Time to start cramming for your hockey pool draft! Fantasy guru Matt Larkin gets you ready with his top 200 player rankings.
OCT. 1 UPDATE: We enter the home stretch of fantasy hockey prep season, with the last league drafts happening this weekend or early next week. This edition of the rankings addresses some injury news, particularly the blow dealt to the Edmonton Oilers. Also, while I’ll make some tweaks based on the latest line combinations, be careful. Don’t get caught chasing coaches’ whiteboards. The minute Paul Stastny draws glowing reviews centering Vladimir Tarasenko, we get news Jori Lehtera’s recovery is ahead of schedule. Sure, you don’t want to reach for a young gun who winds up demoted next week. But, at this point, worry more about talent. Pick guys who are good at hockey, and they’ll find their way into opportunities.
This list blends goalies and skaters into a master breakdown tailored for anyone drafting in leagues with multiple stat categories. The rankings below are based on a standard Yahoo head-to-head format with the following categories: goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power play points, wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
Did last year’s list steer you right? It helped me win both my pools, so hopefully that buys your trust. Remember, these rankings are about fantasy, not real life, so a few stars will be listed lower than you might expect. Enjoy, and feel free to debate the rankings – and let me know about any glaring omissions – in the comment section below.
1. Sidney Crosby, C: What “off’ year? Led NHL in points per game. Kessel remains his right winger. Who knows what heights Sid can reach with that caliber of sniper on his line?
2. John Tavares, C: Feels like Johnny T is building toward something. Another inch forward last season and maybe the 90-point stratosphere this time.
3. Alex Ovechkin, LW: If your league counts hits, shots or both, bump Ovie to No. 1 overall. I can’t stress enough how dominant his impact is when those stat categories factor in. Even if Nick Backstrom isn’t ready, Evgeny Kuznetsov will more than suffice as Ovie’s center.
4. Tyler Seguin, C: Only Crosby averaged more points per game, and Seguin is just 23. Has the upside to finish as fantasy’s No. 1 overall player.
5. Steven Stamkos, C: Still second in NHL with 43 goals in what felt like a down season. Coach Jon Cooper isn’t about to break up the Triplets, though, and that means ‘Stammer’ has lower-quality linemates than most first-rounders.
6. Jamie Benn, LW: The reigning scoring champ had double hip surgeries this off-season. The health reports remain glowing. Barring a setback, Benn will suit up opening night.
7. Carey Price, G: Singlehandedly carried Montreal and plenty of fantasy teams in goal last season. No reason to believe he won’t do so again.
8. Claude Giroux, C: Say hello to the NHL’s top scorer over the past five seasons combined.
9. Phil Kessel, RW (+1): Trip over yourself to nab Phil if he slides out of the first round because of Toronto-hate. He’s poised for his first 40-goal effort. Chemistry with Crosby already looks good.
10. Evgeni Malkin, C (+1): Has missed 13 games per season in his career. Still consistently a point-per-game guy when in the lineup, though, and that makes him a first-rounder in most pools.
11. Ryan Getzlaf, C (-2): High floor, which is what you want from any first-round pick, and he hiked his penalty minutes back up last season, too. Minor downgrade because he consistently misses five games a year. The big fella is 30 and starting to get creaky.
12. Corey Perry, RW: Durability was never a problem before last season. Just a blip on the radar. Back to his 40-goal form this year.
13. Henrik Lundqvist, G: Fantasy goalies are fickle year to year, but Hank is one of the exceptions. The most consistently excellent stopper of his generation.
14. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW: A 50-goal talent and human highlight reel who should breach 40 for the first time this season.
15. Patrick Kane, RW: As talented as any player in the NHL but has killed fantasy teams with season-ending injuries two straight years. Still hasn’t been charged with a crime, and he’s joined the Blackhawks, so the risk factor in drafting him has declined a bit. Not that he’s the safest selection, though.
16. Erik Karlsson, D (+1): Our first blueliner! I’m strongly against reaching on defensemen, because the gap between each is so small, but Karlsson is the one huge exception to this rule. In a class of his own.
17. Ryan Johansen, C (+1): My first aggressive rank on this list. Will be 23 when season starts, topped 70 points last season, improving team. A million reasons to buy.
