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Fantasy Hockey: Top 200 Skater Banger Rankings for 2022-23

If points, PIMs, hits and other notable NHL stats are the backbone of your hockey pool, Jason Chen is here with his pre-season rankings for the 2022-23 hockey season.

Let’s face it, banger leagues are just more fun.

The difficulty level is ratcheted up because there are more categories and players to consider, but it’s also totally upended how we evaluate them as fantasy assets. In leagues that emphasize scoring, there is no debate Connor McDavid should go first. Zero. He’s always the best bet to score the most points and the potential winning margin is in the double-digits.

But it's no longer a tap-in decision if you consider categories such as hits and faceoff wins. Suddenly, checking-line players and defensive defensemen have some value, and the pure scoring talents such as Johnny Gaudreau end up falling down the lists.

No, I’m not setting you up for some silly hot take that someone else is ranked above McDavid. Scoring is still the hardest thing to do, making it a premium because a goal is much harder to obtain than a hit or a blocked shot. 

Below are the Top 200 players for leagues that take into consideration goals (G), assists (A), plus-minus (+/-), penalty minutes (PIM), power-play points (PPP), shots (S), blocks (BkS), hits and faceoffs won (FOW). Positions are based on Yahoo's website and multiple-position eligibility can be a bonus, especially for centers with right or left wing eligibility. 

The methodology is simple: I cover my eyes and throw darts at a board.

Kidding. Goals and assists are still worth the most. Each player has a value and rank for scoring categories (G, A, +/-, PPP, S) and banger categories (PIM, Bks, Hits, FOW), which are then blended and adjusted. The players are not ranked strictly by any one statistical measure. Stat projections for individual players can be found in the awesome Pool Guide. 

Note there are no goalies on this list. They will be placed on a different list and ranked numerically and in tiers, but only for the pre-season. The categories for players and goalies are completely different and their overall fantasy value will depend on your league settings. Other than knowing Igor Shesterkin and Andrei Vasilevskiy are the only two goalies worth drafting in the first round in most formats, the rest tend to get drafted in clusters, either by round or team. It's better to wait and find out how some of the goaltending timeshares will shake out before ranking them on a combined list. 

Once the season begins, the list will be updated on a regular basis and include both players and goalies with more write-ups. 

Good luck!

1. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers

Any time McDavid doesn’t go first overall in any league, it should be controversial. But that’s the inherent fun with banger leagues, because if you consider shots and faceoff wins, McDavid is not a consensus first overall pick. However, since points are weighted the most heavily, the Art Ross champion two years in a row is No. 1 by default.

2. Auston Matthews, C, Maple Leafs

The league’s lone 60-goal scorer is an annual Rocket Richard favourite and his faceoff abilities have really improved in a short period of time. He shoots and scores more than anyone else.

3. Leon Draisaitl, C/LW, Oilers

There’s major added value with LW eligibility and also a chance Draisaitl ends up being No. 1 on this list since he wins more faceoffs than both McDavid and Matthews. Where Draisaitl falls slightly behind is in point production and shot volume.

4. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche

Bag secured, but poor faceoff ability could push MacKinnon further down the list. MacKinnon barely won 50 percent of his faceoffs in his best season and has been very poor in the dot for an elite scoring center.

5. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Lightning

No other winger scores at the pace Kucherov does and he will challenge McDavid for the scoring title, which glosses over his mediocre banger category contributions. Among the top 50 on this list, Kucherov’s scoring rank was top-five and his banger rank bottom-five, but his scoring was so off-the-charts good he deserves to stay up here.

6. Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers

Barkov’s offense grades out very high with a 107-point pace last season and he’s one of the league’s best in faceoffs. It’s a deep position but Barkov represents the last of the elite young centers.

7. Roman Josi, D, Predators

Josi is one of two defensemen worth taking in the first round and his body of work was incredible last season with 90-plus points and excellent peripherals, including almost 300 shots. The Smashville workhorse should have a similarly productive season.

8. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals

Declining penalty minutes and hits means Ovechkin’s value in banger leagues takes a slight dip, but considering he was the only other player to score at least 50 goals with at least 300 shots – the other being Matthews – he’s still a top left winger.

9. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins

Crosby’s improved defense has not come at the cost of his offense. Crosby ranked 18th in P/GP (1.22) and 10th in total faceoff wins (760), and only one other center – Draisaitl: 1.38 P/GP, 887 FOW – beat him in both categories.

