14. Ben Bishop, Stars
  15. Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers
  16. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
  17. Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs
  18. Mike Smith, Flames
  19. Craig Anderson, Senators
  20. Cory Schneider, Devils
  21. Robin Lehner, Sabres
  22. Brian Elliott, Flyers
  23. Thomas Greiss, Islanders
  24. Jimmy Howard, Red Wings
  25. Connor Hellebuyck, Jets
  26. Scott Darling, Hurricanes
  27. Roberto Luongo, Panthers
  28. Antti Raanta, Coyotes
  29. Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights
  30. James Reimer, Panthers

How did we do? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

HockeyClan 12-team Head-to-Head Mock Draft results:

HOCKEY CLAN TEAM ROSTER

Round 1, Pick 7 (7th Overall)

Alex Ovechkin Was – LW

Round 2, Pick 6 (18th Overall)

Braden Holtby Was – G

Round 3, Pick 7 (31st Overall)

Phil Kessel Pit – RW

Round 4, Pick 6 (42nd Overall)

Joe Pavelski SJ – C,RW

Round 5, Pick 7 (55th Overall)

Martin Jones SJ – G

Round 6, Pick 6 (66th Overall)

Corey Perry Anh – RW

Round 7, Pick 7 (79th Overall)

Jonathan Toews Chi – C

Round 8, Pick 6 (90th Overall)

Justin Schultz Pit – D

Round 9, Pick 7 (103rd Overall)

Jacob Trouba Wpg – D

Round 10, Pick 6 (114th Overall)

Jake Guentzel Pit – C,LW

Round 11, Pick 7 (127th Overall)

Matt Niskanen Was – D

Round 12, Pick 6 (138th Overall)

Logan Couture SJ – C

Round 13, Pick 7 (151st Overall)

Thomas Greiss NYI – G

Round 14, Pick 6 (162nd Overall)

Matthew Tkachuk Cgy – LW

Round 15, Pick 7 (175th Overall)

Matt Dumba Min – D

Round 16, Pick 6 (186th Overall)

Roberto Luongo Fla – G

 

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Main Image: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers looks for a pass in a game against the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dan Riedlhuber/Getty Images)

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