It’s about that time again.
Almost three and a half months after the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup, we hit the eve of the 2020-21 National Hockey League season. And what better way to prepare to drop the puck than with the TSN Hockey Fantasy Draft.
Carlo Colaiacovo, Marty Biron, Jeff ONeill and Dave Poulin make their selection in a snake-style draft of four teams (six forwards, three defenders and two goalkeepers) to give fantasy players a good idea of how the top of their checkers could go.
With the first choice, Team chose Colaiacovo Connor McDavid.
McDavid did not lead the league in points or cracked the 40-goal plateau last season as in previous years, but he did finish a close second in points per game (1.52) ahead of teammate Leon Draisaitls 1.55. McDavid, ranked No. 2 on ESPN’s top 300 list, turns 24 on Tuesday and it is very possible that he has not yet reached his ceiling. He is the +550 favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy (William Hill) and a +300 favorite to win the Art Ross (BetMGM). Sure, there’s no clear consensus at No. 1 this year, but it’s hard to go wrong with McDavid.
With the second choice, ONeill brought Colorado Avalanche to the fore Nathan MacKinnon. The Halifax native enjoyed a 93-point regular season, but took things to a whole new level in the playoffs, with an absurd nine goals and 16 assists in 15 games before the Avs bounced back by the Dallas Stars. Ranked # 3 by ESPN, MacKinnon is just as secure as any.
At number 3, Poulin lined up a player that some would have caught first Leon Draisaitl. The 25-year-old German led the league last year with 67 assists and back-to-back seasons of 100 points. He was also as durable as they come, skating in every regular season competition over the past two campaigns. ESPN’s top-ranked fantasy player, Draisaitl, should play with his linemate in almost every statistical offensive category all season long.
Next was Biron, who grabbed Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews with the following two choices. Eichel was without star help for much of his Buffalo Sabers career, but maybe he’s finally got something to do with it Taylor Halls arrival. Head coach Ralph Krueger told NHL.com he expects Eichel and Hall to be deadly together. If Eichel could score 36 goals without Hall last season, what could he do with him? As for Matthews, the 23-year-old is the betting favorite to take home the Rocket Richard Trophy at +450 (BetMGM). With a career-best 47 goals in 50 games, Matthews likely would have hit 50 goals had the season not been suspended in mid-March.
The best blueliner selected was Quinn Hughes at No. 7 by ONeill and was the first net less from the board Andrei Vasilevskiy at No. 11 to Poulin. Despite an incredible show at the World Juniors, Tim Sttzle wasn’t the first rookie to be selected as ONeill took Alexis Lafreniere at 23. Sttzle didn’t have to wait long though, as Colaiacovo picked him up 10 picks later. Lafreniere is second in the Calder Memorial Trophy odds with +300, slightly behind teammate Igor Shesterkin (+250, BetMGM). Forecast drivers have Sttzle fourth at +1,000.
Here is the rest of the 2020-21 Fantasy Hockey Draft and the roster of all panelists:
|18||5||Jeff||Sebastian Aho |||CAR||F.|
|41||11||Carlo||Ilya Samsonov||USED TO BE||G.|
Team Marty: F. Jack Eichel, F Auston Matthews, F Sidney Crosby, F Mitch Marner, F Mikko Rantanen, F Brad Marchand, D Victor Hedman, D Morgan Rielly, D Miro Heiskanen, G. Carter Hart, G. Igor Shesterkin
Team Jeff: F. Nathan MacKinnon, F Alex Ovechkin, F Sebastian Aho |, F Alexis Lafreniere, F Patrick Kane, F Steven Stamkos, D Quinn Hughes, D Zach Werenski, D Shea Theodore, G. Connor Hellebuyck, G. Carey price
Team Carlo: F. Connor McDavid, F Brayden Point, F Mark Scheifele, F Elias Pettersson, F Mika Zibanejad, F Tim Sttzle, D Alex Pietrangelo, D Cale Makar, D Dougie Hamilton, G. Frederik Andersen, G. Ilya Samsonov
Team Dave: F. Leon Draisaitl, F Artemi Panarin, F Kirill Kaprizov, F Kyle Connor, F David Pastrnak, F Jonathan Huberdeau, D John Carlson, D Roman Josi, D Tony DeAngelo, G. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G. Jordan Binnington
* Poulin uses the first of three remotes to retrieve F. Patrik Laine and place F David Pastrnak on injured reserve.
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