Fantasy HockeyJosh Kay

Fantasy Hockey Top Five Picks: On The Clock

This article was written by Christoper Morais. He can be found on twitter @fuzzychris91

Choosing whom to take first overall in a fantasy hockey draft is never easy. Starting with the wrong player could destroy a team from the start. It’s important to do some research and find the perfect player to start your lineup. Let’s take a look at the top five players in this years fantasy hockey draft and see which player you, the general manager, should be taking.

Sidney Crosby | Pittsburgh Penguins | Center

The first pick should always be Sidney, period. Consider this: Crosby has never produced less than a point-per-game in any of his nine NHL seasons. He’s back to perfect health and playing at the peak of his career. This is truly a no brainer.

Sidney Crosby is a no-brainer at number one overall
Sidney Crosby is a no-brainer at number one overall (Photo courtesy of PittsburghMagazine.com)

Steven Stamkos | Tampa Bay Lightning | Center

Stamkos is a pure sniper.  Entering his seventh season, he’s ready to lead the Lightning. He has 233 career goals and will be looking to add to that this year. He could have challenged Ovechkin for the NHL scoring title, but broke his leg and missed 45 games. The center-man still finished last season with a shooting percentage of 20.2% and could easily do it again this year. Stamkos is a lock at #2.

Evgeni Malkin | Pittsburgh Penguins | Center

Malkin is a risky pick at #3. He’s coming back from injury and hasn’t played a full season since 08’-09’. However, he finished tenth in assists (49), averaged 3.18 shots-per-game, and average a point-per-game last year in only sixty games. If “Geno” can stay healthy, he could flirt with #1 overall value.

Alexander Ovechkin | Washington Capitals | Right Wing

Nobody scores goals like Ovechkin does. He’s a great sniper, with a wicked, almost unreal release.  The talented Russian is poised to have another great season, and seems primed to score 50 goals for the sixth time. If your league takes into consideration the plus/minus (+/-) stat, then it could hurt his draft stock, but he shouldn’t slip any farther than this.

 John Tavares | New York Islanders | Center

Tavares rounds out the top five. The 24-year-old has quickly developed into an elite player and has consistently improved his performance every year — although a knee injury ended his last season early.

Last year was the first season that Tavares averaged over a point-per-game in a season, and it certainly won’t be the last time. He’s clearly durable — only missing a handful of games his previous four years — and will have a much better supporting cast than last year. His plus/minus is something that fantasy owners will have to accept again this season, but like Ovechkin, that shouldn’t be something to worry about.  Although the Canadian is still young, he’s definitely the best player choice after the big four. If he stays healthy this year, he may be in for an even better season than last year.

It’s impossible to go wrong with any one of these fantasy superstars. Each of these players will play a major role in their NHL and fantasy team’s success. Getting one of these players really can set fantasy owners apart from the rest of their league and could be the difference between winning and losing.

 

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