18. Taylor Hall, LW (+1): Reckless style puts his body in peril every night, but few players have bigger bounce-back potential. Is indeed playing with Connor McDavid. Salivate away. The Jordan Eberle injury doesn’t hurt Hall in my mind, as Hall’s value is more tied to his center.
19. Joe Pavelski, C (+1): Offers multi-position eligibility in most leagues and is a safe bet for 35-plus goals.
20. Jakub Voracek, RW (+1): The 100-point pace early last season wasn’t the real Voracek, but the career-high 81 points was. He always had a star pedigree.
21. Tyler Johnson, C (+1): Not quite the world beater he was in playoffs but still a rock-solid bet for 70 points on the NHL’s most complete line. Mildly concerning that his surgically repaired wrist was too weak to shoot the puck just two weeks ago, even if he says it’s better now.
22. Nicklas Backstrom, C (-6): Averages around a point per game every single year. His hip surgery doesn’t scare me away, but I begrudgingly downgrade him here now that Barry Trotz has made it clear Backstrom will miss multiple contests.
23. Jonathan Toews, C: Top-three player in the world trades in some offense for two-way play, making him more of a second or third-round pick in pools.
24. Connor McDavid, C: Here he is. The key for drafting McDavid is to forecast his points and only take him after the guys who are locks for that kind of production. I’ve let the hype romance me, so I’ve bumped him ahead of Monahan. I imagine the two of them being neck-and-neck in points this year.
25. Braden Holtby, G: Volume matters in most pools that use goalies, and no one played more than Holtby last season. His rate stats are excellent, too, and he plays for a good team. I’m extremely bullish. He’s my 2015-16 Vezina Trophy pick.
26. Sean Monahan, C: Already compared to Toews, but does Monahan have a higher offensive ceiling? Already a 30-goal man and he’s just 20. Love this kid.
27. P.K. Subban, D: One of the few blueliners capable of challenging Karlsson in points, and with PIM to boot.
28. Anze Kopitar, C: Milan Lucic and Marian Gaborik would be the best winger combination he’s ever had, fantasy-wise.
29. Tuukka Rask, G: Still produced 34 wins, 2.30 GAA, .922 SP on a non-playoff team. But the opening-night D-corps in front of him is minus the traded Dougie Hamilton and the injured Dennis Seidenberg. Not good.
30. Pekka Rinne, G: Slightly overrated entering 2015-16. A great goalie, but he sagged in second half. I’d rather take Holtby, who may fall a round later because he’s less of a name than Rinne.
31. Sergei Bobrovsky, G: Wasn’t half bad on a snakebitten Blue Jackets squad last season. Should be even better with the team poised to improve.
32. Johnny Gaudreau, LW: A little too high for ‘Johnny Hockey’? It’s possible teams game plan better to contain him. There’s no denying his talent, though, and he has dynamite chemistry with his linemates Monahan and Jiri Hudler.
33. Cory Schneider, G: The Rodney Dangerfield act will continue, as he’ll post superb rate stats on a bad Devils team.
34. Victor Hedman, D: His dominant playoffs with Tampa, especially in the final against Chicago, suggests he joins the true elite this season. Hedman is ready to challenge for a Norris Trophy. Had a minor injury scare this week, but he’s back at practice already. No worries.
35. Ben Bishop, G: Prospect backup Andrei Vasilevskiy will miss several months after vascular surgery. That should increase Bishop’s workload, boosting his volume stats.
36. Dustin Byfuglien, D: A hockey pool beast who scores more than most D-men and racks up PIM.
37. Nikita Kucherov, RW: Underrated. His 28-goal, 64-point outburst came in his first full season. There’s room for more.
38. Gabriel Landeskog, LW: Notorious slow starter always get his 60-ish points, adding in prolific hit and PIM totals. Maybe we should just trade for him every January.
39. Rick Nash, LW: Another subpar playoffs creates another buy-low opportunity. He’s perfectly handy in the regular season.
40. Zach Parise, LW: Never thought I’d say this, but Parise has become boring in fantasy. That’s not an insult. We just take our 30 goals and 65 points and keep moving.
41. Max Pacioretty, LW: Only Ovechkin and Pavelski have more goals than ‘Patches’ over past two seasons. Knee injury could cost him beginning of season, though.