10. Cale Makar, D, Avalanche

Makar’s point-per-game production already makes him a top-tier player, but he stands out even more for being a defenseman. His seemingly unlimited ceiling is the main reason why he would be drafted before Josi, who had a slightly higher banger rating.

11. Steven Stamkos, C/LW, Lightning

The LW eligibility should be huge if Stamkos plays center full-time. He’s one of four players to have scored at least 70 power-play goals over the past five seasons and also ranks 11th in P/GP.

12. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Flames

How does Huberdeau mesh with his new team? Other than being an elite scorer at a fairly thin position, his fantasy value in banger leagues is debatable because he offers little else, though note his 99 hits last season were slightly more than your typical first-line scorer.

13. Gabriel Landeskog, C/LW, Avalanche

The issue with Landeskog is health; he’s missed 49 games over the past three seasons compared to only 43 in the eight prior seasons. Otherwise, Landeskog is a Banger League Beast™, now even offering some faceoff wins and better-than-average scoring.

14. J.T. Miller, C/LW, Canucks

The key question is if Miller’s 99-point season was a fluke because that’s the biggest reason for him to be ranked so high. If his scoring drops, his main value will be winning a lot of faceoffs from your LW slot.

15. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Senators

Tkachuk is a unicorn and could be ranked in the top five in roto leagues. Note only one other player (David Backes) in the cap era has managed to register at least 20 goals, 100 PIM, 200 shots and 200 hits in a single season, and both of them have now done it at least twice.

16. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Wild

Kaprizov’s one of a handful of players who can score over 100 points and his usage should be through the roof on a thin Wild offense. He doesn’t offer up a ton of banger stats, but he has 50-goal, 300-shots potential.

17. Mikko Rantanen, C/RW, Avalanche

Scoring helps push Rantanen up the rankings but he doesn’t offer up a ton of peripherals, and when the Avs are healthy, he’s usually playing right wing. Eligibility at C won’t mean much if he’s not winning faceoffs and fantasy managers shouldn’t be playing him in that slot, either.

18. Matthew Tkachuk, RW, Panthers

Last season, Tkachuk with Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau graded out as arguably the league’s best line, so a regression in scoring is very possible playing on a new team. With the amount of trouble he causes on the ice, you’d think Tkachuk would be a fantasy unicorn like brother Brady, but he’s definitely a tier below with fewer PIM and hits.

19. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins

Bergeron’s high-scoring ranking was a big surprise. He scores close to a point-per-game pace, registered close to 300 shots last season and also paced the league with 991 faceoff wins. The margin between Bergeron’s faceoff wins and second-place Ryan O’Reilly (91) is close to the margin between O’Reilly and seventh-place John Tavares (87), which shows just far ahead Bergeron was.

20. Timo Meier, LW/RW, Sharks

Dig deeper and there’s a strong case for Meier to be here. He’s got 40-goal potential, finished third in the league with 326 shots last season and also low-key added 162 hits, which ranks third among the top 20 on this list behind J.T. Miller and Brady Tkachuk.

Here's a look at the full 200-player list:

