SlayerScott’s 2018-2019 NHL Fantasy Draft Primer

FORWARDS
1. Connor McDavid – Has won the scoring title every season he’s played except his rookie year when he was injured.
2. Alexander Ovechkin – Captain of the reigning Champions and the best goalscorer of our generation, Ovi is the most consistent forward in the top 5.
3. Nikita Kucherov – the mathematician’s pick, Kucherov is a both flashy and consistent. He’s also in an ideal situation in Tampa Bay with plenty of good teammates.
4. Sidney Crosby – the casual fan’s pick, the face of the NHL really isn’t a bad pick anytime after McDavid. Possible jackpot pick if some fool overpays for Tavares
5. John Tavares – I’m gonna overpay for Tavares as a homer pick. He’s always had top 5 potential, and now he’s gotten a massive linemate and situational upgrade.
I AM THAT FOOL
6. Brad “Ratface” Marchand – the sociopath’s pick, Marchand is relentlessly productive despite being a terrible person. May miss a few games due to being suspended.
7. Nathan MacKinnon – second only to McDavid in PPG last year, McKinnon is young and up and coming with a very high ceiling.  Ranked 6th by ESPN and 9th by Yahoo
8. Blake Wheeler – Wheeler is both the driving force behind Winnipeg’s resurgence and the beneficiary of more skilled linemates. He does everything.
9. Patrick Kane – Chicago’s winning ways have seen a downturn, but Kane isn’t that far removed from his 2016 scoring title.
10. Claude Giroux – After a few miserable years Giroux found himself hitting the 100 point marker for the first time in his career last year.
11. Tyler Seguin – Just signed a big fat contract, and is a legit threat for the scoring title. His team needs to get it’s act together, but that’s mainly in net.
12.Evgeni Malkin – Malkin tends to have one good year one bad year. I’m not sure what last year was, as he just missed 100 points but his team faltered in the playoffs.
13. Taylor Hall – last year’s MVP has an up and coming your cast of linemates. He’s got even greater pure scoring potential, but New Jersey has always been D first.
14. Jamie Benn – Another recent scoring Champ, Benn & Seguin have great chemistry and a fantastic first pass defender feeding them in John Klingberg.
15. Steven Stamkos – Nikita Kucherov is now the fantasy prized pig in Tampa. He’s complementary to Stamkos, with TB boasting great depth and a terrifying PP.
16. David Pastrnak – 16 seems super low for Pastrnak, but here we are. I think he’ll finish higher than 16th overall but isn’t a pure threat for #1.
17. AustOn Matthews – You may not want to be the guy that overpays for Matthews, but I do. The Leaf phenom will see lots of PP time and second defence pairings.
18.Filip Forsberg – Forsberg is flashy and talented, but playing in defence first Nashville may have hindered his production.
19. Patrick Laine – Young, big and already an elite goalscorer Laine boasts a killer shot, excellent supporting players, and a terribly ugly wispy little beard.
20. Artemi Panarin – Panarin was allegedly riding Patrick Kane’s coattails until he was traded to Columbus and didn’t miss a beat. Rumoured to be asking for a trade .
Defencemen
1. Erik Karlsson – after spending years using this slot to mock Karlsson and the Sens, this year I couldn’t have changed my tone more. Buy in early! $$$$$
2. Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay’s offence isn’t regressing and Hedman put up a juicy 63 points last year. Also more sold defensively than other D in this tax bracket.
3. Brent Burns – Scores like a forward, having been known to be one off and on throughout his career. Will Karlsson cut into his share of the powerplay points pie?
4.Dustin Byfuglien – Big Buff has had more than 45 points in all his last 7 full seasons and has eclipsed 50 points 5 times in that span. Never played 82 games though.
5. Drew Doughty – Possibly the best defender on the list, but he also hit 60 points last year. I was pleasantly surprised.
6. John Carlson – The reigning points and  Stanley cup champ resigned in Washington for a long time, but may be have lingering injuries from his Stanley Cup run.
7. Roman Josi – Has quietly become one of the best defencemen in the NHL. Is also the Captain now, but I miss the sweet mohawk he had back in the day.
8. PK Subban – despite being completely opposite dudes, Subban and Josi have nearly identical numbers for a points only pool.
9. Seth Jones – Always had the talent to be on this list, but only now is coming into his own vis-à-vis production. Columbus has developed him very well.
10.John Klingberg – Criminally underrated, his point totals were good for second place with Brent Burns last  year. An improved Stars squad may bump him into first.
11. Shayne Gostisbehere – Ghost Bear was 4th in defenceman scoring last year, and a big reason why Philly quietly went from also-ran to legit contender.
11. Keith Yandle – I never get tired of this stat – Yandle has averaged over 82 games played over the last 9 years. If you’re sick of injuries hurting you, he’s your man.
12. Morgan Rielly – the Leafs powerplay captain is an emerging #1 defender, certainly from a fantasy standpoint.
13. Torey Krug – I hear lots of criticisms of Krug, but none of them involve his offensive skills.
14. Tyson Barrie – If you can ignore his hideous +/-,  Barrie’s bulk numbers are great and his PPG is even better – 2nd only to Erik Karlsson last year
15. Kris Letang – Always an injury risk, but Letang eats huge minutes and puts up huge numbers with Pittsburgh’s lethal offence. Played 79 games last year!
Rising Stars Blue Chippers Buyer Beware Notorious Jerks Badly Injured
Mitch Marner Phil Kessel Matt Duchene Evander Kane Corey Perry
William Nylander Niklas Backstrom Kyle Turris Mike Hoffman Shea Weber
Brock Boeser Vladimir Tarasenko Anders Lee Matt Tkachuk
Jack Eichel Johnny Hockey! (Gaudreau) William Karlsson Ilya Kovalchuk
Dylan Larkin Mark Scheifele Matt Barzal
Evgeny Kuznetsov Joe Pavelski Matt Dumba
Mikko Rantanen Jakub Voracek Clayton Keller
Sebastian Aho Max Pacioretty Patrice Bergeron
Kyle Connor James Neal
Rickard Rakell
Goalies
1. Andriy Vasilevsky – Apparently the best goalie in the world…or at least the easiest job as Tampa’s Excellent defence and puck possesion numbers guarantee wins.
2. Pekka Rinne – When we last saw Pekka Rinne he was hanging his head in shame as he botched an elimination game. Was fantasy gold last year, but is very up and down.
3. Connor Hellebuyck – Hellebuyck was a statistical angel for fantasy players last year and stabilizing the crease made Winnipeg a contender. Is he for real?
4.Sergei Bobrovsky – a Force in net, Bobrovsky has been succesful everywhere he’s played. Columbus has internal problems and lots of young talent, could go either way
5. Braden Holtby – Finally, a guy I can get behind. Holtbeast backstopped Washington to a Stanley Cup, but had his worst fantasy numbers along the way. Zero shutouts!
6.Marc-Andre Fleury – I’ve always bashed him, but the Las Vegas Golden Boy was better than advertised as a franchise goalie while his replacement crumbled.
7. Martin Jones – Not eye popping numbers, but is quietly in an ideal situation on a talented West Coast team.
8. John Gibson – See Martin Jones. They’re in nearly identical situations. Gibson might be a bit better, but Jones ranks higher because of Erik Karlsson’s arrival.
9. Frederick Andersen – I don’t know if I’m over or underrating him as a Leaf fan. Andersen tends to get out to a rough start and heats up as the season progresses.
10. Tuukka Rask – A great goalie on a solid team, Rask had some injury asbsence last year . Also prone to amusing meltdowns, but they don’t seem to hinder his stats.