Draft Guru - Notes

Landshark Hockey breaks down your Fantasy Hockey Draft. Select the category for insight on NHL players to help plan your draft list.


Rising

The trends indicate these guys are getting better every season. Expect their value to be better this season than last.

Offense

Logan Couture     SAN Couture was on pace for a career high in goals last season, and may have pressed for 40, given a full season. He continued his offensive production through the playoffs with 11 points in 11 games. Couture has become the face of the Sharks and should continue his upward momentum into 2013-14. Look for him to challenge for 35 goals and 80 points.
Taylor Hall     EDM Hall met high expectations last season with a breakout performance of 50 points in 45 games. Expect that pace to increase, as the stable of offensive horses are unleashed this season in Edmonton. Hall has the potential to challenge for scoring champ in 2013-14.
Jonathan Huberdeau     FLA Huberdeau was quite impressive right out of the shoot in his rookie season, especially considering the lack of help in Florida. He should continue to progress as he assumes the lead offensive role with the Panthers. He should get as many minutes as he can handle. Look for 60+ points in his sophomore season
Nazem Kadri     TOR After struggling to find his niche with the club through his first few seasons, Kadri delivered on his high expectations last season, averaging nearly a point a game and finishing in the top 20 for overall fantasy value on offense. He should continue that climb upwards this season and is a lock to set new career highs in goals and points.
Nathan MacKinnon     COL This year's #1 overall draft pick should have little trouble finding his way onto one of the top 2 lines in Colorado. His potential upside makes him a risk worth taking in the middle to late rounds of your draft.
Brad Marchand     BOS Marchand is a bit underrated in terms of fantasy value, but he continues to produce across the columns. His speed and grit net him goals, assists, and a good helping of penalty minutes, to complement one of the best +/- numbers year after year. He's just hitting his prime and is worth an early look.
Bobby Ryan     OTT For whatever reason, the super talented Ryan just had to go in Anaheim. Ottawa's gain. He is capable of becoming a 40 goal scorer and just may do so in his first try with the Senators. Should he get paired up with Spezza for any length of time, he could even challenge for the Rocket Richard. A bit high in terms of expectations, but certainly in the realm of possible.
Derek Stepan     NYR Stepan had a breakout season in the shortened 2013 schedule and should be a lock to build on that progress this season. He's the undisputed #1 center and should benefit from a more open playing style under the new coaching staff. Should easily set career highs in all categories.
Kyle Turris     OTT Turris has shown limited flashes of offensive flare over the last 2 seasons with the Sens. Some consider him a bit of a bust, given his #3 overall draft status; however, the boy is just 24 years old and improving. Look for him to set some new career highs in year #6.
James van Riemsdyk     TOR Entering into his fifth NHL season, it could be make or break for JVR as a fantasy commodity. The opportunity it there for him in Toronto to rise among the great wingers in the game. So far, he has only flirted with greatness. Best guess is that he continues to get a little better this season, and should have little trouble topping his career high of 40 points. 30 goals and 70 points are within reach.
Jakub Voracek     PHI Voracek enjoyed a bit of a breakout season, though it was somewhat under the radar, given Philly's off year. He made the most of his time along side Giroux. Assuming he stays in that slot, you should expect another big campaign out of the youngster in 2013-14.

Defense

John Carlson     WAS Carlson contributed with another good, but not great, fantasy effort in 2013. Green has somewhat reclaimed some of the spotlight in Washington, but there's still room for Carlson to grow into a top notch fantasy option. He should set career highs this season.
Cody Franson     TOR Franson had a bit of a breakout season last year, popping in 29 points in 45 games. He was nearly equal to Phaneuf in terms of fantasy reliability last season and logged huge minutes for the Leafs, particularly through the playoffs. Look for the upward trend to continue as he enters his 5th NHL season.
Seth Jones     NAS It was a bit surprising to see Jones slide to the Preds with the #4 pick at the draft, but don't be surprised if he comes through with a strong rookie season. Should he get paired up with Shea Weber, he will definitely be worth a late round look.
Roman Josi     NAS Josi's fortunes may largely be impacted in training camp once we see how the pairings may play out. Should the Preds opt to pair Weber with the rookie Jones, Josi may see his trajectory slow down. Josi spent some time with the big guy last season, which helped his progression and production. Assume the best for Josi and view him as an emerging asset.
Paul Martin     PIT Martin's career was seemingly reborn last season. After nearly being run out of town last summer, Martin had a terrific comeback campaign, spoiled by a mid-season wrist injury. At times, he showed up Letang and made a case to be the #1 power play QB for the mighty Pens. Given a full season of good health, it's reasonable to expect career highs from Martin in 2013-14.
Ryan Murphy     CAR Murphy has a very good shot at sticking with the big club this time around, as Carolina is hurting for puck movement on defense. The first round draft pick from 2012 showed a little promise in his brief stint last season in the NHL and AHL, but tore it up in the OHL.

Goalies

Craig Anderson     OTT Statistically, Anderson was the bset goalie in the league last season, by far. His 1.69 GAA and .941 save percentage were silly good. He just needed to stay healthy a little longer. He didn't show a sign of weakness all season until the 2nd round of the playoffs, where the Pens made him look human. A full season in good health will show whether or not he is for real as a #1 option.
Corey Crawford     CHI If it's wins that you crave, consider holding out for Crawford as your #1 in net. The Hawks will surely deliver plenty in the W column again in 2013-14, and this time, assuming he stays healthy, Crawford won't have to share the net with Emery. Khabibulin will fill in only when Crawford needs a breather. His numbers last year were among the best in the league. He just needs more starts to rank with the elite.
Viktor Fasth     EDM Fasth rose unexpectedly last season to challenge, and nearly surpass, Hiller for the top job in Anaheim. Given the success of that duo last season, it wouldn't be shocking to see a repeat of the 1A/1B scenario. While that may spell good news for the Ducks, it's a dreaded scenario for fantasy owners.
Jacob Markstrom     VAN Markstrom appears ready to make his first serious go at being a number one goaltender. He split the duties last season. Florida leaves little to get excited about, so consider him as a depth option in larger leagues only.
Kevin Poulin     NYI Poulin was fill in as needed behind the aging Nabokov. He filled in admirably in Round 1 of the playoffs when Nabokov was torched by the Pens. He has an outside chance of contributing in a big way this season. Keep an eye on him throughout the season. Should Nabokov go down or struggle, Poulin should be near the top of your waiver wait list.