I have been "Fantasy Hockey Blogging" for a few years now, and thought I would drop a small one on here!
I have been a (self-appointed) Fantasy Hockey Guru for a few years now. I play in some insanely competitive leagues that mimic all life like NHL systematics for Drafting, ELC's, Contract renewals etc... so after years of this I have always had a knack of planning, scouting, building and obsessing over my teams, players and rivals. All in this has garnered me the opportunity to learn about Fantasy Hockey and look at the NHL in a different scope.
As a little league background that I play in, I usually use the scoring categories as follows:
Blocked Shots: 0.25
This should help summarize how I look at some of the players I will be looking into:
Starting off I will look at the Goalies, and will try to forcast my top 5 in each position for the upcoming year. Also looking on doing, breakout scorers this season as well as rookie surprises!
So here they are, in reverse order:
5) Kari Lethonen
Now most people don't look at Lethonen and scream a Top 5 goalie, but in a fantasy standpoint, he's a bona fide stud. Lethonen is good for 60-65 starts and approximately 27-28 saves per game on average. Couple this with the fact that Lindback won’t push him too hard for the starters role and that Dallas will be an improved team I see him grabbing a nice few wins (35+) some complimentary shutouts (5+) and a decent Goals Against (likely in the 140-145 range). This will make Kari a very solid fantasy producer where you can hope on about a 5.2-5.4 Fantasy Points per Game (FPG)
4) Sergei Bobrovsky
Bob, in the last couple seasons, has become a Fantasy STUD. Playing on an ever improved Blue Jackets team he has really rocket amongst the stellar fantasy providers. I see BOB getting close to 65 starts this season as CBJ looks to make another Playoff appearance. The thing with BOB; even though CBJ is getting better he still faces A LOT of rubber. You can look for close on 28-29 saves per game which translates into some nice point totals (even when coupled with a loss). With high shot totals and a respectable Columbus team I see BOB giving you a very healthy 5.4-5.5 FPG.
3) Semyon Varlamov
Patrick Roy likes to ride his starting goalie and I don't see this changing with Reto Berra as the back-up in Colorado next season. You can expect 65-66 starts from Verly this year, which means some valuable points on a young dynamic Avs team. Varly faces an absurd amount of shots for a better team, so he gets a lot of shots but also gets the run support. Varlamov will likely get close to 30 saves per game this year, with 40 wins and a few shutouts he will be a huge point grabber. I am expecting somewhere in the 5.6-5.8 FPG range this year!
2) Carey Price
Price was amazing last season, there is no arguing that! Fantasy wise he was just as good. With Montreal likely to be a Top 4-5 seed in the East this year I can see Price grabbing 65 Games with 35 wins (at least)... now thats some nice Fantasy value. I don't think Price will have as many saves per game as some of the other shot stoppers, but I see him getting 27-28 Saves per game this season. Where Price grabs some huge points is in the Shut-Out category. When he is in the zone he is almost unbeatable, with that being said he's good for 6-7 shutty's this year that’s some point production. I am looking at Carey getting somewhere in the 5.9-6.0 FPG this year!
1) Tuukka Rask
Ok... Ok... Bruins fan picking Tuukka as #1!!! HOMERRRR.... no, but seriously the numbers will speak for themselves. Rask playing on one of the top teams in a weaker conference will get a large win total this year! I could see Tuukka getting 39-40 wins this year as Coach Julien will ride him with an inexperienced backup in Svedberg behind him this season. Rask grabs the wins and he gets (like Price) the Shutouts! Look for another 7 this year all the while with 27-28 Saves Per game, I see Tuukka grabbing you a sweet 6.0-6.1 FPG
As it's all in fun this is just how I look into my Fantasy picks for the years coming up. Other leagues will vary in scoring, matchups etc. but this is just a little based on some leagues I play in.
Hoping to do every position as well as some sleepers and players you would never think to pick that actually grab you some great value from the bargain bin. Also, in the future can post my team with how it's developed and look into my AHL and ECHL teams I have as feeders into my 25 man NHL squad.
Thanks for reading my first blog around here and would love to have any insight or answer any questions you all may have.
All the best!