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Fantasy hockey top 10 draft bargains

Value picks who can outperform average draft position; season preview podcasts

by Fantasy Hockey Staff @NHLFantasy

NHL.com identifies the top 10 fantasy hockey bargains based on Yahoo Fantasy average draft position (ADP) for the 2022-23 season. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy and subscribe for free to the "NHL Fantasy on Ice" podcast.

 

More rankings: Top 250

Projections: F | D | G

Fantasy draft cheat sheet

 

 

NOTE: These picks are a collaborative effort by Pete Jensen and Anna Dua; there are separate top 10 lists for sleepers, deep sleepers, rookies, breakouts and bounce-backs. Yahoo Fantasy average draft position (ADP) figures are listed below; players are listed in order of NHL.com fantasy rank.

 

Frederik Andersen, G, CAR (ADP: 53.7) -- He missed the final six games last regular season and all of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a knee injury but still finished among NHL leaders in wins (35; seventh), goals-against average (2.17; second), save percentage (.922; tied for third) and shutouts (four; tied for sixth). Carolina's clear starter when healthy, Andersen is NHL.com's third-ranked fantasy goalie behind Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers and can challenge his NHL career high of 38 wins from 2017-18 with the Toronto Maple Leafs in his contract year (potential 2023 unrestricted free agent).

Jack Campbell, G, EDM (ADP: 74.6) -- He had an NHL career-high 31 wins (11th in NHL) last season with the Maple Leafs and should be the clear No. 1 goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. Campbell was an elite fantasy performer over the past two seasons combined, going 48-12-8 with a .916 save percentage (sixth in NHL; minimum 70 games in span) and seven shutouts (tied for eighth), and should be considered a top 10 goalie option and fringe top 50 overall player behind an elite offense (3.48 goals per game; tied for seventh).

Jack Hughes, C, NJD (ADP: 95.4) -- He was limited to 49 games last season because of multiple injuries but led the New Jersey Devils in points per game (1.14; tied for 24th in NHL), shots on goal per game (3.37; 24th) and was still tied with wing Jesper Bratt for their lead in goals (26). Hughes would have a high fantasy ceiling if he plays a full season and should be considered a top 15 center and among the 10 most valuable options in most keeper and dynasty leagues.

Brent Burns, D, CAR (ADP: 98.7) -- He leads NHL defensemen in goals (130), points (489 in 618 games) and shots on goal (2,116) and is fourth at the position in power-play points (175) since moving back to defense for the San Jose Sharks in 2014-15. Burns is expected to be a staple on the Carolina Hurricanes' first power play with elite forwards Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and valuable wing Teuvo Teravainen and, even at 37 years old, should be considered a fringe top 10 fantasy defenseman once again after the trade.

Mark Scheifele, C, WPG (ADP: 132.9) -- The Winnipeg Jets center was better than a point per game (70 in 67 games last season; second on the Jets behind wing Kyle Connor) for the fourth straight season and has had at least a point per game in six straight. Scheifele ranks 13th in the NHL in points per game since 2016-17 (1.04) and, despite dealing with multiple injuries in his career, should be considered a top 20 center who can help the Jets bounce back after missing the playoffs last season.

Brad Marchand, LW, BOS (ADP: 116.0) -- The Boston Bruins wing has been better than a point per game in each of the past six seasons and leads NHL left wings in points (506 in 420 games) in that span but had surgery on both hips May 27; the expected recovery time is six months, so he could be out until late November (missing more than 20 games). But Marchand should still be prioritized in the first five or six rounds of a fantasy draft; he thrived during the shortened season in 2020-21 (69 points in 53 games; third in NHL).

Robert Thomas, C, STL (ADP: 129.7) -- He had NHL career highs in points (77 in 72 games), goals (20), assists (57), power-play points (14) and was among the NHL leaders in even-strength points (60; tied for 16th) playing on a line with mostly Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich. Thomas had a high shooting percentage (17.4 percent) and low shot volume (115 shots on goal) but should still be considered a top 100 overall fantasy player and among the 50 best options in most keeper and dynasty leagues.

Jakub Vrana, LW, DET (ADP: 166.4) -- He missed most of last season because of injury but has 30 points (21 goals, nine assists) in 37 games in two seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Vrana was fifth in the NHL in 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes last season (1.52; minimum 25 games) and ranks third in the category since entering the League in 2016-17 (1.25; minimum 150 games). He could earn more time on the top line with valuable center Dylan Larkin (69 points in 71 games last season) or an improved second unit with key offseason additions in forwards David Perron and Andrew Copp under new coach Derek Lalonde.

Mason McTavish, LW, ANA (ADP: 166.4) -- The Anaheim Ducks rookie had three points (two goals, one assist), one on the power play, in nine NHL games last season and led the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in seven games to help Canada win the gold medal. McTavish, with a chance to slot into Anaheim's top six and potentially bring exposure to valuable forwards Trevor Zegras and/or Troy Terry on the first line, should be considered a fringe top 30 left wing and among the five most valuable fantasy rookies for this season.

Andrew Mangiapane, LW/RW, CGY (ADP: 160.6) -- He was tied for fourth in the NHL in shooting percentage (18.9; minimum 175 shots on goal) and had career highs in goals (35), assists (20), points (55), power-play points (11) and shots on goal (185) for the Calgary Flames last season. Mangiapane could play on the second line with center Nazem Kadri (tied for 16th in NHL with 1.23 points per game for Colorado Avalanche last season; signed seven-year contract with Flames) and see a bigger power-play role after the departure of valuable wings Johnny Gaudreau (signed with Columbus Blue Jackets) and Matthew Tkachuk (traded to Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar).

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Other injured players worth stashing in all leagues:

Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS (ADP: 135.2) -- The Bruins defenseman is coming off a breakout season with NHL career highs in all six standard fantasy categories (10 goals, 46 assists, plus-31, 21 power-play points, 166 shots on goal, 155 hits) but had shoulder surgery June 3; the estimated recovery time is six months, so he could be out until early December (missing more than 20 games). But McAvoy, who was 11th among NHL defensemen in points (56) last season, should still be considered a top 20 fantasy option at the position and, along with Marchand, should help the Bruins thrive in the second half upon their return.

Tom Wilson, RW, WSH (ADP: 166.0) -- The Washington Capitals wing was tied for 11th in the NHL in hits (240) last season and ranks fourth in the category over the past seven seasons combined (1,540 in 498 games since 2015-16). Wilson, who had NHL career highs in goals (24), assists (28), points (52) and power-play points (10) last season but is coming off knee surgery, is likely out for the start of the season but should still be considered a top 30 right wing option and one of the 10 most valuable players for category coverage when healthy.

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Other potential fantasy bargains to consider: Thomas Chabot, D, OTT (ADP: 114.8); Roope Hintz, C, DAL (ADP: 133.1); Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, WPG (ADP: 116.6); Tage Thompson, C, BUF (ADP: 141.5); Semyon Varlamov, G, NYI (ADP: 157.0); David Perron, RW, DET (ADP: 150.9)

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