  1. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers
  2. Auston Matthews, C, Maple Leafs
  3. Leon Draisaitl, C/LW, Oilers
  4. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche
  5. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Lightning
  6. Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers
  7. Roman Josi, D, Predators
  8. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals
  9. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins
  10. Cale Makar, D, Avalanche
  11. Steven Stamkos, C/LW, Lightning
  12. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Flames
  13. Gabriel Landeskog, C/LW, Avalanche 
  14. J.T. Miller, C/LW, Canucks
  15. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Senators
  16. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Wild
  17. Mikko Rantanen, C/RW, Avalanche
  18. Matthew Tkachuk, RW, Panthers
  19. Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins
  20. Timo Meier, LW/RW, Sharks
  21. Mitch Marner, RW, Maple Leafs
  22. David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins
  23. Elias Lindholm, C, Flames
  24. Victor Hedman, D, Lightning
  25. John Tavares, C, Maple Leafs
  26. Evander Kane, LW, Oilers
  27. Jake Guentzel, LW, Penguins
  28. Kyle Connor, LW, Jets
  29. Sebastian Aho, C, Hurricanes
  30. Mika Zibanejad, C, Rangers
  31. Andrei Svechnikov, LW, Hurricanes
  32. Brayden Point, C, Lightning
  33. Filip Forsberg, LW, Predators
  34. Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Blue Jackets
  35. Dylan Larkin, C, Red Wings
  36. Jack Eichel, C, Golden Knights
  37. Patrick Kane, RW, Blackhawks
  38. Aaron Ekblad, D, Panthers
  39. Alex DeBrincat, LW, Senators
  40. Kris Letang, D, Penguins
  41. Chris Kreider, LW, Rangers
  42. Elias Pettersson, C/LW, Canucks
  43. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, Blues
  44. Artemi Panarin, LW, Rangers
  45. Kevin Fiala, LW/RW, Kings
  46. Anze Kopitar, C, Kings
  47. Nazem Kadri, C, Flames
  48. Roope Hintz, C, Stars
  49. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, Stars
  50. Bo Horvat, C, Canucks
  51. Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Jets
  52. Evgeni Malkin, C, Penguins
  53. Jason Robertson, LW, Stars
  54. Josh Norris, C, Senators
  55. Mark Scheifele, C, Jets
  56. Jack Hughes, C, Devils
  57. Jacob Trouba, D, Rangers
  58. Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Wild
  59. Drake Batherson, RW, Senators
  60. Darnell Nurse, D, Oilers
  61. Tomas Hertl, C, Sharks
  62. Charlie McAvoy, D, Bruins
  63. Claude Giroux, C/RW, Senators
  64. Ryan Hartman, C, Wild
  65. Adam Fox, D, Rangers
  66. Matt Duchene, RW, Predators
  67. Brad Marchand, LW, Bruins*
  68. John Carlson, D, Capitals
  69. William Nylander, RW, Maple Leafs
  70. Patrik Laine, LW/RW, Blue Jackets
  71. Vincent Trocheck, C, Rangers
  72. Morgan Rielly, D, Maple Leafs
  73. Nikolaj Ehlers, LW/RW, Jets
  74. Pavel Buchnevich, LW/RW, Blues
  75. Moritz Seider, D, Red Wings
  76. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, Panthers
  77. MacKenzie Weegar, D, Flames
  78. Tage Thompson, C, Sabres
  79. Sam Bennett, C, Panthers
  80. Drew Doughty, D, Kings
  81. Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Capitals
  82. Devon Toews, D, Avalanche
  83. Robert Thomas, C, Blues
  84. Nick Suzuki, C, Canadiens
  85. Nico Hischier, C, Devils
  86. Bryan Rust, RW, Penguins
  87. Adrian Kempe, LW/RW, Kings
  88. Valeri Nichushkin, LW/RW, Avalanche
  89. Blake Wheeler, RW, Jets
  90. Mats Zuccarello, RW, Wild
  91. Logan Couture, C, Sharks
  92. Thomas Chabot, D, Senators
  93. Sean Couturier, C, Flyers*
  94. Alex Pietrangelo, D, Golden Knighs
  95. Brock Nelson, C, Islanders
  96. Dougie Hamilton, D, Devils
  97. Noah Dobson, D, Islanders
  98. Tim Stuetzle, C/LW, Senators
  99. Brent Burns, D, Hurricanes
  100. Zach Werenski, D, Blue Jackets
  101. David Perron, RW, Red Wings
  102. Brayden Schenn, C/LW, Blues