42. Jiri Hudler, RW: Prime candidate to be overdrafted. Perfectly solid player, but career highs across the board at 31?
43. Kris Letang, D: The second-best offensive defenseman in the game when healthy. Too bad he never seems to be.
44. Marc-Andre Fleury, G (+2): Similar to Nash, though Fleury was actually good in the playoffs last year. Either way, he typically comes out a discount despite great regular season play. Flipped him with Semyon Varlamov, as Fleury has better wins potential.
45. Shea Weber, D: His 15 goals marked his lowest total in any season of 55 games or more. He’s 29, so expect a rebound.
46. Semyon Varlamov, G (-2): About the only Colorado player whose game didn’t slip last year. A real workhorse.
47. Henrik Zetterberg, C: Doesn’t score goals like he used to but still piles up points in Detroit.
48. Matt Duchene, C (+1): To generalize his past five years: good, bad, good, good, bad. The yearly inconsistency has become a hockey pool headache. Trends suggest a rebound year is coming, at least.
49. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D (+1): His 23 goals were most ever by a Swedish defenseman, and he did it on a horrible team. That’s how good OEL is.
50. Kevin Shattenkirk, D (+2): Has passed Alex Pietrangelo as the Blues’ top fantasy offering on ‘D.’
51. Nathan MacKinnon, C (-1): Sophomore jinx dragged him down. He’ll return to glory, though it’s not absolutely guaranteed that happens this year. Here’s the perfect example of why you don’t chase lines: Patrick Roy plans to start MacKinnon as Colorado’s third-line center. Don’t think of Nate Dogg as a third-liner. Draft him and let his talent take over.
52. Filip Forsberg, LW (+1): His 63-point explosion as a rookie was for real. Second-half fade not a concern at all. Quite normal for a freshman.
53. Jaden Schwartz, LW (+1): Little bulldog of a player resides comfortably in the 60-point range and deserves more credit for helping linemate Tarasenko become great.
54. Brent Burns, D (+1):: So good last year that he’s a threat to be overrated now. A top-notch fantasy D-man nevertheless.
55. Duncan Keith, D (+1): A real-life monster, but three of past four full seasons have been in 40-point range. Careful not to overpay.
56. Mark Giordano, D (+3): More elite than many of the D-men ranked ahead of him but has not played 82 games since 2010-11.
57. Jonathan Quick, G (+3): Legendary in the playoffs but quite pedestrian in the regular season. That said, I’m suddenly getting a gut feeling he and the Kings will come out angry. If Quick is ever going to bounce back for a big fantasy year, it’s now.
58. Tyson Barrie, D (+3): Produces all-star offense yet remains under fantasy radar. Everyone else’s loss is our gain. Go get him.
59. Tomas Tatar, LW (+3): A year ago, Gus Nyquist was Wings’ top young talent. Now it’s Tatar, who always had the better pedigree.
60. Kyle Okposo, RW (+3): Has slowly realized the potential that made him an Isles first-rounder, but rise of all their young guns means he’s no lock to ride Tavares’ wing anymore.
61. Logan Couture, C (+3): Ideal No. 2 center on most fantasy teams. Has a nice, high floor.
62. Corey Crawford, G (+3): Two Cups and several years of high-end fantasy numbers. What’s it gonna take for us to embrace Crawford?
63. Nick Foligno, LW (+8): I was wary of a regression after last year’s stunning breakout, but he has looked just as dominant this pre-season after moving to the right wing. Foligno, Johansen and Brandon Saad look unstoppable together so far.
64. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C (-7): Here’s the guy most affected by Eberle’s injury. The Nuge was Eberle’s center. No matter who takes over on the right side, he won’t be as good as Eberle. That will drain The Nuge’s value temporarily.
65. Alex Pietrangelo, D (+1): Past four full NHL seasons: at least 79 games and between 43 and 51 points. Gotta love that consistency.
66. Roman Josi, D (+1): We knew he was good. But, uh, outscore-Weber-by-10-points good? Let’s assume Josi merely holds at his new level, which is outstanding.
67. Daniel Sedin, LW (+1): Enjoyed his best season since 2011-12 at 34. Nowhere near done. A handy pick – if he falls to you at the right time.
68. Milan Lucic, LW (+1): I’m buying. A monster for hits and PIM and he’s never played with a center as good as Kopitar offensively.
69. David Backes, C (+`): A Lucic clone in pools, and Backes is more consistent. Lucic gets the nod because of his increased upside.
