With the NHL regular season quickly approaching, fantasy drafts are likely kicking off in full force.
As you prepare for your drafts, here are some things to keep in mind from the Blackhawks’ perspective. Most comparisons made in this article are to NHL.com’s recently released top 250 fantasy hockey list which can be found here.
The Goalie Situation
Barely ahead of them is Petr Mrazek at 155, who looks like the clear cut starter for a better team.
Behind them, are goalies such as Jonathan Quick and Jimmy Howard, who may be on worse teams and not sexy picks, but will almost certainly get more starts than either of the Blackhawks’ netminders. In other words, stay away from the ‘Hawks goaltending situation.
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Chicago Blackhawks’ top defensive prospect, Adam Boqvist, made it into the final spot of the NHL.com top 250 rankings.
There’s no guarantee that Boqvist makes the team to start the season, or stay beyond the first nine games, even if he does make it. If you want to take a flyer on Boqvist, wait until very late in the draft or snag him on the waiver wire.
Alexander Nylander wasn’t ranked in the top 250 of NHL.com’s rankings. He looks like a lock to make the team and played parts of the preseason on a line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
If Nylander spends time on a line with Toews and Kane, he’ll be foxy by proxy. A late-round pick like this has the potential to win you a league.
Erik Gustafsson ranked sixth in points and third in goals among defensemen last season, but is currently ranked outside of the top 10 according to most outlets.
I wouldn’t take him as a top-five defenseman, but if he’s still available with the first 10 defensemen off the board, jump on him.
No one knows how Dominik Kubalik will produce at the NHL level yet, but he’s all but a lock to make the NHL roster.
Watching him in preseason games, and even listening to his interviews, Kubalik will get you plenty of shots on goal at the very least.
He has 13 shots on goal through four preseason games, including two five-shot games. He looks like a good shooter too, scoring two goals in those games; if he can pop in 15-20 goals, he’d be a great late-round pick or waiver wire add.
Jonathan Toews is a risky pick, especially one season after he was a point-per-game player.
On one hand, if he plays with Kane and Nylander, he’ll pay big dividends at his current average draft position.
On the other hand, if he’s not playing with Kane, this pick could really hurt if you take him too high; draft Toews with caution.
Alex DeBrincat is dual-wing eligible and scored 41 goals last season. DeBrincat hasn’t yet missed a game in his NHL career and is ranked 41st by NHL.com.
DeBrincat’s value will be much higher than that if he has a season similar to last year, if not better. His numbers are comparable to Mitch Marner, who NHL.com has ranked at 16.