  103. Mason Marchment, LW/RW, Stars
  104. Tyler Bertuzzi, LW/RW, Red Wings
  105. Seth Jones, D, Blackhawks
  106. Jordan Kyrou, LW/RW, Blues
  107. Jesper Bratt, RW, Devils
  108. Jonathan Marchessault, LW/RW, Golden Knights
  109. Teuvo Teravainen, LW/RW, Hurricanes
  110. Jamie Benn, C/LW, Stars
  111. Ryan Johansen, C, Predators
  112. Ryan O'Reilly, C, Blues
  113. Brock Boeser, RW, Canucks
  114. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C/LW, Oilers
  115. Matt Boldy, LW/RW, Wild
  116. Alex Tuch, RW, Sabres
  117. Viktor Arvidsson, LW/RW, Kings
  118. Phillip Danault, C, Kings
  119. Trevor Zegras, C, Ducks
  120. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Sabres
  121. Jeff Skinner, LW, Sabres
  122. Quinn Hughes, D, Canucks
  123. Mark Stone, RW, Golden Knights
  124. Mikael Granlund, C, Predators
  125. Tyler Seguin, C/RW, Stars
  126. Torey Krug, D, Blues
  127. Matt Barzal, C, Islanders
  128. Clayton Keller, LW/RW, Coyotes
  129. Miro Heiskanen, D, Stars
  130. Taylor Hall, LW, Bruins
  131. Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, Kraken
  132. Michael Bunting, LW, Maple Leafs
  133. Radko Gudas, D, Panthers
  134. Jared McCann, C/LW, Kraken
  135. Troy Terry, RW, Ducks
  136. Tanner Jeannot, RW, Predators
  137. Justin Faulk, D, Blues
  138. Marcus Foligno, LW/RW, Wild
  139. Ryan Strome, C, Ducks
  140. Anthony Cirelli, C/LW, Lightning*
  141. Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, Islanders
  142. Chandler Stephenson, C/RW, Golden Knights
  143. Jeff Carter, C, Penguins
  144. Jordan Staal, C, Hurricanes
  145. Shea Theodore, D, Golden Knights
  146. Tony DeAngelo, D, Flyers
  147. Andrew Copp, C/RW, Red Wings
  148. Zach Hyman, LW/RW, Oilers
  149. Travis Konecny, RW, Flyers
  150. Matt Dumba, D, Wild
  151. Mikhail Sergachev, D, Lightning
  152. Cole Caufield, RW, Canadiens
  153. Jakob Chychrun, D, Coyotes
  154. Tom Wilson, RW, Capitals*
  155. Andrew Mangiapane, LW/RW, Flames
  156. Rickard Rakell, LW/RW, Penguins
  157. Kevin Hayes, C, Flyers
  158. Boone Jenner, C, Blue Jackets
  159. Josh Morrissey, D, Jets
  160. Anton Lundell, C, Panthers
  161. Tyler Toffoli, LW/RW, Flames
  162. Lawson Crouse, LW/RW, Coyotes
  163. Rasmus Andersson, D, Flames
  164. Mikael Backlund, C, Flames
  165. Neal Pionk, D, Jets
  166. Reilly Smith, RW, Golden Knights
  167. Dylan Strome, C/RW, Capitals
  168. Evan Bouchard, D, Oilers
  169. Matty Beniers, C, Kraken
  170. Conor Garland, LW/RW, Canucks
  171. Andre Burakovsky, LW/RW, Kraken
  172. Alex Killorn, LW/RW, Lightning
  173. Noah Hanifin, D, Flames
  174. Cam Atkinson, RW, Flyers
  175. Anders Lee, LW, Islanders
  176. Jakub Vrana, LW, Red Wings
  177. Yanni Gourde, C, Kraken
  178. Jordan Greenway, LW, Wild
  179. Nick Schmaltz, C/RW, Coyotes
  180. Ilya Mikheyev, LW/RW, Canucks
  181. Luke Schenn, D, Canucks
  182. Ryan Pulock, D, Islanders
  183. Carter Verhaeghe, LW, Panthers
  184. Jared Spurgeon, D, Wild
  185. Lucas Raymond, RW, Red Wings
  186. Ondrej Palat, LW, Devils
  187. Anthony Mantha, LW/RW, Capitals
  188. Mason McTavish, LW, Ducks
  189. Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Oilers
  190. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Coyotes
  191. Evan Rodrigues, LW/RW, Avalanche 
  192. Bowen Byram, D, Avalanche
  193. Ivan Provorov, D, Flyers
  194. John Klingberg, D, Ducks
  195. William Karlsson, C, Golden Knights
  196. Erik Haula, C/LW, Devils
  197. T.J. Oshie, C/RW, Capitals
  198. Jeff Petry, D, Penguins
  199. Erik Karlsson, D, Sharks
  200. Nicolas Roy, C/RW, Golden Knights

Notable omissions: Max Pacioretty, LW, Hurricanes*; Blake Coleman, LW/RW, Flames; Jaden Schwartz, LW, Kraken; Jonathan Toews, C, Blackhawks; Tyson Barrie, D, Oilers; Colton Parayko, D, Blues; Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, Blue Jackets; Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Flyers



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