70. T.J. Oshie, RW (+1): Plenty to like. Already a decent enough fantasy player to be relevant on or off Ovechkin’s line. If and when he does join Ovie and Backstrom, though, you’ll want to be the guy who drafted Oshie.
71. John Carlson, D (+1): Truly seized the torch as Washington’s No. 1 defenseman. That’s a plum role to have in fantasy.
72. Sami Vatanen, D (+2): Last chance to buy this stock before it skyrockets. All this crafty little Finn does is score. A jump to 50 points wouldn’t surprise me.
73. Brandon Saad, LW (+2): A hot sleeper last year, almost too buzzy this year. Looks great with Johansen and Foligno, but consider Saad’s Chicago linemates were Toews and Marian Hossa last season.
74. Mark Stone, RW (+2): Top-five scorer in the NHL from Jan. 1 on. Not bad for a guy many thought couldn’t skate well enough for the NHL. I’ll buy a repeat of his 64 points.
75. Pavel Datsyuk, C (-18): Ankle is recovering on schedule, according to Datsyuk’s doctor visit last week. Still should miss the first month, though, and only after downgrading Eberle so much did I realize I hadn’t penalized Datsyuk’s ranking enough.
76. Dougie Hamilton, D (+1): T.J. Brodie’s injury is good for Hamilton’s fantasy stock. The Flames were already mixing him and Brodie onto Giordano’s pair, so Hamilton should get the first crack to be Brodie’s replacement.
77. Joe Thornton, C (+1): Jumbo is aging, but his linemates still look darned good. He should keep on keepin’ on another season.
78. Aaron Ekblad, D (+1): It’s only a matter of time before Ekblad is a top-five fantasy blueliner. He’s still a teenager, however, so a repeat of his Calder Trophy form would be just fine.
79. Ondrej Palat, LW (+1): The least productive ‘Triplet Line’ member in Tampa is plenty productive nonetheless and should come cheaper in drafts than Johnson and Kucherov.
80. Henrik Sedin, C (+1): Outlook similar to his brother Daniel, but Daniel ranks higher since left wingers are harder to find in fantasy.
81. Jason Spezza, C (+1): Safe bet for another 65 points, with or without Patrick Sharp on his wing.
82. Derek Stepan, C (+1): It would be so much better for poolies if Derek or Derick – Stepan or Brassard – could emerge as the Rangers’ true No. 1 center.
83. Blake Wheeler, RW (+1): Physicality doesn’t match his 6-foot-5 frame, though the scoresheet says otherwise: decent PIM totals to accompany 25-plus goals, 60-plus points.
84. Andrew Ladd, LW (+1): The kind of veteran a savvy fantasy GM picks in the middle of the draft when the other whippersnappers start reaching on sexy sleepers. Go ahead on gamble on a Teravainen leaping to 60 points. I’ll take my guaranteed 60 from Ladd, thanks.
85. Wayne Simmonds, RW (+1): A better Lucic impersonator than Lucic in recent seasons. Love Simmonds’ goal and PIM totals, though he’ll never be a huge assists guy.
86. Kyle Turris, C (+6): Last three months of 2013-14: 34 points in 34 games. How’s that for a double-take stat? I boosted him this time around. He deserves more respect.
87. Patrice Bergeron, C: Rock-solid and predictable production. A lower ceiling than most first-line centers in fantasy, though.
88. Gustav Nyquist, RW: Goal-scoring bonanza in second half of 2013-14 produced unrealistic expectations. Nothing wrong with a floor of 25-25-50 and room for more.
89. Marian Hossa, RW: One more point than 2013-14, but in 10 more games. A mild decline has begun for this fantasy hockey stalwart.
90. Eric Staal, C: Would love to see what he could do on a new team. Concerning that his usually prolific shot totals have declined.
91 Alexander Steen, LW: Can carry your team for stretches when he gets on a streak. Still misses a handful of games every year with nicks and scratches.
92. Jeff Carter, C (+1): Gets too much fanfare in fantasy for someone who topped 60 points for the first time since 2010-11.
93. David Pastrnak, RW (+1): He’s something special and will eventually outproduce the 20 guys ahead of him on his list. Just a matter of whether the boom is this year or next. My fave breakout pick.
94. Alex Galchenyuk, LW (+1): Just because the breakout has taken longer than expected doesn’t mean it ain’t coming. Career highs across the board in 2014-15. Looks like he’ll get a shot to play center, too.
