2019-2020 NHL Fantasy Draft Cheat Sheet – Me Vs. The Experts edition

  • Nikita Kucherov – I’ll put Kucherov ahead of McDavid by a hair because he’s the reigning scoring champ. You can’t go wrong either way.

Connor McDavid – Scoring Champ the two years before Kucherov stepped up, their 3 year comparable and PPG avg are extremely similar

Here’s where I diverge from expert analysis and start having some opinions. The following player’s I’ve given extra props as proven commodities

  • Alex Ovechkin You can’t go wrong with Ovi, who will probably lead the league in goals. In multi-category pools, he’s a beast for shots and hits
  • Brad “Ratface” Marchand Another category killer, Marchand cracked 100 points but also racks up PIMs, hits and the rare Shorthanded goals.
  • Sidney Crosby I’m kinda grossed out by how far Sid (and Malkin) fall in drafts. Either grossed out or thrilled if he falls to me. Still one of the best.
  • John Tavares If you’re sitting at a table in Pennsylvania or New York, ignore me. In Toronto? Now’s the time to overpay for JT if you want him
And now, the players the experts like way better than I do
  • Nathan MacKinnon He’s been ranked as high as 2nd by some projections. I’m not sold. Colorado played above their heads last year. 
  • David Pastrnak Another guy I’ve pushed down the ranks a bit, Pastrnak’s hand injury last year has me reticent about the blue-chip player.
  • Mikko Rantanen The hulking Rantanen won a few people their pools as a sleeper, but he missed training camp in an ugly contract situation.
  • Brayden Point Point was 12th in scoring last year, plays on a great team and is young with upward potential. 
  • Patrick Kane scored a VERY quiet 100 points last year, and Chicago’s looking to become relevant again. Extra value as a wing/center
  • Leon Draisatl Scored an even quieter 100 points last year, though Edmonton looks as bad as usual.
  • Steven Stamkos If Stamkos is still around at #13 he’s a steal. Played all 82 games last year for the first time in 4 years.
  • Auston Matthews Well, here’s where Matthews SHOULD be ranked, but if you’re in the Toronto area he’s long gone.
  • Mitch Marner He outscored both Tavares and Matthews last year and has something to prove with that huge contract. I feel he’ll deliver.
  • Tyler Seguin An elite center in defense-minded Dallas, Seguin’s been given strong new teammates. Teammate Jamie Benn should bounce back.
  • Johnny Gaudreau Calgary was the Best in the West last year to everyone’s surprise. They won’t be a surprise now, but I have faith in Johnny Hockey.
  • Aleksander Barkov 10th in NHL scoring last year and Florida should be better with a new goalie. Still, I worry about playing for the mediocre Panthers
  • Blake Wheeler Wheeler made a fuss about wanting to be a better Dad than a Hockey player, and Winnipeg is a personnel tire fire. Be cautious 
  • Sebastian Aho This kid won a lot of people pools as a late-round steal. Be careful to get the Carolina guy,  as there’s an Islanders defense prospect also named Sebastian Aho.
  • Evgeni Malkin Malkin is always disrespected in projections, the best player in the world if he feels like it. He gets a surprising amount of slashing PIMs!
  • Jack Eichel Even more talented than his production, is spinning his wheels a bit in Buffalo. The young Captain isn’t taking it lightly though.
  • Sean Monahan The 24-year-old finished 22nd in scoring, Calgary finished first in the West and his linemates both inked big deals in recent years.
Defencemen
  • Brent Burns The best D in a pure points pool. He’s even better in a category pool as he gets lots of shots,  hits, and PP points.
  • Erik Karlsson For a few years there Karlsson was the undisputed first D picked. He may be able to return to form after a few injury-marred seasons
  • John Carlson A a few years ago he seized the title of “best Phonetic Carlson” from William and Erik K. I’d prefer him on my team, but not my pool.
  • Mark Giordano Reigning Norris Champ, and a category killer who also led all D in +/- while tossing in some PIMs and 4 shorthanded goals!
  • Morgan Rielly the back end engine of the Leafs offensive machine might lose a few points and minutes to newly acquired Tyson Barrie.
  • Victor Hedman You could argue he’s better than everyone else listed ahead of him, but we’re trying to win pools, not Hockey games here.
  • Kris Letang Finished 9th in points but 5th in PPG, Letang is very talented on a great team but will always miss a handful of games.
  • Erik Gustfasson I don’t know what to say. Sometime last year unheralded 27-year-old 4th round pick Gustafsson exploded for 60 points. 
  • Keith Yandle 5th in defenceman scoring last year, but more importantly has not missed a game in 9 years. He actually played 83 games one year!
  • Roman Josi Josi held down the fort in Nashville while flashier D put up the numbers. Not so much anymore, he’s now a top 10 scoring D.
  • John Klingberg 45 points in 65 games and some new offensive weapons.
  • Tyson Barrie The high scoring D just went from a loaded Colorado team to a loaded Leafs team. Might lose some PP time to Morgan Rielly.
Young Guns

Alex DeBrincat

Matt Tkachuk

Mat Barzal

William Nylander

Clayton Keller

Jonathan Huberdeau

Elias Pettersson

Brock Boeser

Dylan Larkin

Elias Lindholm