…use caution here, as none of these guys are going to move the needle too much for your fantasy team.
Elvis Merzlikins will be a consistent starter in the NHL – which is one of the qualities you look for when drafting a fantasy goaltender. Behind this team, though, Elvis will probably struggle to put up consistent numbers. That’s not a knock on him, this team is just young and still finding its way defensively. When he’s on, he can be an elite level goaltender, but bouts of inconsistency and the odd “soft goal”, make him a middle of the pack guy overall. He can be a good #2 fantasy option, but don’t bet your entire season on him leading the way.
Jakub Voracek racks up assists like few other players in the league. In fact, he finished tied for 20th in the entire league last year (Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen), with 56 assists. It will be hard to see him replicate that production this year, as he’ll likely be on the team’s second line. But, he’s been the net-front presence on the power-play throughout training camp, which should boost his goal production from last season. If he’s your fifth or sixth winger, that’s probably fine – but don’t expect much more.
You may feel tempted to take a flyer on other players, including Yegor Chinakhov, Adam Boqvist, Jack Roslovic, Boone Jenner, Cole Sillinger, Gustav Nyquist or even rookie Kent Johnson. But, use caution here, as none of these guys are going to move the needle too much for your fantasy team. Boqvist has value as a #2 power play quarterback, but he’s been inconsistent and oft-injured throughout his career thus far. And, that unit is going to be really young and may not see a ton of ice time.
If you want to gamble on upside, the best bet here in my opinion may be Sillinger, who could slide up the lineup and center that big Laine-Gaudreau tandem by season’s end. Even so, you can likely snag him via the waiver wire if he starts playing well. Chinakhov is sneaky and could bring value if his goal scoring carries over to the regular season, but I would be hesitant to jump on him just yet. In dynasty leagues, these guys or even Johnson could hold huge value. In all, this should be a higher scoring team this season … just don’t count on much help in that plus/minus category.
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