95. Devan Dubnyk, G (+1): Can’t possibly equal last year’s heroics, and the Wild did so little to improve this off-season. I’m increasingly bearish.
96. James van Riemsdyk, LW (+1): One of the few Leafs, if not the only Leaf, talented enough to produce similarly without Kessel as with him.
97. Bryan Little, C (+1): Just another Jets forward who fills the back of your roster with steady, unspectacular production.
98. Mike Ribeiro, C (+1): Always seems to fall in drafts despite being a No. 1 center. He was my final pick of the THN pool last year and helped me win the league.
99. Ryan O’Reilly, C (+1): Opens season as Buffalo’s No. 1 center. Which linemates yield better production, though: Tyler Ennis and Evander Kane or Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon? I predict a drop in points, not an increase.
100. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW (+1): Playmaking winger could have similar career to Alex Tanguay. Wouldn’t be surprising if he crept up to 60 points this year. Deserved more respect in my rankings, hence the boost.
101. Jack Eichel, C (+4): Eichel appears very NHL-ready so far, and his speed looks like it will generate plenty of offense. It didn’t take long for his stock to rise. Remember, this kid would’ve gone first overall in the past five NHL drafts. He just happened to go in McDavid’s year.
102. Torey Krug, D: Good bet for double-digit goals and around 40 points from the blueline. No reason to expect a change.
103. Tyler Toffoli, RW: Might be a 30-goal man on a higher-octane team. Probably have to settle for around 25 for now.
104. Ryan Strome, RW (+2): Crowded depth chart puts most Isles forwards in a flux of 25-goal, 45-point production. Strome is best bet of the young crop.
105. Drew Doughty, D (+2): My annual example of “better in real life than fantasy.” Doughty has reached 50 points once, and that was five years ago. News of his weight loss doesn’t move the needle for me. He already played a high-flying game.
106. David Krejci, C (+2): Only 29 and a season removed from 69 points. A good guy to buy low after an injury-plagued year. Early camp reports are glowing. He’s playing with Pastrnak and Matt Beleskey at the moment.
107. Frederik Andersen, G (+2): John Gibson will start 2015-16 in the AHL, giving Andersen the No. 1 job. That makes him a potential draft bargain…if he can keep the gig.
108. Patrick Sharp, LW (+7): Fell off statistical cliff in age-32 season. Will rebound on high-flying Stars but not to his career-best levels. Has shifted to right wing on the top line with Seguin and Benn during the pre-season, so I have to upgrade Sharp for now.
109. Mikael Granlund, C (+1): Gifted player but disappointing to see virtually no progression last year. Expectations tempered for now.
110. John Klingberg, D (+1): Most productive rookie D-man on a point-per-game basis. Should at least duplicate his performance.
111. Justin Faulk, D (+1): Didn’t know he had that much offense in him. Solid defenseman but tough to expect a repeat on what looks like the NHL’s worst team in Carolina.
112. Andrei Markov, D (+1): Remember when we called him injury prone? Has missed two games in three seasons. Dropoff in scoring is coming, though. He’s 36.
113. Zdeno Chara, D (-9): Don’t leave him for dead at the draft table just yet. One year removed from top-drawer fantasy numbers. That said, it’s a bad omen at 38 that he’s already sustained a day-to-day injury. There could be many of those this year.
114. Evander Kane, LW: Kane can be quite the fantasy force when healthy, especially in leagues weighted toward goals and/or PIM. Has missed 65 games past two seasons.
115. Radim Vrbata, RW (+1): 2014-15 was best season in years. Most encouraging was how he produced with or without the Sedins.
116. Patric Hornqvist, RW (+1): Per-game scoring did spike with elite new centers in Pittsburgh, albeit modestly. A strong depth winger for fantasy teams.
117. Mike Green, D (+1): Detroit needs him more than Washington did, and he leaves the NHL’s No. 1 power play for the No. 2 unit. I woke up and swapped him and Niklas Kronwall.
118. Roberto Luongo, G (+1): I’d love him as my No. 2 fantasy goalie. Good rate stats and healthy workload.
119. Scott Hartnell, LW (+1): Extremely versatile contributor, but fellow left winger Saad may siphon points away from him.
