Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane leads the NHL fantasy ranks
The NHL and ESPN released their top 200 fantasy hockey players this past week. It is no surprise that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane sits atop both top 200s.
Kane is the top player and top forward, according to both the NHL and ESPNFantasy divisions. The ranking takes into account projections for this season and results from previous seasons. His top ranking makes sense because Kane was the Art Ross Trophy winner in 2015-16.
Last season, Kane led the NHL in points (106), points per game ( 1.29) and goals created (41.0). He was second in goals with 46, only trailing Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. Kane was third in assists (60) behind Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton.
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Career years sets the tone
Last season was the first season Kane topped 100 points in his career. Before last season, his career high in points was 69. ESPN projects Kane’s total to be lower this season than his 2015-16 stats. They project 78 games played, 43 goals and 48 assists for 91 points. He was a plus/ minus 17 last season, and they project a plus 15.
Rounding on the top is five are Sidney Crosby, Ovechkin, Jamie Benn and Karlsson. Crosby is projected at 35 goals and 58 assists for 93 points. Ovechkin is projected at 51 goals and 22 assists for 73 points, while Benn is at 41 goal and 52 assists for 93 points. Karlsson rounds out the top five with a projection with 19 goals and 63 assists for 82 points.
Other Blackhawks worth keeping an eye on
Now if you are looking for other Blackhawks to draft, the next highest ranked player is Artemi Panarin. Kane and Panarin fed off one another’s success last season to become the Blackhawks’ dynamic duo. Panarin comes in ranked 29th in the league.
Panarin’s numbers are projected to go up from last season. Panarin is projected at 32 goals and 50 goals for 82 points. He is a projected plus/minus 10.
Corey Crawford is the next highest Blackhawks player, ranked 37th. Crawford is projected at 33 wins, 19.2 losses and six shutouts. Jonathan Toews is 59th, and rounding the Blackhawks’ fantasy top five is Duncan Keith at 85th.
Toews is projected at 28 goals and 32 assists for 60 points, and Keith is projected at eight goals and 41 assists for next season.
If you are holding the first pick in your fantasy draft, based on the projections you should party like it’s 2007 and do your best Dale Tallon impression. With the first pick in 2016 fantasy draft, you should select Kane.