120. Bobby Ryan, RW (+1): The $7.5-million man has scored 23 and 18 goals in past two seasons, respectively. I crunched the numbers, though, and they suggest Ryan was actually unlucky last year. He may bounce back, though he won’t come at a bargain.
121. Derick Brassard, C (+1): Doesn’t produce as much as you’d expect from Rick Nash’s regular center, but 55 to 60 points are nothing to sneeze at.
122. Mark Scheifele, C (+1): If he wasn’t already the Jets’ de factor No. 1 pivot by the end of last season, count on it happening this year. Gave one of my favorite sleepers a big rankings boost this time around.
123. Aleksander Barkov, C (+1): Big fella was great with Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr down the stretch. Now let’s see him do it for a full season.
124. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C (+10): Believe in those flashes he showed in the playoffs. Arrow points straight up for the slick young Russian. Could start hot, too, if he gets a few games centering Ovechkin while Backstrom is out. I have a growing sensation Kuznetsov will be a breakout star in 2015-16.
125. James Neal, RW: No surprise to see him score way less in Nashville than in Pittsburgh. Doesn’t mean Neal can’t help your team in goals, though.
126. Nick Bjugstad, C: As Panthers improve as a team, so will Bjugstad. Second-line center role means he doesn’t have the quality of linemates Barkov does.
127. Jakob Silfverberg, RW: Shhhh! The breakout we’ve been waiting for happened in the playoffs, when he had 18 points in 16 games. Not everyone knows that. Snatch him up.
128. Loui Eriksson, RW:: Still safe bet for Boston’s top six. Had 22 goals and 47 points last year and is good enough to match or slightly exceed that. Should start the year with Patrice Bergeron and the next guy on this list.
129. Brad Marchand, LW: A bit overlooked. Has topped 21 goals, 41 points and 50 PIM in his past four non-lockout years.
130. Marian Gaborik, RW: Three seasons removed from his last 40-goal effort, and he’s 33. Another King who will be overvalued.
131. Niklas Kronwall, D: A safe pick as a second or third fantasy defenseman. Should stay around 40-45 points again, though he’s 34 and plays a rough style, so watch for signs of decline.
132. Jarome Iginla, RW: Elder statesman remains a handy source of goals. Note that he doesn’t produce PIM like used to, though.
133. Chris Kreider, LW: If you want the full Chris Kreider experience, join a hits league. Otherwise he’s still better in real life than fantasy.
134. Mika Zibanejad, C (+1): Wasn’t assured a role in top six at start of 2014-15. He is now and, at 22, he has plenty more upside.
135. Tyler Ennis, RW (+1): Nice sleeper because he has a Buffalo stink on him. Should improve on last season’s 46 points with better linemates.
136. Patrick Marleau, LW (+1): An aging Marleau can still help you if you understand his days of top-line production are done.
137. Ryan Kesler, C (+1): Don’t let his great playoffs cloud your judgement. Hasn’t topped 25 goals or 49 points in four seasons.
138. Jaroslav Halak, G (+1): Not a dominant regular-season goalie but should be strong source of wins on the Island.
139. Steve Mason, G (+1): Have to applaud his career resurgence in Philly. Too bad the team in front of him will struggle again this season.
140. Martin Jones, G (+1): Unproven, but don’t get scared off because he left L.A. Sharks have strong ‘D’ corps as well, He should post nice rate stats.
141. Cam Talbot, G (+1): Should be a bargain since he went from Rangers to OIlers. But the numbers suggest he was legit in New York. Have a look here.
142. Nazem Kadri (+1): Will he blossom under Mike Babcock in T.O. or will they butt heads? High-risk, high-reward pick.
143. Petr Mrazek, G (+1): He’ll blast up the ranks if he separates himself from Jimmy Howard to win Detroit’s starting gig. Mrazek is a star in the making. Unfortunately, early reports suggest a timeshare to start the year.
144. Anders Lee, RW (+1): There’s room to improve on his 25 goals depending on whether he plays with Tavares.
145. Jason Pominville, RW (+1): Slipped from 30 to 18 goals, from 60 to 54 points. A sign of decline at 32?
146. Teuvo Teravainen, LW (+4): His line assignment seems to change every day. Let’s stop worrying about that. He’s a special talent who will at the very least play in Chicago’s top nine, with plenty of power play opportunities.
147. Jake Allen, G: The numbers should be strong. If only he had St. Louis’ starting job to himself.
148. Brock Nelson, C: Should play more wing than center, Another 20 goals should be no problem in a stacked Isles lineup.
149. Paul Stastny, C (+51): I’m no line chaser, but for those who are, go ahead and flip Stastny with Jori Lehtera. Stastny most recently suited up with Tarasenko and Steen. It’s a plum assignment if Stastny can keep it.
150. Jordan Eberle, RW (-102): Eberle will miss four to six weeks with a shoulder injury. He’s still draftable, as he could miss a quarter of the year and still chip in 50 points. He’s worth stashing in the mid to late rounds.
151. Kevin Hayes, C: Talent suggests he’ll progress, but he loses linemates Carl Hagelin and Martin St-Louis, so let’s forecast a repeat of Hayes’ rookie numbers. Curious to know if Jarret Stoll signing will grant Hayes a chance to move to wing in the top six.
152. Ryan Suter, D: Five straight full seasons between 37 and 45 points. Tiny gap between that high floor and low ceiling.
153. Brandon Dubinsky, C: Seemed to have peaked but was more productive than ever when healthy last season.
154. Mike Hoffman, LW: Less pedigree than Stone and is thus less likely to repeat rookie breakout in Ottawa. Still solid secondary source of goals, though.
155. Elias Lindholm, C: Talented Swede just getting started. A breakout looms, especially if he ends up playing the right wing on Eric Staal’s line.
156. Ryan Miller, G: Won’t kill you but the Canucks look like they’ll regress and he’s 34. Lots of downside here.
157. Colin Wilson, C: Sleeper. Five goals in six playoff games showed he has another gear.
158. Thomas Vanek, LW: Officially banned from the circle of trust until further notice. Nice to know he’s aiming for 30 goals, though.
159. Mark Streit, D: The bottom has to fall out soon at his age, but he sure does rack up points on the Flyer blueline.
160. Brayden Schenn, LW (+1): Career-high 47 points last season, and he’s still only 23. Lots of time left. He’s arguably earned a higher rank than this, but I’m not optimistic about the Flyers in 2015-16.
161. Keith Yandle, D (+1): The most overdrafted player in pools so far according average draft position. The Rangers simply don’t use him as much as Arizona did.
162. Valeri Nichushkin, RW (-2): Should vastly outproduce his draft position if healthy. Less exciting if he ends up on Stars’ second line to start year, though. Wouldn’t be surprising to see him work his way back to line 1 eventually.
163. Ryan Callahan, RW: A fantasy all-star in leagues that count hits. Otherwise he’s just a solid depth winger.
164. Boone Jenner, LW: Worth far more in hits leagues. A solid young player who needs to show his physicality won’t get him hurt every year.
165. Jeff Skinner, LW: A trade would make him a fantasy factor again. Just so inconsistent and injury-prone.
166. Jaromir Jagr, RW: Produced great on Panthers top line. You can only invest so much in a 43-year-old, though.
167. Mats Zuccarello, RW: Won’t carry a fantasy team but provides enough secondary offense to fill gaps when you have injuries.
168. Craig Anderson, G: Decent fantasy goalie when he plays, and Andrew Hammond has a groin injury. If it lingers, Anderson will get more starts than expected in October.
169. Chris Kunitz, LW (-1): What a fall last season. Some see an off year. I see a decline from a guy who turns 36 in September. Only saving grace is that his shooting percentage was fluky-low. That said, you must draft the guy slated to start the year with Crosby and Kessel. Betty White would manage 20 points on that line.
170. Carl Soderberg, C (-1): Colorado paid him to be a second-line center. Chance for a modest increase in his production.
171. Justin Williams, RW (-1): Might score a bit more in Washington but might also keep declining at 33.
172. Marcus Johansson, LW (-1): So many opportunities with elite players in D.C. without much to show for it. Time to accept that he won’t be a star.
173. Mike Cammalleri, LW (-1): Will miss a chunk of time with injuries. Will help you in goals when he plays.
174. Nino Niederreiter, RW (-1): Hard to believe he’s still just 22. Jumped from 14 to 24 goals. Next up, 30?
175. Sam Bennett, C (-1): He’ll be a fantasy stud eventually. Crowded Flames depth chart might hold him back as a rookie. Certainly worth a late-round flier, though. Bet on talent.
176. Mikkel Boedker, LW (-1): Reasonable offense considering his lack of support. Maybe Arizona’s youngsters give him a boost.
177. Mikko Koivu, C (-1): In decline. Granlund now a better bet to be Minny’s top fantasy pivot.
178. David Perron, LW (-1): Should have done more with his opportunities in Pittsburgh. Don’t go overboard bidding on him.
179. Max Domi, LW (-1): Looks like he’ll make Coyotes. As good a bet as any to lead them in points, even as a rookie.
180. Jonathan Bernier, G (-1): A pretty good goalie, but you don’t want him as your fantasy starter unless your league counts shots and saves.
181. Jonathan Drouin, LW (-1): Talent is there but opportunity isn’t. Lightning top-six forward group is too packed.
182. Justin Schultz, D (-1): Power play prowess makes him better in fantasy than real life.
183. Ondrej Pavelec, G (-1): Have to give him credit for a strong 2014-15. Can he repeat it, though?
184. Dion Phaneuf, D (-1): For all the flak he takes, he’ll get you some points and a pile of PIM.
185. Nail Yakupov, RW (-1): Someone will get a bigger opportunity because of Eberle’s injury. Whoever does will make a nice short-term pickup.
186. Tyler Myers, D (-1): A new man after trade to Winnipeg. Worth drafting for the first time in years.
187. Frans Nielsen, C (-1): Points may slip as more offensively gifted players rise around him on Long Island.
188. Jacob Trouba, D (-1): Not bad last year but regressed from rookie offensive output. Trend should reverse this season.
189. Morgan Rielly, D (-1): The opportunity for big points in a big role certainly exists for him in Toronto. Bad team will cap his value.
190. Drew Stafford, RW (-1): Don’t spend a high pick to see if his Winnipeg resurgence was for real. But an endgame pick? Sure, why not?
191. Alex Goligoski, D (-1): Stars don’t need his offense as much now, but he’ll get some points playing a lot on a high-scoring squad.
192. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW (+3): Fast, uber-skilled Dane can challenge for the Calder if he makes Jets.
193. Robin Lehner, G (-1) Drafting him means banking on two things: him being legit and the Sabres improving. Feelin’ lucky?
194. Pavel Zacha, C (-1): I’ve been asked often this off-season which less-heralded 2015 first-rounder could fast-track to the NHL, and my answer is always Zacha. For one, he’s blessed with a man’s body, already 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds at 18. Secondly, no team has less high-end forward talent than New Jersey. Zacha is already getting a look on the Devils’ top line (at left wing) in camp.
195. Artem Anisimov, C: All but assured to center Chicago’s second line, and it’s increasingly likely Kane flanks him on the right side.
196. Nick Leddy, D: Good showing in first year as a true bellcow blueliner, and I expect the Islanders to compete for NHL’s goal-scoring lead this year. Many assists await Leddy.
197. Clarke MacArthur: Overlooked. Pretty secure spot on Ottawa’s best line with Turris and Stone.
198. Cody Franson, D: Someone has to soak up all the power play time on Buffalo’s blueline. Won’t surprise me if Franson sets a career high in points.
199. Daniel Sprong, RW: He’s made the Penguins as a teen, and his skill set is all-out offense, meaning he has a good chance to start on a scoring line. Makes a fun final flier at the end of your draft.
200. Mikko Rantanen, RW: Will most of the “bubble” guys below outscore Rantanen? Probably. But does anyone below have his upside? Hardly. Rantanen, a highly talented Finnish sniper, was good enough to get an immediate NHL shot at 18, and he’s slated to play with MacKinnon.
On the bubble: Jori Lehtera, Bo Horvat, Tomas Plekanec, Jonas Hiller, Craig Smith, Ryan Spooner, Tanner Pearson, Kari Lehtonen, Alexander Semin, J.T. Miller, Mike Fisher, Carl Hagelin, Mike Smith, Brian Elliott, Olli Maatta, Dennis Wideman, Andre Burakovsky, Patrick Maroon, Anton Stralman, Hampus Lindholm, Brendan Gallagher, Anthony Duclair, Tyler Bozak, Jimmy Howard, Artemi Panarin, Teemu Pulkkinen, Mathew Dumba, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula, Josh Bailey, Matt Beleskey, Sergei Plotnikov, Brandon Sutter
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin